Interview with State’s Attorney, James Glasgow, on Drew Peterson trial

During Drew Peterson’s trial for murder his defense team never seemed to turn down a chance to be heard and seen in the media, but the prosecution was keeping a low profile. Finally, lead prosecutor, James Glasgow, can speak out about the case, the hearsay, the trial, the defense team, and Drew Peterson; and boy does he have his say! You need to listen to this interview he did yesterday on WLS’s Roe and Roeper show.

[Partial transcript]

ROE: I think there’s been a lot of misunderstanding in the last couple of days. You explained it, I think, very well in your press conference yesterday and we’ve had a lot of people calling in with concerns about that so let’s jump into that for a second. The hearsay law is not as simple as “well now anyone can just say anything about anybody and go to court and get a conviction on somebody that they don’t like because they heard some conversation” right?

GLASGOW: Correct. There’s a very–first of all you have to prove by a preponderance of–if I have preponderance of evidence that you willfully diverted the witness, under the law that I had written, that diversion had to be murder, so I mean it was the ultimate diversion and…

ROE: Hold on. Let me back up a little. Let’s take that out of legalese. So what, basically the law that you guys drafted–and there are some other laws around the country that are similar to this–but the law that you drafted specifically said that if you kill somebody to silence them because they were going to testify against you for another crime, that hearsay evidence surrounding that individual who is now dead can be entered into court, but before you do that a judge has to sign off on this. A judge has to sign off, based on the preponderance of evidence, in kind of a mini-trial in advance.

GLASGOW: Yes. And these statements have to be relevant and probative to the issue at hand. They’re not just any statement, Roe. If someone is murdered in a bathroom and it’s made to look like an accident and they happen to have been told by the murderer, “I could kill you and make it look like an accident” that’s pretty relevant and pretty probative.

ROEPER: Jim, what about the criticism, and I agree, as Roe said, it’s been widely misunderstood and sometimes misreported but some of the defense attorneys were saying yesterday that it’s so specific that it was written for one case.

GLASGOW: Those guys don’t tell the truth about anything, now do they? In Giles v California, which was recently decided by the Supreme Court a couple of years ago–and I actually flew out and watched the argument–Antonin Scalia , who is a very conservative justice and who is a champion of cross-examination and confrontation, found that 400 years ago the concept of forfeiture by wrongdoing was in place in the common law. It was there when the drafters of the constitution wrote the constitution. That’s one of his tests to determine whether or not he’s going to go along with something in the common law. But anyway, the federal government, in 1997, enacted a law that was section 804(b) now adopted in Illinois, January first, 2011, which is basically forfeiture by wrongdoing and it’s “equitable forfeiture”. If you deliberately destroy evidence by getting this witness out of the way, you can’t come in, thumb your nose at the judge, laugh and say, “Ha,ha you can’t get me now!” That’s basically the concept.

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Hearsay decision going back to appellate court for reconsideration

Today The Illinois Supreme Court ordered a lower court to reconsider whether eight (out of fourteen) hearsay statements should be allowed in Drew Peterson’s trial for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

The prosecution had petitioned the Supreme Court to look at the decision handed down in July, which deemed the state had filed its appeal too late. The state’s position was that a recent decision in the case of People v. Hanson constituted a change in the law which allowed them to appeal beyond the deadline. The state is seeking a decision on the hearsay statements based on common law statutes rather than a more constrictive and recent hearsay statute.

State’s Attorney, James Glasgow says, “I am extraordinarily pleased by Wednesday’s Illinois Supreme Court order in the matter of People v. Peterson. I look forward to receiving an Appellate Court ruling on the merits of our appeal in light of the Illinois Supreme Court’s holdings in People v. Hanson. We anticipate a trial sometime in the spring.”

This will mean a few more months of waiting for the appeal to be reconsidered, and few more months for Drew Peterson to sit in jail.

Gossip columnist Michael Sneed reports that Drew’s teen sons, Kris and Tom, visited him in jail for the first time on Saturday. Tom was home from college for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Watch the video below to see the State’s Attorney’s press conference from July. We’re kind of back there again.

Read more at:
Shorewood Patch
Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Tribune
Hanson Ruling

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Illinois Supreme Court decides Drew Peterson is better off in jail

I apologize if everyone is tired of this graphic, but what can I say? Once more, it’s been decided that Drew Peterson is better off staying in jail while the prosecution appeals a decision about evidence in the case of Kathleen Savio’s murder.

Peterson’s defense team has tried repeatedly to spring his release during the appeals process because Illinois law states,”a defendant shall not be held in jail or to bail during the pendency of an appeal by the state–unless there are compelling reasons for his continued detention or being held to bail.”

It’s most likely that the compelling reason is the evidence and testimony presented at the historic hearsay hearings that took place in the winter of 2009. One could suppose that Judge Stephen White, the appellate justices and now the Illinois supreme court justices have seen and heard enough to make them believe that Peterson killed one or more of his wives. Of course, the decisions have been sealed in order to protect Peterson’s right to a fair trial.

We still wait to see if the Illinois Supreme Court will hear the prosecution’s latest appeal. That decision should come by the end of the month.

Bolingbrook Patch Story
Chicago Tribune Story

Joel Brodsky’s motion that failed to convince the justices.

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