Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Court Appearance Update

Today was suppossed to be the day that my attorney argued a motion for supression. If everything had happened like it was suppossed to, then my case would likely have been dismissed today. But, as we all know from past experience, when dealing with government employees (cop & teacher) things usually do not go as planned.

Last week my attorney sent out subpoenas to me, Kindergarten Cop Eric McCain, and Horseshoe Bend kindergarten teacher Beth Shaw to appear in court at 9 a.m. this morning. Well, I was there....and that was it. The cop and the teacher didn't show and as far as I know didn't alert the court to the fact that they would not be there. As a result we didn't get to argue the motion.

I asked my attorney whether or not we could request failure to appear warrants for both McCain and Shaw....we know this is what happens to non-government employees when they fail to appear in court. He said yes, we could, but declined to do so. I didn't press it. He likely knows my heart might physically burst from joy at seeing Beth Shaw and Eric McCain in handcuffs....and he wants me to remain alive long enough to see this thing through to the end.

From what I understand my case will come up before Judge Ray Martin on April 9 and we will argue the suppression motion at that time....or possibly something will be worked out before then.....like the state could drop the charges.

One strange thing did happen though. As I was sitting and waiting for my case to be called the former prosecutor, turned defense attorney, turned back prosecutor walked by and said, "Hey Loretta". I returned his greeting and commented on his return to the 'dark side' of prosecution. He laughed and said he wasn't up here much and started to walk away. Then he came back and leaned down and said, "You should go and see my boss sometime (the D.A., E. Paul Jones) and talk to him about getting a drug court and pre-trial diversion here."

I said I had heard that Mr. Jones was supportive of such things and that when I got all of this mess cleared up I would go by and talk to him.

When I mentioned this to my lawyer he thought the guy must have meant that I should take a pre-trial diversion instead of take it to trial. I told him I didn't think that was what he meant because, I can't really legally go in and talk to the DA while he is prosecuting a case against me. That would be ex-parte communication or something like that. If I were representing myself I could talk to him but, since I have a lawyer, I can't.

Looking back, I am not sure if the Asst. D.A. meant I should go and talk to the D.A. about pleaing out and going through pre-trial diversion, which I have no intention of doing and that is a well known fact to this particular prosecutor, or if he was telling me that the D.A. is interested in my work and wants to discuss with me how to keep non-violent drug offenders out of jail. I am hoping for the latter and leaning towards the latter because talking to the D.A. directly would not be legal and I don't think the Asst. D.A. would tell me to do something illegal.

If this turns out to be the case, then I would say that would be a huge reward for me. All of my efforts in fighting this case and and my activism pushing for real drug policy and prison reform, my campaign for Governor, my constant media presence and my relentless and tireless pursuit to bring common sense into the Alabama judicial system will be well rewarded by me being able to influence a drug court in this county.

I do believe I have gained the respect of mine enemy and that is a major step if real change is ever to be had.


Anonymous said...

Way to go Loretta!!!

Jon said...

Sometimes the enemy declines to face you in battle, but eventually you will win the war if you believe in your cause.

teeitup63 said...

Sometimes the world works in mysterious ways, and this is a great bit of progress. Ties into the PM I sent you.

Very interesting. Definitely check all legal ramifications prior to discussing anything with da gubment employee's. You wouldn't want it to be constued that you were using political influence to gain any favors.

But a good ol southern style (verbal & handshake) agreement between persons that says "if I were to help you with that prison diverversion program do ya think by chance that little problem I have could kinda disapear"?

Anonymous said...

Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Don't trust 'em, Loretta.

Loretta Nall said...

I just want to clairify that I will not be going by to talk to the DA or the Asst. DA about a drug court or community corrections program in this county until my case is resolved.

I don't think I made that very clear in my original posting because a lot of my friends and supporters think I have plans to talk to these guys.

Until my case is cleared up I will not even fart in their general direction....once my case is over and done with I will sit down and talk to them all day long if they like.

The Alabama Moderate said...

I wouldn't push the failure to a appear warrants for now, but if they fail to appear again and it results in your case being drug out even longer, you should probably press the matter. This thing has stretched on long enough.

Anonymous said...

Ahh.. Drug Court. I guess it's a good thing that these programs exist but.... having been thru the drug court and tasc and UAB drug free programs here in Birmingham for possession of a couple of xanax for which my script had expired, I can say from experience that it's a racket for them to make more money. Tasc/drug free dosen't care if their treatment works, they treat all drug use the same - from pot to heroin and we all know the effects, both physically and psycologicly are no where close to similar. They make their money based on the number of people the shove thru the program. Same with drug court - I'm not saying that the alternative is acceptable (jail) but as long as the courts have a program that makes them tons of money rather than costing tax dollars to lock someone up, the real solution will never be addressed. That solution would be to de-criminalize the use of these drugs (or most of them)and release all those non violent drug offenders that are currently locked up.
Good luck Loretta - hope this works out for you.