Saturday, June 25, 2005

Jury may not hear Couey's claims

Officers say he admitted killing Jessica Lunsford, but a possible misstep could keep it out of court.

INVERNESS - Now that John Couey's detailed confession in the killing of Jessica Lunsford has been made public, the question is whether a jury will ever hear it.

Legal experts say the statements may not hold up in court because Couey asked for an attorney and didn't get one.

"The potential for this issue to be explosive and determinative is clearly present," said J. Larry Hart, a former prosecutor who is now a criminal defense attorney in New Port Richey. "It's very problematic for the prosecution."

Whether the confession can be used in court is among several issues that surfaced this week when prosecutors released transcripts of Couey's interviews with investigators. The statements also renewed questions about how long Jessica was kept alive after abduction, and why prosecutors didn't file charges against Couey's housemates.


Listeners of The Pat Campbell Show knew about this weeks ago.

2 Comments:

At 2:28 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Mr. Campbell, I have been in law enforcement for 30 years. You really went off on the prosecutors office and the Sheriff's Office this morning saying that they botched the case by questioning Couey after he asked for and attorney. Well, only using the knowledge of what I have heard about the case from the media, they have not botched anything. As long as they did not use his admissions to go further to gain more evidence against him, they are in the same place they would have been had they stopped talking to him when he made the request. It may be that the prosecutor needs the testimony of the people in the trailer to build a better case on Couey, but even if the statements Couey made after asking for an attorney are supressed, the case is in no worse shape than if they had stopped talking to him when he asked. I would love to see those people in the trailer go to jail for any help they may have given, but if it is a choice between them going to jail or making a stronger case to insure Couey does not walk, I think you and I both would choose the latter.
You might want to wait until you hear more about what actually happened after Couey made his possibly inadmissible statements before you come down too hard on the cops.

 
At 3:42 PM, Blogger Radio said...

Upholding the rights of individuals has never been a priority of law enforcement. We should make it a felony to violate those rights (as they were blatantly violated in this case) and then prosecute those law enforcement officials that decide that our constitution does not matter. Couey asked repeatedly for a lawyer and that right was repeatedly denied. He's as guilty as sin, but so were the incompetent cops! Such blatant incompetency only makes the prosecutor's job more difficult. I remember another case involving a guy named O.J. and another incompetent cop named Furman who claimed he had never said the "N" word. Come to find out he not only said it, but said it repeatedly on tape. What a moron! What do you have to do to get a job as a cop anyway? Pass a stupid test and fail a lie detector?

 

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