Judge Puts Trial of (Alleged) Serial Killer in Jeopardy

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by Madeline, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. Madeline
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    Madeline BANNED

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    You have likely been following the terrible case of Anthony Sowell, who last fall was discovered living in a home in Cleveland alongside 10 corpses and a skull. Sowell now faces 11 murder counts, along with kidnapping, attempted murder and felonious assault charges. Investigators say Sowell is a suspect in over 60 murders and investigations into his activities continue. All of which is to say, Sowell is a case any judge should be taking as seriously as possible.

    But In Cuyahoga County, Ohio, that isn't happening.

    Defense attorneys for Sowell asked the assigned judge, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Shirley Strickland Saffold to step aside (recuse herself) after the Cleveland Plain Dealer revealed that someone using the email address of the judge made over 80 comments on a web site the paper hosts, including comments accusing the defense attorney of having an "Amos and Andy style mouth". Other comments indicated a hatred for "criminals who prey on women". The judge has blamed the comments on her daughter, 23, who lives in another city hours away but has refused to agree to preserve the hard drive of the computer in her office, etc. The judge has filed suit against the Plain Dealer and has asked for $50 Million in damages for allegedly breaching her privacy by revealing her connection to the comments posted by "lawmiss" using her email address and evidentially, using her office computer and the county's ISP.

    At this time, the recusal motion is pending before the Ohio Supreme Court. The appearance of bias by the judge is only made worse by comments from the prosecution that the defense attorneys should "step aside" if they fear bias from the judge, and by the prosecution's attempts to retain Saffold as the trial judge. The District Attorney has apparently come to view Saffold as "pro-prosecution" which only adds to her appearance of impropriety and bias.

    It's patently obvious that if the Sowell case is tried before Saffold, any verdict rendered will not survive scrutiny on appeal. Even the pre-trial publicity garnered by Saffold is helping create undue prejudice against the defendant.

    This woman, this judge, has set her own goals -- presumably, including the $50 Million she is suing the Plain Dealer for -- above the needs of the community and the victims' families to have one trial that is concluded and need not be repeated because the appeal succeeded in demonstrating reversible error. This is one of only several ways that Sowell himself and various Cuyahoga County officials have found ways to profit from the terrible suffering and sorrow of this community, the victims and their families. It is a disgrace.

    On the judge's $50 Million suit against the local paper:

    http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/04/cuyahoga_county_judge_shirley.html

    On the recusal motion now pending before the Ohio Supreme Court:

    Anthony Sowell's lawyers ask Ohio Supreme Court to remove judge from case | cleveland.com
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2010
  2. Madeline
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    The Ohio Supreme Court took about 10 seconds to tell Saffold to step aside. Now to recall this goofy woman from the bench. Ah, local politics in Cleveland.
     

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