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Bath County News - Outlook
Owingsville, Kentucky
February 20, 2003     Bath County News - Outlook
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February 20, 2003

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Mistrials A lawyer's as well as a judge's worst nightmare often occurs when a case has to be retried. The reason for this is simple - nobody likes having to do the same job twice. Unfortunately, mistrials are a necessary evil at times. The most often occurrence is when a jury cannot reach a decision in a case. They also are caused when a major mistake is made during the trial. A mistrial was recently declared in a high profile capital murder case in Bullitt County due to a police detective testifying to the jury that the defendant failed a polygraph test. The testimony came at the end of the trial and was depicted as "blatant and deliberate" by the defendant's lawyers. It was alleged that because the case was going badly for the prosecution, the detective intentionally caused a mistrial so that the case would not be lost. Polygraph evidence is not admissible at trial. Normally, if a mistake is made and the defendant asks for a mistrial, the case is tried again. Double jeopardy does not apply. The double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects a criminal defendant from repeated prosecutions for the same offense. The general rule however is that double jeopardy does not bar reprosecution where the defendant asks for the mistrial. In the Bullitt County case, the defendant was charged with beating and strangling his 17 year old neighbor, Jessica. After the mistrial was declared, at least six jurors stated that they would have acquitted the defendant had the case continued. Others indicated they were leaning toward acquittal. One juror said the detective, an employee of the sheriff's office, made his statement on purpose to cause the mistrial. She said it was apparent there was not going to be a conviction based on the way the trial was going, as the evidence just did not connect the defendant to the murder. "The pieces just don't fit," she said. Whether there will be a retrial of the case is up to the trial judge. The real issue though will be whether the detective's improper testimony was meant to goad the defendant into requesting a mistrial. If it did, then double jeopardy may well prevent a second trial from occurring and the defendant will walk free. The United States Supreme Court dealt with this issue in a 1982 case. It stated that conduct made in "bad faith" by the prosecution or its representatives who provoke a mistrial should not be permitted. This would include conduct that might be viewed as harassment or overreaching. Courts must look to the intention of the one who causes the mistrial to defermine bad faith. It must be remembered that once a defendant is tried and acquitted, he may not be prosecuted for the same offense. Thus you have the case out of Louisville where a man was found guilty of murdering his girlfriend, but later admitted to the crime when new evidence was discovered. He was later prosecuted and convicted of perjury, but he could not be retried on the murder charge once a jury had acquitted him. The double jeopardy clause represents a constitutional policy of finality for a defendant's benefit in criminal proceedings. Thus charges are sometimes delayed until the prosecution determines it has enough evidence. In most cases, it only has one bite of the apple. If that is a bad bite, it still has to swallow the results. COPYRIGHT @2002 WILLIAM B. MAINS s ometimes th()se -powered, hi-tecn just tell you l ngs.that you already ] A shepherd was herding his flocks "Okay, why not"answerstheyoung' you said Doctor, 'Get a hot mamma like some strawberdl had better, write that dO  know you II forget  He said, "I can rem want a 1 mwl ot ice cr in a remote pasture when suddenly a brand new Jeep Cherokee advanced out of a dust cloud towards him. The driver, a young man in a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses and a YSL tie, leaned out of the window and exchanged some words with our shepherd. "IfI can tell you exactly how many sheep you have in your flock, will you give me one?" The shepherd looks at the yuppie, then at his peacefully grazing flock and calmly answers "sure!" The yuppie parks the car, whips out his notebook, connects it to a eellphone, surfs to a NASA page on the Internet where he ealts up a GP S satellite navigation system, scans the area, opens up a database and some 60 Excel spreadsheets with complex formulas. Finally he prints out a 150-page report on his hi-tech miniaturized printer, turns round to our shepherd and says: "you have here exactly 1,586 sheep!" "This is correct. As agreed, you can take one of the sheep," says the shep- herd. He watches the young man make a selection and bundle it in his Chero- kee. Then he says: "If I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me my sheep back?" man. "You are a consultant," says the shepherd. "This is correct," says the yuppie, "how did you guess that?" "Easy" answers the shepherd. "You turn up here although no- body called you. You want to be compensated for the answer to a ques- tion I already knew the solution to; and you know absolutely nothing about my business because you took my dog." ooeoeKMeoeoo A 92 year-old man went to the doctor to get a physical. A few days later the doctor saw the man walking down the street with a gorgeous young lady on his arm. At his follow up visit the doctor talked to the man and said, "You're really doing great, aren't you?" The man replied, "Just doing what and be cheerful'." The Doctor said, "I didn't say that. I said you got a heart murmur. Be careful." ooooeKMoooo I guess there's a lot to be said for senility, particularly if you and your spouse both share the affliction. An 80 year-old couple was having problems remembering things, so they decided to go to their doctor to get checked out to make sure nothing was wrong with them. When they arrived at the doctors, they explained to the doctor about the problems they were having with their memory. After checking the couple out, the doctor told them that they were physically okay but might want to start writing things down and make notes to help them remember things. The couple thanked the doctor and left. Later that night while watching TV, the man got up from his chair and his wife asked, "Where are you going?" He replied, "To the kitchen." She asked, "Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?" . He replied, "Sure." She then asked him, "Don't you think you should write it down so you can remember it?" He said, "No, I can remember that." She then said, "Well I would also berries." She replied,' Well I whipped cream on top will forget so you bett ,, Wi irritation in his I don t need to write . remember that." He the kitchen. from the kitchen and the plate for a grily: "I TOLD yo forgot my toast!" Three men met wasn't long around to their line kind of cars they 'Tm a vetet fellow. "So, naturally, ] 'Vet". As they smiled second man said, pany, so I drive a Now the third guy quiet until he was other two. "Well", he finall tologist.., and I have a ttorners lil l"en AII i I bet he r lay differe le story, n rantupto ir credit, fit of ct ees and liness, I ful. Wh iyou, but te-Enterpl geeping c portantto OW iftht le don't ." Have ne nice gl t? This c h rne. 'Tr ,. From the files of "RUSS METZ", 191 Publk', F uffing May Bec )me Taboo When all is said and done in Washingtonand that can be both expensive and bofingthey will finally pin a warning label in cigarette packages, cautioning people that, if they persist in puffing on those filthy weeds, it could damage their health. All of which seems pretty stupid to me. Obviously, Washington bureaucrats feel that the American public does not have enough sense to think for itself. If the Great White Fathers feel they must do this for our protection, then they haven't even scratched the surface. Safety pins ought to be labeled, too, with warnings that you could get stuck by them. It seems ironic that cigarettes must fly the skull-and-crossbones pennant, while booze bottles mention nothing about pink elephants, heeby-jeebies, snakes, shakes, or ring-tailed terriers, which may be contacted from its use. And what could be more damaging to your health than wedding rings? Some movie-makers have announced a ban on cigarette smoking in their scenes, a cigarette being the most a woman has on. But then we must not sensationalize the movies with such lewd tricks as cigarette smoking. Each time I see a television beer commercial, I hope the announcer will lose his will power and gulp down the stein of foamy hops. But then that would be breaking the Boob Tube commandment, "Thou Shalt Not Swill," which forbids beer drinking in teevee ads. And this, too, seems pretty silly. Any idiot with one eye and half sense, knows you don't pour out a mug of beer to water your geraniums. Next thing to come, will be a non-smoking rule for cigarette advertising on television. No longer will the announcer take a big drag, smack his lips and tell you what a delightful experience he had. He'll just stand there holding the thing, telling you it won't flake off on your shirt, cause fallen arches, or clog the air conditioner. It may not take much sense, but it will please our fairy godfathers in Washington. Many years before the Surgeon General's health warning, an old- timer warned me about tobacco. "Tobacco," he said, "can be mighty dangerous...if'n you don't watch where you spit!" A recent Better Business Bureau (BBB) bulletin carries a warning against a company which has been advertising a tablet to help people quit smoking. There is no evidce, says the BBB, that the tablet helps do anything of the kind. It seems to us that the BBB is missing the point here. People who send offmoney for such things are not buying an anti-smoking remedy; they are buying a dream. There is the old saw about how to lose ten ugly pounds----cut offyour head. Along this line, an uncle of mine decided, back in the old days, to give up the filthy weed. His tobacco juice was shattering my aunt's pansy bed and he was continually dropping hot ashes on the parlor rug. So"unk" answered one ofthoselittle ads in the Pathfindermagazine, sending along the required dollar bill. After a while, he got an official RUSS METZ! looking prescription with a scrawl across it: "Make up your mind to quit." It became the town joke, but not to uncle. He figured it made good sense and felt he'd gotten his dollar's worth. And anyone who has ever tried the cure, knows this prescription is stillthe only sure cure. Kicking the habit would be the easiest thing in the world, if you could stay away from others who have done it. Those fat, nervous evangelists make a fellow so jumpy he automatically reaches for a fag, before he, himself, gets into such a miserable state of repairs. Wasn't for those jokers and trying to balance the bank book and writing a column, I could dump the disease with no sweat. Buying the stop-smoking pills is not the evil BBB thinks it is. There's a good chance the things provide just the fight psychological barrier against "old demon nicotine" needed by weak-minded tobacco-heads. People huff and puff just to see the smoke billow out of their faces. If you don't believe it, smoke a cigarette with your eyes closed. You not only will give up smoking in your sleep, it may even open your eyes on the strange hold the stuff has on you. -RM- Some years ago, a tourist was traveling along Como in northern Ital) a friendly old gardener opened the gate and showed grounds, when the owner had last been there. "Twelve years ago." "Does he ever write to you?" "No." "From whom do you get your instructions?" "From his agent in Milan." "Does he come?" "Never." "Who, then, comes here?" "I am almost always alone; only once in a while, comes." "But you keep this garden in such fine condition you expected your master to come tomorrow." The old gardener promptly replied: "Today, sir, -RM- "When a man sees a woman stumbling along with twice too heavy for her, wearily shifting it from fight trying in vain to hold up her skirts with her elbows, desire is to put his muscles at her service," in the Chicago Journal six decades ago. She "Yet, he knows his offer will be politely refused. Her express sentences varying from 'I am sorry, but it proper', to 'Mind you own business', with o, inevitable reply. "And all the time she would like nothing better than to help. But she has heard warning tales all her life-long, ! annoyances, the confusior imprudent women, and she or any of the evidences of his caste and quality." "And probably she is wise. The Devil is and it is easier to keep out of trouble than to get out of it. a long way we have gone from original creation, being cannot put his hands out to help another human mper Fidelis.