Friday, January 29, 2010

An Interesting Article

I was shocked, saddened and engrossed this morning reading Paige Hewitt's article in the Chronicle today on the tragic murder of Terri Sanvicente at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, Jason Bouchard. The article is unusual because the source of the information comes from none other than the defendant, Jason Bouchard himself.

The callousness with which he provided Hewitt with the details of the murder are nothing short of horrifying. Not only does he admit to committing this inexcusable act of domestic violence in front of their three children (not to mention putting his children at risk of death by setting fire to the house), but he provides a large amount of testimony that could be very damning evidence of future dangerousness and lack of mitigation should the State decide to seek the death penalty.

Normally, I don't comment on criminal cases that are pending, but after a round-table discussion this morning with some folks, it brought up some interesting questions about how the Lykos Administration might potentially be handling this case.

Specifically, what are the prosecutors handling the case against Bouchard going to be able to gain from his ill-advised conversation with the media?

As I mentioned last year, Press-Pandering-Patsy Lykos was all over making sure to lend her support to the so-called Media Shield Law. So what happens if a prosecutor who may or may not be trying to decide whether to seek the death penalty on Jason Bouchard wants to see the notes and letters that Bouchard provided to Paige Hewitt?

Seems to me like Ms. Hewitt might get a chance to invoke the old Media Shield law if she so chooses. I don't know that the Media Shield Law will apply directly in this case, but I'm willing to bet that we'll find out if the D.A.'s Office decides to send the Chronicle a subpoena. I mean, we all know that Jeff Cohen ain't a big fan of the death penalty, so I can't imagine that information being turned over easily.

And thanks to Pat Lykos and others who supported the Media Shield Law, Cohen and Company has a tool to fight with.

But, of course, that also depends on whether or not Lykos even ALLOWS her prosecutors to try to get the letters from Hewitt in the first place. Last year, a memo came out from the Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight that no prosecutor was to issue a subpoena to the media without getting the blessing of the Queen, herself. Apparently, Lykos wanted her minions to know that the prosecution of criminal cases had better not annoy any of her media buddies.

I said it before and I'll say it again -- Pat Lykos puts media perception way above the rights or interests of victims of violent crime.

It was only a matter of time before it bit her in the ass.

I'm hoping it isn't at the expense of Justice and Terri Sanvicente.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Most interesting in your post is that a memo exist with Lykos' name on it.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Well, the memo was authored by John Barnhill, not Lykos.

Anonymous said...

Not to defend that POS, but spoken like a true ADA.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

I sound like an ADA? Hmm. Maybe it's because I was one for over 9 years.

I always wonder why some of the commenters here think that defense attorneys are pro-crime.

Anonymous said...

I always wonder why some of the commenters here think that defense attorneys are pro-crime.

I see a light at the end of your tunnel.

Rage

jigmeister said...

I wonder if the defense in this or other cases may want the information, ie. letter to the media, after all the privilege doesn't apply to the source, it applies to the reporter. In that case, there may be some constitutional concerns with the law.

Anonymous said...

How can the state not seek the death penalty on this POS?

Anonymous said...

jig, don't you think the defense can get the information from the defendant?

Anonymous said...

No death penalty can be sought when it's a plain ole murder case. There's no aggravating circumstance that turns this into a capital case like a rape, robbery, or multiple killings in a single transaction. Life in prison will have to do.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

It could be pled as murder in the course of committing arson, which would make it a capital, actually.

jigmeister said...

Sure 8:39 but I don't know what the media has. I don't know whether it has any impeachment or exculpatory value, especially if he decides not to testify, i.e. some optional completeness--Who knows. Don't know what the State has either. Sounds like they may not need anything the media has. Point being that at some point, a case will come along where the shield law will come up against some constitutional right of the defendant. It's obvious that it's going to will hurt the State sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

He is charged with Capital Murder. Murder in the course of committing arson. So death is an option to consider.

Anonymous said...

Media shield laws are to protect the reporter from being forced to disclose sources. In this case, the reporter has already disclosed the source.

Anonymous said...

No, the press shield law was all about just keeping the media from having to participate in any way in the criminal justice system. The cover story was to protect the source. But, in trying to write the law, the media wouldn't settle for a law that simply protected the source. They wanted to be able to refuse to provide anything, including recordings of a criminal confessing to a terrible crime. This was all about the media thinking it was too good to be a citizen participant.

Shame on them. We will now see if they cover themselves and their selfishness.

Anonymous said...

It's obvious that it's going to will hurt the State sooner rather than later.

Sounds more like it will protect the Defendant (an hence, the Constitution). I'm not aware that the state has any rights that can be protected or hurt.


Rage

Neew said...

jason bouchard was not a bad man!! i think he was driven to the edge by the system he had a good case and no one would listen!! not to say it was alright what he did but i do feel he had no other choice. jason is a great man hes not the monster people are making him to be.