Randleman trial proceeding again after delays

The case against accused cop killer Kevin Randleman is moving forward again after a few months delay.
Jessica Cuffman
Apr 21, 2012

The case against accused cop killer Kevin Randleman is moving forward again after a few months delay.

An expert in his defense fell ill during pregnancy earlier this year and was bedridden for weeks, stymieing a report she needed to finish before the case could move forward.

At a pretrial hearing Friday, attorney Robert Dixon told Erie County Common Pleas Judge Tygh Tone she would be finished and the report delivered to prosecutors by May 1.

Then the state will have another three months for its expert to review and refute the report’s findings.

How the case against Randleman proceeds from there will depend on those experts’ opinions and reports, and how attorneys argue about Randleman’s mental competency at an Atkins hearing scheduled for August 23.

Rulings at that hearing could effect Randleman’s ultimate fate.

He faces the possibility of the death penalty if he is convicted of aggravated murder for killing Sandusky police Officer Andrew Dunn on March 19, 2011.

For more on this story, pick up a copy of Saturday's Register or start enjoying a subscription to the epaper for just 26 cents a day by clicking HERE.

More about Atkins precedent
In an Atkins hearing, attorneys look to establish whether a defendant has:
• significantly sub-average intellectual functioning.
• significant limitations in two or more adaptive skills
• evidence of mental illness or mental deficiencies before age 18.

Comments

deertracker

 

What are you full of Jerry?

Cowboy

 If you need needles for the poison we can save the taxpayers some money and get them around a curb on Handcrack street.

stel_1618

Since when do crackheads use needles how stupid of a comment!

wiredmama222

I don't understand why that "expert" couldn't have done her report from bed?  So she was bedridden from pregnancy. Most of those women read, do bookwork and the like.  They watch tv, etc.  It does not mean their brains do not work.  So why the delay?  It makes no sense.  It seems that delay was for no reason whatsosever but a stall tactic ....but why? 

Having read all your posts, I understand that most of you want a quick and trial ending in a death penalty, but why did the defense ask for a delay when this "expert" could have finished this report from her bed without a problem?  I don't get that one at all.  And if she was that sick or incapacitated, why didn't they go elsewhere for assistance?  Seems to me there is something else going on here we don't get or don't know about yet.  Seems fishy to me,  Is she willing to say something that others may not be willing to say and the defense was willing to wait for?  Or what? 

nofufucat

The accused in the murders of Jennifer Hudson's mother, sister, and nephew is finally on trial after four years so only God and the judicial system know how long it will be before Randleman's trial takes place.  Hopefully not as long as everyone wants justice to be served in Officer's Dunn's death and Randleman' s trial.

SamAdams

davedude1969: There may, indeed, be more to this case than the public knows NOW. But isn't there video from the police car dashcam? Even if certain parts of the incident are out of frame, audio alone could offer up some pretty definitive evidence for or against conviction.

As far as Islam is concerned, the death penalty is also prescribed for a host of "crimes" beyond murder. Do you REALLY think any of us ought to be looking at Shariah law as anything but the horror that it is? Go ahead and babble about forgiveness being encouraged all that you like. The facts of the matter are that it rarely enters in, and hands and heads are chopped off pretty regularly in other places in the world as a result. " And those punishments are meted out to those who worship as they do! It's only worse for women, and still more horrific for "infidels." Religion of peace," indeed!

big_d: Bad example of millionaires not being executed. Perhaps you don't remember, but OJ Simpson was ACQUITTED of murder. The jail time he's serving now is for an armed robbery and related offenses, none of which are capital crimes.

KnuckleDragger: You're right. Even small children know right from wrong. It's going to be very, very difficult to prove in court that Randleman was THAT mentally incapacitated!

 

stel_1618

So are you in expert in Religion, I don't think you understand the Shariah law at all.  You are so wrong Islam does mean peace! I welcome you to a debate with Islam and whatever religion you may be commited to if any!

 

 

 

 

 

JIMBO2

Try him, Then Fry him... SOON

 

snatchblock_445

what I want to know is why the citizens of Erie County are paying for his legal defense, when he has K. Ronald Bailey for his lawyer?...

big_d

SamAdams: That was exactly my point, he was acquitted of murder, how many poor people of any color would have walked free? I should have been clearer. As for Islamic law, I said it was an interesting concept. Other cultures in history have had similar practices, including some tribes of American Indians, who could either adopt the guilty into the tribe to replace the deceased, or torture him to death in manners too terrible to mention here. There is precedent. All in all, I am still against the death penalty for anybody. There are too many instances where guilt is dubious, pushed by overzealous prosecutors intent on showing how tough they are on crime. I am not saying that most do not deserve it, but some clearly do not, as is shown after their execution. Even one innocent man put to death is too many. I would not want that on my conscience. Good post, BTW.

wiredmama222

I don't like what Randleman did either, but why is everyone so intent on "hanging, frying or needleworking" this guy already before the trial is even begun? When did this country go from "arrest to execution" without so much as a trial?  

And everyone thinks you can sit a jury here in Erie County?  I just don't see how if the postings here are any indication of how people feel. 

I  am not siding with Randleman, but I do believe in the judicial system.  I think the judge really goofed on this one. He should have let the defense move this trial to another locale.

Mama of 4

First of all IF he would get off on some because of some stupid mistake then I dont think he would make it 24 hours before he was found dead somewhere because street justic is way faster than legal justice. Second you cant prove that he stood over Dunn with a gun because the viedo tape from the hospital has been sealed per the motion of the DEFENSE. Why would they want the evidence sealed if it would be helpful to them. Third I dont think he should get the death penalty. I think hge should sit and rot in in jail; and have his freedom taken away from him for the rest of his life.Yes the live for free but I would rather have him sit and be told what to do when to do it with no light at the end of the tunnel. The death pealty would just be a sweet release for him. By the way make sure to let every guard of any prison he is ever sent to what he is in there for. Im sure behind closed door they can get a taste of justice too!!! RIP Officer Andrew Dunn and may the Lord and all HIS angels look over your family!

Cowboy

 Is it true that a persons eyes explode when being electrocuted?

deertracker

 

 

I don't think electrocution is the preferred method of execution any more!

@Mama of 4

Sounds like you want justice and revenge!

Julie R.

I'm curious to know, too, where Bailey fits into the picture.

big_d

An interesting opinion piece on jury trial. 

Is this where we could be headed?

Sort of off topic, but relevant. A long read though.

Edward Keating/The New York Times

More than 90 percent of criminal cases are never tried before a jury.

By MICHELLE ALEXANDER
Published: March 10, 2012

Columbus, Ohio

AFTER years as a civil rights lawyer, I rarely find myself speechless. But some questions a woman I know posed during a phone conversation one recent evening gave me pause: “What would happen if we organized thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of people charged with crimes to refuse to play the game, to refuse to plea out? What if they all insisted on their Sixth Amendment right to trial? Couldn’t we bring the whole system to a halt just like that?”

The woman was Susan Burton, who knows a lot about being processed through the criminal justice system.

Her odyssey began when a Los Angeles police cruiser ran over and killed her 5-year-old son. Consumed with grief and without access to therapy or antidepressant medications, Susan became addicted to crack cocaine. She lived in an impoverished black community under siege in the “war on drugs,” and it was but a matter of time before she was arrested and offered the first of many plea deals that left her behind bars for a series of drug-related offenses. Every time she was released, she found herself trapped in an under-caste, subject to legal discrimination in employment and housing.

Fifteen years after her first arrest, Susan was finally admitted to a private drug treatment facility and given a job. After she was clean she dedicated her life to making sure no other woman would suffer what she had been through. Susan now runs five safe homes for formerly incarcerated women in Los Angeles. Her organization, A New Way of Life, supplies a lifeline for women released from prison. But it does much more: it is also helping to start a movement. With groups like All of Us or None, it is organizing formerly incarcerated people and encouraging them to demand restoration of their basic civil and human rights.

I was stunned by Susan’s question about plea bargains because she — of all people — knows the risks involved in forcing prosecutors to make cases against people who have been charged with crimes. Could she be serious about organizing people, on a large scale, to refuse to plea-bargain when charged with a crime?

“Yes, I’m serious,” she flatly replied.

I launched, predictably, into a lecture about what prosecutors would do to people if they actually tried to stand up for their rights. The Bill of Rights guarantees the accused basic safeguards, including the right to be informed of charges against them, to an impartial, fair and speedy jury trial, to cross-examine witnesses and to the assistance of counsel.

But in this era of mass incarceration — when our nation’s prison population has quintupled in a few decades partly as a result of the war on drugs and the “get tough” movement — these rights are, for the overwhelming majority of people hauled into courtrooms across America, theoretical. More than 90 percent of criminal cases are never tried before a jury. Most people charged with crimes forfeit their constitutional rights and plead guilty.

“The truth is that government officials have deliberately engineered the system to assure that the jury trial system established by the Constitution is seldom used,” said Timothy Lynch, director of the criminal justice project at the libertarian Cato Institute. In other words: the system is rigged.

In the race to incarcerate, politicians champion stiff sentences for nearly all crimes, including harsh mandatory minimum sentences and three-strikes laws; the result is a dramatic power shift, from judges to prosecutors.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1978 that threatening someone with life imprisonment for a minor crime in an effort to induce him to forfeit a jury trial did not violate his Sixth Amendment right to trial. Thirteen years later, in Harmelin v. Michigan, the court ruled that life imprisonment for a first-time drug offense did not violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

No wonder, then, that most people waive their rights. Take the case of Erma Faye Stewart, a single African-American mother of two who was arrested at age 30 in a drug sweep in Hearne, Tex., in 2000. In jail, with no one to care for her two young children, she began to panic. Though she maintained her innocence, her court-appointed lawyer told her to plead guilty, since the prosecutor offered probation. Ms. Stewart spent a month in jail, and then relented to a plea. She was sentenced to 10 years’ probation and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. Then her real punishment began: upon her release, Ms. Stewart was saddled with a felony record; she was destitute, barred from food stamps and evicted from public housing. Once they were homeless, Ms. Stewart’s children were taken away and placed in foster care. In the end, she lost everything even though she took the deal.

On the phone, Susan said she knew exactly what was involved in asking people who have been charged with crimes to reject plea bargains, and press for trial. “Believe me, I know. I’m asking what we can do. Can we crash the system just by exercising our rights?”

The answer is yes. The system of mass incarceration depends almost entirely on the cooperation of those it seeks to control. If everyone charged with crimes suddenly exercised his constitutional rights, there would not be enough judges, lawyers or prison cells to deal with the ensuing tsunami of litigation. Not everyone would have to join for the revolt to have an impact; as the legal scholar Angela J. Davis noted, “if the number of people exercising their trial rights suddenly doubled or tripled in some jurisdictions, it would create chaos.”

Such chaos would force mass incarceration to the top of the agenda for politicians and policy makers, leaving them only two viable options: sharply scale back the number of criminal cases filed (for drug possession, for example) or amend the Constitution (or eviscerate it by judicial “emergency” fiat). Either action would create a crisis and the system would crash — it could no longer function as it had before. Mass protest would force a public conversation that, to date, we have been content to avoid.

In telling Susan that she was right, I found myself uneasy. “As a mother myself, I don’t think there’s anything I wouldn’t plead guilty to if a prosecutor told me that accepting a plea was the only way to get home to my children,” I said. “I truly can’t imagine risking life imprisonment, so how can I urge others to take that risk — even if it would send shock waves through a fundamentally immoral and unjust system?”

Susan, silent for a while, replied: “I’m not saying we should do it. I’m saying we ought to know that it’s an option. People should understand that simply exercising their rights would shake the foundations of our justice system which works only so long as we accept its terms. As you know, another brutal system of racial and social control once prevailed in this country, and it never would have ended if some people weren’t willing to risk their lives. It would be nice if reasoned argument would do, but as we’ve seen that’s just not the case. So maybe, just maybe, if we truly want to end this system, some of us will have to risk our lives.”

Michelle Alexander is the author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.”
A version of this op-ed appeared in print on March 11, 2012, on page SR5 of the New York edition with the headline: Go to Trial: Crash the Justice System. 

wiredmama222

@Big D......I don't know that the jury system is the problem with the overcrowding of our jails as much as the states who have abolished the death penalty.  Overcrowding in our jails has become a terrible problem. 

A plea bargin to spend your life in prison may add to that mess, but when a person goes to trial, rather than take that bargin deal and it ends in life in prison, it overcrowds our jails. 

Where the judges used to give dealth penalties, they now give life without the possibility of parole.  It then becomes a tax burden on all of us as well.  We pay for they life maintenance after that, do we not? 

I was never in favor of the death penalty before, but with the increase in murders lately, and with the advent of DNA and more absolute proof, it seems to me that the arguments against the death penalty have become less and less viable.  When you have the types of proof in murder cases we have today, given video, audio, DNA and other proof positive identification, I say give the death penalty after their appeals have been exhausted.  It is the right thing to do.  Less crowding, and as much as most people HATE to admit it, it is a deterent to crime commission. 

big_d

 @Erie County Resident :

I said family forgiving someone for the crime was an interesting concept. 

How hard is that to understand?

I was not advocating it, (Sharia law) I am against the death penalty, for all the reasons I stated below. 

How hard is that to understand?

Where did I say I was a civil rights advocate, and to hell with the constitution?

I'm not going to waste any more time with you, you really do not comprehend what I was trying to say.

Have a good day.

 

fullerben25

If they give Randleman life they should give Zimmerman life they both took lifes so they should be charged the same way.

 

kURTje

Still believe in the Death Penelty.                         If found quilty, feel that it would apply to randelman.

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