Thursday, June 23, 2005

Day in Chicago, the Patterson Case

Today was a particularly exciting day. For one, I am really enjoying my "extern"ship at the federal court and feel pretty fortunate at the amount of substantive work and learning experiences I am being exposed to. One thing that I especially like is that I have been encouraged to attend trials and other sorts of court sittings.

Today I atteneded a change of plea for a former death row inmate who was exonerated by a Northwestern study that found many cases of glaringly problematic death sentencing in Illinois. This man, Aaron Patterson is said to now suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and is not competent to stand trial, according to a clinical psychologist hired by his defense. At certain moments in the courtroom, he would speak up, at one point questioning who the judge wanted at his trial "the real Aaron Patterson" or the "straw man Aaron Patterson." (The PTS allegedly resulted from Patterson's torture by police and years on death row).

The current Patterson case has a strange twist. He is "now facing trial starting June 30 on charges of selling drugs and attempting to buy four guns. He claims he was framed while investigating police corruption" according to the Associated Press. This man clearly has paranoia towards authorities, but if his allegations are true, that would be understandable.

Later tonight I went to a dinner at the Westin Hotel for the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago which was nice, though now I am tiiirrred so I must rest.

No comments: