Sunday, July 03, 2005

Update on the Patterson Case

The Tribune had a nice long article today on the Aaron Patterson trial, or attempt at trial, since Patterson keeps on disrupting steps leading up to the trial with outbursts. I have had the privilege of seeing some of it because of interning in the same building.

Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer, who has been presiding over the trial, has an especially tough job. Patterson has said that he wants to represent himself, and his attorneys, especially the more vocal Demetrius Evans, has asked to withdraw from the case for fear that Patterson represents a threat. On Friday, when Patterson had an outburst during jury selection and was dragged forcibly from the courtroom by U.S. marshals, Evans left the courtroom in tears and soon the court building. Pallmeyer threatened her arrest, since, as Pallmeyer said, it is Evans' professional duty to represent Patterson (Evans was the court-appointed attorney for Patterson). Anyway, Pallmeyer understandably does not want Patterson to represent himself, probably for fear that he will make the trial into a circus and subsequently appeal his case on procedural grounds, but she is also faced with attorneys who do not want to represent Patterson. The judge is between a rock and a hard place.

Anyway, because of his daily disruptions, Patterson has been ordered to watch the trial on closed circuit TV in the correctional facility where he currently resides. This is probably for the best, lest Patterson's case discredit the importance of procedural accuracy in trials, which some appellants have genuinely lacked.

No comments: