Hung Jury No Wonder

Has the Independent finely sorted out the gang allegations that apply only to those 16 years and older? [“Mistrial Declared in Mize Trial”.] Specifically, since Mize and Medinilla were 15 at the time of the alleged homicide, is the reporter for the Independent sophisticated enough to parse the differential application of the separate gang allegations? Hopefully the reporter will at least address the 15-versus-16-years-old differences, so that the reading public is properly informed, next time. What role has the prosecution played in obfuscating the fine-line distinctions, if any?

If there are, indeed, such obfuscations, what role did they play in the inability of the jury to come to a unanimous verdict?

It may be telling that Deputy District Attorney Almgren told the jury at the outset that he didn’t know what the witnesses would establish. Is this the competent, informed, and able prosecutor we deserve? Call the witnesses, not knowing what they will say, and see what happens?

It seems that what happened is what will happen whenever the prosecutor is lazy, ill-informed, and unmotivated enough to connect the dots.

Anybody, somebody, please address the 15-year-old vs. 16-year-old gang enhancement issue with hard facts and the trial record!!!

If anyone disagrees with the characterization of Almgren’s opening statement—effectively, “I don’t know what the witnesses will say”—please provide a certified transcript of his opening statement that gainsays it.

It doesn’t take a forensic accountant to understand that the cost of a retrial of four defendants, including the cost of four court-appointed private defense attorneys, their investigators, the forensic experts, the court personnel, and another year or so, will amount to many hundreds of thousands of dollars, at a minimum.

Might these expenses have been avoided if the DA knew what the witnesses would say—if he professionally judged the strengths of the various charges against the separate defendants, including accounting for their ages, before he decided not to offer a reasonable plea bargain?

Mr. Meagher, please look into these and other considerations, as DA Joyce Dudley contemplates whether and how to spend another million of taxpayer dollars on another game of blind man’s buff.—Michael Ganschow


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