January 11, 2008

ID: challenging the grand jury in Twin

From the Times-News:

Defender challenges McElhiney indictment - Paul: Grand jury procedure didn't protect client

Twin Falls County Public Defender Marilyn Paul wants a judge to toss out a grand jury's indictment of her client in a first-degree murder case, according to court records. Paul leveled a host of challenges in a motion to dismiss John McElhiney's grand jury indictment...

Paul also cites a US Supreme Court case called Crawford vs. Washington, in which the court ruled that certain statements made in a grand jury hearing without facing cross-examination would be considered testimonial hearsay and not admissible in a trial. While Paul has made this argument without success in other cases, Idaho appellate courts have not ruled on how to interpret this opinion.

Yet some Idaho lawyers warn that the motion could win favor in the right case. "It's a very creative argument," said Sara Thomas, the chief of the appellate public defender's office, who has several pending grand jury appeals. Thomas said, "Crawford was a big shift in the law. How it's going to be applied is an open question. If the (Idaho) courts decide that Crawford does apply to grand jury hearings, that would mean there would be a huge change in how they (grand juries) work..."


Anonymous said...

Would love to see pleadings if you have them or where one might go to find them.

Skelly said...

I don't have them, but you might try the public defenders office.