Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Understanding Scott's Appeal Process

I previously provided some basic information on how the appeals process works in capital cases in California.  Scott Peterson Case: Truth be Told provides some specific information on what is holding up Scott's appeal.  I highly recommend readers of this blog to that Facebook page, not only for this article, but for the 100 or so already written.

I'm not at all surprised that it is the prosecutors that are holding up Scott's appeal by inserting themselves into a phase of the appellate process that is supposed to be handled by the Attorney General's office -- they should have been told to butt out.  But even then, surely the prosecutors knew that everything that happened in the Prelim and Trial, including all of the exhibits used, would be part of the perfected record?  Just exactly what were they trying to keep out?

For that matter, why didn't the two Court Clerks simply include all of that information to begin with?  If you are going to be about the job of sending people to prison, then at least be informed on what is needed for the direct appeal and get it all sent in the first time around -- ESPECIALLY in capital cases, where the direct appeal is guaranteed.  This isn't rocket science!  A simple checklist would do nicely.  I think the California Supreme Court should slap monetary penalties on these Courts when they don't send all the necessary documents the first time around.