find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Self-represented defendant causes outrage

Self-represented defendant causes outrage

In a blatant case of law gone mad, an American prisoner accused of child molestation has been allowed to view videos he made of the abuse while sitting in his jail cell.Why, you quite rightly…

In a blatant case of law gone mad, an American prisoner accused of child molestation has been allowed to view videos he made of the abuse while sitting in his jail cell.

Why, you quite rightly ask? Because he's his own lawyer and therefore has the right to review evidence for his impending trial.

The Associated Press reports that authorities in Washington have expressed their outrage at the situation. "The whole thing is just dirty," said Pierce County Sheriff's Detective Ed Troyer.

The fact that the accused is allowed to view the videos results from a 2007 Washington Supreme Court ruling which states that upon request, prosecutors must give defence lawyers copies of evidence used to support child pornography charges.

The court's 8-1 decision said that granting copies of the materials was essential in order that defence lawyers, their investigators and defendants could seek to challenge the evidence.

The Supreme Court established guidelines for handling the material, including that it should only be shown to defendants under the supervision of counsel.

The glaring problem in this case is that the defendant is counsel.

Nevertheless, the judge in this particular matter has allowed the defendant/counsel to view the materials at the jail, albeit barring him from being alone when he does so.

Under the judge's directions, he must watch the videos in a room visible to prison officers, and the jail requires him to adjust his computer screen so other inmates don't see.

But according to prosecutors, these rules don't take away from the absurdity of the situation.

"We have to disclose when we intend to introduce cocaine in a drug case, but we don't give the defendant a kilo to take home and check out," said Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. "It is not necessary for the defendant to view the child porn himself to assist in his defence."

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Self-represented defendant causes outrage
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Applauds
07:00
LCA applauds proposed Modern Slavery Act
The Law Council of Australia has welcomed new recommendations for the development of a Modern Slaver...
Mentoring
07:00
Top-tier offers targeted mentoring for Indigenous law students
Students at Macquarie University will be the first to benefit from a new Indigenous mentoring progra...
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...