A Glowing Example of why we need our Grand Jury System back as it was:
From the Robert Lawlor propaganda [website]
Lawlor has shot 3 African American suspects in the back in 2 incidents. Should he be called an "American Patriot" or should he have an inmate number?
Connecticut courts are notorious for fixing cases and protecting their own. Connecticut Police Officer Scott Smith stood on an African American's back, put his gun near his boot, and executed the man. The Connecticut prosecutor intentionally botched the case so Smith could skate on appeal.
Lawlor will probably be granted the same Corruptikourt favor.
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New Trial Ordered for Officer Convicted in a Suspect's Death
The Connecticut Appellate Court today ordered a new trial for a former New Milford police officer convicted of using unreasonable deadly force during a confrontation with a suspect almost four years ago.
In its decision, the court said that the Superior Court judge who presided over the trial of the officer, Scott B. Smith, erred by not allowing the jury to hear testimony from two defense witnesses -- both experts on the use of deadly force -- and by not properly instructing the jury.
Mr. Smith was the first Connecticut police officer to be charged with murder for fatally shooting a suspect while on duty. His trial was rife with racial overtones, and took place at a time when similar cases were in the news in New York City and elsewhere. Mr. Smith is white; Franklyn Reid, the 27-year-old ex-convict he fatally shot in the back after a foot chase on Dec. 29, 1998, was black.
Mr. Smith, 30, was convicted in March 2000 of intentional manslaughter and given a sentence of 5 to 40 years in prison. While sending the case back to a new Superior Court judge, the Appellate Court today also affirmed that the evidence presented against Mr. Smith in the first trial was enough to establish guilt and unreasonable use of deadly force.
Still, today's decision delighted Mr. Smith and outraged Mr. Reid's relatives.
''My client's elated,'' said Jack Kelly, the lawyer for Mr. Smith, who has remained free on $250,000 bond since his conviction. ''Since March 31, 2000, he has had to sweat out the prospect of spending six years of his life in a prison cell.''
From their small ranch-style home in New Milford, less than a mile from the spot where Mr. Reid was shot, his parents, Dwight and Pearlylyn Reid, said they were devastated by the decision.
Mrs. Reid said her father came to the store where she works to deliver the news.
''My heart was like it fell on the floor,'' she said. ''I had to leave work right away. I was in total shock.''
John A. Connelly, the state prosecutor in the case, said he had not yet decided whether to ask all nine members of the Appellate Court to reconsider the decision, made by a three-judge panel, or to petition the State Supreme Court to hear the case.
On the day he was killed, Mr. Reid, who had served time in prison for stabbing an uncle and for having sex with a minor, was wanted for failing to appear in court to face charges of harassment and violating probation. He had been driving through New Milford when Mr. Smith, then a police officer, spotted him while searching for a suspect in a separate incident.
Glimpsing the officer, Mr. Reid jumped out of his car and ran. After the chase, Mr. Smith ordered Mr. Reid to lie on the ground and placed his foot on Mr. Reid's back. At some point a little later, Mr. Smith fired his pistol once into Mr. Reid's back, killing him.
Mr. Smith has said he fired in self-defense because he feared that Mr. Reid was reaching for a weapon. A folding knife was found near the scene, but the jury concluded that Mr. Smith had used unreasonable force and convicted him of manslaughter. Mr. Connelly had wanted a first-degree murder conviction.
The Appellate Court today ruled that Judge Charles D. Gill had improperly excluded testimony from two experts that could have placed Mr. Reid's actions in a better context.
One of those experts is Reginald F. Allard Jr., a former instructor at the Connecticut Police Academy who trained Mr. Smith. The other is David M. Gross, a former New York City police lieutenant and a lecturer on police use of force. Judge Gill did allow a third expert, Emanuel Kapelsohn, an F.B.I.-certified firearms instructor, to offer limited testimony.
Correction: October 22, 2002, Tuesday An article on Friday about the Connecticut Appellate Court's order of a new trial for a former New Milford police officer convicted of having used unreasonable deadly force misspelled the surname of an expert whose testimony was improperly excluded from the first trial. He is David M. Grossi, not Gross.
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About the Grand Jury System:
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[click here] for the email I recently sent to former Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland known as "Johnny" to both Presidents, Bush.