Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Here we go...he will not challenge the plea deal

Arcata fatal stabbing case reassigned from Firpo to Gallegos - Times-Standard

Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos said today that he has reassigned the Douglas Anderson-Jordet fatal stabbing case from Deputy District Attorney Elan Firpo to himself.

Gallegos said his decision had “nothing to do” with Firpo's handling of the case or the quality of her work, but due to the case being used for other purposes by two of Firpo's fellow candidates in the upcoming district attorney election.

”It was my own inner sense of justice for everyone involved and my disappointment that some would use this case for political purposes instead of trying to seek justice,” Gallegos said....

Gallegos said he has corresponded with the family and understands their grief, but said that he will not challenge the plea deal as “the legal system does not aspire to accomplish the individual aspirations of victims or their families.”

”My heart goes out to them,” Gallegos said. “... But our job as prosecutors is to listen and exercise compassion without sentimentality.”

As a prosecutor, Gallegos said their decisions “cannot be based on the will of the individuals,” but must be supported by “evidence proved beyond a reasonable doubt.”

”We don't represent the victims, we represent the people of the state of California,” Gallegos said.

”I am responsible for all of the decisions in my office and the one person that is not making a decision based on political motivations one way or another,” Gallegos said. “I am used to the hue and cry of politics.”
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So, are we to take it he is asking the judge to put aside the plea agreement? For all three defendants? The case goes to trial?

Gallegos reassigns Firpo from Arcata fatal stabbing case; DA will not challenge killer's plea deal - Will Houston/The Times-Standard

4 comments:

  1. The judge can reject the deal at sentencing. Unlikely, but legal.

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  2. I hope so... this is sickening.

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  3. Gallegos, "but must be supported by “evidence proved beyond a reasonable doubt.” Well the way you do that is you have a trial. If you wanted a preview of how the evidence would come out, you conduct a Preliminary Hearing, which is a "strong suspicion standard." In this case neither happened, so we don't know what evidence he is talking about. Murder cases always go to Prelim. Except in this case with Firpo/Gallegos captaining this ship.

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  4. It may come down to this: what was the judge told about the facts when the plea was entered. If it was "victim died of a single stab wound to the heart" with no mention of other wounds, and if, as has been claimed on various blogs, the autopsy shows not one but three wounds- the fatal stab to the heart, a second stab to the guts, and a defensive wound to one hand-- and if Mr. Klein or the family bring that out, the judge could well feel that the court was misled at the time the plea was accepted, and on that basis reject the plea. On the other hand, If Klein is just blowing smoke, if there was only one wound, then this is a done deal. But, multiple wounds, whether the deal stands or not the DA's office has some explaining to do about what the public was told and why this was done. Time will tell.

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