April 14, 2009

Jeffrey MacDonald is Thrown a Legal Bone

Source: Washington Post
Nearly thirty years after being convicted of three counts of murder, Jeffrey MacDonald is still inundating the courts with legal filings and briefs. The latest, a motion for leave to file a brief as amici curiae was filed on behalf of MacDonald by none other than Barry Scheck and his Innocence Project.

Despite not agreeing with Scheck's role in the O.J. Simpson trial, I respect the Innocence Project and the work its done. Which is why its involvement in the MacDonald case puzzles me. From what I've read, the Innocence Project specializes in freeing wrongly convicted persons with the aid of DNA analysis. In other words, I would assume many of their clientele are persons who were convicted without the benefit of DNA tests, and when DNA tests were finally run, they were cleared.

While the MacDonald crimes happened in 1970, and well before DNA analysis, DNA tests have been done on evidence taken from the crime scene. For example, an analysis was done on a hair found in Colette MacDonald's hand, a hair which Jeffrey MacDonald claimed would point to the "real killer". Test results revealed the hair belonged to Jeffrey MacDonald.

Regardless, the government fairly well quashed the defense's motion by stating the motion was not filed timely; that MacDonald was already well represented and so the spirit of the amici curiae does not apply; there is no new third party involved as all attorneys have represented MacDonald in the past; and despite the defense's claims to the contrary, there is no evidence that the hair found under Colette MacDonald's body or the hair found under Kristen MacDonald's fingernail were forcibly removed, thereby eradicating MacDonald's theory that those hairs were torn from the so-called assailants during a life and death struggle.

Surprisingly, the court did grant MacDonald's motion. While I don't think this motion will go anywhere, it's grating that this murderer continues to get coddled and pacified. This man showed absolutely no mercy to his own wife and daughters. So when will the courts finally decide they have had enough of Jeffrey MacDonald and finally throw away the key once and for all?

As an interesting aside, Larry King asked Barry Scheck if he believed MacDonald was innocent. Scheck's response? "Well, I think that what's become clear from the evidence that has been adduced since the trial is I don't think he got a fair trial."

I believed that too at one time, Mr. Scheck - - that perhaps MacDonald didn't get a fair trial. With enough research, though, I have found that not only did MacDonald get a fair trial, but that he was rightfully convicted of the crimes which he did indeed commit.


Gwyka said...

Ugh, re: the photo of the liver spotted, sociopathic killer.

It really bugs me, too, that Scheck has involved himself in this case - I thought took on cases where they believe the client is truly, really innocent, which is very different from a representing potentially guilty person who they think didn't get a fair trial.

In addition to the DNA, they focus on Britt - how can they totally ignore the evidence that Britt lied?

Lori Johnston said...

Amen, sister! I think it's borderline offensive that the Innocence Project is wasting their time and funds (donated, by the way)on someone whose guilt really and truly isn't in question. Scheck himself says the issue is that MacDonald didn't get a fair trial. So let his high priced attorneys worry about that, and let the Innocence Project help persons who don't have the financial and legal resources that MacDonald does.
Regarding the photo of MacDonald - - the ugliness of his soul has really shown through, hasn't it?

Liz said...

You people are idiots. Barry Scheck and The Innocence Project are to be commended for their efforts to free Dr. MacDonald, a man who was wrongly convicted.

Lori Johnston said...

Liz, despite the fact that you consider me an "idiot", I am honestly curious as to what leads you to believe MacDonald is innocent. I ask as a former MacDonald supporter, who changed her opinion after 20 years and after reading more evidence. I know why I thought he was innocent at that time, I just want to know your thoughts.