Ashcroft May Pick Alabama for Sniper Trial

Thanks to Edward Still of VoteLaw for tipping us off to today's Washington Post article saying that Alabama is gaining the edge to be first for the sniper trial.

"While some sources with knowledge of the legal strategies being discussed said there is a strong push for the first case to be tried in the D.C. area, others noted that Alabama was becoming an increasingly attractive choice."

"The law enforcement sources said the Justice Department wants to ensure that the first case provides a clear prosecution victory -- both in verdict and punishment. They said the capital punishment laws in Alabama coupled with strong evidence in the Sept. 21 shooting outside a Montgomery liquor store are pushing that case up the list."

Translation: Ashcroft may pick Alabama for 2 reasons: It allows 17 year olds to be executed. It doesn't require the prosecution prove which person was the shooter to convict or get the death penalty. Not to mention they are big users of the death penalty.

But, will Ashcroft give up control to Alabama prosecutors and would such a decision be unpopular with the victim's survivors who may want to be able to follow the proceedings at close range and have input with the prosecutors? And will there be enough publicity for Ashcroft with a local prosecution in Alabama?

I still think Ascroft will pick Virginia where the feds can have a lot of input. Or that he'll take it federally first, charging killings during a Hobbes Act of extortion and use of a firearm to commit the crime. I also think he will leave the Virginia victims out of any federal Indictment as he did in the Complaint so that Virginia would be free to try them if the feds didn't get what they wanted.

Ashcroft really ought to get off the death penalty insistence for Malvo, the 17 year old. It is not going to go down well with the public outside the affected areas and will hurt us internationally.

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