The High Road
Even new prosecutors quickly learn the basic rules, making it difficult to understand why a seasoned prosecutor would have told the jury in Keith Beaulieu’s trial that he "wouldn't have put these people on the stand if they weren't telling the truth." Lawyers can’t vouch for the credibility of witnesses, and the result of Connecticut prosecutor Mark Hurley’s misconduct is a new trial for Bealieu.
At Bealieu’s bond hearing, however, Hurley asked the court to increase Beaulieu’s bail from the $50,000 that had been set prior to the first trial to $500,000. Prosecutors aren’t supposed to be vindictive after their misbehavior leads to a reversal. Did Hurley engage in misconduct again? Hurley claimed higher bail was justified because a kidnapping charge was added to Bealieu’s case after his first bond hearing, but $50,000 proved to be adequate to secure Bealieu’s appearance on the same kidnapping charge at his first trial.
"That's vindictive," [defense attorney John] Williams said of the prosecutor's high bond request. "We all know he's [Hurley] the reason the conviction was reversed."
Hurley objected to the comment and said Williams was making things personal. "I'm not going to make this personal," Hurley said in court. "I'm taking the high road."
Asking for excessive bail after getting caught breaking the rules hardly seems like “the high road.” Fortunately for Bealieu, the judge set bail at $75,000, permitting Bealieu to leave prison (for the first time in three years) while he awaits his new trial.
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