Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ellison opposes motion for Matt's DNA

Attorney for former Waco-area pastor opposes motion to get DNA from his client in murder trial
Tommy Witherspoon
"In a motion filed Monday, Baker’s lawyer, Richard Ellison, told 19th State District Judge Ralph Strother that Baker opposes a motion from prosecutors who are seeking a court order to obtain a saliva swab from the former Central Texas Baptist minister." (read more)

If he's innocent and there's nothing to hide, why not give it up?


Suzie said...

Come on, let's try this and stop playing games.

Shannon said...

I am C&Ping this coming from the Trib article comments. If this is accurate, this would make some strategic sense and gives a good reason for the defense to withhold Matt's DNA a little longer.


By Moe
Apr 22, 2009 10:30 AM

It doesn't have anything to with innocence. The defense lawyer is just trying to get more info out of the prosecution. Getting a warrant would mean that the prosecutors would have to specify WHY they want it in an affidavit. The defense lawyer wants to go that way to get as much info from them as possible.

sadie said...

Yes, Shannon. As that Trib commenter rightly pointed out, there could be a strategic reason for the defense to stall on the DNA swab.

However, I disagree with the poster's statement that the tactic "doesn't have anything to do with innocence." An innocent man would gladly volunteer his DNA sample, no questions asked, since comparison to any evidence would only serve to exonerate him!

An innocent man would therefore have no need to resort to desperate measures to try and find out what evidence the prosecution has on him.

But of course there is the legal presumption of innocence until he is officially found guilty. We want Ellison to do whatever he has to do, however distasteful it seems, to make sure the conviction is not overturned due to incompetent counsel. Yes, it is a game that is played out at great cost in our courts, but the end of the story will be:

Justice will have its day
Justice will have its way
Justice will have its say.