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OnTheWarpath58
04-03-2007, 10:02 PM
Amazing how a racist or two can get on a jury with the intention of forcing a mistrial.

The few of you who live in/around STL probably know the story of Sgt. Bill McEntee, shot and murdered in July of 2005. The trial ended today in a mistrial. Now the families have to wait another 6-8 months to get some closure.

McEntee's killer, Kevin "Rockhead" Johnson, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Then, on Saturday, after the prosecution rested, he surprisingly took the stand, and admitted he did it, but was in a "trance" when he did it. The defense would like to claim that this saved his live, showing the possibility that he did not "deliberate" or "premeditate" the murder, meaning he should be convicted of Murder 2 as opposed to Murder 1, which was how he was charged. (the prosecuting attorney was seeking the death penalty, and will again in the retrial) My opinion is that there was a juror or two that had thier minds set on mistrial from the get-go.

You can go to stltoday.com to learn more about the case, but in a nutshell: (sorry, kinda long)

Rockhead's little brother, Bam-Bam, dies from a heart condition. Rockhead feels the 1st responders didn't do enough to save Bam-bam's life. Several hours later, (plenty of time to "deliberate") Rockhead goes out to his truck, grabs a 9mm, makes sure a round is in the chamber, and tells a group of friends that he's "gonna kill the next cop he sees."

Sgt. McEntee enters the neigborhood just after that on a fireworks call. Rockhead walks up the street where McEntee is speaking to some kids, reaches into the passenger window, and shoots McEntee 6 times. Amazingly, McEntee manages to put the cruiser in drive, and makes it about a block before he wrecks into a tree. After taking a shot in the face, and several in the shoulder/chest, McEntee struggles to get out of the cruiser, and is on all fours in the street. Rockhead runs up the street, steps behind McEntee, and fires three more rounds into the back of the officer's head.

If that isn't a textbook case of Murder in the first degree, I don't know what is. It baffles me that you or I could manage to get onto a high profile jury and purposely force a mistrial. (I have no proof this happened, but I'm fully expecting to hear/see a juror come forward to the media to vent their frustrations. I do know, however that the jury deliberated the case for 12 hours, and that they didn't even speak about the case for the last 3. Two jurors had their minds made up and weren't budging.)

There's a lot more to this, but I can get to that later. Just needed some time to vent. If you've made it this far, thanks for reading, and I'd really like to hear your thoughts.

mikeyis4dcats.
04-03-2007, 10:05 PM
if you want a disgusting view of the justice system, read the book The Innocent Man by John Grisham, where he chrinicles the true story of several men convicted of multiple dubious murders in Oklahoma in the 1980s. 2 of the 4 were found innocent after over 12 years in prison. One came within 48 hours of being executed before being granted a stay. 2 others will never be exhonerated as no DNA evidence was kept, but many question their guilt.

OnTheWarpath58
04-03-2007, 10:06 PM
if you want a disgusting view of the justice system, read the book The Innocent Man by John Grisham, where he chrinicles the true story of several men convicted of multiple dubious murders in Oklahoma in the 1980s. 2 of the 4 were found innocent after over 12 years in prison. One came within 48 hours of being executed before being granted a stay. 2 others will never be exhonerated as no DNA evidence was kept, but many question their guilt.

I have read that book, and it is sickening.

mikeyis4dcats.
04-03-2007, 10:12 PM
I have read that book, and it is sickening.

I knew that that kind of stuff happened over the years, but as recently as the 80s, and to SEVERAL men, white men at that, was just downright UNBELIEVABLE.

OnTheWarpath58
04-03-2007, 10:40 PM
Wow. I'm shocked. I figured this would get a lot more attention than this.

Sorry to have bored the four of you who viewed this thread.

stlchiefs
04-03-2007, 10:44 PM
Living in STL I've followed this story to an extent. It also reminds me of an article about 'rogue jurors' that I read in the ABA Journal recently. I was able to find the link to it: http://www.abanet.org/journal/redesign/10fjury.html

OnTheWarpath58
04-03-2007, 10:53 PM
Living in STL I've followed this story to an extent. It also reminds me of an article about 'rogue jurors' that I read in the ABA Journal recently. I was able to find the link to it: http://www.abanet.org/journal/redesign/10fjury.html

Thanks for the link...great read.

Keep an eye on this story, I expect to see some things come out in the next few days/weeks.......

stlchiefs
04-03-2007, 10:59 PM
Do you follow high profile trials in the area or just this one? Have you been tracking any of the Gary Peel trial in S. IL?

Guru
04-03-2007, 11:01 PM
You only needed to stop at your thread title Warpath. Pretty much covers society's outlook of the legal system.

OnTheWarpath58
04-03-2007, 11:03 PM
Do you follow high profile trials in the area or just this one? Have you been tracking any of the Gary Peel trial in S. IL?

No, just this one.

OnTheWarpath58
04-03-2007, 11:08 PM
You only needed to stop at your thread title Warpath. Pretty much covers society's outlook of the legal system.

I know. Loophole after loophole. A juror can lie his/her ass off during voir dire, and hang a jury with little to no consequence. One of many loopholes.

I had always wanted to get a law degree and be a prosecuting attorney, but BS like this has worn me down over the years. You can lay out a prefect case, and some jagoff on the jury can just choose to ignore simple instructions, so he/she can be a hero back in the hood.

Sorry, I'm just really pissed about this.

stlchiefs
04-03-2007, 11:38 PM
That's where that article comes in: go after the juror for contempt, obstruction of justice, etc.

Crashride
04-03-2007, 11:44 PM
Justice?? No where in the world

OnTheWarpath58
04-04-2007, 09:27 AM
That's where that article comes in: go after the juror for contempt, obstruction of justice, etc.

I'd love for that to happen, but it's gonna take a fellow juror or two to provide some evidence. I was told that thought the jury deliberated for 12 hours, for the last 3 hours, one juror in particular refused to talk about the case anymore. She just quit. So much for civic duty.....

Lzen
04-04-2007, 11:27 AM
Living in STL I've followed this story to an extent. It also reminds me of an article about 'rogue jurors' that I read in the ABA Journal recently. I was able to find the link to it: http://www.abanet.org/journal/redesign/10fjury.html

Wow, that is a very interesting article. That part about Judge Mize's study was eye opening. I especially find this part kind of scary:

In 27 of 30 trials, individual voir dire resulted in additional strikes of between one and four potential jurors per case.

kepp
04-04-2007, 11:32 AM
if you want a disgusting view of the justice system, read the book The Innocent Man by John Grisham, where he chrinicles the true story of several men convicted of multiple dubious murders in Oklahoma in the 1980s. 2 of the 4 were found innocent after over 12 years in prison. One came within 48 hours of being executed before being granted a stay. 2 others will never be exhonerated as no DNA evidence was kept, but many question their guilt.
I just mentioned to my wife the other night, after watching a news story about a guy whose innocence was proven after like 11 years in prison, that those types of stories are becoming more and more common. I wonder just how many innocent people are in prison. Seems that under the right circumstances, it could happen to anyone.

Lzen
04-04-2007, 11:37 AM
Wow. I'm shocked. I figured this would get a lot more attention than this.

Sorry to have bored the four of you who viewed this thread.

I'm guessing that since you posted it kind of late, many people didn't see it. IMO, our justice system is good, but definitely needs some work. I don't know enough about this case to comment. If what you're saying is true, then I would agree that this is a travesty.

Amnorix
04-04-2007, 11:41 AM
That's where that article comes in: go after the juror for contempt, obstruction of justice, etc.

Can't, most likely, as that undermines the entire concept of trial by jury.

Lzen
04-04-2007, 11:42 AM
I just mentioned to my wife the other night, after watching a news story about a guy whose innocence was proven after like 11 years in prison, that those types of stories are becoming more and more common. I wonder just how many innocent people are in prison. Seems that under the right circumstances, it could happen to anyone.


While it is true that DNA is helping to prove that some people have been wrongly convicted, I think most convictions are legit. I think a lot of times the ones that were wrongly convicted were either hanging out with the wrong people (criminals/thugs) or were themselves criminals who may just not have been responsible for this particular act. IMO, the people who are wrongly convicted and who really don't belong in jail are a tiny, tiny minority.

Amnorix
04-04-2007, 11:44 AM
I just mentioned to my wife the other night, after watching a news story about a guy whose innocence was proven after like 11 years in prison, that those types of stories are becoming more and more common. I wonder just how many innocent people are in prison. Seems that under the right circumstances, it could happen to anyone.


Pretty much, especially because the testimony that has the MOST impact on jurors is eyewitness testimony. It's VERY dramatic when someone (usually the victim) is asked "and do you see the man that assaulted (or whatever) you in this courtroom."

[insert tears if applicable]

"Yes, him, right there"

"Let the record reflect that the witness is pointing to the Defendant, Mr. Ne'erdowell."

Guess what kind of testimony has, time and time again been proven to be among the most UNRELIABLE in the world? Right -- eyewitness testimony.

Simply stated, in the frantic few seconds that a crime is committed, people usually didn't see what they thought they saw, or didn't remember it correctly, or were tainted by what they read in the paper, or what their friend who was standing next to them thought THEY saw, or ..... ad infinitum.

StcChief
04-04-2007, 11:45 AM
He admited to killing a cop and got off.

And the repercussions to Black community by cops....now..... Mecham Park and other areas are gonna feel it.

Amnorix
04-04-2007, 11:45 AM
While it is true that DNA is helping to prove that some people have been wrongly convicted, I think most convictions are legit. I think a lot of times the ones that were wrongly convicted were either hanging out with the wrong people (criminals/thugs) or were themselves criminals who may just not have been responsible for this particular act. IMO, the people who are wrongly convicted and who really don't belong in jail are a tiny, tiny minority.

Easily 99% of convictions are good.

My concern especially is the death penalty. I support the death penalty, but would like major changes in how it's handled procedurally.

Amnorix
04-04-2007, 11:46 AM
For the record, this sounds like a complete travesty.

stlchiefs
04-04-2007, 11:47 AM
Can't, most likely, as that undermines the entire concept of trial by jury.

Can and it has been done, check out the article that I linked to. Though it isn't commonplace it can happen.

Lzen
04-04-2007, 11:59 AM
Easily 99% of convictions are good.

My concern especially is the death penalty. I support the death penalty, but would like major changes in how it's handled procedurally.

What, exactly, would you change?

BTW, the article that StChief posted also mentions background checks. I wonder how many communities do this. Sounds like a good start to me.

Baby Lee
04-04-2007, 12:01 PM
Do you follow high profile trials in the area or just this one? Have you been tracking any of the Gary Peel trial in S. IL?
That's just one sodden mess.
Irony 1, Peel was an attorney with Lakin's firm at the time. Look up the troubles Lakin's facing.
Irony 2, I haven't verified, but I heard on Donneybrook that when the affair took place it wasn't illegal to have sex with a 16 yo in MO [IL?], but it's now illegal to possess the photos taken during said affair because it's sexual material involving said 16 yo.

stlchiefs
04-04-2007, 12:12 PM
Irony 2 is correct. The age of consent at the time was 16, she was 16 or 17 (for sure under 18). He had the pictures (of an under 18 year old) and kept them throughout the years.

I did some work on Peel and Lakin this past summer and know what a mess that all is out there. As if S. IL wasn't the legal hell hole already, now one of the firms that helped make it that way is a hell hole in and of itself.

Baby Lee
04-04-2007, 01:13 PM
Irony 2 is correct. The age of consent at the time was 16, she was 16 or 17 (for sure under 18). He had the pictures (of an under 18 year old) and kept them throughout the years.

I did some work on Peel and Lakin this past summer and know what a mess that all is out there. As if S. IL wasn't the legal hell hole already, now one of the firms that helped make it that way is a hell hole in and of itself.
If I can ask, from what angle, journalist, prosecutor, defense, PR?

Lzen
04-04-2007, 01:45 PM
If I can ask, from what angle, journalist, prosecutor, defense, PR?

Lawn.

stlchiefs
04-04-2007, 01:47 PM
If I can ask, from what angle, journalist, prosecutor, defense, PR?

Legal Intern for US Attorney's office. I'm in my 2nd year of law school.

Baby Lee
04-04-2007, 01:48 PM
Legal Intern. I'm in my 2nd year of law school.
WashU?
SLU?

stlchiefs
04-04-2007, 02:18 PM
SLU, why are you offering me a job for the summer? :thumb:

Baby Lee
04-04-2007, 02:22 PM
SLU, why are you offering me a job for the summer? :thumb:
I'm a peon. The only job I could offer is helping me put in my retaining wall, if I get around to it.

OnTheWarpath58
04-04-2007, 03:22 PM
I'm guessing that since you posted it kind of late, many people didn't see it. IMO, our justice system is good, but definitely needs some work. I don't know enough about this case to comment. If what you're saying is true, then I would agree that this is a travesty.

I agree, I just needed to vent last night.

I woke up this morning still pissed, but much more at ease about it.

I'd much rather see a mistrial than to see a jury convict him of Murder 2 and have him back on the streets at some point.

The new trial has been set for October 31. Start from scratch, use his confession, and ship his sorry ass to prison for life, no parole.

My guess is the prosecution will be VERY careful during voir dire this time around.

vailpass
04-04-2007, 06:52 PM
My guess is the prosecution will be VERY careful during voir dire this time around.

"Can you dance?"
"Hell yes."
"Recused."

HemiEd
04-04-2007, 06:56 PM
So why in the **** has a mod not moved this thread to DC like you did Nzoners flag thread?

OnTheWarpath58
04-04-2007, 07:03 PM
So why in the **** has a mod not moved this thread to DC like you did Nzoners flag thread?

I fully expected it to be, but then again, it hasn't gotten nearly the response I thought it would either.

Hasn't exactly gotten controversial at any point......

Mecca
04-04-2007, 07:10 PM
How about the times you hear about the supression of evidence that could lead to the acquital of someone?

Or when new evidence comes to light the refusal to reopen cases, or grant new trials?

I think the reason some innocent people end up in prison is once they think they have thier guy it's case closed and he did it end of story.

OnTheWarpath58
04-04-2007, 07:15 PM
How about the times you hear about the supression of evidence that could lead to the acquital of someone?

Or when new evidence comes to light the refusal to reopen cases, or grant new trials?

I think the reason some innocent people end up in prison is once they think they have thier guy it's case closed and he did it end of story.

Agreed, but that isn't the case here.

The Defendant took the stand and admitted he did it, but said he was in a "trance" when he did. Trying to BS his way to a Murder 2 charge, and it almost worked.

Mecca
04-04-2007, 07:16 PM
it goes both ways obviously.

ClevelandBronco
04-04-2007, 07:29 PM
I prefer to think of it as the legal system. Trying to think of it as a justice system is just too depressing sometimes.

DenverChief
04-04-2007, 09:14 PM
"Bloodsworth" if you like those kinds of books

Also I'd love to have 2 minutes with "rockhead"