Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Question NOT Asked in Yesterday's Session of US v Melton

The Clarion-Ledger reports that the Federal prosecutors called various witnesses yesterday to establish that Defendants Frank Melton and Michael Recio knew that the Constitution and State law required court authorization before a house could be demolished. The full story is here:

With respect to Officer Recio, the C-L describes this testimony:

Federal prosecutors called on Recio's former police academy instructor, John Kelley, to explain to jurors the depth of constitutional law he taught Recio during a 1992 class. Kelley is a retired FBI agent and was a guest instructor at the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers' Training Academy in Pearl.

Kelley looked directly at the jury as he explained that his class put a special emphasis on Fourth Amendment rights and the need for search warrants. At times, images of his course syllabus were projected on a large screen for support.

* * * *
Recio's attorney, Cynthia Stewart, asked Kelley if he would be proud to know that Recio listened to his teachings and did not enter the duplex that night. Prosecutors objected, and Kelley did not have to answer the question.

With all due respect (as we say in the law biz), I think if I were Recio's attorney, I would have asked Kelley: "What grade did Mr. Recio get in your class?" To be blunt, the impression I have is that if this guy is a rocket scientist, he's working on deep undercover.


Hugh W. Tedder, Jr. said...

I suspect it was a pass/fail class, and everyone passed.

Jim Craig said...

Or maybe they all failed, but nobody cared?