Saturday, July 16, 2011

Constitutional Rights Issue

How would you feel if a person put away for a sexual offense against a minor child but was allowed to view the pornographic materials he made while committing the crime? Accused sex offender Marc Gilbert, because he is acting as his own attorney, is being allowed to view the footage he allegedly made during his crimes while he prepares his case.

This created a great deal of outrage out here in Washington and State Senator Mike Carrell (R-Lakewood) is planning on introducing legislation that would prevent this from occurring in the future. But this effort might run into some Constitutional issues. A defendant and their attorney have a right to see all materials that are going to be presented in the case. In this particular instance, it is the video Gilbert shot.

While I am personally very disturbed by Gilbert being allowed to view this material, I am having a difficult time with the legality of not allowing the evidence to be viewed by the representation. There has to be smarter people than me running around out there that might be able to somehow prevent a guy like Gilbert from getting his hands on this kind of stuff, while protecting his rights.

If any of you that read my blog have legal experience, your input would be most valuable.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Rob:

    Disgusting indeed, but there is certainly a Constitutional issue here, one that no law will be able to get around. The Constitution guarantees any accused the right to confront all witnesses against them, and this, of course, includes complete access to all evidence that will be used against them. This is one of the reasons that Americans actually concerned about protecting America don't want terrorists tried in civilian courts: they will have to have complete access to every bit of evidence that will be used against them, including intelligence information.

    There is really no way around this. If the prosecution wants to use it, it must be available to the defense too.