Friday, June 13, 2003

Prosecutors accused of preferring jury trials to bench trials before retired judge

The following is from this article in the Danville paper:

"Pittsylvania County Commonwealth’s Attorney David Grimes is refusing to comment on a “show cause” ruling issued June 6 against him and assistant prosecutor Bryan Haskins.
Pittsylvania County Circuit Court Judge Charles Strauss has ordered Grimes and Haskins to explain why they should not be found in contempt of court for requesting jury trials in several criminal cases.
The order contends the prosecutors asked for the jury trials on May 23, the day the cases were scheduled for bench trials by Circuit Court Judge B.A. Davis III.
In addition, the show cause order states, in part, prosecutors knew “the request, if granted, would unduly delay the trial or otherwise impede justice and was untimely for the sole stated purpose of avoiding bench trials by the Honorable B.A. Davis III.”
Grimes and Haskins also are being asked to explain why they released witnesses from subpoenas issued by the court for attendance on May 23 “without authorization or the consent of the circuit court.”
Grimes has declined to comment on whether prosecutors were trying to avoid having trials heard by Davis, a retired judge who occasionally sits on the bench."

There's something odd about all that, and part of it is that the prosecutors would let some kind of feud develop between themselves and the judge, any judge. If I make one judge mad, that's bad, even though I might not see him again for another few months, but prosecutors see the same judges every month, if not every day.

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