Musings on music, sports, life in general from Quincy, Illinois.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Judge This

Just read in the Kirksville Daily Express online that a Northeast Missouri judge, Richard Steele, is letting a Kirksville man out of serving probation terms while he appeals his recent sodomy conviction.

According to the paper, Jay Schilling would not have to abide by the sentence during the appeals process, though the Kirksville businessman will have to register as a sex offender. Convicted in October 2006 for inappropriately touching a 15-year-old girl during the 2004 NEMO fair, Schilling was sentenced this month to serve four years in jail, but Steele suspended his sentence in favor of a 5-year probation with the conditions he complete a sexual offender treatment program and serve 30 days of shock time in jail. The sentence further states the 30 days in jail did not have to be served concurrently and Schilling could choose which days to serve.

Schilling notified the Court he was appealing his case Jan. 11, and asked the Court 11 days later to exempt him from probation conditions, including registering as a sex offender, until his appeal is decided.

The paper says this move came at the prompting of Steele, who had written to Schilling's attorney Jan. 17 he believed Schilling could avoid probation requirements during the appeals process if he submitted a written request to do so, and Steele stated in the letter he would approve such a request.

WHAT?

The judge writes to the defense lawyer, tells him to submit a written request so his client can avoid probation terms, and then says he'll approve the request BEFORE IT'S FILED?

Maybe that's how they do it over in Missouri.

By the way, this is the same judge who oversaw the Lewis County bench trial for the LaBelle man who shot several people a couple of years ago. Jeremy Goodson's attorney used some hocus pocus psychobabble for his defense to excuse the shootings.

The trial was several months ago. We are still waiting for a verdict from Judge Steele.

Juries don't take months to reach a verdict. Neither should judges.

3 comments:

UMRBlog said...

Maybe he's a fan of the old Tom Lehrer song, "Sodomy don't bodda me".

Seriously, some bench trials are appropriate for the judge to take some time on. If there is a complex or novel legal issue raised amongst the factual determinations, a deep breath and some briefing time are sometimes in order.

Not saying this is one of them, but major bench trials can be different in kind.

FWIW,

rodney hart said...

What's your definition of "some?"

UMRBlog said...

I tried a homicide in another county where the judge properly waited two months for the Supreme Court to decide a case which guided his decision.

"Some" is probably once a decade.