Monday, October 8, 2007

Today's Hearing: No Gag Order for Springsteen and Scott

At today's pretrial combined hearing regarding the capital murder indictments of Robert Springsteen and Michael Scott (whose previous convictions were overturned), Judge Mike Lynch refused to grant the prosecution's motion for a restrictive (i.e., gag) order. Lynch did caution the attorneys against trying their cases in the press and told them to review their rules of professional conduct if they had any doubt about his expectations.

What Lynch did implement was a protective order, which (as I understood it) means that any information the prosecution turns over to the defense (statements, reports, photos, etc) must stay completely confidential. Lynch sternly told the attorneys that he is going to have to trust that they wouldn't put their law licenses and reputations on the line for improperly leaking information but if they did, he'd take appropriate contempt action against them.

The majority of the rest of today's hearing involved discovery issues, and I'll get to those in a minute. Besides me and my sometimes-court-observer friend Clair, about eight local TV and print reporters, a few attorneys (not involved in these cases), and Scott's wife, Jeannine Scott, sat in the gallery throughout the 1.75-hour hearing. Jeannine sat in the front row closest to the defense table.

When Scott walked into the courtroom from the holding room, he immediately turned towards his wife, greeting her with a big smile and a hello. She reciprocated and the sheriff's deputy quickly stood up and cautioned her, "No communicating!" (I thought that was a little excessive--all they did was briefly greet each other, and it wasn't in front of a jury.) Scott doesn't look much different than he did when I first saw him in his first trial in September 2002, except his hair's shorter and he seemed to walk in a slightly more stiff manner, like someone whose back hurts.

Overall, Springsteen's appearance hasn't drastically changed from the news footage I've seen of him from 2002, but he does look allot slimmer.

At the defense table, from (my) left to right, sat Carlos Garcia (Scott's lead attorney), Scott, Joe James Sawyer (Springsteen's lead attorney), and Springsteen. Scott and Springsteen were within arms' reach but didn't seem to make any contact with each other. They both just appeared very attentive to the proceedings.

More later.

1 comment:

Clair LaVaye said...

Together, again. Yep, there was a distinct lack of eye contact between Scott and Springsteen...but then again with the videocamera rolling they were very much "onstage."

I tried to discern what I could from their faces and the grooming choices they made for court.

Scott's wide-eyed expression struck me as a bit haunted and hunted. His washed-out coloring, hair, sandy jacket were all of a piece.

He is by no means as handsome, but I'm seeing Viggo Mortensen (Stryder in Lord of the Rings, lead in History of Violence). A rounder face, but with an extreme burr "I'm in the army now" haircut. Not a bad face,though.

Of course, I am always going to focus on the shallow end of the pool here, so no need to chasten me for focusing on their appearance. :-)

Now, Springsteen, there's a face out of a fin-de-si├Ęcle book on murderers. Slitted eyes, quite black, shiny like buttons and alert. His bushy dark eyebrows and slanted eyes form twin upside-down triangles of stubborn anger. His square, pale face is framed with a trim beer stein mug of a beard. The mouth is in a permanent frown due to a bushy, upside-down mustache. Longish dark hair, exaggerated widow's peak caused by hair loss on both sides, gelled back and slightly curled at the nape of the neck. Convict style "I normally have unruly hair but I slicked it back just for this trial" look. White shirt, black suit adds to the stocky vampire look he seems to have going on. Think Dracula but throw in "evil trucker on parole."