Saturday, October 27, 2007

Spellissy Defense Files New Motion

Ray Reyes of the Tampa Tribune reports here on the defense filing a new motion in the Spellissy case. (see here for background on this case).  According to the paper there is an allegation that the "government  tampered with a defense witness by preventing that person from testifying on Spellissy's behalf."  If true, this is a serious allegation. And if the tampering is unlawful, it could raise concerns about the evidence presented in the case and might also raise ethical issues.  But as the defense should not be judged until all the evidence has been presented, so too should the prosecution first be allowed to respond to this serious allegation before it is determined whether there is merit to this claim.  Some questions that need answering here are - when did the defense become aware of the conduct claimed here; was there an opportunity for the defense to be able to secure court assistance to compel the witness to testify; was the omission of this evidence harmful to the defendant's case?


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