Thursday, July 23, 2015
I'm glad that many readers/listeners have been so interested in the mechanics of how a court determines whether to detain or release a defendants pending trial. The decision often has a huge impact on how a defendant is able to assist in preparing his case for trial. In Episode 7 of Undisclosed, we discussed how Adnan moved to be released from incarceration after his first trial was declared a mistrial and several jurors indicated that they would have found him "not guilty." So, what happened with that motion?
I'm not sure, but I'm trying to piece things together. The mistrial was declared at Adnan's first trial on December 15, 1999. At some point thereafter, Adnan moved for pretrial release. As this letter makes clear, a hearing on this motion was originally scheduled for January 7, 2000.
As the letter also makes clear, Gutierrez was out of town from at least January 7, 2000 until mid-afternoon on January 10, 2000, leading to her trying to get the hearing rescheduled. Was it? I don't know. I haven't yet been able to find further documentation. I also haven't been able to find the Notice referenced in the letter.
Finally, I'm not sure whether Gutierrez was successful in having the original judge review the bail issue or whether it was the new judge mentioned in the letter. I would also like to know Gutierrez's thinking in preferring the original judge. Sure, he knew the case better, but he also denied Adnan bail the first time around. Maybe Gutierrez thought that he was close to giving Adnan pretrial release.
If that were the case, I'd be interested to know why Adnan was denied bail after the mistrial. The weight of the evidence against the defendant is a big factor in pretrial release decisions, and the jurors certainly didn't seem to think that the (incomplete) case presented against Adnan was very strong. But again, without further documentation, I can't really say anything definitive. Hopefully, I can find some answers in the files.
[Update: We posted Adnan's Motion for Review of No Bail Status on the Undisclosed website. I have now found a stamped version of that Motion in the files. The motion is stamped December 20th, so that's when the motion was filed.].