Friday, June 09, 2006

Judge Allows Jury to See Tape of WKOW Interview

After watching a tape of WKOW reporter Tony Galli interviewing Georgia Thompson, Judge Rudolph Randa ruled that he would allow it to be presented to the jury, but with some instructions.

U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic wanted to use it in his rebuttal, but defense attorney Stephen Hurley objected because he said it contains incorrect information from the reporter and improper questions that ask Thompson to guess what other committee members were thinking. Hurley suggested the problem areas be edited out, then he would withdraw his objection.

Biskupic argued that the jury could be instructed to disregard any questions or statements from the reporter, and to focus on the defendant's answers.

After watching the tape, the judge said there were some misstatements of fact by the interviewer, at least according to the facts as presented at trial. He is instructing the jury that any information on the tape may not be considered as evidence if it conflicts with information heard and seen in the courtroom.

Hurley also wanted it made clear that the third person on the tape was a public information officer for DOA, not one of Thompson's lawyers. The judge made that part of his instructions to the jury.

The jurors are watching the tape on small, flat-screen TVs mounted in front of each of their seats.

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