There was a rousing discussion and a mock hearing last night on this subject at the Chicago-Lincoln American Inn of Courts.
February 9, Joliet, IL
Drew Peterson's hearsay hearing has taken Illinois criminal law into uncharted territory, a path that has sparked a lively — and sometimes angry — debate in the legal community as the prosecution nears completion of its portion of the landmark proceeding.
"It's a miscarriage of justice," said Leonard Cavise, a DePaul University law professor. "This hearing is not how the American judicial system is supposed to work. It's ridiculous."
The case, so far, seems underwhelming, some legal experts say. None of the evidence physically tied Peterson to the crime or put him inside Savio's house the weekend of her death. Illinois State Police have admitted they, at best, blundered Savio's death investigation and collected no evidence from the scene.
So far, at least eight witnesses — including her two sisters, boyfriend and co-workers — have testified that Savio told them Peterson broke into her home in 2002, held a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her. Savio's divorce attorney testified that Savio told him Peterson often threatened to kill her and make it look like an accident. And Stacy Peterson's aunt recalled hearing Drew Peterson, then 54, apologize to his young wife for "burdening her with his past."
It looks like Drew's law could very well be challenged regardless of the outcome of this hearing. If the prosecution fails to get its desired result at this hearing I just don't see them failing to continue to prosecute Drew Peterson in the murder of Kathleen Savio. Interestingly, I guess they could always try to prosecute him for the murder of Stacey Peterson, but that get's difficult without proof that she is dead.