Did Stabler benefit from a corrupt judge?

One legal blog alleges former football great Ken Stabler benefited from his celebrity status when he won a DUI case in municipal court. The Legal Schnauzer examines this Mobile Press-Register story where several legal experts admit to being puzzled by the verdict.

The blog draws this conclusion:

Did a judge in a bench trial, without the buffer of a jury, make an unlawful ruling in order to acquit an Alabama sports icon? Sure as heck looks that way…

Here’s the problem with bench trials in criminal cases: There is absolutely no one to hold the judge accountable and make sure he follows the law. Without a jury, the judge totally controls the case. And once he acquits the defendant, the victim of the crime–my wife and me in the McGarity case, the State of Alabama in the Stabler case–has no recourse. Because of the double-jeopardy rule, a criminal acquittal cannot be appealed.

Is Judge Sweet an Alabama football fan who just wanted to see one of Bear Bryant’s star players get off the hook? Did an Alabama booster provide some financial incentive for the judge to make his curious decision?

Who knows? But it’s another example of Alabama courts stinking to high heaven.

Yikes. Many allegations contained there, and whenever celebrities are involved in a case you have to wonder if justice really is blind.

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  1. 2

    Regardless of how all this came down, I hope Kenny will take this moment to straighten his life out. If someone loses their life in the future due to Stabler driving under the influence, the blood will be on the hands of not only Kenny, but that judge as well.

  2. 3

    I agree that this is basically a dead horse. As I said ealier, it’s kinda hard to convict a guy when he refuses both a breath test and field sobriety tests, because that’s the evidence you use to convict. Otherwise, the guy’s gotta be falling down drunk.

    The guy bitching about bench trials is just showing that he doesn’t have the slightest clue what he’s talking about. You can ask any criminal defense lawyer in this state if municipal bench trials are stacked in favor of the defendants and they will laugh in your face. The only thing defense lawyers typically use them for is discovery. They take the automatic conviction and appeal it to Circuit Court where they can get a jury trial and a fair shake. It’s not the other way around as the guy seems to suggest.

    The ruling on the refusal to take a breathalyzer was a little strange, but not completely crazy. I think the judge’s rationale was that the breathalyzer test would not have been admissible even if Snake had taken it, because he wasn’t observed for 20 minutes prior to the time the test was offered. That being the case, the judge figured that it didn’t make sense to consider Snake’s refusal to take the test as evidence when the test results wouldn’t have been admissible even if he had agreed to take it. That’s not totally crazy.

  3. 5
    Ballplay Indian.

    I love the name above…But even I have to admit, its water under the bridge. Who really cares anymore ? bammer is undefeated. They could lock him up and throw away the key and no one would probably notice.

  4. 7

    Do not put any credence into the Legal Schnauzer website. It is a website that Roger Shuler started after he got into a pissing match with his neighbor, took the neighbor to court, lost, the neighbor successfully counter-sued Shuler, and the neighbor won. He is just a bitter blogger.

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