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.