Friday, April 27, 2007

Police Blotter

Vinson Case.

Wednesday Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason named the prosecutor and investigator who will conduct the independent investigation. He promises the investigation will be done by the middle of May. If you recall, the Mayor and Councilman Marco Sommerville called for an independent investigation when the aftermath of an unusual case became FUBAR.

Neither the ABJ story nor the Mayor's press release explains what is becoming of the investigation by the Summit County Prosecutor's Office. By law, the County Prosecutor investigates police shootings (I've participated tangentially in such an investigation.) Generally if the Prosecutor is looking to give the process an aura of independence by getting someone from the outside, she will appoint a Special Prosecutor. As far as I know that hasn't happened -- again nothing in the ABJ, nor has Prosecutor Walsh's office issued a statement to that effect.

So presumably we have two parallel investigations. Also, the city has invited DOJ investigators in as well. No word on that either.

Meanwhile, I'm hearing rumors that supporters of the Vinson family are passing the hat to hire an independent forensic investigator. More on that as it develops.

George Case.

To no one's surprise, the Court of Appeals declined to reconsider its decision vacating Cindy George's conviction for complicity to murder. Walsh's office promises to appeal to the Supreme Court, which is a tough road. The Supremes have discretion over whether to hear the appeal, and generally don't without a compelling legal issue on the table. The George appeal was a factual inquiry into the sufficiency of the evidence. It's hard to make that into a case the Supreme Court will be interested in.