Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How speedy can justice be? Not quick enough in Drew Peterson case!

By and large, the ongoing legal saga of former suburban Bolingbrook police officer Drew Peterson is something I have tried to ignore.

It has the titillating factor that can be amusing for a story or two. But as it drones on and on throughout the years, it gets monotonous. How many times can we write stories meant to imply that Peterson is a less-than-model example of a human being?

IF YOU WANT me to be honest, a part of me would like to think that Peterson is telling the truth with regards to Wife Number Four – Stacy. Who has been missing for so many years and has always been presumed by law enforcement officials to be a murder victim whose body has yet to turn up.

Peterson has always claimed his wife ran off, possibly with a bunch of his money, and that she’s having a good laugh at his expense in some isolated part of the world.

I’d like it if that were true because it would be something that would serve Peterson right for what appears to be his overly-boorish behavior. Besides, do we really prefer the idea of someone being dead (if not forgotten) all these years?

Peterson, of course, is the guy who ultimately got convicted of criminal charges for the death of Wife Number Three; whose demise initially was thought to be accidental.

BUT ALL THE scrutiny tied to the investigation of the disappearance of Stacey Peterson caused the death of Kathleen Savio to be reinvestigated – and a coroner to change his mind about “accidental.”

Which is why Peterson is now in the maximum-security prison located in the Southern Illinois community of Chester for such a lengthy term that he’s not likely to get out of prison alive.

Which also is why the additional charges being filed against him are more about being punitive than anything else. Prosecutors in Southern Illinois, with help from the Illinois attorney general’s office, say that Peterson tried to arrange to have Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow killed as retribution for his first trial.

Officials say they have tape recordings of conversations Peterson had with other people – whose identity they are going out of their way to hide.

AND THAT IS why Peterson was in court again on Tuesday – for a case management conference before a judge in Randolph County, Ill., according to the Associated Press. Which means attorneys for all sides will try to hash out the specifics and see how ready they are to actually go to trial.

That may be the only positive thing about this new case – Peterson has said he wants to go by the letter of the law with regards to rules concerning his right to a speedy trial.

Perhaps he thinks he can catch prosecutors in some sort of legal glitch and they will have to dismiss the case altogether.

Although news reports from Randolph County show prosecutors who are confident enough to say they will be ready to go to trial by mid-July, and the judge on Tuesday scheduled July 6 as the date that jury selection can begin.

CONSIDERING HOW MANY criminal cases can easily stretch into years (it took nearly three for Peterson’s first criminal trial to begin), that would truly be miraculous.

It would also be a positive for society at-large. Because the sooner this case is resolved (and prosecutors possibly get a judge to add up to 60 years in prison to Peterson’s existing 38-year sentence), the less trivia our airwaves will be polluted with.

And the quicker it will be that we can quit making tacky jokes about how the part of “Drew Peterson” would be played in a sequel to “Untouchable” (a Lifetime movie) by the Rob Lowe who still gets cable TV.


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