Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

November 6, 2007

Mistrial Declared In Gordon Lee Case


Continuing a run of bizarre outcomes, the case against Rome, Georgia retailer Gordon Lee ended in a mistrial this afternoon, declared after statements made by State prosecutor John Tully during his opening arguments. At issue was Tully's use of a statement on the retailer's character and previous actions in which Lee has been involved. That line had been part of a previous motion agreed to by the prosecution. After a fifteen minute recess, Judge Larry Salmon declared a mistrial.

Such an action is a good thing for the defense in that a) the trial isn't allowed to continued with a jury having been exposed to the statements in question, b) it allows the defense to argue that no new trial should be scheduled because of the clear prosecutorial misconduct, building on other instances of prosecutorial malfeasance and/or misconduct. It's a bad thing in that a) it's yet another incident keeping Lee from a trial and final resolution, and b) one imagines it could extend costs.

Lee is on trial from a legal action stemming from the dissemination of a copy of Alternative Comics #2 to two minors during a giveaway in conjunction with Halloween 2004. The case may eventually be tried in 2008.

Tuesday morning update: the local news media provides some immediate perspective, although nothing that contradicts anything in the initial CBLDF release, while as expected the prosecutor announced the state's intention to get a place for a new trial on the next open misdemeanor position on the court's calendar, in 2008.
posted 1:06 am PST | Permalink

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