Tuesday, September 09, 2003
Breaking news today - the preliminary hearing scheduled for October 9th may be in jeopardy. If so, it probably won't mean much other than it'll be a while longer before we get to hear any of the prosecutor's evidence.
Report: Prosecutor Failed to File Motion
posted by Cam 11:37 AM
Thursday, August 07, 2003
So where does the Kobe case go from here?
Hopefully I'll be able to pass on some additional information when it comes to that question. I'm also a third-year student, out in Arizona. I have the pleasure, I suppose, of being employed in the criminal court system here while I'm finishing work on my J.D. A few things in Arizona might be different from Colorado, but the basic principals are almost always the same. My esteemed colleague has already given the crash course, so I'll just add my comments on what's happened since.
I'm sure by now that most have heard of the rumors and supposition surrounding the case. We've had the victim's name "exposed", seen pictures that turned out to be another blonde, ex-cheerleader from Colorado, and heard various stories of suicide attempts and previous rape allegations. None of this amounts to much, yet...but we're getting closer to some hard facts. That's what yesterdays pre-trial hearing was about for the most part - setting an initial timeline for getting some evidence.
To start with, before the hearing it seemed like a big deal was being made by some media outlets on Kobe's request to be excused from having to appear in court as if that meant anything. It doesn't. There was no real reason for him to be there and it only ended up costing Eagle County more than it was worth so the judge could get some camera time.
In a hearing like yesterday's, it's almost the norm (at least here) for the defendant to waive his or her presence unless they're going to enter a guilty plea for some reason. The main purpose of the hearing was to read the charges out loud and enter a not guilty plea for the record. Since Kobe waived the reading of the charges, we were left with 7 minutes of hearing him say 2 words and then finding out what the date for the preliminary hearing would be.
At least now we have that date. October 9th - mark it down. This is the preliminary hearing where the prosecution has to present at least some evidence in court for the first time. "Probable cause" will be the catchphrase du jour. Simply put, it's a bare minimum of evidence that the crime was committed and the defendant should stand trial. The judge can then dismiss the case for unsufficent evidence or order a trial. It's highly unlikely that the case will be dismissed at this point, but for the first time we'll get more than just speculation as to what allegedly occured in that room and the circumstances from which the charges stem.
October 9th - maybe then we can start talking about penis size, if it's relevant.
posted by Cam 10:10 AM
Friday, July 25, 2003
Ok I'm in too.
For my first post, I am going to put up a crash course in criminal law. Just for context, I reckon.
Anyone who has managed to stay awake through their high school civics class or watched Law and Order knows the basics: in the American criminal justice system, a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Anyone who has been awake for the past decade or so (current President excepted) knows that this is great in theory, but has a hard time playing out in our instant consumer media driven world.
It is my hope to help bring a deeper understanding of what is going on here to all of the dozens of Bartcop readers. I am a third year law student in Florida, and I hope to help you learn about our Criminal Justice System, and in doing so hopefully learn something myself.
First: Forget anything you know. Everything that you hear, from what Matt Drudge puts on his website to what Rush Limbaugh says on the radio to what Fox News tells you every 5 minutes means nothing in a court of law. Zip. Zilch.
In Colorado, a criminal proceeding starts with the filing of an information by the District Attorney. An information simply states who is being charged, what they are being charged with, and most importantly, a summation of facts that establish PROBABLE CAUSE that said person committed said offense.
A blank copy of the information filed against Kobe Bryant may be found at
The Smoking Gun's copy of the information
Note that the cover page of the information states the court that will hear the case (jurisdiction), who is being charged (the defendant), who is doing the charging (the People of the State of Colorado by and through their prosecutors), what is being charged (Sexual Assault - Overcoming the Victim's Will), the level of the crime (F3 denotes a third degree felony... more on this in a moment), the statute that was violated (all crimes are coded in the statutes of your particular state [or country, i suppose, but i can't vouch for your legal system.] In this case, CRS (Colorado Revised Statute) 18-3-402(1)(a),(4)(a).. more on this too), and the potential penalties, which have everything to do with the type of crime charged.
First lets do crash course lesson 1 on criminal law: felonies v. misdemeanors.
Generally, misdemeanors are small potato crimes: petty theft, etc. In a legal sense though they are defined by their sentence as determined by statute. In Colorado, there are degrees of misdemeanors, each degree having its own sentencing requirement. Suffice it to say, in Colorado, the worst kind of misdemeanor could net you no more than 18 months in jail, a $5,000 fine, or both.
Felonies on the other hand are the more serious crimes. These are usually crimes against a person, such as murder, armed robbery, or in this case sexual assault. The minimum sentence is one year in prison for a class 5 felony, up to possibly the death penalty. The death penalty is reserved for premeditated murder, though up until the early 70's, rape was a capital offense (punishable by death.)
Each state defines in the statutes what crimes fall into what categories. Ok, let's talk about the crime involved here: Sexual Assault - Overcoming the victim's will. This is a violation of 18-3-402(1)(a),(4)(a) of the Colorado Revised Statutes. What exactly, do those statutes say? Lets look at the relevant parts: 1a, and 4a:
COLORADO REVISED STATUTES
TITLE 18. CRIMINAL CODE
ARTICLE 3. OFFENSES AGAINST THE PERSON
PART 4. UNLAWFUL SEXUAL BEHAVIOR
C.R.S. 18-3-402 (2002)
18-3-402. Sexual assault
(1) Any actor who knowingly inflicts sexual intrusion or sexual penetration on a victim commits sexual assault if:
(a) The actor causes submission of the victim by means of sufficient consequence reasonably calculated to cause submission against the victim's will;
. . .
(4) Sexual assault is a class 3 felony if it is attended by any one or more of the following circumstances:
(a) The actor causes submission of the victim through the actual application of physical force or physical violence
Essentially, the information filed by the prosecutor is going to say that Kobe Bryant did this. At trial, the prosecution is going to have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following things (elements):
1. Kobe Bryant knowingly inflicted sexual intrusion or sexual penetration of the victim.
2. Kobe Bryant made the victim submit to him by any means of sufficient consequence reasonably calculated to cause submission against the victim's will.
The first part is obvious. The second one needs some parsing out. "By any means of sufficient consequence" basically means this: Any way that works. "Sufficient Consequence" basically means that whatever Kobe did, it had to work."Reasonably calculated" means that whatever Kobe did, he meant for it to happen. A reasonable person would look at the action, and determine that it would result in the intended effect: causing the victim to submit. "To Cause Submission against the victim's will" means that the victim must truly have not wanted to submit; it has to be against the victim's will. Sorry, Ann Coulter and Lucianne Goldberg.
The next part, the last part of this crash course lesson, is dissecting part 4a. In order for this crime to be a class 3 felony, and subject to a minimum 4 years in prison, Kobe Bryant will have to have made the victim submit by actual physical force or physical violence. Mere suggestion will not be enough. He can't will her to submit, he has to put his hands or any part of his body on her to make her submit. Pushing, shoving, holding down, all of that is included.
Ok, now we have covered the very basics. You now know what Kobe has been charged with, where he was charged, what the prosecution has to prove to get its conviction, and what Kobe could possibly get if convicted. This is just the surface, though. From here we will discuss what's been alleged.
No we will not be talking about the size of Kobe's penis. We aren't Republicans you know.
posted by DeLaughter 3:05 PM
Sunday, July 20, 2003
posted by Stephen 7:45 PM
Monday, July 07, 2003
test from blogger.com
posted by Stephen 4:58 PM
test from blogger.com
posted by Stephen 4:58 PM
Thursday, July 03, 2003
testing... 1.. 2... 3?
posted by Stephen 12:11 PM
posted by Stephen 12:11 PM