JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced today (Wednesday, July 7, 2010) that he will appeal Judge Stephen White’s Tuesday, July 6 ruling regarding which statements will be allowed into evidence under the hearsay exception in the Drew Peterson trial.
State’s Attorney Glasgow filed his notice of appeal on Wednesday in Will County Circuit Court. The State’s Attorney made the final decision to appeal after extensive consultation and deliberation with his trial team as well as with the Illinois State’s Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor’s Office. The appeal will delay the start of the trial, which was scheduled to begin on Thursday with jury selection.
State’s Attorney Glasgow will ask the Third District Appellate Court to consider Judge White’s ruling in light of a recent Illinois Supreme Court ruling in People v. Hanson, a death-penalty case from DuPage County. In Hanson, the Illinois Supreme Court carefully discussed issues with regard to applying the hearsay exception and stated that “we now expressly recognize that the doctrine (of Forfeiture by Wrongdoing) serves both as an exception to the hearsay rule and to extinguish confrontation clause claims.”
Before making his decision to appeal, State’s Attorney Glasgow also discussed the Hanson ruling with DuPage County State’s Attorney Joseph Birkett, whose office prosecuted the Hanson case.
In light of the new law contained in Hanson, State’s Attorney Glasgow believes the prosecution is entitled to present hearsay statements at Drew Peterson’s murder trial.
“The people of the state of Illinois are entitled to a fair trial, and I intend to see that they get one,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “As State’s Attorney, I am obligated to appeal the judge’s ruling to ensure that every legally admissible statement may be presented at trial.”
The Illinois Supreme Court issued its ruling in Hanson on June 24. State’s Attorney Glasgow respectfully asked Judge White to consider his hearsay ruling in the Peterson case in light of Hanson on Wednesday, June 30. A hearing was conducted on the motion to consider Hanson on Friday, July 2. Judge White denied the motion on Tuesday afternoon, July 6.
The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office reminds the public that charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.