Have you heard about the confessed pornographer (well, once confessed pornographer) now in jail awaiting trial in Washington state for the alleged rape of a child? He is now been given access to the 28 hours of videotape and DVDs he made of himself beating and raping young boys. You heard it right. It's this week's Uncut commentary.
The law is clear, criminal defense lawyers have the right to review any evidence facing a client.
In this case, the defendant, a former pilot named Weldon Gilbert, is acting as his own attorney and demanded access to the tapes.
The Washington State Supreme Court said he has the right. It seems an outrage really, a re-assault of the victims.
Two years ago, Gilbert pleaded guilty to a federal child porn-producing charge and got 25 years. He was supposed to get a 17-year state sentence for the rapes, but then a judge told him he could get life. Gilbert withdrew his plea.
I understand the reason for the law, but as the prosecutor pointed out, while we have to disclose when we intend to introduce cocaine in a drug case, we don't give the defendant a kilo to check out.
Reportedly, they're discussing making a change in state law to prevent this from happening in the future.
Gilbert is innocent until proven guilty, but I do hope its a quick change because if he's convicted and appeals, does Gilbert get another opportunity to view the evidence, and another after that? Scary.
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