Banned words trial no more

Bringing a case that drew national attention to an end, the prosecutor in the “banned words” trial decided not to try the defendant for a third time.

This is the case where the judge banned the use of the words “rape”, “sexual assault” and “victim” (rightly so, in my opinion) and in which the accused later sued that same judge.

Two trials ended in mistrials and after initially indicating that he would try it a third time, the prosecutor announced that he wouldn’t.

Lancaster County Attorney Gary Lacey says he decided not to pursue a third trial in a sexual assault case because the judge barred the testimony of 2 key witnesses.

Bowen’s lawyer Wendy Murphy says Lacey’s explanation doesn’t make much sense because the judge barred testimony from those two witnesses before the second trial last summer.

Murphy says the loss of those witnesses didn’t prevent Lacey from trying to prosecute Safi last summer.

Double jeopardy isn’t a bar to retrial after a mistrial, but at some point the state has to decide whether it’s worth pursuing anymore. It seems that this prosecutor reached that point.

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  1. Pingback: The invisible “trend”: banned words | a public defender

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