Wow: No, here is where we differ; you’re continuing to use the term, “administrative technicality,” when referring to an actual state law. Please take a moment to go to the Missouri Revised Statutes and read 211.271(3).
As you will notice, the statute is pretty clear. The actions by the juvenile officer were not simply “ill advised” or “no more than an error which is adminstrativly [sic] related,” but were instead specifically prohibited by the above statute. You are also mistaken as to the numerous roles you somehow believe the juvenile officer was there to serve. The juvenile officer was not there to make sure that Bustamante “did not get abused.” As a minor she was allowed to have a parent or guardian present during her questioning, which occurred here. The juvenile officer’s presence was also not for the purpose of seeing “that ‘JUSTICE’ was done.” There was a highway patrol sergeant present who was solely responsible for conducting the interview and asking the questions. And as you can see from the statute referenced above, that was the exact opposite of what the juvenile officer should have been doing. The statute clearly states that it applies to “all admissions, confessions, and statements by the child to the juvenile officer,” and not just to those statements made in response to questions posed by a juvenile officer that are “adversarial” or “something that [places] her in peril of injury from another,” as you mistakenly suggest.
Lastly, you have continually criticized the Bustamante family for not having “done the right thing” because they have never come forward and issued an apology to the Olten family. I have absolutely zero opinion as to how the Bustamante family has or hasn’t handled this situation, but because you have repeatedly voiced your opinion as to their mishandling of the matter, I ask you this…under your same logic, wouldn’t it have been appropriate for the juvenile officer to have “done the right thing” and offered an apology to the Olten family as well? It was of course the juvenile officer’s actions that caused the confession to be suppressed and a charge of murder first to no longer be an option.
Wow continued: Lastly, you criticize Bustamante’s defense team, stating that they somehow helped her get away with first degree murder. Here’s the deal…Bustamante’s defense team didn’t help her get away with anything. As attorneys, licensed in the State of Missouri, they have a legal and ethical duty to protect the rights of their client. Intentionally failing to do so, as your post suggests they should have done, is not an option. In addition, it is not as if her attorneys could have refused to take Alyssa’s case, had they been so disgusted by the facts, that they simply could not represent such a person. They are public defenders. The Courts appoint them to represent clients and at that point, they have a duty to do that to the best of their ability. The juvenile officer also had a duty, to which she did the exact opposite of here. Bustamante’s attorneys were simply doing the job they were appointed to do, which is to advocate on behalf of their client, and in doing so they were required to make the Court aware of the violation of her rights by the juvenile officer. And had her attorneys not pointed out this violation and her confession had been admitted at trial to obtain a first degree murder conviction, I can assure you that the attorneys representing her in her appeal most certainly would have, which would most likely have resulted in a reversal of that conviction...and further suffering for Elizabeth’s mother and family. Therefore, the resulting suppression of her confession was the reason the first degree murder charge could not be pursued. Alyssa Bustamante’s charge was not amended to second degree murder as a result of “legal wrangeling [sic]” or my personal favorite, “legal gamesmenship [sic],” but instead because of a critical violation by the juvenile officer…or as you would refer to it, “nothing more than an administartive [sic] error.”
Wow: There are so many factual misstatements and misinformation in your post that I’m not even sure where to start. First off, in what I assume was sarcasm, you follow up a quote from Bustamante’s diary by stating, “Yeah that sounds like manslaughter to me!!” What are you talking about? Bustamante was not initially charged with manslaughter and the charge has never been reduced to manslaughter. I’m not sure if this misstatement is based on your lack of knowledge concerning the case or a careless attempt to try to manipulate the actual facts in order to support your opinion.
Now onto your second and more ridiculous statement: “Yes the JO made what amounts to nothing more than an administrative [sic] error which violated Alyssa’s Juvinile [sic] rights.” Seriously? This is not just the greatest understatement of all time, but it is completely and totally inaccurate. The sole purpose for the juvenile officer’s being there was to make certain that Bustamante’s rights were not violated. What instead ended up happening, however, was that the juvenile officer was the one person in the room that actually ended up violating Bustamante’s rights. This violation by the juvenile officer resulted in the confession (the single most important piece of evidence and the ONLY evidence of deliberation, which was necessary for a charge for first degree murder) to be thrown out. This, you contend, “amounts to nothing more than an administartive [sic] error”? If you equate an administrative error to an employee doing the exact opposite of what they’ve been hired to do, which results in an irreversible consequence of this magnitude, then I sincerely hope your employment does not carry with it any form of responsibility whatsoever.
Last login: Monday, February 13, 2012
© 2014 News Tribune Publishing.