12-20 Legal Bullshit: This is going to ruin your day

The title is for real.  This is very likely to ruin your day.

Haynes has not taken the plea deal.  At this point, the trial is set for May 7th,

Despite how simple that sounds, and how quickly that hearing went, there is a whole lot there to unpack.  So, here I go diving into the legal bits that I don’t fully grasp.

Basically, everything is in Haynes control right now.  Her not taking the plea deal is what has pushed it to trial.  At any point, she can decide that she wants to bargain, then the lawyers go back and forth for awhile.  If they come to an agreement, we have a hearing in which she pleads guilty, then a few weeks later we have the sentencing hearing where I do the victim’s impact statement again.  Then it is done.

At the moment, that is looking unlikely.  Instead, it is seeming likely that she is going to push this to a trial.  The trial date has been set for May 7th, but that doesn’t actually mean it will happen then.  The judge has 20 cases set for that day and the prosecuting attorney has a bunch of murder trials between now and then.  That means that those cases might go to trial, they might settle like a plea deal, or there might be some other resolution.  Come May 7th, the judge will only be able to see cases one at a time, and this one probably won’t be a priority.  So, it will likely get pushed off.  I was told to expect to be dealing with this until this time next year.

There is no arguing that Haynes killed Jason.  That’s not the point of going to trial.  What they will try to convince a jury of in a trial is that Haynes had “necessity” in her actions.  They will argue that she was running in fear of her life or the life of the passenger, therefore running the red was necessary. If her actions were necessary, then she could be fully acquitted.  She could also get the sentence commuted to a manslaughter sentence, which is a lesser charge.  It all hinges on whether she and the public defender can make these seem like she was being persecuted by Meekins.  I’m not convinced, but I’m not making the decisions.

This whole situation sucks.  I hate going to court, but I refuse to not go.  I hate that I have to sit silently while she gets to speak.  I want to have a voice in this.  I want Jason to have a voice in this.  I hate that she gets to craft a narrative about how good a person she is, while I have to sit silently in the audience.  I hate that I can’t craft that narrative for Jason, that I can’t speak on his behalf.  I hate that he isn’t hear to speak for himself.

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