Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

How the State of Alabama is attempting to railroad Amy Bishop

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, February 24, 2012

Like her, love her, think she’s criminally insane, just plain stupid, idiotic, crazy like a fox, or no matter what…

Booking photo of Amy Bishop released by the Hu...

Amy Bishop mug shot from Huntsville (Alabama) Police Department

there’s no denying that it continues to be exceedingly less expensive to keep a convicted criminal in jail for the rest of their natural life, including providing all humane healthcare, than it is to try a capital case – one for which the death penalty may be exacted.


The cost of mandatory appeals associated with death penalty cases, and lawyers’ time get very expensive.

It’s a crying shame that the state of Alabama has decided they do not want to pay for – because the reimbursement rate is so low, they might as well not pay for – just representation for the accused. It speaks volumes to the extremely lopsided sense of meanness – even cruelty – that have overcome many.

That statement is not meant to deny genuine representation, but to prevent abuse. Nor is it to forbid justice, but rather to assist in eliminating despiteful abuses of the system.

When one cannot pay for a case, it is justice denied.

And when one is denied justice, all are denied justice.

E pluribus unum.

Alabama wants Amy Bishop trial judge to cancel order for payments to expert witnesses

Published: Friday, February 24, 2012, 3:33 PM
Updated: Friday, February 24, 2012, 3:41 PM
 By Brian Lawson, The Huntsville Times The Huntsville Times
Brian Lawson, The Huntsville Times

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — Attorneys for the Alabama Comptroller’s Office want the judge in the Amy Bishop capital murder case to vacate his orders for payments to defense expert witnesses and testing, according to a court filing today.

Bishop is set to go on trial March 19 on charges she killed three fellow University of Alabama in Huntsville biology faculty members and attempted to kill three other university employees on Feb. 12, 2010.

The trial date may be in some doubt as Bishop’s court- appointed attorneys have asked Circuit Judge Alan Mann to delay the trial until the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals rules on the state’s refusal to accept Mann’s orders to make payments for expert witnesses and related testing of Bishop by a neurologist.

The defense has argued Bishop, who could face the death penalty if convicted, will not receive a fair trial without the assistance of the expert witnesses.

Alabama Comptroller David White argues in the filing that a new Alabama law governing payments to expert witnesses does not cover the Bishop case since it began before the law was passed. Previously, Alabama law did not include prior payments to expert witnesses before a case ended. The practice has been criticized by defense attorneys who argue it leaves them either paying for experts out of their own pockets, or being forced to try and find experts, often not as well-regarded in their fields, who are willing to wait months or years to be paid.

The filing includes a September order by Mann directing the comptroller’s office to make a $5,000 payment to a neurologist to assist the defense, and $20,000 to the University of Alabama at Birmingham for testing of Bishop.

It also includes a December order for $10,000, apparently a smaller request, for testing at UAB.

There is a third order filed in January directing a $2,366 for another defense expert witness.

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