The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

February 19, 2013

Peterson case returns with hearing for new trial

(Continued)

Judges rarely grant retrials, even in egregious cases of missteps. And when they do, it is usually because an attorney didn't make a certain argument or call a witness who might have exonerated a defendant, explained Kathleen Zellner, another Chicago-area defense attorney.

"It's usually not for something an attorney did but for what they did not do," she said.

But seemingly nothing can be ruled out in this case, which has been full of oddities since first making headlines in 2007. Peterson's trial was the first in Illinois history where prosecutors built their case on hearsay, thanks to a new law tailored specifically for the case, dubbed "Drew's Law."

Still, most legal observers agreed that the motion for a new trial is a longshot, at best.

"Nothing in this case has been usual," Pissetzky said. "But the chances for this motion to succeed are slim to none — and slim just left the building."

___

Follow Michael Tarm at www.twitter.com/mtarm

 

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