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  1. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by cluciano63 View Post
    I am not taking up for Mechele, but just hope her second jury comes into the case with an open mind. Whatever you think of her, the justice system has granted her a new trial and she is no different from anyone else in having rights. If she is so obviously guilty and treacherous, I am sure the jury will see that, I just hope that the jurors, whoever they turn out to be, have not already made up their minds. JMO.
    I agree that she definitely deserves a fair trial. And from what I've seen, the evidence isn't that clear-cut, IMO, so I could see a jury going either way?? Personally, I think she's guilty, but if I were a juror (seeing only the evidence we've been able to see through the media thus far) I don't know if I could vote guilty.

    It just seems unwise, IMO, for the defense to be quibbling about the conditions of her release while posting inflammatory accusations and insinuations about the judge and the prosecutor. Personally, I find it entertaining. But if I were close to Mechele, I would find it upsetting and problematic because these antics certainly aren't going to help her prevail at the retrial.


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  3. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by flourish View Post
    Could this whole third-party nonsense been because they were all assuming she'd get to go back to Olympia and didn't bother to plan ahead for an Alaskan release? Can the third-party's husband apply to be a third-party, too?

    I'm wondering why Mechele isn't just living with the third-party.

    Oh, and delusions of grandeur I agree...it's baffling.
    That's a good question! I don't know. You would think that would be a good solution? Maybe there's something about the third-party's living situation that isn't conducive/acceptable? I know pretrial release conditions prohibit a defendant from being within a certain vicinity of airports etc? Maybe it's a location thing? Maybe the husband cannot be qualified as a third-party custodian for some reason? Maybe Mechele just wants to maintain her own apartment for the times her family is able to visit? Whatever the case, after reading the third-party custodian's rants, I'm quite certain we aren't getting the WHOLE story and I'd bet there are a number of solutions that could be worked out, short of loosening the actual conditions of Mechele's release.

    I browsed around and discovered that it's quite common for defendants to have a third-party custodian AND house arrest conditions in addition to monetary bond-- people convicted of drunk driving, etc.

    I think the third-party custodian is refusing to acknowledge the obvious-- as it stands now, Mechele would lose NOTHING (from the Court's perspective) if she jumped bond and fled. The money that would be forfeited would come from the strip club owner and the benefactor. So, IMO, restraints on her personal movement are necessary to ensure she doesn't flee. When she was awaiting her first trial in Olympia, the bond amount was 150,000$ CASH. They were able to post the full amount in cash by securing a loan against their home. The 150,000$ would be returned to her after she appeared for her trial. So, she stood to lose 150,000$ of her own money and her home if she fled last time. I do think the circumstances are different and that the current conditions are reasonable-- 25,000$ cash + a few more restrictions vs. 150,000$ ? Doesn't sound like a strange vindictive campaign to me??

    But I did love the blog entry about the haircut. hehehe. And how she enjoyed her 4 hours of "bliss."


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  5. #198
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    IMO, Mechele is definitely a flight risk. I would not be surprised if she just vanishes one day on one of those 4 hour trips.


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  7. #199
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    Nancy, thanks for keeping us so well informed on this case.

    If ML is retried and acquitted, can she sue the state for wrongful conviction and/or imprisonment?


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  9. #200
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    She sounds like a freakin 5-year-old..."I'm thankful for stop signs!" LOL!....sorry, I couldn't help it!
    Last edited by Blondie in Spokane; 05-31-2010 at 03:12 PM.


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  11. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by marilhicks View Post
    Nancy, thanks for keeping us so well informed on this case.

    If ML is retried and acquitted, can she sue the state for wrongful conviction and/or imprisonment?
    She could, but in reviewing the applicable law, IMO she wouldn't prevail.

    In 27 states and the District of Columbia, an acquitted person (upon a showing of "actual innocence") is entitled to monetary compensation under state Wrongful Conviction statutes. The payout varies significantly among states. Texas provides $50,000/year incarcerated & $100,000/year incarcerated on death row, whereas Louisiana provides $15,000/year and caps the total payout at $150,000$, regardless of the actual number of years spent incarcerated. Some states include benefits for lost wages and other considerations etc. However, Alaska is one of the states that lacks this kind of statute. In states without these statutes, the wrongfully convicted person can petition the state legislature to consider awarding financial compensation for the wrongful conviction/incarceration. These rewards tend to be infrequently granted and also generally require the person to demonstrate actual innocence (vs. just being found "not guilty"). So, she'd likely have to sue which brings me to your question

    She could try to bring a tort claim in civil court. However, Alaska statutes grant immunity from civil liability to state agents for negligence torts, intentional torts and punitive damages, explicitly immunizing them from any of the claims she could conceivably raise against them:

    Alaska Statute 9.50.250 provides:

    "... An action may not be brought if the claim arises out of... false imprisonment, false arrest, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, libel, slander, misrepresentation, deceit..."

    Prosecutors are generally and absolutely immunized from allegations stemming from actions performed in their official capacities as state agents. Police officers are also protected by immunity privileges. Police officers who commit perjury on the stand are protected; prosecutors who have proffered perjured testimony or fabricated exhibits at trial have been protected by absolute immunity, etc. .

    If the state agents were acting outside the scope of their roles/duties as state agents, they can still be protected by a more limited immunity provision-- qualified immunity. Generally, qualified immunity shields government officials who perform discretionary governmental functions from civil liability unless their conduct was "so obviously wrong, in the light of pre-existing law, that only a plainly incompetent officer or one who was knowingly violating the law would have done such a thing." In this case (unless Mechele can provide evidence to prove investigators intentionally fabricated/concealed crucial evidence to secure an indictment), the decision to arrest and prosecute will not be construed as "so obviously wrong" because the prosecutor can make a clear showing he did have probable cause to prosecute her. The original Grand Jury Indictment conferred probable cause as a matter of law. Similarly, conviction at the first trial would also demonstrate probable cause. These immunity provisions would apply in suits brought at either the State or Federal level.

    Since she doesn't appear to have a claim under state law, she could try to bring a 1983 claim in Federal Court, alleging that false arrest, malicious prosecution, etc. violated her constitutional rights. She's again going to have trouble here because the state agents are likely to be given absolute or qualified immunity. The one applicable caveat to prosecutorial immunity could be the his statements to media/press conferences but I also don't see that going anywhere.

    IMO the only way she could win is if she can show the troopers acted with actual malice and fabricated/concealed evidence or did something else similarly egregious to knowingly, purposely and wrongfully secure a conviction. Like, for example, Linda Branchflower has been deviously sitting on the murder weapon because it had someone else's fingerprints on it, etc.

    I tried to find a case in Alaska where someone had successfully sued for wrongful conviction/malicious prosecution etc. and couldn't find any. I think these kinds of suits are very hard to win. This law review article goes into some detail about the difficulties involved in these suits.

    Mechele's supporters seem very convinced that she'll successfully sue the state of Alaska when this is all over, so maybe they have some trick up their sleeve I haven't thought of?

    ETA: This is sort of muddled in the middle re: my discussion of absolute/qualified immunity so if you want to know more about those concepts you should definitely look them up because my explanation leaves something to be desired.
    Last edited by nancy botwin; 05-31-2010 at 08:29 PM.


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  13. #202
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    I thought I'd post this case update info here because I think some of you are fellow 48 Hours-watchers & this case had some similarities to Linehan's, IMO.

    The episode, Lady in the Harbor, focused on the murder of Barbara Mullenix and the ensuing first degree murder trials of her daughter, Rachael Mullenix and Rachel's boyfriend Ian Allen.

    CBS

    Both cases involved male and female co-defendants charged with first degree murder. Both involved subjective interpretations of electronic communications as evidence of a conspiracy between the two defendants. Neither defendants' DNA or fingerprints were found on murder weapons in either case. Both cases involved the introduction of extraneous allusions to movies allegedly "connected" to the crimes. The prosecutors used the victims' hearsay statements against the accused as evidence in both trials. The co-defendants blamed each other in both trials. Both cases involved allegations that the prosecutors' dramatics sensationalized the proceedings/affected the verdict. The female defendants' trials received substantially more publicity than the males' trials in both cases. Both defendants were found guilty of first degree murder and received identical sentences in both cases, etc.

    Anyway, Rachael Mullenix appealed her conviction and the California Appeals Court decision came back earlier this month-- she lost. The appellate decision is published here. The Opinion is an interesting read and provides a lot of additional details about the trial. It's especially interesting in light of Mechele's appellate victory. In both cases, hearsay statements/accusations of the deceased victims were used as evidence against the defendants. However, unlike Mechele's attorneys, Rachael Mullenix's trial attorney failed to object to the hearsay statements as Confrontation Clause violations, so she couldn't raise that issue on appeal.

    It's interesting to see how cases with similar fact patterns can have very different outcomes simply (and arguably) because one trial attorney made an objection and the other didn't.

    Anyway, I just thought I'd post the update/info for anyone who might be interested.
    Here's the full episode link for anyone who hasn't seen it and would like to:
    Lady In The Harbor - 48 Hours - CBS News

    It was a good episode! If you've watched it, do you see similarities between the Mullenix case and Mechele Linehan's?
    Last edited by KateB; 06-01-2015 at 01:19 AM. Reason: repair url tag.


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  15. #203
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    Quote Originally Posted by nancy botwin View Post
    I thought I'd post this case update info here because I think some of you are fellow 48 Hours-watchers & this case had some similarities to Linehan's, IMO.

    The episode, Lady in the Harbor, focused on the murder of Barbara Mullenix and the ensuing first degree murder trials of her daughter, Rachael Mullenix and Rachel's boyfriend Ian Allen.

    CBS

    Both cases involved male and female co-defendants charged with first degree murder. Both involved subjective interpretations of electronic communications as evidence of a conspiracy between the two defendants. Neither defendants' DNA or fingerprints were found on murder weapons in either case. Both cases involved the introduction of extraneous allusions to movies allegedly "connected" to the crimes. The prosecutors used the victims' hearsay statements against the accused as evidence in both trials. The co-defendants blamed each other in both trials. Both cases involved allegations that the prosecutors' dramatics sensationalized the proceedings/affected the verdict. The female defendants' trials received substantially more publicity than the males' trials in both cases. Both defendants were found guilty of first degree murder and received identical sentences in both cases, etc.

    Anyway, Rachael Mullenix appealed her conviction and the California Appeals Court decision came back earlier this month-- she lost. The appellate decision is published here. The Opinion is an interesting read and provides a lot of additional details about the trial. It's especially interesting in light of Mechele's appellate victory. In both cases, hearsay statements/accusations of the deceased victims were used as evidence against the defendants. However, unlike Mechele's attorneys, Rachael Mullenix's trial attorney failed to object to the hearsay statements as Confrontation Clause violations, so she couldn't raise that issue on appeal.

    It's interesting to see how cases with similar fact patterns can have very different outcomes simply (and arguably) because one trial attorney made an objection and the other didn't.

    Anyway, I just thought I'd post the update/info for anyone who might be interested.
    Here's the full episode link for anyone who hasn't seen it and would like to:
    Lady In The Harbor - 48 Hours - CBS News

    It was a good episode! If you've watched it, do you see similarities between the Mullenix case and Mechele Linehan's?
    I am new to websleuths, but had heard of Mechele's case on a previous crime show here in Australia. I have read all the posts that everyone wrote and I find this case really interesting, especially the passion exhibited by both those for and against her guilt. I agree with many that she is probably guilty, but should not have been found guilty with the limited evidence produced at the trial.

    thank you nancy botwin for all your posts and all the work you've done in providing the information for those of us who need it. I find your posts to be realistic and to have a common sense angle to them - you don't go off on some witch hunt and you take an open-minde view to things. you seem like you're an intelligent person and of all the psoters I respect yours the most because of the logic that goes with your views. Thanks for adding that other case, as it happens I had just watched that episode "lady in the lake" the other day - The daughter is defenitely similiar to Mechele and the daughter is / looks guilty with the evidence presented in the case. Even in her crying interigation she says she was woken up by her mum screaming her name, yet in court she says she met her boyfriend at the door when he came over, then went into her room just as her boyfriend started to commit the crime. It's funny to how these type of women always seem to be pretty, it's as if they have learnt to use their looks to manipulate men.

    Anyway Thanks for all your work Nancy Botwin. I don't suppose you know where the Morgan Harrington threads are hidden do you? It is because of Morgan's case I came to this website, but for the life of me cannot find where people have posted on her case. I hope you know who I'm talking about.
    Last edited by bmg1112; 06-02-2010 at 12:36 PM. Reason: add more


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  17. #204
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    Last edited by KateB; 06-01-2015 at 01:19 AM. Reason: repair url tag.


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  19. #205
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    I do believe there's a hearing scheduled today regarding a request to adjust the third-party custodian and Mechele's bond situation. ADN doesn't have anything up on their site yet, but it's still early, so I'll keep my eye out and let you know what I learn when I learn it Although Nancy will probably beat me to it Love ya, Nanc!

    Unless specified otherwise and linked, my posts are simply random thoughts of mine, in no particular order, not directed at any post or poster, including but not limited to the ones directly above mine. My opinion only, yours may vary. IMO. JMO. IMHO. JMHO. MOO. Disclaimer, small print, asterisk, and etc.


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  21. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmg1112 View Post
    I am new to websleuths, but had heard of Mechele's case on a previous crime show here in Australia. I have read all the posts that everyone wrote and I find this case really interesting, especially the passion exhibited by both those for and against her guilt. I agree with many that she is probably guilty, but should not have been found guilty with the limited evidence produced at the trial.

    thank you nancy botwin for all your posts and all the work you've done in providing the information for those of us who need it. I find your posts to be realistic and to have a common sense angle to them - you don't go off on some witch hunt and you take an open-minde view to things. you seem like you're an intelligent person and of all the psoters I respect yours the most because of the logic that goes with your views. Thanks for adding that other case, as it happens I had just watched that episode "lady in the lake" the other day - The daughter is defenitely similiar to Mechele and the daughter is / looks guilty with the evidence presented in the case. Even in her crying interigation she says she was woken up by her mum screaming her name, yet in court she says she met her boyfriend at the door when he came over, then went into her room just as her boyfriend started to commit the crime. It's funny to how these type of women always seem to be pretty, it's as if they have learnt to use their looks to manipulate men.

    Anyway Thanks for all your work Nancy Botwin. I don't suppose you know where the Morgan Harrington threads are hidden do you? It is because of Morgan's case I came to this website, but for the life of me cannot find where people have posted on her case. I hope you know who I'm talking about.
    Welcome! And thank you so much for your kind words. I'm glad to see another person interested in this case and I look forward to even more of your thoughts and insights! I'll respond to your post more/ in greater detail when I have some time later but I just wanted to say thanks and welcome!


    Quote Originally Posted by flourish View Post
    I do believe there's a hearing scheduled today regarding a request to adjust the third-party custodian and Mechele's bond situation. ADN doesn't have anything up on their site yet, but it's still early, so I'll keep my eye out and let you know what I learn when I learn it Although Nancy will probably beat me to it Love ya, Nanc!
    Thank you for reminding me! I totally forgot!
    Looks like the hearing occurred today and Mechele's Motion to Alter Release Conditions was DENIED this afternoon. This means she will still have to remain on virtual home confinement (with 8 free hours outside the home/week) and will still have to be in the sight&sound of her third-party custodian 24/7.


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  23. #207
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    As previously noted, Mechele Linehan's motion to loosen her current bail restrictions was denied today. As previously mentioned, Linehan's third-party custodian found her duties too onerous, so apparently Mechele's mom Sandy McWilliams is going to share the burden. Incidentally, I believe today was Sandy McWilliams' birthday. Here's a brief article about today's bail hearing.



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  25. #208
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    Thank you Maznblu1


  26. #209
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    Quote Originally Posted by nancy botwin View Post
    As previously noted, Mechele Linehan's motion to loosen her current bail restrictions was denied today. As previously mentioned, Linehan's third-party custodian found her duties too onerous, so apparently Mechele's mom Sandy McWilliams is going to share the burden. Incidentally, I believe today was Sandy McWilliams' birthday. Here's a brief article about today's bail hearing.

    thanks for that Nancy. Do we have any idea how long it could be before they do a retrial. I can see this woman getting off even though I suspect she is guilty.


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  28. #210
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    Thanks Nancy for your excellent (as always) reply. It suddenly occurred to me that she could come out of this smelling like a rose if acquitted and able to sue. I’m relieved to know she is not likely to prevail.


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