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View Diary: Felony charges DROPPED for VA GOP worker who tossed registration forms (47 comments)

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  •  Added an update from HuffPo (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cosette, viral, Turbonerd

    Apparently the felony charges were based on disclosure of private information and not specifically vote fraud (which are the misdemeanor charges). The argument was that since nobody accessed the private information from the dumpster, it wasn't actually disclosed to anyone. There seems to be some inconsistent reporting as to whether the judge made the decision or if it was based on Garst's determination. Bradblog says it was Garst's initiative.

    Small's attorney says that the "Commonwealth" informed him that all of the discarded registration forms were from Romney supporters.

    •  Thanks for the update. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrayCat, Eyesbright, afisher

      Good thing the fellow that saw him toss the bag didn't access that private info... lol.
      Certainly Colin Small gave him the opportunity to do so.
      What a mess.
      Small deserves to have to charges stick.
      It doesn't matter who filled out the forms that he tossed.
      Are they psychic knowing that they are Romney supporters and that they ultimately would have voted for Mitt?
      Just venting/Rhetorical questions.
      Keep us posted on the case and thanks.

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      by cosette on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 05:50:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  dropped vs. dismissed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BRog

      Please note that the judge would dismiss the charges if the prosecutor moved to withdraw. The dismissal in essence would be the judge formally ending those proceedings - at the prosecutor's request.

      The other way the charges might have been dismissed would be 1) if the defense was granted a probable cause hearing before trial, or 2) after the prosecution presented its case and the defense asked for a motion to dismiss. The first requires the judge to review the evidence and determine if it is likely that a crime was committed. If the prosecution couldn't meet that hurdle, they might have withdrawn the charges to save being embarrassed in court.

      The second requires a trial, or at least the first half of one; the prosecution presenting its case. The defense motion to dismiss is made routinely, but hardly ever granted. It basically says a reasonable person would conclude that the prosecution has not proven the defendant had the motive, means, and opportunity to commit the crime.

      In either case, it would technically be the judge "dismissing" the charges, because that's what judges do.

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      Keystone XL will raise gas prices!

      by Turbonerd on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 08:13:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the big difference - which i forgot to mention (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BRog

        if the charges are dropped before a trial - because of lack of evidence or whatever - it's at least possible to charge the defendant again for that same crime.

        If the charges were dismissed after the prosecution presented its case, the judge is basically saying that no defense is necessary and the defendant is "not guilty." Double jeopardy attaches and the defendant cannot be tried again.

        A cynical person might conclude that a Republican prosecutor might exploit that difference to throw the case and keep Small out of prison.

        Reforms come from below. No man with four aces howls for a new deal.
        Keystone XL will raise gas prices!

        by Turbonerd on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 08:17:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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