I am just rather shocked at the whole thing, but then after everything we have heard about that little county maybe it's to be expected?
Also how old is Reinhardt? Young enough for reelection it seems and retirement not yet on the horizon?
Somebody should be looking hard at the state of Irwin County’s finances. General impression from locals is that the county can’t afford a change of venue or the expert witness/investigator fees for Duke. Judge Reinhardt and the prosecutors are aware of this. They were betting first that Duke would take a deal back when he had a public defender, and then, when the Merchants came on board, that they could force a trial that didn’t cost so much, even it meant Duke wouldn’t get a fair trial. Not sure what will happen now, but I wonder how f we won’t see prosecutors offer Duke another deal with a shorter prison sentence to avoid the trial and any resulting appeals.
Just curious how much do expert witnesses and investigators cost ? Anybody got any ballpark figures on that ? I thought Ashley had quoted something like 3-5 thousand , that’s not a huge number
Not sure how much the experts would cost. Somebody told me Irwin County could only barely afford the cost of last jury call (1000+ people were called, and their survey responses had to be evaluated). The change of venue would be exorbitantly expensive though - hotel and food costs for judge, lawyers, security, staff, jurors, etc,.
Lest we forget.. this isn’t a funding issue at all. The Merchants are partnered with a heralded attorney from Troutman Sanders, whose annual revenue exceeds a half billion dollars. If Ryan’s lawyers truly believed in him it’s a shame they will not provide him with an adequate defense. I’m sure once the stall tactics of this trail have played themselves up entirely Ryan will undoubtedly find himself being covered by the deep pockets. I’m just unsure why that wasn’t just done in the first place unless it was to make this case a true spectacle and or to provide an automatic appeal on grounds of a sixth amendment violation. The best lawyers can be weaselly and are great agent provocateurs. Enough of the drama and carry on please
@Juliet The total cost for two experts, a psychological evaluation and an investigator is $11,000.00. However, if the defense chooses to have either of the experts testify during the trial, there will be additional expenses. >(1) an expert in the field of touch DNA and probabilistic genotyping software programs; (2) an expert in the area of false confessions given under the influence of drugs and duress; (3) a psychologist for the purpose of evaluating Mr. Duke's mental health; and ( 4) a qualified criminal investigator. >Mr. Duke will require *$5,000.00* for Dr. Krane to evaluate the state's DNA analysis and its use of the TrueAllele software on a pre-trial basis. Dr. Krane charges *$4,000 per day to testify at trial, and so additional expenses will be incurred should Mr. Duke choose to have Dr. Krane testify at trial.* >As set forth in Dr. Cutler's fee information, the defense will require a minimum of *$1,500.00* to retain Dr. Cutler for his pretrial review and opinions. *Additional costs will be incurred should Mr. Duke choose to call Dr. Cutler as a witness at tr ial.* >The undersigned counsel has contacted Christopher Tillitski, Ph.D. who has agreed to provide an evaluation for Mr. Duke. Dr. Tallitski is a licensed, independent psychologist in Macon, Georgia. Mr. Duke is requesting *$1,500.00* for the psychological evaluation by Dr. Tallitski. >The undersigned counsel have contacted Investigator Matthew Chester who is currently on the Court appointed investigator list for the Cobb County Judicial Circuit Public Defender's Office. Investigator Chester has agreed to accept this appointment and could work under that same court-appointed rate and procedures. Mr. Duke is requesting *$3,000.00* for the services of Investigator Chester.
The Georgia Supreme Court disagreed. The justices said in their ruling the issue of funding experts for defendants with pro bono attorneys is constitutionally important and without legal precedent. They also suggested in the hearing the issue could be grounds for appeal and recommended Judge Reinhardt issue the certificate for review so they consider it before the trial. Separately, the county would have to pay the costs of a change of venue if the judge granted it. If there’s ever been a case that merited a change of venue, it’s this one. It’s not ok to deny Duke a fair trial because the county can’t afford one.
Wholeheartedly agree, reddirt. While one of Ryan’s attorney’s may be from a successful and highly profitable law firm, indigent defendants all across Georgia do not have that luxury. Funding is a very important issue. Why should poor people not have equal representation? Especially when a good many of these crimes are committed due to poverty to begin with? Maybe it doesn’t sit well with some for this particular case to be the catalyst - and I get that - but if anything I think the endgame here is an attempt at changing this process, not necessarily stall tactics. The defense made a good argument for this in the motion - public defender’s *are* overworked. If they can get the GSC to allow indigent funding be provided to the defendants regardless of public defender vs private attorney status, then the state will ultimately pick up these expenses instead of the county. There’s no guarantee, but it is worth a shot.
Read an article on this last night which imo made some valid statements..... As for Irwin County, the taxpayers have already been billed for selecting jurors from a pool of 600 and subpoenaing more than 100 witnesses. They’ve funded pre-trial hearings, a related trial for a co-defendant, and, of course, 14 years of investigations. Is the defense’s request, in an effort to fulfill constitutional and state law obligations of a fair trial and adequate representation, really too expensive if it closes the book on a case that has been open for a decade and a half? Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating that we reinvent the legal system so as to foot the bill for both the prosecution and the defense in every case. For a number of reasons -morally and ethically-, that as the default does not make sense. But we don’t fund public defenders because it makes people feel good and helps attorneys gain experience. From the perspective of fiscal responsibility, it would appear that awarding funds for experts would be more cost effective than retrying the case because of inadequate r epresentation, something the state’s highest court has already signaled would be a large possibility. http://allongeorgia.com/georgia-state-politics/column-when-prosecutors-have-bottomless-war-chests-everyone-else-doesnt/
So what’s the locals think that actually pay taxes in Irwin County ? Like south & skid , do you feel it should be ponied up by Irwin County ? Do you think it should be moved to another county ? Do you feel he can or cannot get a fair trial down there ? And last did the public defender who had assess to private investigators ever utilize them ? They had over two years to do so, or where they so convinced he would take a plea they never even bothered . I’m just curious what folks that actually live there think. Thank you to any local who would like to express what you think about the situation in your hometown.
This whole argument is BS.
If Ryan's PD had actually done his job instead of trying to get Ryan to plea out then I dont think we would be here right now.
In hindsight perhaps pointing out this article was a mistake because there is nothing but arguing back and forth in the comments section at the bottom now.
@georgia - no! The article is well argued and well written. It’s inevitable that some people will disagree with it.