Can Drew Peterson Get a Fair Trial?

Let me start out by saying that Drew Peterson seems like a bad guy and it looks like he has done some bad things.

Here’s the problem: A lot of other people think that too, especially since Will County has been conducting a very public “hearsay hearing” to decide whether generally inadmissible hearsay evidence should be allowed at the trial. 

It may be politically incorrect to say this, but the question should at least be asked: How can Drew Peterson possibly get a fair trial when the entire metropolitan Chicago area is being saturated with daily reports of inadmissible hearsay evidence which the eventual jury will not hear at trial? We are receiving triple and quadruple hearsay evidence being brought out in court now, and because it is a hearing open to the public and is a high profile case, the Chicago media report these inadmissible details every day.

Clearly, no criminal defendant is entitled to a jury which has never heard of the defendant or the alleged criminal acts. However, we are seeing something completely different here. The group of people who will eventually comprise the Drew Peterson jury may not remember the details of this hearsay hearing (although many will), but it is very likely that virtually all of them will believe Drew Peterson is a bad guy and has done some bad things.

Did Drew Peterson do what he is accused of doing? That question is irrelevant to any citizen who respects the legal process.

The real question is: Can Drew Peterson get a fair shot at his trial? I’m not 100% certain of the answer, but it seems to be getting very close to “no.”


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