Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Lots of press coverage for the shooter's initial apperance

There was a ton of press at the airport shooter's initial appearance yesterday.  "The judge told him the maximum penalty -- DEATH!"  "He was shackled!"  "The prosecution is seeking detention!"  So basically, like every other initial appearance, except that the maximum penalty in this case could be the death penalty.  In every initial appearance, the defendant is shackled and the judge reads the charges and the maximum penalties.  And in every case of serious violence, the prosecution seeks detention.

In any event, he's very lucky  that he will have the Federal Public Defender's Office representing him in this case.  It will be extremely interesting to see if the government actually seeks the death penalty.  You would think it wouldn't based on all of the reports of mental illness and that the FBI returned the gun to him.  But with the new AG Jeff Sessions, who knows.  Perhaps he will use this case to start off his administration with a new direction by trying to reinvigorate the federal death penalty. 

Meantime, it looks like law enforcement is leaking again, which has become a real problem in this District and around the country.  This time, it leaked awful videos to the press.  Here's coverage on the leak:
Local and federal authorities think they know who leaked security video of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport shooting to TMZ.
Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief told CBS4 News that she’s doesn’t specifically know who leaked the video, but she’s fairly certain it was a member of law enforcement.
TMZ obtained the dramatic surveillance video of suspected mass murderer Esteban Santiago calmly pulling a gun from his waistband and shot 15 bullets at Terminal 2’s baggage claim at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Friday.
Five people were killed and even more were injured.
It’s video that Sharief said the public was never meant to see.
“We’re not tolerating this,” Sharief said. “This is an ongoing investigation. That tape shows a victim being shot and we don’t want that out on the street.”
Sharief said it appeared that the video released to TMZ was taken by someone recording the surveillance video with a cellphone.
She said a reflection captured on the cellphone recording might give away the person by identifying the law enforcement agency the person works for.
“We were able to clearly see the association or agency that the person was with and identify some other significant characteristics,” she said.
Sharief said the identity of the person who recorded the video and possibly leaked it isn’t known, but the county asked the FBI to investigate.
Sharief said after airport officials and the FBI enhanced the reflection, investigators were able to rule out airport and FBI personnel.
She said it “leaves BSO and a couple of other law enforcement agencies that were in that room.”


Anonymous said...

Don't you mean "alleged" shooter in the headline and "alleged" airport shooter in the first sentence??? Or aren't even you maintaining the presumption of innocence?

I'd think mental illness / PTSD, combat veteran status, and self-reporting to the FBI in Alaska would all weigh in favor of not seeking the death penalty. The fact that law enforcement gave back the gun not so much. We shall see ...

Unknown said...

Why are defendants shackled when they are inside the court room? Seems a bit extreme?