Letter: Article errors

By Gus Bode

Dear Editor:

I read with great interest the article “Krajcir faces preliminary judge today.” There are so many errors in this story, it is apparent that the person you have covering this important story has little or no understanding of how the legal system works.

The author states:”Krajcir is charged with four counts of murder, one of which is a felony charge.” All murders are felonies. There is no such thing as misdemeanor murder. What she meant to say was that one of the counts was Felony Murder. Felony Murder is charged when a person is murdered during the commission of a violent felony. Examples would include armed robbery and various forms of sexual assault, to name a few.

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“The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to inform the judge and the court of evidence that has been brought up against Krajcir.” Again this is wrong, the purpose of a preliminary hearing is for the judge to make a determination based on evidence presented if it is more likely than not that the defendant committed the offense. This is a much lower burden than a regular trial which is guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in criminal cases.

“Waving the preliminary hearing would mean that Krajcir accepts the facts that exist, Echols said.” If the officer really said this he is wrong, but the writer of the story did not know enough to question him about the statement. Waiving a preliminary hearing is not an admission of guilt, it is a realization that the judge would more likely than not find that the defendant had committed the offenses he had been charged with.

I have never understood that particular strategy of waiving a preliminary hearing as it forces the state to show some of its evidence early and one may gain insight as to how the State will proceed. But, each to his own.

It would be nice when covering an important story if the DE sent reporters with a background in the area they are covering.

Hugh Richard Williams

2002 SIU School of Law alumnus

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