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Scottie Mom

(5,812 posts)
Fri Nov 19, 2021, 03:10 PM Nov 2021

Is anyone else old enough to remember George Gwaltney -- (This is about Rittenhouse.)

Gwaltney was a CHP officer in the Barstow, CA, area. His state defense counsel, George Porter got Gwaltney off on murder charges in the State case. Gwaltney was convicted on violation of civil rights charges in the federal case and died in federal prison.

https://cdnc.ucr.edu/?a=d&d=DS19840511.2.20&e=-------en--20--1--txt-txIN--------1

I am wondering if there is someway to charge and convict Rittenhouse in the same way.

12 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Is anyone else old enough to remember George Gwaltney -- (This is about Rittenhouse.) (Original Post) Scottie Mom Nov 2021 OP
I haven't read anything about that case Yarnie Nov 2021 #1
Violation of civil rights was the charge that convicted Gwaltney Scottie Mom Nov 2021 #3
If any murder Yarnie Nov 2021 #5
Murder and violation of civil rights are not the same charge. Scottie Mom Nov 2021 #6
No, they're not the same Yarnie Nov 2021 #7
I agree that most likely Rittenhouse will walk. Scottie Mom Nov 2021 #8
This may interest you: Scottie Mom Nov 2021 #9
That is very interesting Yarnie Nov 2021 #10
He died in 2008 and he was a very interesting person. Scottie Mom Nov 2021 #11
This isn't a civil rights case. The victims were all white. Ocelot II Nov 2021 #2
Civil rights are not only about race issues. Scottie Mom Nov 2021 #4
That's true, but according to the only federal criminal civil rights statute Ocelot II Nov 2021 #12
 

Yarnie

(90 posts)
1. I haven't read anything about that case
Fri Nov 19, 2021, 03:21 PM
Nov 2021

But, KR isn't a cop, for one thing, so that may be the big difference.

If the DOJ could bring charges in any murder case after an acquittal, then the prohibition on double jeopardy would be meaningless.

Scottie Mom

(5,812 posts)
3. Violation of civil rights was the charge that convicted Gwaltney
Fri Nov 19, 2021, 03:22 PM
Nov 2021

IMO, you do not have to be a cop to violate someone's civil rights.

 

Yarnie

(90 posts)
5. If any murder
Fri Nov 19, 2021, 03:27 PM
Nov 2021

was considered to be a violation of civil rights, then when would double jeopardy apply?

 

Yarnie

(90 posts)
7. No, they're not the same
Fri Nov 19, 2021, 03:40 PM
Nov 2021

I see what you're saying now. I just don't think there will be a DOJ prosecution.

Scottie Mom

(5,812 posts)
8. I agree that most likely Rittenhouse will walk.
Fri Nov 19, 2021, 03:46 PM
Nov 2021

I would hate to be him, however. IMO, he is going to be looking over his shoulder for the rest of his life.

Scottie Mom

(5,812 posts)
9. This may interest you:
Fri Nov 19, 2021, 03:58 PM
Nov 2021

The "Porter" referenced in this was an old friend of mine, a major criminal defense attorney in San Bernardino, and he defended Gwaltney, the CHP officer charged twice with the murder or Robin Bishop. Porter hung the state jury twice and and then got a dismissal when the state tried a third time to try Gwaltney. I sat in on -- only as an observer -- the 2nd state trial that Porter did. However, the federal court convicted Gwaltney of the violating the civil rights of Bishop:

In each of two trials, Porter achieved hung juries. The prosecution sought to try the defendant a third time, but Porter was then successful in his motion to dismiss the case. Under the legal principle of double jeopardy, Gwaltney could never be tried again for this murder. The U.S. Attorney then filed a federal criminal civil rights case against the former CHP officer that went to trial Federal District Court in Los Angeles. This trial concluded with a guilty verdict after a relatively short deliberation. Porter did not represent the defendant in the federal matter. Porter was also a published author and had collaborated early in his career on legal topics with the late Erle Stanley Gardner, creator of the fictional defense attorney Perry Mason. The State Bar of California and local bar associations were also among the organizations in which Porter served and supported. He was elected to the State Bar Board of Governors, participated on numerous professional committees, and served as the president of Western San Bernardino Bar Association.


https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/ivdailybulletin/name/george-porter-obituary?id=23962212

George Porter on a few days of the Gwaltney trial had seats reserved in the courtroom. One a few of those days, I occupied a seat and watched him try that case. Like Rittenhouse, I found Gwaltney to be guilty as hell. However, it is not the place of a defense attorney to judge guilt or innocence. That is the purview of a jury.



 

Yarnie

(90 posts)
10. That is very interesting
Fri Nov 19, 2021, 04:59 PM
Nov 2021

I was in the courtroom a couple of years ago, for a much different case. (It was animal abuse/hoarding.) Found it fascinating. Your friend must be a very interesting person to talk to.

Scottie Mom

(5,812 posts)
11. He died in 2008 and he was a very interesting person.
Fri Nov 19, 2021, 05:01 PM
Nov 2021

However, watching him in a courtroom was far more fascinating. He was one of the best trial attorneys I have ever seen.

Learned a lot from him.

Ocelot II

(115,609 posts)
12. That's true, but according to the only federal criminal civil rights statute
Fri Nov 19, 2021, 07:40 PM
Nov 2021

that would apply, 18 USC 249, the hate crimes statute (the others all relate to government actors such as police), it is unlawful "to willfully cause bodily injury or attempt to do so with fire, firearm, or other dangerous weapon when 1) the crime was committed because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin of any person, or 2) the crime was committed because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person and the crime affected interstate or foreign commerce or occurred within federal special maritime and territorial jurisdiction."

It might be a stretch to try to prosecute him under this statute since his victims were all white, even though the underlying protest related to the shooting of a black man by the police.


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