Peterson, Hudson family murders top court cases in 2012

2012 was a busy year for federal state and county court rooms in Chicagoland.

WGNTV legal analyst Terry Sulivan says the Drew Peterson case was huge not only because of the national media attention, but also because the appeal could go all the way to the top.

“It’s certainly a case that will be appealed, maybe even the US Supreme Court, based up pure hearsay,” he said.

Another big ruling this year was the civil trial against former Chicago police officer Anthony Abbate  who was caught on tape beating a bar tender.  The bartender was awarded an $850,000 settlement that the city will have to pay.

The heart wrenching murder trial of Christopher Vaughn who was convicted of killing his wife and three children and the murder trial for William Belfour, the man convicted of killing Jennifer Hudson’s family members also topped the list of big trials in 2012.

Finally, an historic moment for Illinois broadcasters when WGN became the first station in the Chicagoland area to provide live broadcasting of a trial, which took place in the 21st circuit of Kankakee County.

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2 comments

  • facsmiley

    I’ve strongly disagreed with Terry Sullivan’s opinions about this case since he started commenting on it. IMO he’s either biased in Drew’s favor or he has just never taken the time to really educate himself about the facts.

    “Pure hearsay” indeed. The bulk of the evidence in this case was forensic and circumstantial. Admittedly, the final nail in the coffin may well have been the testimony of Stacy Peterson as told by Harry Smith, but then maybe the defense shouldn’t have called him to the stand (as the judge cautioned them).

    The few shreds of hearsay admitted to that trial were introduced after being examined by two trial judges and three appellate justices. Each one was challenged by the defense and whittled down to the bits and pieces which were ultimately deemed to be reliable and admissible under the common law exceptions to the hearsay rule.

    If Sullivan has a beef with the jury’s verdict, he should be challenging the long-established exceptions of forfeiture by wrongdoing, rather than spin some fictional version of what went down in that courtroom.

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