After the recent revelations regarding the DUI convictions in Warren County over the past 5 to 6 years by our new DA, Rob Greene, the citizens of this county should be most alarmed. The following questions immediately come to mind. First of all, how could this travesty have gone on so long without being discovered by one of the many defense attorneys representing any of the hapless folks ensnared by our ever-so-zealous- law enforcement officers? It appears no defense attorney was ever able to decipher how the BAC (blood alcohol content) of their clients was determined including the current DA, Rob Greene, who also handled DUI defense cases prior to be elected to the DA position.
One also has to question how our several judges and several district magistrates who were involved in processing these DUI cases were also blissfully ignorant of the new BAC testing while routinely “socking it to the poor souls” they were sentencing.
I am also amused at how our county officials are now looking at remediating the “injustice” done to more than a few innocent folks railroaded by our justice system in the name of DUI law enforcement. How is our county intending to properly compensate someone who has had his or her name plastered in the Warren Times Observer two or three times after his or hear initial arrest and final conviction and sentencing? The conviction also results in thousands of dollars in fines and court mandated fees, not to mention the considerable amount the individual spent for his fruitless defense on his wrongful arrest. Let’s also remember these people lost their operators’ licenses, perhaps their jobs and were notified their current auto policy would canceled and a new “high risk” auto policy costing 4 to 5 times more with less coverage would be made available. This writer would assume that a DUI arrest and conviction costs a person over $10,000 plus the humiliation and great stress that goes along with this travesty.
Before the recent fall election for the District Attorney’s office, I personally interviewed all three candidates regarding their positions and attitudes regarding my observations on PSP behavior in the county. All three courteously listened and then replied they had no real hard, fast answers to my questions. All three also acknowledged the District Magistrates would NEARLY ALWAYS find for the arresting officer over the arrested! If any of the readers of this article ever get chosen for jury duty to decide guilt or innocence of someone, please keep in mind “reasonable doubt” and don’t rely on the commonwealth’s evidence or the arresting officer’s truthfulness. There is no doubt in my mind that you will necessarily get justice in this county.
I’ve had the privilege to observer how our justice system works for over 40 years. It may not be broken, but is is definitely in need of some judicious change.