Alec Baldwin's manslaughter trial begins

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/07/10/alec-baldwins-manslaughter-trial-begins.html

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so the state is going to trail because Baldwin talked about it? Wonder if his defense can mention this.

So to be clear about what it was that he said that got him here, it’s his insistence that he never pulled the trigger. The state consulted with experts familiar with that model gun who said it is physically impossible for that gun to fire unless the trigger is pulled. Which means, from the prosecutors point of view, they think he lied. That always raises a red flag. Had he kept his mouth shut, they probably would have been content with the prosecution of the armorer. But when someone lies, it raises questions for prosecutors. It’s like waving the proverbial red flag at the bull.

He wasn’t charged because he talked. He was charged because when he talked, he said something that prosecutors believe was a lie, and then they started building a case, which will include statements he made, because you have no expectation of confidentiality when you’re giving an interview on a nationally televised news program. The prosecutors aren’t doing anything improper here.

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That interview he gave to try to sway public opinion was the dumbest thing he could have done.

Good luck with the trial. I think he is partially culpable for what happened both in directions actions and as a producer who allowed lax safety protocols.

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Also, some of the details that have come out seem pretty damning… that he was horseplaying with the gun, generally being a dick on set, etc.

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The judge in this case is not allowing the prosecution to make that argument. Only that he was criminally negligent in his handling of the gun.

ETA: More info on this, for anyone interested.

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Someone not familiar with old thumb-cocked single-action revolvers may well have thought they didn’t pull the trigger. Since all the trigger does is release a cocked hammer, it can have a startlingly light pull. The brush of a gloved finger could set one off. A more modern double-action revolver typically uses the trigger to cock the hammer, requiring a lot more pressure on the trigger before anything happens.

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There’s video of him firing the gun. It seems like he understands how it fires.

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There are many cases where people have pulled the trigger when they didn’t consciously mean to. That doesn’t absolve them of responsibility.

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Alec Baldwin violated both the SAG-AFTRA guidelines and the NRA rules for firearms handling.

Holy shit. It’s over.

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These celebrity trial news cycles are getting faster and faster.

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That was quick. I owe danimagoo a coke.

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And just so everyone knows, jeopardy attached the second the jury was sworn in, so Baldwin cannot be charged again. Once the jury is sworn in, the only thing that allows the prosecution to retry the case is a mistrial.

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Some more information. This could potentially impact the conviction of the armorer. Man, the prosecution really fucked this up. Some people should be getting fired over this.

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From Balwin’s motion to dismiss

Morrissey never followed up, and the State elected not to retrieve the rounds, even though Teske had told the State they could retrieve them at any time. The trial of Gutierrez-Reed went forward, and at its conclusion, on March 6, 2024, Teske delivered the collection of rounds ot Poppell, where it was taken into the custody of the State by Poppell and her supervisor, Lt. Brian Brandle. The evidence, however, was not inventoried to the Rust case. Instead, at Brandle’s instruction, Poppell was told to log it as “documented information” rather than physical evidence. And she was told to log ti under a different case file so that it would never be disclosed to the defense. Teske told Poppell that among the rounds that SFSO took into its inventory and logged under a different case number are Starline brass casings, with nickel primers-matching the live bullet that killed Hutchins.

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Yeah, that’s not just negligence on the part of the prosecutor. That’s intentional withholding of evidence. She should be sanctioned. That’s really bad.

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Dismissed with prejudice. Well and truly over.

My question is was Baldwin’s defense team just that good, or the prosecution just that bad? (Or some combination of the two?)

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Um…just read above. The prosecutor was not just bad, but unethical to the point of completely sabotaging the case, and possibly the case against the armorer as well. And I know the judge used the phrase dismissed with prejudice, but that’s weird. This is a criminal trial. With a jury. The prosecution gets one shot at the apple, because of the Constitutional protection against double jeopardy. Jeopardy attaches once the jury is sworn in, so the only way a case can be recharged after that is if the case ends in a mistrial. The language “dismissed with prejudice” is usually seen in civil trials, not criminal ones.

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Is it possible that the judge opted to dismiss with prejudice for the sake of disciplinary action against the prosecutor? Or at least with that in mind?