Proving he’s in the right line of work, a Chicago defense attorney complained about death threats posted on social media against the four suspects accused of torturing a mentally disabled man while they streamed it on Facebook Live.
“There was a posting that invited a good Samaritan to publicly execute these defendants by law or, if not, by mob and also said anybody that supports them should be executed as well,” attorney Neil Toppel said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “I take that very seriously.”
— Chicago Sun-Times (@Suntimes) January 27, 2017
Citing “safety and security concerns,” Judge Peggy Chiampas ruled against allowing sketch artists to draw the faces of the four defendants or their attorneys at a hearing Friday, which followed her banning cameras in the courtroom the day before.
All of which suggests the defendants have likely altered their appearances.
But a public defender went even further than Toppel, expressing empathy for the four suspects charged with the heinous crime.
“It is sad and unfortunate that many have commented on these young men and women without knowing all the facts,” Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli said.
“Sensationalized, pervasive media coverage threatens to poison the jury pool for my clients,” she added. “They’ve already been denounced in the media before anything has been proven, and now additional attention is being given, trying them in public before they have their day in court.”
The media didn’t stream the crime live on Facebook.
If only the victims of crimes could evoke such concern.
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