Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ballot-Forging Defendants Ordered To Provide Handwriting Samples

St. Joseph Superior Court Judge John Marnocha has ordered the four defendants charged with forging signatures on the 2008 Democratic presidential nominating petitions of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to provide handwriting samples. From the South Bend Tribune:
The motion, filed by special prosecutor Stanley Levco, requires that Morgan and co-defendants Pam Brunette, Bev Shelton, and Dustin Blythe provide the samples "in a form and manner as directed by the state ... upon (its) reasonable demand."
It also requires that each of the four defendants provide one to three separate, one-page handwriting samples not prepared for litigation purposes. Examples include a diary page, a personal journal or notebook page, correspondence, and/or a "to-do" or shopping list.
According to the motion, the samples, which "may provide information critical to the (state's) preparation and presentation of the case at trial," have been requested by forensic document examiners at the Indiana State Police Laboratory in Indianapolis.
Citing earlier cases, the motion notes that compelling a defendant to provide a handwriting sample does not qualify as self-incrimination, as spelled out in the 5th Amendment.
None of the four defense attorneys in the case objected to the motion.
The South Bend Tribune also reports that the Democratic special prosecutor from Vanderburgh County, Stanley Levco, has appointed a deputy special prosecutor from LaPorte County, Christopher Fronk. Fronk works for LaPorte Co. Prosecutor Bob "Z" Szilagyi, who is also a Democrat. Democrats had insisted that a Democrat be included on the Charlie White special prosecution team when he was charged with vote fraud and the Republican county prosecutor in Hamilton County had turned the case over to a special prosecution team. Democrat Dan Sigler was appointed to that special prosecution team, who hired his son, a Whitley Co. deputy prosecutor, as a member of his special prosecution team.

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