Kendall Coffey appeared on the Steve Malzberg for his regular “Spinning the Law” segment on September 27. Kendall Coffey and Steve Malzberg discussed a recent court ruling in New Jersey on same sex marriage. They also talked about two boys fighting to play volley ball on the girls team, appealing sentences deemed to low, and whether the Zimmermans deserve some slack.
Same sex marriage in New Jersey:
Quotes from Kendall Coffey below:
On the ruling in New Jersey that banning gay marriage is unconstitutional:
“That is the momentum that is in our midst, and it’s going to continue. The U.S. Supreme Court didn’t construe the NJ state constitution, that’s what the trial court is doing in the case that was just described. It said that in the state constitution, not the U.S. constitution, there is an equal protection violation. Everyone is looking at the glaring lights saying that the direction seems to be toward allowing gay marriage in rest to what states might have in their state laws. Honestly, it’s not surprising. I don’t know what’s going to happen when this is reviewed by the appeals courts in NJ but this is by far from the last of decisions like this that we’re going to see.”
When asked if other states will have similar cases in the near future:
“Yeah I think the vast majority of courts that reach this issue are going to rule in favor of allowing gay marriage. It’s the general sense of momentum. Based on all court rulings across the land, that’s the way it’s going.”
NY girls volleyball team at a HS in Chappaqua. 2 Boys playing on the team could be restricted based on a new rule. Asked if it is fair to let the boys play on the girls team:
“They’ve got to compete, and if there is no boys team… it’s pretty important for kids to have the opportunity if they play a particular sport… it has a lot of value and you have to be a little sympathetic with these two young boys who have been shut out of their sport… What I would focus on is access. This isn’t like they’ve got an opportunity to play on an all male team. They are absolutely doors closed, doors locked frozen out, so I don’t think that these young guys want to be joked about or talked about which I assume is probably happening since it’s a high school. I think it’s their only option and they have a pretty good argument.”
Marissa Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting through a wall at her abusive husband. An appeals court just ordered a new trial for her.
“Well it really looked like an appalling result, and it really raised questions about whether the case was being overcharged, but what the appellate court said which makes all the sense in the world, was that this woman didn’t get a fair trial. The jury was told basically that she the defendant had to prove her self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. Now we know that’s backwards because in Florida all she had to do was raise a reasonable doubt. So, it kind of reversed it and we know when you’ve got literally a ‘he said she said’, it’s really important when you tell the jury she’s the one whose got to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, well that wasn’t so, and believe me that made the defense much much tougher and very well might have accounted for the conviction. So I’m glad there’s a new day and a new chance to get this sorted out.”
Prosecutors in Montana are appealing the sentencing of a man who raped a 14 year old girl. When asked if the process is legal:
“Well, I’m going to come down on the side of the prosecutors here. If somebody is acquitted, found not guilty, then that’s it, the prosecution can’t appeal that, it’s double jeopardy. One of the arguments if they ever try to extradite Amanda Knox is going to be that she was acquitted and she shouldn’t subjected to trial anywhere in the world as per U.S. law. But here, it’s the sentencing, and the prosecutors believe that a sentence is too light, too lenient, legally they can and frankly and should appeal. When I was in the federal government we did appeal sentences that we thought were violating the law and were much too low. Thirty days if the minimum is two years, the prosecutors are well within their rights on this one Steve.”
George Zimmerman’s wife appeared on the Today show to discuss her recent domestic squabble and the effects from the now famous trial. When asked if she is out of line:
“Well she didn’t see a gun. But what she and her husband have experienced is an amount of stress and ordeal and under the microscope that none of us can imagine and you know its hard not to be a little sympathetic to both of them not in the sense of the charges in relation to the Trayvon martin trial, but think of anybody you know that’s gone through as excruciating as what they’ve gone through in the last 6 months. Short of illness, or you know some kind of fatality, it’s beyond comprehension. So of course they’re having some bad moments and the press is there understandably to put every second of it under a microscope… See it as an emotional roller coaster and don’t impose the highest possible standards. These are everyday people who got swept into the eye of the storm. And the families I’ve dealt with… you get very nice ordinary people that are surrounded by the media unrelentingly for months, of course they’re going to melt down.”