Lawyer Explains Next Steps In Amy Bishop Case
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Amy Bishop will still have a trial, despite the fact the accused UAHuntsville shooter pleaded guilty in the case on Tuesday.
Bishop’s trial is scheduled for Monday, September 11 at the Madison County Courthouse.
Under Alabama law, a defendant must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable shadow of a doubt. The state must still prove its case, and a jury will decide a verdict.
Ron Smith, a Huntsville lawyer, spoke about the Bishop case Tuesday on WHNT News 19 at 5:00. Smith is not involved with the Bishop case, but recently defended Kishon Green, a man who pleaded guilty to capital murder and went through a one-day trial.
“Alabama law requires that anybody who is convicted or pleads guilty to capital murder must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” Smith said. “Our Alabama laws require that they have a trial, and that the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mrs. Bishop did commit the act of capital murder.”
Smith also said these types of trials are much different.
“It’s very atypical. One, you’ll get up there and the judge will tell the jury that this lady has already pled guilty to these charges,” said Smith. “I’ve seen cases like this before where the attorney literally talked the jury and said ‘I’m asking that you will find her guilty of capital murder. So that’s one difference. The other difference is there’s not a lot of objections, there’s not a lot of fighting back and forth. There’s a lot of stipulation.. the purpose of this is to make sure she’s not pleading guilty to capital murder just to avoid the death penalty and get life without parole.”
“People can plead guilty to things they don’t do sometimes,” Smith added. “A good incentive to do that would be to avoid the death penalty. So they’ve got to make sure that she’s pleading guilty because she is, in fact, guilty, and that the evidence supports that.”