Defense attorneys and prosecutors in the Jared Loughner case are blaming each other for the revelation of 23 defense subpoenas and a possible defense strategy.
The tit-for-tat started when prosecutors filed a motion Aug. 11, arguing defense attorneys had violated the court's rules for issuing subpoenas. The key: They also attached the subpoenas in question to the filing, meaning thewpublic could see them.
The defense fired back a week later: "Their actions have spurred speculation on a national level about the defense’s trial strategy and caused unwanted media attention to be cast on distant family members. See Marc Lacey, Loughner’s Lawyers Seem to Search His Family Tree for Mental Illness, The New York Times, Aug. 16, 2011, at A13."
(I have a bone to pick on that citation, since the defense cited a New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/17/us/17loughner.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=family%20tree%20Loughner&st=cse" target="_self">story that actually followed http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crime/article_27befb20-32f3-50c2-9b96-8368a07ca039.html" target="_blank">a story I wrote three days before! How about some credit for the little guy?!)
They go on to essentially acknowledge what I reported -- that they were collecting family information on Loughner as possible mitigating information for a future sentencing. The prosecution's interpretation of the rule on subpoenas, they say "effectively imposes on the defendant a pretrial requirement of providing potential penalty phase evidence to the government in advance of a finding of guilt, in violation of the Fifth Amendment."
Assistant U.S,. Attorney Wallace Kleindienst shot back at defense attorney Reuben Camper Kahn in a Wednesday filing. Kleindienst reveals he spoke with Cahn about the subpoenas in question, and Cahn didn't say those supbpoenas had been approved by the court.
"He did not ask counsel to keep those subpoenas confidential to avoid 'unwanted media attention to be cast on distant family members.' The defense can only blame itself for causing those subpoenas to be made public," Kleindienst wrote.
The two sides will have a chance to argue the issues during a hearing at 2 p.m. today in San Diego that prosecutors will attend via a video link in Tucson's federal court.