When we last talked about Amy Senser, she had just been convicted of hitting someone with her car and leaving the scene of the accident. She was sentenced to 3 1/2 years for her two convictions of criminal vehicular homicide, but in December, her attorney filed an appeal with the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Now, the assistant Hennepin County attorney has filed his brief supporting the Senser’s conviction and Senser’s attorney has 15 days to file his.
In the initial appeal, Senser’s attorney argued that there was evidence that the wife of a former Minnesota Viking had not received a fair trial. Citing many suspected errors, Senser is trying to prove that her convictions should be thrown out. Anyone who is charged with a crime in Minneapolis is guaranteed that he or she will receive a fair trial. This not only means that the jury must be unbiased, but that the judge also remains impartial. Though the judge does not determine guilt, he or she can influence the trial, preclude or admit certain pieces of evidence, or in some other way affect the outcome. If what Senser’s attorney says is true, Senser may have been convicted because she did not receive a fair trial.
The assistant Hennepin County attorney has argued, however, that the judge did not make any mistakes in the trial. Accusing Senser of trying to negatively influence the jury herself, the county attorney supported the trial court’s decision to exclude evidence that the man who was hit had a considerable amount of cocaine in his system at the time of his death. Though many people may consider this to be not only relevant information, but information that could have affected the outcome of the trial, the county attorney says that the cocaine would not have affected the man’s behavior on the night of the accident.
It remains to be seen what Senser’s attorney will argue in response to the county attorney’s lengthy brief, but he must quickly submit his brief before oral arguments will be scheduled.
Source: Star Tribune, “Prosecutor: Senser proof ample,” Abby Simons, Feb. 11, 2013