Juvey video bill falls
The Daily Progress reports this morning that the General Assembly bill supported by the father of one of the teens imprisoned last year during the Albemarle school bomb scare was defeated yesterday. The bill, HB 1693, introduced by Arlington Democrat Al Eisenberg into the House Courts of Justice Committee, would have given all parents what this teen's parents received in Albemarle (minus the 60 days behind bars, of course): a copy of the videotaped interrogation of their juvenile child.
"We're living proof that it really made a difference," says the boy's father, a day before the measure was defeated. The father said he believed the video shot by Albemarle police was key in convincing an Albemarle jury last summer that his son had no knowledge of any conspiracy.
"They kept trying to lead him, kept trying to get him to admit something, to say what the other child said was real when he knew it wasn't real," says the father.
Although the measure fell, the idea of video trumping transcript won some respect. As reported by the Progress, subcommittee chair Delegate H. Morgan Griffith, a Salem Republican, recalled the scene in the 1992 film My Cousin Vinny when the Ralph Macchio character allegedly "confesses" merely by repeating the bogus charge against him: "I shot the clerk?!"
The boy and his father are not being publicly identified by the Hook due to the son's age, 13, at the time the charges were levied.