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Keller @ Large: Entwistle Appeal Is Fair… But Ridiculous

By Jon Keller, WBZ-TV Political Editor

BOSTON (CBS) – In our legal system, we bend over backwards to give the accused all the rights and guarantees of fairness we can, and that’s as it should be. Would you want to be a defendant in a system that did not?

Me neither.

So I do not challenge the right of the lawyer for Neil Entwistle, serving life in prison for the 2006 murder of his wife and baby daughter in their Hopkinton home, to petition for a new trial for his client. He absolutely has the right to do that, just as I have the absolute right to voice my opinion that Entwistle’s appeal is one of the most egregious wastes of taxpayer money and insults to the integrity of the legal system I have ever seen.

Entwistle’s lawyer says the evidence in the case was illegally seized by police because they had no search warrant when, responding to frantic pleas from relatives members that they check on the family, they entered the home where they found the wife and daughter shot to death. If I have to explain to you why this claim is aggressively preposterous, you too may have a future as an overzealous defense lawyer.

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And the lawyer also claims the jury that quickly found Entwistle guilty was biased by pre-trial publicity. Of course, no way could they have found him guilty based on the evidence presented at trial, which included:

* Entwistle’s despair over running up huge amounts of debt;

* His complaints about his marital sex life;

* His online research into how to kill someone days before the murders;

* His DNA all over the handle of the murder weapon;

* And his purchase, hours after he killed his family, of a one-way ticket home to England.

Perhaps Entwistle’s lawyer truly believes these appeals have merit, and they only look like billable-hour-producing nonsense.

I agree that we need a justice system that goes out of its way to be fair to defendants, even when that means costly protections for the likes of Whitey Bulger and Neil Entwistle. But in this latest spasm of denial from the Entwistle camp, I don’t see a shred of justice for the taxpayers, and the still-grieving family and friends of his innocent victims.

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