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Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell created a controversy recently when he sent a letter to district court judges, berating them for allowing defense attorneys to use a controversial tactic that results in a large number of acquittals in DUI cases.
Many of the judges felt threatened and pointed out that they're powerless in any case to change the procedures in question because they're established by Kentucky's Supreme Court.
The judges are correct in saying they have to live by the Supreme Court's parameters. And, understandably, defense attorneys will never surrender quietly when threatened with any restriction on their arsenal of tactics.
But even though O'Connell may have delivered it somewhat clumsily, his message needs to be heard. Because the last thing our Commonwealth needs to be known for is lenient treatment of drunk drivers.
If the Kentucky Supreme Court can eliminate this loophole by requiring challenges to the admissibility of evidence BEFORE any trial begins, then they should. While those accused of drunk driving deserve every right to defend themselves in court, they should NOT have the opportunity to "game" the system to achieve results that allow the guilty to go free.
Justice must apply to victims as well as the accused, and I hope our Supreme Court will address this concern and act appropriately if it comes before them.