A fair trial? Something we've been promised by our government.
However, I am deeply concerned about a trial that took place in 1983 — the state of Montana v. Beach.
Two of the jury members were sisters. I believe it is illegal for family members to serve together. The evidence room was broken into by tribal officer, S. GrayHawk. Rumors continue today that Officer Gray Hawk's daughter, Maude, had been involved with Kim Nees's murder. The prosecutor was told of the break-in but ignored that information. He offered evidence to the jury that could not be produced. His mention of said evidence was made during opening and closing arguments. And a huge red flag of this trial, the sentence.
Judgment was entered on May 11, 1984. He was sentenced to a term of 100 years without possibility of parole. However, at the time Ms. Nees was murdered, Mr. Beach was 17 years old. Section 46-18-222, MCA, in 1983 read:
“Exceptions to mandatory minimum sentences and restrictions on deferred imposition and suspended execution of sentence.
“All mandatory minimum sentences prescribed by the laws of this state and the restrictions on deferred imposition and suspended execution of sentence prescribed by 46-18-201(4) through (6), 46-18-221(3), 46-18-224, and 46-18-502(3) do not apply if: (1) the defendant was less than 18 years of age at the time of the commission of the offense for which the defendant is to be sentenced.”
So, how is it possible that Mr. Beach received a fair trial?