Monday, April 11, 2005

What's Wrong WIth Our Courts?!

Regular readers know my concern is about drugs that harm our families. I just don't want there to be any more victims of the heartbreak drugs can cause.

Of course, there are victims of other crimes, and my heart goes out to them, too. That's why this story, from the San Jose Mercury News, so infuriated me:

Federal court reverses 1995 murder conviction

Mercury News
The appeals court ruling stems from a fatal May 1994 confrontation in the driveway of Pamela Musladin's mother's home in South San Jose. At the time, Pamela Musladin had been separated for months from her husband and had been living there with the Musladins' 3-year-old son and Studer, a 31-year-old plumber and her fiance.

A federal appeals court on Friday overturned a 10-year-old San Jose murder conviction, finding the defendant did not receive a fair trial because the victim's family was allowed to sit each day in the front row of the courtroom wearing buttons bearing photographs of the victim.

In a 2-1 decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Mathew Musladin is entitled to a new trial for the 1994 killing of his estranged wife's boyfriend outside a Blossom Valley home. Musladin, 45, is currently serving a life prison term for the first-degree murder of Thomas Allen Studer and the attempted murder of his now ex-wife, Pamela.

The state has the option of asking an 11-judge 9th Circuit panel to reconsider the decision, or send the case back to San Jose for a new trial. Santa Clara County prosecutors vowed to retry Musladin, 45, who has maintained that he was acting in self-defense and that Studer's death was an accident.

Musladin will remain in prison while the case proceeds. ...

Mathew Musladin arrived at the home to pick up his 3-year-old son for a weekend visitation when an argument broke out in front of the house. Court records show that Musladin fired shots at Pamela and Studer, hitting Studer in the shoulder and then in the head with a bullet that ricocheted off the pavement. [Note: O'Reilly said Studer was shot from behind.]

Musladin admitted shooting Studer, but claimed that he believed Studer had a gun and that another man at the house had a machete. He testified that he feared for his life when he fired the shots.

In the appeals court ruling, 9th Circuit Judges Stephen Reinhardt and Martha Berzon found that allowing the family to wear the buttons in front of the jury was particularly inflammatory because of Musladin's argument that he was acting in self-defense. The trial judge had rejected Musladin's lawyer's request for the family to cease wearing the buttons. ...

The Ninth Circuit has proved, once again, that it is capable of making the most bizarre decisions imaginable. My heart goes out to the Studer family. They should not have to live through the pain of this trial again.


Anonymous said...

I happen to know the person who shot Mr. Studer as well as his family. I have to let you know that I think murder is absolute and final and punishment can never equal another persons life ever!I would like to know why Mr. Studers methamphetimine levels in his blood samples at the time of autopsy are never discussed as well as the fact that methamphetimines have continued to be sold out of the address of the murder scene. The estranged wife of Mathew Musladin is in fact a meth freak or should I say an addict. No one is mentioning both sides of the story and that pisses me off. Thomas Studer was a meth addict as well. Mathew Musladin is not addicted to meth nor has he ever been. He has an extensive education and he knows that he took a life but he also states it was for fear of his own life that he shot the gun towards the garage. He is aware of the pain this whole situation has caused to both the family of Thomas Studer as well as his three year old son. Even if his conviction is not overturned we should also realize that there was a dirty cop involved in this whole mess. Thomas Studer and Mathew Musladin were both played by Pamela Musladin who is an evil girl along with her brother. Two men truly lost their lives that late afternoon early evening. Two men because Pamela wanted them to come face to face and fight over her.

Anonymous said...

If you want both sides of the story told why don't you mention the fact that the reason Mathew and Pamela were divorced was because of his physical abuse of Pamela.He was a possesive,jealous and abusive maniac who did not want anyone to be with Pamela. The only thing he may have been afraid of was that he might have to stand up to a man instead of a woman. Mathew Musladin is exactly where he should be, toobad he didn't get the death penalty.