In Gaston County, the lead prosecutor handling the Michael Mead case has fallen ill. Judge Forrest Bridges refused to delay the proceedings so that Assistant District Attorney Bob Forbes can receive medical treatment, forcing the DA’s office to assign a new prosecutor who is unfamiliar with the case.
This blog might speak more often of injustices done to the defense than the prosecution, but in this case, Judge Bridges’ decision benefits no one. It is in everyone’s best interests for a capital trial to take place only once, with both sides fully prepared and capable of presenting their case to the jury. Here, the jury has not yet been impaneled. Taking a break during jury selection would not force a mistrial, burden prospective jurors, or be a waste of court resources.
What does waste resources is taking another prosecutor away from the cases he was supposed to be working on, delaying the proceedings in an unknown number of other matters. Rushing the trial forward under these circumstances is disrespectful to all involved, and needlessly creates an atmosphere ripe for the kind of error that could cause any conviction to be reversed on appeal.
DeathWatch wishes Mr. Forbes a speedy recovery.