Three days ago, the Oakland Tribune examined Mehserle's chances for today's hearing, interviewing Robert Weisberg, director of Stanford University's criminal justice center.
Whether former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle is released on bail Friday will largely depend on whether the judge who heard the jury trial believes an appeal of the involuntary manslaughter conviction will be successful... Though Perry must consider two other factors -- flight risk and danger to society -- in deciding if bail is warranted, it will be the judge's view of the future appeal that will be the deciding factor, legal experts said. And that decision, (an expert) said, will probably go against Mehserle.
"I'd be very surprised if bail was granted," said Robert Weisberg, professor of law at Stanford Law School and director of the university's criminal justice center. "At this point, the phrase 'don't press your luck' comes to mind..."
Having a defendant released on bail after a conviction is not a right as it is while a defendant faces trial, Weisberg said. As a result, he said, it becomes harder to argue that bail should be granted.
"It's hard for him to say now that it is a right to get out, it is more of a privilege," Weisberg said.
In addition, he said, the judge will probably consider the outrage a release would cause and consider Mehserle's safety. But Weisberg said the biggest factor will be Mehserle's chance for winning appeal.
"The biggest issue, as the prosecutor says, is that he does not have that great a case on appeal," Weisberg said. Full article
Meanwhile, California Watch's Lance Williams, drawing on 2009 statistics from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, yesterday wrote that "Californians who haven’t killed anybody routinely do more prison time than the sentence Mehserle faces."
People convicted of armed robbery served 54.5 months – more than double Mehserle’s term. People convicted of selling controlled substances served 33 months.
Californians who spent 24 months in state prison – Mehserle's sentence – had been convicted of such crimes as assault and battery, escape, or possession of controlled substances for sale.