Prosecutors in Mike Hubbard's ethics trial are asking to exclude any evidence or argument of prosecutorial misconduct from the trial scheduled to begin in May.
"Throughout pretrial proceedings, the defense alleged prosecutorial misconduct, selective prosecution, and grand jury abuse, and it has repeatedly labeled this prosecution a 'political witch hunt,'” the filing, issued April 13, reads. "This Court has now issued pretrial orders rejecting all of these claims, which means they cannot be further litigated at trial."
The motion asks Judge Jacob A. Walker to exclude any questions or answers directly or indirectly referencing the defense's motions to dismiss because of prosecutorial misconduct by lead prosecutor Matt Hart. Walker denied the defense's motion on March 29.
Hubbard's attorneys accused Hart of leaking information and a sealed document to Bill Britt of the Alabama Political Reporter. Hart admitted to accidentally sending a sealed document to Britt and apologized. Walker issued a gag order in January after the leak.
The prosecution argued the prosecutorial misconduct has no bearing on Hubbard's guilt or innocence because it is independent of the charges against him.
“The United States Supreme Court has also clearly ruled that claims regarding the motivation for prosecution, or of selective prosecution, are not defenses on the merits of the criminal charge itself, and therefore are not appropriate to bring before the jury,” the filing reads.
The prosecution also said there was "no compelling need" to call prosecutors on the case or any of the witnesses to the alleged prosecutorial misconduct as witnesses at trial.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
"This Court has now denied all of Hubbard’s motions based on the evidence presented by these witnesses. None of these witnesses offered any testimony that is relevant to the issue of Hubbard’s guilt or innocence. Hubbard would only call these individuals as witnesses at trial to improperly inject collateral matters into the proceedings,” the filing reads.
Hubbard was indicted on 23 counts of felony ethics violations in October 2014. His next court date is scheduled for Wednesday, April 20.
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman