Critical Flaw in Frank Murphy Hall of Justice

Robert Jay • 12 November 2017

A building defect in the witness rooms has been discovered by local businessman Jeff Rutledge at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, Third Judicial Circuit . The flaw, first reported during Steve Neavling's program on 910 AM, allows court proceedings to be heard within the witness rooms. This inadequate soundproofing is in direct violation of Federal Rules of Evidence, Article VI, Rule 615

At a party’s request, the court must order witnesses excluded so that they cannot hear other witnesses’ testimony.

The rule is in place to prevent any collaboration between witnesses in fabricating testimony during court proceedings. Failing to adhere to this will automatically result in a mistrial. In the case of Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, witnesses would be able to hear a trial while awaiting their turn to provide testimony. Given that this violation is due to a building flaw, any trial where witnesses were supposed to be excluded would be deemed a mistrial.

Since first reporting this on Neavling's program, Rutledge has gathered three separate videos interviewing local law enforcement on the building flaw. Each officer confirms the defect, with the one in the second video stating "It's been like that for years".

Even more damning are Rutledge's observations on court proceedings with this clearly known defect in mind:

What's interesting is that the prosecution's witnesses aren't told to wait out in the hallway but are told to wait in the witness rooms. These witness rooms are attached directly to the courtroom. It is those witness rooms that are audible to the court proceeding. So police officers, detectives, and general prosecution witnesses in general can listen to what's going on in court.

This would grant the prosecution a clear advantage. Wayne County Executive Warren Evans has held meetings to gauge the public's opinion on a criminal justice complex, which could be built near the court. County officials are expected to reach a decision on the complex by December 1st. However, the witness room defect casts significant doubt on the integrity of court proceedings in Frank Murphy Hall, which could receive considerable taxpayer funding as part of this deal should the complex be built on Gratiot. Funding that would cover up the inadequate soundproofing issue without addressing the validity of the cases.

Politics Detroit frank murphy hall of justice mistrial wayne county building defect criminal justice