Hank Brennan, Famed Defense Attorney, Answers Questions on Scotty McMillan Defendants

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

The murder of Scott McMillan, the three year old savagely beaten and systematically tortured over a three day period by his mother and boyfriend, has drawn attention from media, legal scholars and  commentators.

Hank Brennan, famed attorney and co-counsel in the mobster trial for James "Whitey" Bulger and lead counsel in the appellate process to secure the notorious gangster a second trial based on government corruption is providing legal commentary for Haute-Lifestyle.com.

As the three defendants are set to appear in a Pennsylvania courtroom this month for arraignment, we posed rather basic questions to Mr. Brennan based on the facts that have been released surrounding the culpability of all adults at the scene.

The questions posed to Mr. Brennan, may sound simplistic, as he said "This is one of the most tragic and heart wrenching cases I have seen. As a criminal defense attorney you train yourself to ensure emotion is not part of the legal assessment. It is an almost impossible task to separate emotion from the facts of this case and it strains human nature to expect a jury to look at this case dispassionately."

Janet Walker: Does the possibility exist under the law to have the third person owner/primary renter of the home charged with the same crimes and face the same death penalty or life in prison considering she was present and has not denied being present?"

Hank Brennan: A person cannot be convicted of a crime unless they fall within one of the following categories: The person was actively involved in committing the criminal act; helped assist in the preparation of the act; or were involved in a conspiracy or joint-venture to commit the act.

A conspiracy or joint-venture basically means that the person shared the mental state necessary to commit the act and were willing to assist if necessary, even if they did not actively assist.

An owner or primary renter of a home where a crime occurred, regardless of how heinous, has no criminal liability if they did not help prepare, cover-up or share in the mental state necessary to commit the act.

Equally troublesome is that "good-Samaritan" laws generally do not impose criminal liability for failure to act unless the person created the risk and abandoned the victim who suffered as a result of the persons conduct.  States have varying laws relative to duty to act but essentially the consequences are limited to the civil system not the criminal system.  

The principal is basic, a person should not be punished for a criminal act they had no part of.  It may be incomprehensible that a parent would retreat behind the excuse that they did not want to get involved in the murder of a child but the law does not punish mere presence.  

 JW: Can her remarks of not wanting to get involved don't fly as the violence occurred in her home and thus by association make her a suspect in the abuse and as guilty and could even be grounds to create reasonable doubt in the mothers defense sending her to death row also."

HB: The government could have a viable case against the mother/primary renter on a theory of joint-venture.

The government merely needs to demonstrate presence, which she admits, along with the shared mental intent (intent to kill/malice). The government does not need to prove she committed any act. Rather, that she was willing to assist if necessary.

A compelling argument exists that she was willing to assist. She provided the opportunity, the means (her residence), and an inference exists that she shared the mental state.  No person could watch such brutality and not share the same malice. The jury could infer malice from the circumstances and given her conduct I would expect any jury to extend the inference as far as the law would allow.  To passively watch the vicious murder of a child creates an inference she shared the mental state of malice.

Complete prosecution of all involved, present or not, in the murder of Scott McMillan is the charge of the prosecutor. It is the charge of the media and every agency to bear pressure upon the system so as to ensure not one person, no matter how far removed from the dirty, dingy trailer where the lifeless boy was placed on an deflated mattress and left to die  escape unpunished.

Haute Tease

  • Beltway Insider: Obama Offers ACA Concessions; World Remembers JFK; Typhoon Death Toll Revised; Iran Maintains Nuclear Direction

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Barack Obama was pressured again, even by his own party, to answer for the major malfunction of the Affordable Care Act Marketplace and his failure to honor his commitment and promise to the American people.  

     
  • World News: Emmanuel Macron Faces His Defining Test

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    What is macronism? Subject of interrogation which does not tire to question quidams and political scientists in a world turned upside down and in lack of markers. And if precisely, macronism was the fruit of the absence of vision.

     
  • The Good Dinosaur, from Pixar Disney, Premieres in U.S. Today

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Pixar Animation Studio and Walt Disney Animation Studio release "The Good Dinosaur" today across the United States. Following Pixar's "Inside Out" release earlier in 2015, this marks the first multi-release year for the animation studio.  

  • Designer Parfums Announces Exclusive Fragrance Partnership with Jennifer Lopez

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Prestige beauty company, Designer Parfums, announces a new fragrance partnership with world renowned actress, singer, entertainer and producer, Jennifer Lopez.  Working alongside Dilesh Mehta, Chairman and CEO of Designer Parfums, they will create new brand innovation and strategy to drive global growth.  

  • Olympus Has Fallen Review – An Intense, Solid Action, Rousing Disaster Flim

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Olympus Has Fallen,” the White House disaster flick, from FilmDistrict and Millennium Films, is blasting away the box office competition with its action packed, roller coaster, thrill ride.

     
  • HL Lifestyle: The Cost of Child Care in Every State

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Deciding to have a child is arguably the biggest decision a person makes in her life. With parenthood comes a profound responsibility that ranges from protecting to educating. While countless joys accompany parenting, there are costs too — and they take effect even before birth.  

  • Matt Lauer, Longtime NBC Today Show Host, Fired

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Matt Lauer, the long-time NBC Today show host, has been terminated effective immediately from his position due to sexual misconduct and inappropriate sexual behavior at the workplace according to a statement released from the network.

     
  • Tyler Hilton Secues London's Blue Soap To Arrange Interviews and Airplay for US Tour

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    We're delighted to be working with musician and One Tree Hill actor Tyler Hilton to secure airplay and arrange interviews ahead of his upcoming 30 city American tour. The focus tracks from the album and advance dates are enclosed! Support is hugely appreciated!

     
  • Celebrity Interview: Leslie Zemeckis Talks Bound by Flesh, Freaks and Salacious Tidbits

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Director Leslie Zemeckis has struck a vein with "Bound by Flesh" a follow up to "Behind the Burly Q," as she maintains the spotlight on early 20th century recreational pastimes, highlighting and creating an untold history of the turn of the century leisure entertainment and its stars.

     
  • Boundaries Review - Strong Character Driven Performances Create Indie Gold

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Boundaries from Sony Picture Classics, brings to the screen a story of redemption, of healing, of forgiveness and closure as a daughter and her pot-smoking, dealing father, her son and his collection of unique and slightly odd friends.

     
  • Girl, 5, Elderly Man Dead in Devastating Pliger Twin Twisters

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The sun rose on day two after catastrophic twin tornadoes tore through the town of Pilger Nebraska, killing two and critically injuring 19 others, and decimating the small rural town in northwest portion of the state.

     
  • The Cost Of A Perfect Valentine’s Celebration Around The World; Zurich, NYC, L.A. Most Expensive; Prague, Madrid, Belfast Most Affordable

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Online florist BLOOMY DAYS conducted the Valentine's Day Price Index 2017 to better understand the varying global costs of celebrating romance and found traditional haute hotspots, Zurich and NYC are on most expensive and exotic locations Madrid, Prague more moderate.

     
  • Rich-Rey Productions LLC Presents Vickilyn Reynolds In Hattie McDaniel…What I Need You To Know!

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Rich-Rey Productions LLC has announced the Bay Area Premiere of HATTIE MCDANIEL…WHAT I NEED YOU TO KNOW! starring Vickilyn Reynolds as Hattie McDaniel, the trailblazing Gone with the Wind Academy Award-winner will open for an exclusive limited engagement.

     
  • The Midway Gallery Presents: She Bends: Women in Neon April 5, 2018 - June 2, 2018

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Midway Gallery is pleased to present She Bends: Women in Neon, the largest, most inclusive all-female neon exhibition ever assembled. Curated by Bay Area neon artist Meryl Pataky She Bends features 32 artists who challenge convention.

     
  • 21 AND OVER Review - Boys Gone Wild College Style

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    21 AND OVER, from Mandeville Films, Virgin Produced and Relativity Media, brings to the screen a boys gone wild college style sophomoric romp from Directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore.

 

Login Form