Updating yesterday's post concerning the case of Illinois attorney Gary Peel, his motion for a new trial is available here.
In the most relevant aspect of the motion, Peel argues that the district court's exclusion of certain evidence pertaining to his ex-wife prevented him from presenting a complete defense. In particular, Peel argues that the district court improperly denied the admission of evidence regarding Peel's claims against his ex-wife relating to improper use of marital funds. This evidence, he explains, would have allowed the jury to consider the full extent of the consideration he was giving up in negotiations with his ex-wife. Without the evidence, the jury was not allowed to properly weigh whether Peel had fraudulently used the pictures to gain an advantage in the bankruptcy, as the government charged. In fact, according to the motion, Peel's conduct with respect to the photos was "not done for the purpose of obtaining an advantage in the bankruptcy," but rather "was a reaction to activities on the part of his ex-wife in making private matters in the bankruptcy public."
To this observer, Peel's argument seems strained and will not win a new trial. The government has not yet filed its opposition. Stay tuned for further updates.