Ham Lake Fire Trial

     I don’t understand the court system.  I guess I don’t understand anything about the trial process either.  And the thing about being innocent until proven guilty even if you were caught red handed and  you know you are guilty?  That I really don’t get.

<%image(20081126-fire on road sm.jpg|200|441|Ham Lake Fire/ Stephen Posniak)%>

Associated Press – November 24, 2008 10:14 PM ET

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) – The man accused of sparking a wildfire that burned across 118 square miles along the Gunflint Trail was questioned by authorities on the day the fire started. 

In U.S. District Court in Duluth on Monday, an attorney for Stephen George Posniak asked a judge to exclude statements that Posniak made to law enforcement officers. Attorney Mark Larsen says Posniak wasn’t read his rights was not told he was a suspect when he was questioned.  Larsen also asked that 2 of 3 counts against Posniak be dismissed.  Posniak is charged with allowing his campfire to blow out of control in May 2007.  The fire spread in Minnesota and into Ontario. It destroyed nearly 150 buildings worth more than $10 million.  A judge will rule on Larsen’s requests in December. His trial is expected to start in January.

Information from: Duluth News Tribune, http://www.duluthsuperior.com

     Here’s what I don’t get.   Hypothetically speaking… You are in the woods and you start a fire in a campfire ring.  You throw your paper trash onto it or whatever it is you do.  Somehow a fire starts in the woods.  At first it is very small, that’s why it’s so easy to find the point of origin.  Could you act quickly enough to suppress a tiny fire? 

     Will we ever know what Stephen really did or will the lawyers decide what happened or didn’t happen based upon what protocol was followed?  If a person is read their rights before admitting to a crime then they are guilty but if they don’t get read their rights then the slate is wiped clean and you’re no longer guilty? 

     He knows he started the fire and he knows what he is responsible for.  So why not just fess up and say you’re sorry?