PAUL G.

CASSELL
Ronald N. Boyce Presidential Professor of Criminal Law
Telephone: 801-585-5202
cassellp@law.utah.edu

July 17, 2014

Bret Rawson, Esq.
General Counsel, Fraternal Order of Police
2195 W. 5400 S. #B201
Taylorsville, UT 84129

Re: Evidence in State v. Officer Cowley

Dear Mr. Rawson:

At your request, Lindsay J arvis, legal counsel for Officer Shaun Cowley has provided me
with a copy of the discovery in the criminal case filed against Officer Cowley for my evaluation.
Having reviewed the evidence provided, it is my conclusion that these criminal charges should
not have been filed. I reach this conclusion as someone who has taught Criminal Law (including
manslaughter issues) and Criminal Procedure (including deadly force issues) and related classes
at the College of Law for more than twenty years. I believe that the materials provided to me
demonstrate a case of justifiable homicide on the part of Officer Cowley – and obviously, at the
very least, a case in which criminal charges should never have been filed. These are my personal
views and do not necessarily express the views of my employer, the University of Utah.

Because of my concern that a guilty verdict in this case will jeopardize the safety of the
community by making police officers fearful of defending themselves against criminals who are
themselves threatening deadly force, I have asked Ms. J arvis if I could join her defense of
Officer Cowley (working in my own private capacity, and not as an employee of the University
of Utah). I look forward to working with her to defend Officer Cowley against what are, in my
view, inappropriate charges.

I am writing this public letter to you because there has been substantial pre-trial publicity
about this case, including statements made to the press that an independent assessment of the
evidence led to a conclusion that criminal charges are appropriate. To the extent others have
reached such a conclusion, I respectfully disagree. I will not elaborate further here, because I
believe the matter is best resolved in a court of law. I look forward to working with Ms. J arvis to
prove that my assessment is correct to a jury of Officer Cowley’s peers.

Sincerely,



Paul G. Cassell






Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful