June 7, 2013
Statement of Jessica Cooper, Oakland County Prosecutor.
In response to request for comment on the Cipriano matter:
“We are on the eve of a trial for two individuals that we allege have committed a brutal and heinous attack on a family. As it states in our pleadings, this is a crime not only against the family, but against the peace and dignity of the people of the State of Michigan.
All attorneys are prohibited by the code of Professional Responsibility from commenting in the media about the character of a potential witness in a criminal trial (Greg Cipriano is listed as a potential witness); attorneys are also prohibited from discussing the terms of a possible plea. These rules are in place so that no lawyer can attempt to influence a potential juror’s decision through the use of the media.
At the outset of this case, I personally met with family members, including Greg Cipriano; indeed, we helped facilitate the appointment of a guardian while Mrs. Cipriano remained incapacitated. I have spoken repeatedly with Rose’s sisters. We scheduled three meetings with Rose Cipriano, who I spoke with at length on the phone. She cancelled all three meetings. I have never spoken to a member of the clergy about this case or any witness’ testimony. As almost every member of the metro Detroit media knows, we do not release details of a case to the media or anyone else, other than the attorneys for defendants as required by law. And I have never been described by anyone as a media hound.
No victim of violence and horror wants to testify in an open court and recount their experiences.
Yet, countless people take the witnesses stand everyday to testify against defendants, not only because they are compelled to by court order, but because they want to make sure that no one else suffers as they did.
It is also my job, as the Oakland County Prosecutor, to do my best to make sure that no one else suffers at the hands of such individuals in the future.
There is a quote from conservative philosopher Edmund Burke, which says in essence: Evil can only prevail when good men do nothing.”