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Dear Viewers,

Wondering where the pictures are of the White House Holiday party? Well ... I forgot to bring my camera to the party and thus I have none to post.

I did, however, spend the entire night walking around the White House asking fellow FOX News Channel employees to e-mail me their pictures they took so that I can post them. So far — but it is early — I have received none. When I get them, I will post them ... and yes, I know, I was a dope to forget my camera.

As for the party, it was fun. The White House (search) is gorgeous and even more gorgeous when decorated for the holidays. The president and the first lady stood for hours (four plus) for pictures with the guests and this is not the only holiday party they throw. I often wonder if any of the presidents consider this tradition when they run for office. As noted Thursday, they all act gracious and act like they are happy to do it, but it must get old — real old — after the first hour, and after the first year in office.

E-mail No. 1

(This is in reference to the segment we did on the couple who "sold" their boat to someone in mid-November and have not been seen since then.)

Tonight on our local news (NBC affiliate) it was reported that the missing CA couple was seen on an AK Airlines plane getting on in Seattle and coming to Anchorage. A police official recognized their picture (after the flight) and reported it. They said the couple went to Juneau and I don't remember what the other two towns were. Thought you'd want to know.
Joan Green
Anchorage, AK

E-mail No. 2

You'ze guy'ze need some professional help! You can't seem to let the Peterson trial go ... it's OVER! The trial, the verdict, the case ... it's OVER. Please, get some help for yourself's ... the re-hashing and re-bashing and gong over this trial ad-nauseum is making us all sick ... Oye!

ANSWER: You may think the Peterson matter is over, but cases don't end with verdicts contrary to public opinion and apparently your e-mail. Verdicts are a significant stage in the process of how we administer justice, but if you study law and the Constitution, you will know that there are many more steps post-verdict. You should expect in this case, like all, several motions for a new trial, sentencing, appeal, and federal post-conviction motions. Our judicial system is one of "checks and balances" to make sure — before we execute someone — that the trial was fair.

As for our attention to the matter, we did two of six segments on our show Thursday night about the Peterson matter. We also did two segments on Usama bin Laden (and North Korea) and other matters — including a missing couple. In our two Peterson segments, we focused on what is going to be a significant issue on appeal — maybe, and I say only "maybe," the issue will cause the case to be reversed. I have no idea whether it will or not but, if you find our judicial system intellectually interesting, or you have followed the Peterson case closely, the matter of appellate issues is newsworthy. (As an aside, and I say this teasing you, "Is someone tying you up and forcing you to watch our Peterson segments?)

E-mail No. 3

The jury could learn nothing about the stability of the boat by climbing on it while it was clamped onto a trailer. They might have learned something about the stability of the trailer's suspension, which was in no way relevant to the case.
Dave L.
Cloverdale, CA

ANSWER: Dave, whether the "event" in the garage with the boat results in a new trial for Peterson will depend on one thing: Whether this was an experiment/test or simply an observation. The trial judge will be given one more time to rule on this and then the California Supreme Court will decide this. It is hard to predict — maybe impossible — what these judges will decide.

E-mail No. 4

What are the chances of Jackson "showing up" for court everyday for 6 months, and if he doesn't what can the Judge do? I mean, it's not like a little "fine" is going to bother Jackson.

ANSWER: In most jurisdictions, you can "waive" your appearance, or — if you have shown up for the first day — the court can continue your case in your absence. However, it sends a terrible message to the jury if you don't show up. So, if I were accused of a crime, I would not stay home.

E-mail No. 5

I was really interested by the disagreement over the Peterson jury's exploration of the boat during their deliberation. The two sides of the argument seem to be best represented by Judge Napolitano on one side, and Geoffrey Fieger on the other. The judge said that they were attempting to discover new evidence, which was not introduced during the trial. Mr. Fieger said that the jury was not wrong, and he used the example of a jury handling a piece of evidence such as a gun. As I understand it, the jury can handle the gun all that they want, but they cannot test fire it. I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that jumping in a boat to test buoyancy or stability is tantamount to test firing the gun. Am I right or wrong?
Bill Louttit
Prescott, AZ

ANSWER: See my answer to e-mail No. 3 above. Here's the bottom line: Different people will differ on whether the boat matter was an observation or a test. The final decision will be made by the courts.

E-mail No. 6

While lying in the recovery room of a San Francisco hospital after surgery on 12/13, I could not believe my ears when I heard the elderly man in the bed next to me inquire of the recovery room nurse if she could tell him what the Peterson verdict was.
Kathy Caloca
Half Moon Bay, CA

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