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Two other interesting decisions made yesterday, the first had to do with not allowing the death penalty for child rape... personally think there reasoning is somewhat faulted, but not the end of the world as every state will pass laws for life sentences with no parole..
The second one is making me scratch my head and saying wtf, has to do with introducing previous police reports, it may be easier to just read it..
The Supreme Court yesterday threw out the conviction of a man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend because the defendant could not challenge an incriminating account she gave the police weeks before her death.
The 6 to 3 ruling drew howls from domestic violence opponents who said the decision could lead to perverse situations in which criminals would reap a legal "windfall" after killing their victims.
The case revolved around the Sixth Amendment, which affords people the bedrock right to confront and cross-examine witnesses who give testimony against them. At issue is whether defendants forfeit their confrontation rights by doing harm to people whose statements are introduced in judicial proceedings.
The facts before the court were stark. Dwayne Giles shot his ex-girlfriend Brenda Avie six times in September 2002, killing her and then fleeing the scene. At trial, Giles argued that he fired the weapon out of fear, in self-defense and with his eyes closed. Avie's wounds indicated that she was turned to her side and lying on the ground during at least part of the attack, according to the court record.
Three weeks before her death, Avie tearfully told a police officer responding to a domestic violence call that Giles had choked her and threatened to slash her with a knife. The trial court allowed the statements to be introduced at Giles's murder trial under a California law that allows juries to hear such threats when a witness is unavailable to testify in person.
“We like to say that dependability is more important than ability,” Bill Belichickism....
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I've focused on the other rulings so I didn't dive into the SCOTUSWiki (great site) for this case, just briefed over a few news accounts.
I don't fundamentally disagree with the ruling. It affirms a basic a fundamental right to confront our accuser. Obviously, in the case of murder, the accuser is not there, but it's then becomes up to the people. It's up to the lower court to determine what is allowable and what's not. This ruling seems to just repeal the allowable evidence.
All this ruling did was affirm that the lower courts allowed particular "hearsay" evidence in which the accused had no possible way to confront or defense again. I can see why domestic violence groups oppose it, bt because it appears to be a strict constructionist ruling, I am okay with it.
__________________ Patroit_in_NY is now Patriot_in_ABQ
Last edited by Patriot_in_NY; 06-26-2008 at 12:03 PM..