Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I heart evidence issues

I am an evidence geek. I can admit it. In fact, Randall, I will wear that badge with honor. When I read a news story about a criminal case, I feel a pricking in my thumbs about nuggets of information suggesting evidentiary intrigue. I see certain crime stories and I think to myself, "Very an evidence problem." (That's another nod to you, Randall.)

My very favorite kind of issues are hearsay and confrontation issues. They're candy to me. Remember the Drew Peterson case out of Illinois? I would love to get my evidence geek hands on that one. There are so many delicious threads to sort out.

So when a story turned up in the local paper last week about a dead body found in a home, my evidence geek senses started tingling madly. The victim was found dead on Tuesday. The cause of death was a head injury. On Sunday, the victim had gone to the police and reported being attacked in his home by a man. The victim was able to identify his alleged attacker for police. The victim refused medical treatment for the injuries he sustained, including a bump to the head, and went on home.

After finding him dead and learning that the cause of death was a head injury, police arrested the man the victim had identified as his attacker. "Not so fast!" shouted this geeky, evidence-loving defense attorney. Sure enough, the DA released the man without charging him.

Now, there's obviously a causation issue, but putting that aside, the DA can't possibly make a case against the man if all the DA has is the evidence outlined above. Any half-way decent defense attorney gets the victim's identification of his alleged attacker suppressed. Score one for the Confrontation Clause! I do love my confrontation issues.

1 comment:

Randall Hodgkinson said...

I'm the same way with jurisdiction.

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