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Old 05-11-2006, 07:37 PM   #1
richlevy
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Since when is there a gag order in murder trials

This is a disturbing story. Not that the Supreme Court overturned the ruling unanimously, which makes a lot of sense. What is disturbing is that the rule was out there in the first place. Of course, this is South Carolina we're talking about.

Quote:
WASHINGTON -- With Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. writing his first opinion, the Supreme Court yesterday overturned the murder conviction of a South Carolina man and said his lawyers had been wrongly barred from telling the jury that another man committed the crime.
''The Constitution guarantees criminal defendants a meaningful opportunity to present a complete defense," Alito said for a unanimous court.
Quote:
Defense lawyers often seek to prove their client's innocence by showing another person might be guilty of the crime.
However, South Carolina's judges said that if the prosecution has strong evidence of a defendant's guilt, the defense could be barred from presenting evidence that points to another suspect.
Alito said this rule ''is no more logical than its converse would be" -- a rule that would throw out the prosecution's evidence whenever the defendant had a strong alibi.
Quote:
Four witnesses told a preliminary hearing they had heard White admit to the crime or say Holmes was innocent.
Nonetheless, the judge excluded this evidence from Holmes's trial because prosecutors had ''strong forensic evidence" of his guilt. He was convicted and sentenced to death.
The South Carolina courts upheld the verdict and the death sentence.
I can just here the trial judge now. (Strong southern drawl) "He may not be all guilty, but he's guilty enough. Get the rope."
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Old 05-11-2006, 08:20 PM   #2
Ibby
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*rolls eyes* that's some good 'ol southern justice right there, huh?
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Old 05-11-2006, 09:16 PM   #3
footfootfoot
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to paraphrase Richard Pryor:

You look for justice in the in southern prison system and that's what you find:
Just us.
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Old 05-12-2006, 01:59 AM   #4
rkzenrage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibram
*rolls eyes* that's some good 'ol southern justice right there, huh?
Southern huh, not nearly as bad as the Midwest. Can someone find me the article where a Midwest college did DNA testing on the Death Row inmates of a Federal Penitentiary who's cases were pre-DNA testing?
They found that 15% were innocent.
Did the State say OMG! WE MUST test all the State Death Rows! Call the President?
No, in fact they said, stop, you cannot test any other prisons, and we don't want this report published, we don't want this study continued. Fortunately they did publish with what they had.
Did the Feds go OMG! WE MUST adopt this procedure immediately!
No... all states and the Feds said by their actions "we know we are murdering innocents, we like it, its fun and we are going to keep doing it, shut-up and sit down, shine these jack-boots".
When Dubya was in Tex as gov he often disallowed DNA testing on death row inmates to prove innocence when it was in question to keep them from being murdered by the state.
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Old 05-12-2006, 09:59 PM   #5
xoxoxoBruce
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Shit, I'd say 85% right (15% wrong) is pretty damn good for anything the state does.
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Old 05-13-2006, 04:03 PM   #6
BigV
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Not if you're in the 15% group
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Old 05-13-2006, 11:05 PM   #7
Beestie
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I thought a gag order prevented the lawyers from talking to the press. The admissability or inadmissability of evidence is not an extraordinary measure but merely the decision of the judge once an objection is raised by one side to evidence about to be presented by the other.
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Old 05-13-2006, 11:25 PM   #8
richlevy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beestie
I thought a gag order prevented the lawyers from talking to the press. The admissability or inadmissability of evidence is not an extraordinary measure but merely the decision of the judge once an objection is raised by one side to evidence about to be presented by the other.
That's right. It really goes to the admissibility of evidence. I admit that I used 'gag order' as a convenient hook.
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Old 05-14-2006, 04:39 AM   #9
Beestie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richlevy
That's right. It really goes to the admissibility of evidence. I admit that I used 'gag order' as a convenient hook.
I probably didn't make it clear but I wasn't trying to undermine your point in the least. South Carolina's Supreme Court has a nasty habit of getting bitch-slapped by the Supreme Court so your post did not come as any great surprise as surprising as that is.
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