04-21-2011, 05:21 PM #1Former Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2008
- Rochester, New York
NY - Jeffrey Bordeaux, 20, stabbed to death at frat party, Rochester, 15 Jan 2011
Witnesses: Daren Venable had no option but self-defense
1:37 AM, Apr. 12, 2011
...While leaning over Venable on a dark-brown leather couch, Bordeaux repeatedly punched Venable in the face, causing his left eye to swell shut and opening a bloody cut under his eye.
"I see Daren's legs flailing and I see Jeffrey punching Daren, and I hear cracks ... three to five times," said student Gautam Sharma.
"Then Jeff gets up, he retreats, he turns towards the fireplace, so I can see his shirt, and it's full of blood," Sharma said. "After that, he looks kind of dazed and he runs out."...
Venable found not guilty; chaos erupts outside courtroom
2:30 PM, Apr. 21, 2011
...Although Venable said he stabbed Bordeaux after Bordeaux pinned him to a couch and punched him repeatedly in the face, Assistant District Attorney Raymond G. Benitez argued during his closing statement that Venable’s story was not true because his clothes were not covered in blood. Benitez said the force of gravity would have caused blood from Bordeaux’s chest wounds to drip onto Venable’s clothes.
But DeMarco said he inspected the clothes during his deliberations and found them to be covered with blood. In addition, the location of the blood corroborated the defense’s point of view that Venable was on his back in a defensive position when he stabbed Bordeaux, the judge said....
...After the verdict, defense lawyer James Nobles said he believed the judge acted correctly. Nobles said he knew the blood was on the clothes, but was prohibited by court rules from rebutting Benitez’s summation....
I think if a lawyer deliberately lies in a case, particularly a murder case he should be disbarred. Had the judge not inspected the clothes this kid would have a better chance of being in prison.
In my opinion the judge got this verdict right. I understand the family is upset but I doubt this is the first time Bordeaux had been violent and somebody needed to teach him, before this happened, that violence is not a way to settle things. Venable, IMO, was acting in self defense. The first question I ask in this case is; If Bordeaux had just let it go, stopped being Venable's friend and left the house to cool down would he still be alive? But for his actions he would be alive. JMO
Venable had no way of knowing what Bordeaux's intent was or if he was going to land the so called "lucky punch". I think his actions were justified.
I know the Bordeaux family is upset but if the situation was reversed they'd be relieved.
04-21-2011, 06:57 PM #2Registered User
- Join Date
- Aug 2003
- Palm Springs
Rules vary from state to state, but in most jurisdictions, a lawyer can object during closing arguments if s/he believes an opponent is misstating the evidence.
Doing so is sometimes considered a calculated gamble because jurors get annoyed if the interruptions are too frequent. But this wasn't a jury trial. (Maybe they've changed the rules in New York state; when I was a juror there 30 years ago, the prosecutor was inexperienced and the defense counsel practically heckled him throughout closing arguments. In almost every case, the judge sustained the objection.)
So I'm surprised to hear the defense attorney say there was nothing he could do when the D.A. wrongly described the condition of the shirt.
As for disbarring lawyers who knowingly lie, that can be done if the lie is deemed egregious enough. All trial lawyers are officers of the court and have to obey certain rules of conduct.
But proving a statement is a conscious lie rather than a misstatement isn't easy. Here, the prosecutor only needs to say his impression of the shirt (or his memory of it) differed from that of the judge and defense counsel.
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