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  1. #61
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    minor4th, I notice the "self defense" statute you quoted on the previous page restates the prosecution's burden but says nothing about the defendant's burden of proof in asserting an affirmative defense.

    Surely it isn't enough to merely say "self-defense" and then dare the DA to disprove it beyond a reasonable doubt!

    I am asking because I was a juror on a self-defense murder case in the 90s and (this is in California) we received complicated instructions on the defendants' burden in asserting such a defense. I realize that technically the burden of proof never shifts from the prosecution, but the instructions we received regarding an affirmative defense seemed to come pretty close. Is that just a California thing? (If you know, of course. If this is an obscure question, I don't expect you to do research.)

    (In case anyone wants a juror's point of view, the self-defense statutes were like a rabbit-hole into which we fell during deliberations. We were out for a week, but the defendant was eventually convicted.)

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    minor4th, I notice the "self defense" statute you quoted on the previous page restates the prosecution's burden but says nothing about the defendant's burden of proof in asserting an affirmative defense.

    Surely it isn't enough to merely say "self-defense" and then dare the DA to disprove it beyond a reasonable doubt!

    I am asking because I was a juror on a self-defense murder case in the 90s and (this is in California) we received complicated instructions on the defendants' burden in asserting such a defense. I realize that technically the burden of proof never shifts from the prosecution, but the instructions we received regarding an affirmative defense seemed to come pretty close. Is that just a California thing? (If you know, of course. If this is an obscure question, I don't expect you to do research.)

    (In case anyone wants a juror's point of view, the self-defense statutes were like a rabbit-hole into which we fell during deliberations. We were out for a week, but the defendant was eventually convicted.)
    Basically, the defense just has to raise the defense and present "some evidence". The burden shifts to the prosecution to prove that she did not act in self defense.

    Arizona places a higher burden on the prosecution in self defense cases than a lot of other states.

  3. #63
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    Thank you for considering my questions
    1) didn't JA have a duty to retreat since she stated she was attacked?
    2) If the PA can refute her testimony, could JA be charged with perjury in addition?
    3) Does AZ have an Assault with a deadly weapon statute?
    4) Can JA be made to reveal what she did with the gas cans, the weapons used to kill TA, etc?

  4. #64
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    Re: letters

    If the letters were previously denied how can they be allowed in during the trial?
    "No one believes a word out of your mouth, why do you keep talking?" --Ryan Owens (ABC News)

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMouse View Post
    Re: letters

    If the letters were previously denied how can they be allowed in during the trial?
    I think they could only be used by the state as impeachment evidence against Jodi. They would not be offered to show anything about Travis, and it would be made clear that they were fakes and the circumstances of their creation.

    It was a little unclear in that recent article about these letters becoming an issue again or how that might happen, but I think what it was saying is that if Jodi testifies about walking in on Travis masturbating to pictures of little boys -- Juan can then use her fake letters to impeach her testimony.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zuri View Post
    Thank you for considering my questions
    1) didn't JA have a duty to retreat since she stated she was attacked?
    2) If the PA can refute her testimony, could JA be charged with perjury in addition?
    3) Does AZ have an Assault with a deadly weapon statute?
    4) Can JA be made to reveal what she did with the gas cans, the weapons used to kill TA, etc?
    1. No duty to retreat as long as she was there lawfully (not as part of a break in, robbery, etc)

    2. Not likely - usually perjury charges are only brought when someone makes completely contradictory statements under oath in a way that one of the statements must necessarily be false. As a practical matter, perjury charges are very rarely brought, and almost never against a criminal defendant because they are expected to lie. I don't think the state would bother with perjury charges, whether or not she is convicted of murder (which she almost certainly will be)

    3. Use of a deadly weapon in an assault is an aggravating factor, which means that a conviction for aggravated assault comes with a longer sentence than simple assault. Assault would also be a lesser included offense of first degree murder I believe.

    4. She can be asked, but she can also lie or say she doesn't remember or claim she never had weapons or gas cans, despite the evidence that she obviously did. There is no way to make her tell the truth about what really happened.

  7. #67
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    Someone mentioned they saw her taking like an aspirin on wed I think. If someone other than a nurse or a guard gave her something even if its an altoid isn't that considered contraband?
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by karengo View Post
    Someone mentioned they saw her taking like an aspirin on wed I think. If someone other than a nurse or a guard gave her something even if its an altoid isn't that considered contraband?
    I don't think it would be contraband if her attorney gave her a mint. No clue what it was, but there are sheriff's deputies there watching everything, so I would guess it was on the up and up.

  9. #69
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    I brought this over from the discussion thread and posted it on the Beth Karas thread . .. just wondering what an Atty thinks this means . . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by GulfCoastMom View Post
    According to the Criminal Court Case Docket, the Defense filed the following:

    MOTION IN LIMINE TO PRECLUDE DR. DEMARTE’S CONCLUSIONS PURSUANT TO “SARA”

    On 12/07/12, Defendant’s Motion in Limine to Preclude Dr. Demarte’s Conclusions Pursuant to
    “SARA” is discussed.

    "IT IS ORDERED setting the matter for Oral Argument on 02/08/2013 at 1:30 p.m."

    Do any of you know to what this pertains?
    Proud member of the AFKBPOFPOPL

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by wenwe4 View Post
    I brought this over from the discussion thread and posted it on the Beth Karas thread . .. just wondering what an Atty thinks this means . . . .
    Spousal Assault Risk Assessment.

    It's a well validated forensic tool to predict risk of domestic violence, and it has been used especially as a tool in assessing the risk of homicide by an intimate partner.


  11. #71
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    Mar 2009
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    So this story JA is going to tell about walking in on Travis with young boy porn: With no evidence, why would the judge let that in? Overall, do you think the judge is being very lenient with the defense?

  12. #72
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    Popping in to give a quick thanks to the Verified Attorneys willing to share their expertise with us! It's very kind.

    IMO

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladybug View Post
    So this story JA is going to tell about walking in on Travis with young boy porn: With no evidence, why would the judge let that in? Overall, do you think the judge is being very lenient with the defense?
    Jodi's testimony about it is evidence. It's for the jury to decide whether it's credible or not. The state will have its opportunity to cross examine Jodi and impeach her testimony.

    I think the judge is being appropriate and making good rulings to avoid being overturned on appeal.

  14. #74
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    I spent the weekend reading a great many people stating that they think Christopher Dorner is a hero and justified in his killing of innocent people. It didn't matter that they had nothing to do with his situation. He is justified. It scares me how people have the mindset that if you feel are wronged because of someone's words or actions you are legally just in murdering. Is it the justice system itself that has caused this? Do you think that the ability, the allowance of such defenses in the courts is to blame? Do you think that the allowance of being able to say, do or present anything to the jury without any proof of it being a truth has gone to far and needs to be legally reeled in and even stopped? I fear judges are so worried about the rights of the accused that they have forgotten the rights of the victim or victims. If you agree that something needs to be done can you explain, if you know, what can legally be done to retool the justice system in this matter. Thanks

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3trees View Post
    I spent the weekend reading a great many people stating that they think Christopher Dorner is a hero and justified in his killing of innocent people. It didn't matter that they had nothing to do with his situation. He is justified. It scares me how people have the mindset that if you feel are wronged because of someone's words or actions you are legally just in murdering. Is it the justice system itself that has caused this? Do you think that the ability, the allowance of such defenses in the courts is to blame? Do you think that the allowance of being able to say, do or present anything to the jury without any proof of it being a truth has gone to far and needs to be legally reeled in and even stopped? I fear judges are so worried about the rights of the accused that they have forgotten the rights of the victim or victims. If you agree that something needs to be done can you explain, if you know, what can legally be done to retool the justice system in this matter. Thanks
    That is frightening. That is such twisted thinking.

    Boy, that's a loaded question though. I think we have a pretty great legal system and justice system, with lots of checks and balances.

    There have been so many questions about why the judge is allowing Jodi's testimony, without any other evidence -- but I think people are forgetting that this is the trial; this is the place where testimony and evidence are presented; and Jodi's testimony is "evidence" even if it's not credible. The jury is there to decide what's credible, and what's not. The victim's rights are represented by the state prosecutors who are seeking justice, but due process is afforded to the defendant alone, and that's the way it should be in my opinion.

    I'm kind of surprised to see so many people that seem to believe that the whole trial should be basically done in advance before the judge - that has never been the way it works. When there is a jury trial, the judge has no discretion to make rulings about credibility of witnesses or evidence, with the exception of scientific evidence that the judge must make a preliminary decision about the reliability of the evidence.

    As long as we have juries, there's no way to prevent a defendant from smearing the victim in a self defense case. Presumably, if the evidence is not credible, the jury will make the correct assessment about the evidence/testimony. So to retool this aspect of the justice system, you'd have to do away with the jury system - and that would take a constitutional amendment, so it's not likely to happen.

    The other side of the coin is that sometimes a defendant really is acting in self defense, and sometimes a homicide really is justified -- so you can't take away that defense.

    It's an imperfect system, and justice is not always done. I think murder trials are always, always, always going to be traumatic for the family and friends of the victim. Sometimes the victim was really a pretty bad person, and that can be a mitigating factor. That's still going to be hard for the family and friends who would rather remember the good qualities of their loved one and who may find it hard to believe that the victim acted badly or whatever. In other situations, like this trial I believe, there will be unjustified and gratuitous victim bashing -- but the system is designed to detect and deal with liars.

    Maybe not a very satisfying answer...

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