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  1. #1
    shadowraiths's Avatar
    shadowraiths is offline LISK Liaison, Verified Forensic Psychology Specialist, infoSec Architect
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    Some food for thought. What say you?

    Having provided undisclosed research for both civil and criminal cases, I have been thinking about the resulting outcomes, especially criminal cases, where convictions are overturned due to a technicality. For example, ineffective assistance of counsel (extremely common), fruit of the poisonous tree (rare), etc.

    When news of a notorious killer, take Joseph E. Duncan III, appeals their sentencing, for example. Most who followed that case are outraged. And, arguably, rightly so... even though appeals must be afforded to all, due to potential innocents.

    This, btw, is why I do not support the calls for the governor, or the president, for that matter, to pardon SA or Brendan.

    While I do think Brendan made a false confession, due to the paucity of evidence of him actually being at the various crime scenes (i.e., the bedroom, garage, etcetera), I also think it is extremely important that these cases stay within the appeals courts. Even if the results seem unfair.

    To do otherwise, imho, would set a dangerous precedent.

    As for SA? While I have toyed with alternate theories, and even feel the prosecution did not make their case beyond a reasonable doubt, I am still of the opinion that the man is guilty of murdering Ms. Halbach.

    It should be stated however, if Ms. Zellner finds exculpatory evidence, I have no problem changing my pov.

    In any event, I have been mulling this over, and am interested in what others think.
    Last edited by shadowraiths; 01-25-2016 at 07:36 PM. Reason: grammar



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  2. #2
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    Totally agree in removing the possibility of a pardon from the governor from the equation ...

    I do believe that both men deserve a new trial due to Kratz' inflammatory remarks to the public on the State's theory on how TH died. Remarks that are strictly attributable to a confused 16-year-old forced into multiple confessions of which none were consistent across the board. Those remarks alone would have enraged the citizens of Manitowoc County and removed any chance of either of them getting a fair trial.

    Also, the judge should have tossed Brendan's confessions which were the ONLY evidence that he was ever involved in TH's death. 16-year-olds have vivid imaginations sometimes and it's astounding to me that Brendan was ever interrogated without a lawyer present. The fact that Kachinsky employed a PI to get a confession out of Brendan to aid in Avery's trial is a blatant disregard for a client's well being and the charges should have been dropped for that alone.

    IMO, Zellner will uncover some exculpatory evidence. As much as I want to believe Avery did it, I just can't get by the fact this man was in prison for 18 years, had a large sum of money coming to him, was looking forward to Jodi getting out of jail and getting married, and had a bill being passed the day after the murder in his name. IMO, he doesn't come off as a guilty man in his pre-arrest interviews. And what man, even with an IQ of 70, would leave so much evidence on his own property knowing he would get caught as soon as his property was searched.

    My two cents ...

    DEFENDANT IS A LIAR + DEFENDANT'S KID GOES MISSING + DEFENDANT REPORTS KID MISSING AFTER 31 DAYS + KID IS FOUND DEAD = DEFENDANT KILLED KID

  3. #3
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    I agree with this 100%

    Although I am not convinced of his guilt, I haven't been from the start.
    Everything you state makes absolute sense, IMO.

  4. #4
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    THIS.
    The fact that it JUST MAKES NO SENSE ( your last paragraph )
    Quote Originally Posted by Sustained View Post
    Totally agree in removing the possibility of a pardon from the governor from the equation ...

    I do believe that both men deserve a new trial due to Kratz' inflammatory remarks to the public on the State's theory on how TH died. Remarks that are strictly attributable to a confused 16-year-old forced into multiple confessions of which none were consistent across the board. Those remarks alone would have enraged the citizens of Manitowoc County and removed any chance of either of them getting a fair trial.

    Also, the judge should have tossed Brendan's confessions which were the ONLY evidence that he was ever involved in TH's death. 16-year-olds have vivid imaginations sometimes and it's astounding to me that Brendan was ever interrogated without a lawyer present. The fact that Kachinsky employed a PI to get a confession out of Brendan to aid in Avery's trial is a blatant disregard for a client's well being and the charges should have been dropped for that alone.

    IMO, Zellner will uncover some exculpatory evidence. As much as I want to believe Avery did it, I just can't get by the fact this man was in prison for 18 years, had a large sum of money coming to him, was looking forward to Jodi getting out of jail and getting married, and had a bill being passed the day after the murder in his name. IMO, he doesn't come off as a guilty man in his pre-arrest interviews. And what man, even with an IQ of 70, would leave so much evidence on his own property knowing he would get caught as soon as his property was searched.

    My two cents ...

  5. #5
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    I started watching the documentary with no prior knowledge of the case. Part way through, I realized it was slanted towards SA, so of course I started looking for the "facts" myself. I was not going to take their word for anything... that's just not me, I need to see/read it for myself LOL by the time I was done the documentary (researching while watching), I came away absolutely believing that BD's confession was coerced and I still don't believe he knows or had anything to do with her disappearance, whether it was SA or someone else.

    That being said.... I think unless someone can show who the "real" killer is beyond a doubt, then there will always the possibility that SA did it, even if he gets out for some reason. I don't think the prosecution proved it beyond a reasonable doubt either, and now looking into how the case was investigated, or the lack of investigating certain things, it brings the whole case into question IMO

    The petitions.... well, I think they are just dumb LOL No one should get out of jail because people signed a petition. Asking for a federal investigation... well that might work, but if Zellner does her job well, and if she is able to find new evidence, or jury issues, I think an investigation would be inevitable, wouldn't it?

    So I guess we have to sit back and wait to see what she comes up with, from her tweets, I'm thinking she's going with the "he was framed" LOL

  6. #6
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    I'm not comfortable with an overturned conviction that's basically crowdsourced by petition. That would just be a bad bad idea.

    As for a new trial, how would that even work? Would it be an entirely new investigation or would it be a trial using the evidence already collected? In which case... can we even trust it??

  7. #7
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    Sustained brings up a good point.... Kratz.

    I think if Kratz was removed from the situation, didn't give those press conferences in March 2006, and his daily press conferences, the outcome would have been MUCH different.

    btw... my guess is that Zellner gets something on the jury.... the one gentleman that left after day 1 of deliberations.... I seen him post on the family FB the other day that he was asked by Zellner to not talk about it publicly any more after someone kept asking him questions.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sustained View Post
    Totally agree in removing the possibility of a pardon from the governor from the equation ...

    I do believe that both men deserve a new trial due to Kratz' inflammatory remarks to the public on the State's theory on how TH died. Remarks that are strictly attributable to a confused 16-year-old forced into multiple confessions of which none were consistent across the board. Those remarks alone would have enraged the citizens of Manitowoc County and removed any chance of either of them getting a fair trial.

    Also, the judge should have tossed Brendan's confessions which were the ONLY evidence that he was ever involved in TH's death. 16-year-olds have vivid imaginations sometimes and it's astounding to me that Brendan was ever interrogated without a lawyer present. The fact that Kachinsky employed a PI to get a confession out of Brendan to aid in Avery's trial is a blatant disregard for a client's well being and the charges should have been dropped for that alone.

    IMO, Zellner will uncover some exculpatory evidence. As much as I want to believe Avery did it, I just can't get by the fact this man was in prison for 18 years, had a large sum of money coming to him, was looking forward to Jodi getting out of jail and getting married, and had a bill being passed the day after the murder in his name. IMO, he doesn't come off as a guilty man in his pre-arrest interviews. And what man, even with an IQ of 70, would leave so much evidence on his own property knowing he would get caught as soon as his property was searched.

    My two cents ...
    I agree... especially about his pre-arrest interviews. I remember watching the one clip of Avery speaking to reporters in his yard. They were asking him about when he last saw her, etc... and then asked if he was worried that the cops might suspect he had something to do with her disappearance. He responded as if the thought had never even crossed his mind. He looked shocked and appalled when he considered it, and the question seemed to completely catch him off guard.

    If that response wasn't genuine, he deserves to win an Oscar.
    "In law school, the concept of the jury is taught through the metaphor of a black box. Into the box, evidence and the law go. Out of the box, a verdict comes. But a black box doesn’t have feelings." - THE FACT OF A BODY by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
    ✌️

  9. #9
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    Having them pardoned would, i agree, lead to very bad precedents. I am sitting back waiting to see what Zellner comes up with.

  10. #10
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    I think you have hit the nail on the head when you say that it would be setting a very dangerous precedent if this case were to be overturned basically on a crowd mentality after watching a television show. This thought alone scares me very much, it would be an absolute travesty of a precedent to set if this was re-examined purely upon interest because of this documentary giving it momentum and notoriety.

    As far as I can gather, SA has exhausted every possible avenue of appeal and BD is on his last attempt with a Writ of HC. I do not really believe SA is innocent, or that the LE were particularly corrupt to the extent a lot of people make out (incompetent maybe), definitely not that Strang and Butin were bad Counsel because they were absolutely fantastic during the trial and still continue to be to this day.

    I can only imagine that Zellner has found something she believes to be the golden ticket in this case.

    BD has one chance on his Writ of HC.

    I do not know what avenue would be explored in order to get a full re-examination of this case, because if SA has exhausted every avenue of Appeal so far, surely most of the problems that could possibly exonerate him now, have already been the subject of an Appeal and thus far failed. In fact I would be grateful if someone could clarify me, as I am not from the US, how he would go about gaining his next 'appeal' or 'hearing' that Zellner is representing him for if all Appeal options have been used up so to speak.


  11. #11
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    I have a question: Shouldn't BD had a guardian or representative present for his first interview?


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  12. #12
    Madeleine74's Avatar
    Madeleine74 is offline Of course it's my opinion; who else's would it be?
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    For those who are not familiar with the US Justice System:

    We have some important checks & balances in our system. The guiding principles are those contained in the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, and State Statutes. Judges take oaths to uphold those principles and laws. Ditto Lawyers. Cops take oaths too, although I'm not sure if that's known. And juries are sworn in where they promise to follow the rules given to them by the judge. The system is not perfect, there are occasionally corrupt people and there are humans who are not corrupt but make mistakes.

    As part of the checks & balances, every person convicted of murder by jury has the right to appeal their conviction. Sometimes a conviction will be automatically appealed (like death penalty convictions). Another set of judges reviews the case, not for innocence of the defendant, but for errors conducted at trial, rulings by the judge. Each side (state and defense) submits a legal brief of their position and sometimes are asked to argue their cases before the panel.

    And beyond that there further appeals allowed at the level above the circuit court -- the State Supreme Court. The Court has the discretion not to hear a case.

    All these levels are intended to protect the rights of each side. The state cannot appeal if the defendant is deemed to be "not guilty" by a trial jury.

    Once a conviction occurs, the burden of 'proof' shifts from the state to the defendant.

    - Avery was convicted of murder by the jury.
    - His case was appealed and the circuit court affirmed his conviction.
    - He appealed to the State Supreme Court and that court declined to hear the case.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeleine74 View Post
    For those who are not familiar with the US Justice System:

    We have some important checks & balances in our system. The guiding principles are those contained in the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, and State Statutes. Judges take oaths to uphold those principles and laws. Ditto Lawyers. Cops take oaths too, although I'm not sure if that's known. And juries are sworn in where they promise to follow the rules given to them by the judge. The system is not perfect, there are occasionally corrupt people and there are humans who are not corrupt but make mistakes.

    As part of the checks & balances, every person convicted of murder by jury has the right to appeal their conviction. Sometimes a conviction will be automatically appealed (like death penalty convictions). Another set of judges reviews the case, not for innocence of the defendant, but for errors conducted at trial, rulings by the judge. Each side (state and defense) submits a legal brief of their position and sometimes are asked to argue their cases before the panel.

    And beyond that there further appeals allowed at the level above the circuit court -- the State Supreme Court. The Court has the discretion not to hear a case.

    All these levels are intended to protect the rights of each side. The state cannot appeal if the defendant is deemed to be "not guilty" by a trial jury.

    Once a conviction occurs, the burden of 'proof' shifts from the state to the defendant.

    - Avery was convicted of murder by the jury.
    - His case was appealed and the circuit court affirmed his conviction.
    - He appealed to the State Supreme Court and that court declined to hear the case.
    That's all very well and good but the system only works if
    - the investigation wasn't flawed- started out with bias
    - the jury pool wasn't tainted by inflammatory press conferences with no evidence to back it up
    - the confession wasn't coerced
    - the evidence wasn't tampered with or tainted by LE

  14. #14
    Madeleine74's Avatar
    Madeleine74 is offline Of course it's my opinion; who else's would it be?
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    All good points, JusticeSeeker.

    The vast majority of cases proceed without any rights being violated. There are some cases in which rights are violated. It matters because the taking away of someone's freedom is one of the most serious things a government can do and since no system is perfect and no human is perfect, there have to be checks/balances and avenues for recourse. And there are avenues, but it takes time. And as I said, it's not a perfect system, but no one has figured out a better one since this country was formed.

  15. #15
    shadowraiths's Avatar
    shadowraiths is offline LISK Liaison, Verified Forensic Psychology Specialist, infoSec Architect
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeleine74 View Post
    All good points, JusticeSeeker.

    The vast majority of cases proceed without any rights being violated. There are some cases in which rights are violated. It matters because the taking away of someone's freedom is one of the most serious things a government can do and since no system is perfect and no human is perfect, there have to be checks/balances and avenues for recourse. And there are avenues, but it takes time. And as I said, it's not a perfect system, but no one has figured out a better one since this country was formed.
    This is actually quite true. Of course, no system is perfect. However, our appeals courts do attempt to correct itself with the appeals.

    If you read SA's appeals, you'll see that they're pretty standard, almost cookie cutter, type appeals. Challenging Denny, claiming ineffective legal counsel, etcetera. Unless he can show glaring errors, and I have not seen anything in his appeals that really stand out, the courts are simply going to deny his appeals.

    And then, there's Brendan's appeals, which have been denied, to date. Even though he arguably had legitimate grounds. That is, imvnsho, his early defense engaged in gross misconduct. Why? Because he was assigned a new attorney before he went to trial. For this reason, I am quite skeptical he will get a new trial, much less have his conviction overturned.

    That said, it is also important to understand. Appeals courts do not make their decisions based upon the trial transcripts. Rather, they go by case law, precedents set, etcetera.



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