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  1. #1
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    Why was the trial for only one boys murder?

    Darlie was charged with both boy's murders but the decision was made to have seperate trials (as per Mulder's summing up), with the 2nd dispensed with presumably after the successful result in the first. Is this correct? This would have given the prosecution a second bite at the cherry if they messed up the first trial but its quite unusual to do this - was more made of this pre trial? what was the justification? If she was charged with both, someone would have had to come up with a good reason for seperate trials on cost basis alone, surely? The only difference in the evidence was Devon's blood drops on the back of her shirt - maybe that is damaging but its not the only evidence the prosecution put forward - if the drops hadnt of been there then they wouldnt have indicted her at all?

    Do you think that there is a possibility that the prosecution's motive in seperate trials was to see if she cracked up on the stand and implicated Darin during the first trial, given that she was being left to 'face the music' alone. Then the prosecution might have had the potential for indicting him on the other boy. I think the evidential rules regarding spouses are the same over there as they are here, in that a spouse is competent and compellable to give evidence in criminal proceedings against an accused spouse in this type of case but not if they are jointly charged. If they'd have charged them both from the outset, they could have both said nothing. If she'd implicated him in the first trial, she could be compelled to testify against him if he alone was indicted re the other boys murder.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Britlaw
    Darlie was charged with both boy's murders but the decision was made to have seperate trials (as per Mulder's summing up), with the 2nd dispensed with presumably after the successful result in the first. Is this correct? This would have given the prosecution a second bite at the cherry if they messed up the first trial but its quite unusual to do this - was more made of this pre trial? what was the justification? If she was charged with both, someone would have had to come up with a good reason for seperate trials on cost basis alone, surely? The only difference in the evidence was Devon's blood drops on the back of her shirt - maybe that is damaging but its not the only evidence the prosecution put forward - if the drops hadnt of been there then they wouldnt have indicted her at all?

    Do you think that there is a possibility that the prosecution's motive in seperate trials was to see if she cracked up on the stand and implicated Darin during the first trial, given that she was being left to 'face the music' alone. Then the prosecution might have had the potential for indicting him on the other boy. I think the evidential rules regarding spouses are the same over there as they are here, in that a spouse is competent and compellable to give evidence in criminal proceedings against an accused spouse in this type of case but not if they are jointly charged. If they'd have charged them both from the outset, they could have both said nothing. If she'd implicated him in the first trial, she could be compelled to testify against him if he alone was indicted re the other boys murder.
    I think it was an evidenciary issue. They did not find Devon's blood on the murder weapon. I think they wanted to get her convicted and chose the most damning evidence/issues on all fronts. If she cracked up on the stand, they could still charge Darin with with one or both murders if she implicated him. He doesn't get a pass just because they have charged her with the murder. It is probably more likely that it was just harder to prove that she killed Devon so they chose Damon because they had more evidence in his death against her. Plus there was that death penalty issue. Children under 5 qualify one for the death penaly, but then so do multiple victims.

    If she'd had a half of brain in her head, she would have implicated him in the first place and saved her hide. What a dummy to defy the system like that and gamble with her own life! I think she and Darin both thought they could charm their way out of it.

    "The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense." - Tom Clancy
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  3. #3
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    Sorry I meant to type 'potential for indicting him for either boy' not other boy.

    Just seemed strange to me to seperate them. Its highly likely that as the jury found her guilty of one they'd have found them guilty of the other. Darlie herself never distinguishes the difference, always saying "I never killed my boys". Like you say, maybe if the younger child was older they'd have run with both of them.

  4. #4
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    I believe they separated them so if she was found not guilty of one, they could try her for the other. She can't be tried twice for the same crime.

    In my opinion, they chose Damon because that was the stronger of the two cases.

  5. #5
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    Dont you find that a cop out? (forgive the pun lol). Thats effectively a licence for the prosecution not to do their job properly whilst the taxpayer foots the bill for two trials potentially. I cant think that was the rationale for the decision. I could understand it if the offences were seperate locations and/or times but they werent and it was all the same evidence.

    Edit - Can we expect to see Neil Entwistle have two trials, one for murdering his wife and one for his daughter? Just in case the prosecution dont get it right?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Britlaw
    Dont you find that a cop out? (forgive the pun lol). Thats effectively a licence for the prosecution not to do their job properly whilst the taxpayer foots the bill for two trials potentially. I cant think that was the rationale for the decision. I could understand it if the offences were seperate locations and/or times but they werent and it was all the same evidence.

    Edit - Can we expect to see Neil Entwistle have two trials, one for murdering his wife and one for his daughter? Just in case the prosecution dont get it right?
    Probably not in that case.

    But it is okay for the state to divide and conquer, so to speak. I can see quite a few weaknesses in a trial that included both murders. Weaknesses tend to leave the door open to hung juries and such. I think it was smart of the state to focus on the one they knew they could win. Little did they know that Darlie's defense would not do any of their own testing, etc. That was probably a unpredicted bonus.

    "The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense." - Tom Clancy
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  7. #7
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    Lets just say Darlie went on trial for two murders and was found not guilty. Well in essence she would get away with murder.

    That is why, if she got off on the first trial, the back up is there to hold her accountable for what she did.

    Also wasn't the age of the child, warranting a death penalty also.

    This is not abuse of process, but justice for both boys.........

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberLaw
    ......
    Also wasn't the age of the child, warranting a death penalty also.

    .........
    Yeah, but two or more deaths at the same time also warrant the death penalty. I think the state just narrowed down their focus and concentrated on the death that gave them their best shot for a successful verdict. Secondary to that was the added bonus that they would still have a shot at Devon if the case against Damon failed. They had the power, so why not use it?

    "The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense." - Tom Clancy
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  9. #9
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    Dont you find that a cop out? (forgive the pun lol). Thats effectively a licence for the prosecution not to do their job properly whilst the taxpayer foots the bill for two trials potentially. I cant think that was the rationale for the decision. I could understand it if the offences were seperate locations and/or times but they werent and it was all the same evidence.
    I don't think it was a cop-out at all actually, nor a licence for the prosecution to not to their job properly. I think it was just the opposite in fact. It was the prosecution trying to ensure that the killer of those two boys was in fact convicted... which is their job. Her trial for Damon's murder was legitimate and not a mock-trial in anyway. However, if they had failed to get a convinction (particularly based on evidence which may have been withheld from the jury etc) then they were still able to prosecute her for Devon's murder and they would have the advantage of knowing what her defense was going to be before they went to trial.

    A quick question for the lawyers amongst us... if she had been acquitted for Damon's murder and tried for Devon's could the prosecution make direct reference to her (or anyone elses) testimony from the first trial in the second?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dani_T
    I don't think it was a cop-out at all actually, nor a licence for the prosecution to not to their job properly. I think it was just the opposite in fact. It was the prosecution trying to ensure that the killer of those two boys was in fact convicted... which is their job. Her trial for Damon's murder was legitimate and not a mock-trial in anyway. However, if they had failed to get a convinction (particularly based on evidence which may have been withheld from the jury etc) then they were still able to prosecute her for Devon's murder and they would have the advantage of knowing what her defense was going to be before they went to trial.
    Let's just call it insurance. Holding the charges back from trial on Devon's death just insured the state a second chance at the pursuit of justice if needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dani_T
    A quick question for the lawyers amongst us... if she had been acquitted for Damon's murder and tried for Devon's could the prosecution make direct reference to her (or anyone elses) testimony from the first trial in the second?
    I am not an atty but I know the answer to this. YES, if the judge allows it. Of course, if the state is the first to refer to it, you know that the defense is going to bring up the fact that she was acquitted first time out. That is also subject to judge's approval. My guess is that it would all be ruled out as prejudicial, but there is always the chance that someone would screw up and it would end up brought in later on. Kind of like the marijuana issue made it thru last time in spite of a ruling that it could not be mentioned in front of the jury. And the judge could always revisit the issue as the trial proceeds and overrule himself.

    "The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense." - Tom Clancy
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  11. #11
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    The simple fact is that often in cases like this, where there is a double homicide, one will be "held back" in case of a mistrial, verdict of innocence due to not enough evidence, or a lower penalty than the DA thought it deserved. They chose the stronger of the two case, but held one back for insurance.
    Jon Galt/ Dasgal

  12. #12
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    Andrea Yates wasn't convicted for all her kids' deaths either. She was only tried on 3 for the same reasons. Actually, I think it these instances it's rather smart to do things that way. It protects the state and prosecution against an acquital as the defendants can then be tried on the other charges.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jules
    Andrea Yates wasn't convicted for all her kids' deaths either. She was only tried on 3 for the same reasons. Actually, I think it these instances it's rather smart to do things that way. It protects the state and prosecution against an acquital as the defendants can then be tried on the other charges.
    I do too.



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