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  1. #46
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    Some people do not "get it". In criminal cases, the standard for conviction is proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and in capital cases, there should be no lingering doubt.

    Does anyone really believe that a fire investigator (alleged expert) who almost always finds arson (1500 cases) should be trusted?

    The point is -- for those who don't get it -- Cameron should not have been imprisoned much less executed.

    Who here would have convicted him?
    It's not what a man knows that makes him a fool, it's what he does know that ain't so. .... Josh Billings

  2. #47
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    Some people do not "get it". In criminal cases, the standard for conviction is proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and in capital cases, there should be no lingering doubt.
    The condescension isn't necessary, really. I could say the same thing about people who think the accused are innocent almost 100% of the time.

    That being said, that threshold for guilt would have the majority of criminal defendants free. Our court system is built on reasonable doubt.

    Take Casey Anthony. Is she guilty? Absolutely, there's not a smidge of doubt in my mind. Were we there? Did we see her kill Caylee? Did we see her dump the body in the woods? Nope. Could we come up with a 100 bizarre scenarios to explain the forensic evidence? Yes. She could get the needle, and that'd be fine with me. But someone, somewhere could make the argument that there is still doubt. Absolute, undeniable proof is nearly impossible. It's why our system has the reasonable doubt threshold. Not a "tiny bit" of doubt, etc. Based on the witness testimony and evidence at the time, I'm sure that jury convicted him with confidence.

    To answer your question, yes, I would have convicted him.

    The problem with this case is that he shouldn't have been executed after the new report got to the appellate board. Significant doubt was raised. IMO, the problem wasn't with the conviction but the appeal.

    Either way, though, I'm not convinced he was innocent, and an article, written by an anti-DP author, and lack of access to the original documents is not going to convince me. He shouldn't have been executed, but I'm not sure he deserves to have "wrongfully convicted" next to his name for all eternity until we can get more objective information.

  3. #48
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    There wasnt just one problem here . The most important one being they way the new report was not reviewed before his death. We have safe guards that dont work if people do not fulfill the requried duties and they were let off the hook to easy.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wudge View Post
    Some people do not "get it". In criminal cases, the standard for conviction is proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and in capital cases, there should be no lingering doubt.
    I think most of us "get it", but it doesn't mean we all have the same opinion.

    Does anyone really believe that a fire investigator (alleged expert) who almost always finds arson (1500 cases) should be trusted?
    Hard to tell because the article, while well written, is not neutral. The author may have depicted Vasquez as a larger than life character. As described, he seems to lack some of the qualifications required for a position as arson investigator, notably a scientific background in thermodynamics or some related field in physics/chemistry. If Vasquez was accurately described in the article then even a moderately talented defense attorney would have had an easy time discrediting him based on academic qualifications alone. I'm not saying Willingham was fairly treated but nevertheless, the article must be taken with a grain of salt.

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wudge View Post
    I hope you never get seated as a juror.
    It's always so pleasant to have my thoughts marginalized in such a snotty, dismissive way, but I'll bite.

    I was seated as a juror. Twice. One was in a civil case, one was the penalty phase of a capital murder trial. You'll be pleased to know I voted (in the majority) for LWOP. The guy was completely guilty and it was a heinous crime, but I truly believed there to be mitigating factors that prevented me from voting the DP.

    In this case, after reading what those jurors had to go on, I would absolutely vote to convict. I'd be having to contemplate it seriously even now.

    This is in no way meant to be confrontational, but you believe Scott Peterson is innocent, right? Can't I say, given the evidence (much of it circumstansial, I realize, but compelling) that I hope YOU never get seated as a juror because you might vote not guilty in a situation where the defendant is indeed guilty? Is it fair to blame a juror for their interpretation of the material given them? When I served on the murder trial, it was NOT easy. I was really impressed by the weight given to the decision by everyone there. We never tried to rush the process and we had some really emotional discussion. In my case, it was easy because the guilt was apparent. I can only imagine it'd be harder in a case such as this.

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by MomofBoys View Post
    It's always so pleasant to have my thoughts marginalized in such a snotty, dismissive way, but I'll bite.

    I was seated as a juror. Twice. One was in a civil case, one was the penalty phase of a capital murder trial. You'll be pleased to know I voted (in the majority) for LWOP. The guy was completely guilty and it was a heinous crime, but I truly believed there to be mitigating factors that prevented me from voting the DP.

    In this case, after reading what those jurors had to go on, I would absolutely vote to convict. I'd be having to contemplate it seriously even now.

    This is in no way meant to be confrontational, but you believe Scott Peterson is innocent, right? Can't I say, given the evidence (much of it circumstansial, I realize, but compelling) that I hope YOU never get seated as a juror because you might vote not guilty in a situation where the defendant is indeed guilty? Is it fair to blame a juror for their interpretation of the material given them? When I served on the murder trial, it was NOT easy. I was really impressed by the weight given to the decision by everyone there. We never tried to rush the process and we had some really emotional discussion. In my case, it was easy because the guilt was apparent. I can only imagine it'd be harder in a case such as this.

    No one who decides circumstantial evidence cases on but media reporting should ever be a juror.

    You stated: "Take Casey Anthony. Is she guilty? Absolutely, there's not a smidge of doubt in my mind. Were we there? Did we see her kill Caylee? Did we see her dump the body in the woods? Nope. Could we come up with a 100 bizarre scenarios to explain the forensic evidence? Yes. She could get the needle, and that'd be fine with me."

    You have no interest in hearing all the facts. You have no interest in a trial. You already found clear and unyielding evidence that Caylee is dead, because Casey committed a premeditated murder. Even worse, you're perfectly fine with executing her without having all the facts.

    I warn law students who are interested in criminal practice to never seat anyone if that person wants to be a juror or if they can ascertain that the person jumps to conclusions.

    As a footnote, I also strongly advise law students that during voir dire, they should ask prospective jurors if they have ever posted in law or crime forums -- as well as investigate and review all postings that can be found under their screen name or names. If they obtain an affirmative answer, they should try to review the posts of that prospective juror before agreeing to seat them.
    It's not what a man knows that makes him a fool, it's what he does know that ain't so. .... Josh Billings

  7. #52
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    No one who decides circumstantial evidence cases on but media reporting should ever be a juror.
    Well, I'm not LE. But I do have a much better knowledge of the case than any potential, seatable juror, I guarantee you. Thousands of pages of documents. Scouting the area. Speaking with the Anthonys. Participating in the searches. Do you somehow have better knowledge? Because I'd love to hear it.

    There's no way in hell I'd be seated on the Anthony trial, and that's why the system, at least usually, works.

    As you well know, circumstansial evidence IS evidence. It's not lesser evidence or backup evidence. I know it might not matter too much to someone who thinks everyone isn't guilty, but with the Sunshine laws and close proximity to the area, someone can inform themselves to the best of their ability. Who outside of LE CAN know everything about a case? And last I checked, they don't seat law enforcement on criminal trial juries, generally speaking.

    But whatever, you're beyond condescending and obviously have no room for dissenting opinion.
    Last edited by MomofBoys; 09-13-2009 at 04:47 PM.

  8. #53
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    isn't the article from the woman who visited him?

  9. #54
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    Miss_Scarlett is offline Oh, come on, you don't think I'm gonna fall for that old trick?
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    A great article, well worth the entire read. I would have convicted him with the initial evidence, but once all of that was disputed he should have had his conviction overturned like the other man mentioned in the article with an almost identical case did. What's sad is that after his ex-wife defended him for so long she read the original information and then believed he did it and showed up for his execution. He was a jerk, yes, which he admitted, but the evidence showed, to me at least, that he was innocent if not at least not guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. I wonder what she thinks now.

  10. #55
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    After reading all 17 pages and all the responses, I opted to walk away, get some coffee and come back, then post my thoughts.

    IMO, the jury did what they were instructed to do and voted based on the evidence presented. What we read was information provided by hindsight, not what was presented at trial. Of course, I came to an early conclusion, while reading that the defense for this man was terrible and it didn't help that the author cited the claim that most court appointed attorneys are drunks or minutes away from being disbarred. I don't believe that the average person would question an experts testimony, unless the defense can prove or impeach that expert. When that happens, then a juror can question the reliability, make a choice and play the reasonable doubt card. If I missed the part where this defense attorney offered such testimony during the trial then I apologize.

    This case and article are sad. There were many issues that need to be addressed when it comes to this death penalty case, with the biggest being the appeal process and I agree that the most recent expert testimony raised reasonable doubt.

    I am pro-death penalty. I do not feel this article supports revoking the option, rather I see it as an example that the appeal process needs reform, which I agree with 100%.
    God Bless Jorelys


  11. #56
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    Miss_Scarlett is offline Oh, come on, you don't think I'm gonna fall for that old trick?
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    I think this article brings up many issues with the legal system. There is probably something in it that will appeal to anyone in some way.

    I did think it was inappropriate that the article did not include his final statement, which was partly profane. I felt that by hiding that fact that it could raise suspicions for other facts in the article for some people. And the man never said he was a good guy, just that he did not kill his children. If I were wrongly accused and about to be put to death with the evidence brought to light ignored I might say something offensive, too. Although, I probably would be thinking about my child. Still, can't blame him for his anger then.

  12. #57
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    Texas governor shakes up panel probing 2004 execution.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/10/01/...obe/index.html

  13. #58
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    Miss_Scarlett is offline Oh, come on, you don't think I'm gonna fall for that old trick?
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    I can't believe he'd put his head in the sand on this travesty of justice. Oh, I guess that would mean a big lawsuit against Texas he would want. Sure, that makes sense.

  14. #59
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  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by ohiogirl View Post
    No one is less trustworthy than a politician. Yet, they are the Court of Last Resort. If a pardon or clemency would cost votes, expect an execution.
    It's not what a man knows that makes him a fool, it's what he does know that ain't so. .... Josh Billings

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