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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by nursebeeme View Post
    anything involving murder of a little girl is sick and twisted. We KNOW Sandra was murdered. Melissa is arrested for it. Do you honestly think LE has nothing to corroborate this arrest?????

    Seekingjana,
    I agree with your above post and seriously wonder why it was sealed as well.
    JMO, I think the evidence was sealed for the following reasons:

    1. The public is obviously outraged over this whole thing, especially after the second child's mother, Lora Polk, came forward with her account of MH and her daughter being drugged. This sparked an outrage here in the community towards LE as "dropping the ball". If you go back and look at comments on the Tracy Press, you will see this sentiment. I think that is one reason, that the judge doesn't want to "inflame" the public further with the gruesome details.

    2. The second, more plausible reason IMO, is that they are being EXTRA cautious in guaranteeing MH a fair trial. I would not be surprised if there was a change of venue regardless, but I think they are wanting to make very sure that a mistrial will not happen in this case. I think you will see lots of extra care taken around this trial. It has received tons of media attention, and all eyes are on that court right now.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCDRAW View Post
    No Sandra can no longer be hurt but her family can. I feel like as a parent it should be the parents right to decide whether to release their child's information to the public. I'm thinking more with my heart than legally. I just don't see this as protecting MH, we already know she is a very sick and twisted individual. More details of what she did to Sandra isn't going to change that. IMO
    IF Sandra's family is being used for the basis of the sealed records, then I think they should have been flown out of the country weeks ago and secluded. The details of the crime are already horrific. When did justice decide that adults needed to be protected from the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

    I'm sorry but I do not support or condone this action, not in this case or in any other.
    If her family needs help and counseling, then I hope they get it.
    The details of what Melissa Huckaby did need to be known, because those details may help determine her final sentencing.
    There are apparently many people in CA who do not support the DP.
    The details of what happened to Sandra Cantu might make the difference to some anti- DP supporters, or those who are undecided.

    JMO as a defender of the truth,
    Maria

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapdragon View Post
    JMO, I think the evidence was sealed for the following reasons:

    1. The public is obviously outraged over this whole thing, especially after the second child's mother, Lora Polk, came forward with her account of MH and her daughter being drugged. This sparked an outrage here in the community towards LE as "dropping the ball". If you go back and look at comments on the Tracy Press, you will see this sentiment. I think that is one reason, that the judge doesn't want to "inflame" the public further with the gruesome details.

    2. The second, more plausible reason IMO, is that they are being EXTRA cautious in guaranteeing MH a fair trial. I would not be surprised if there was a change of venue regardless, but I think they are wanting to make very sure that a mistrial will not happen in this case. I think you will see lots of extra care taken around this trial. It has received tons of media attention, and all eyes are on that court right now.

    Snap, are you saying then that the details of exactly what the M.E. has stated happened to Sandra's body in the official autopsy will be made public in Melissa's trial, wherever it is located?
    That's the point that is not clear to me. Is the sealing of documents for pre-trial only, or will it extend to the trial itself? I've never heard of a fair trial where some official info as important as an autopsy report not entered into the court record, but then, I've never seen a defendant go this long without having to enter a plea of SOME TYPE either.

    Maybe CA law is extremely different from Texas law.. kind of an understatement, I would think.

    Thanks,
    Maria

  4. #64
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    I think the reason the autopsy results were sealed was to protect the integrity of an unbiased jury pool from San Joaquin County. If the results were released and caused massive "public outrage", and they picked a jury from these outraged citizens, that might be grounds for an appeal of an eventual conviction if the trial was not moved elsewhere. The jury's not going to hear all the awful details of the pain and suffering Sandra endured until they are seated in the jury box, and I have no problem with that.

    I think they want to try this case locally and everyone concerned, including the judge, is doing what they can to insure as unbiased a jury as possible. You don't want a conviction overturned and the family having to go through the heartache of a second trial.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapdragon View Post
    JMO, I think the evidence was sealed for the following reasons:

    1. The public is obviously outraged over this whole thing, especially after the second child's mother, Lora Polk, came forward with her account of MH and her daughter being drugged. This sparked an outrage here in the community towards LE as "dropping the ball". If you go back and look at comments on the Tracy Press, you will see this sentiment. I think that is one reason, that the judge doesn't want to "inflame" the public further with the gruesome details.

    2. The second, more plausible reason IMO, is that they are being EXTRA cautious in guaranteeing MH a fair trial. I would not be surprised if there was a change of venue regardless, but I think they are wanting to make very sure that a mistrial will not happen in this case. I think you will see lots of extra care taken around this trial. It has received tons of media attention, and all eyes are on that court right now.
    I should have read your post before posting pretty much the same thing!

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeFromLB View Post
    I think the reason the autopsy results were sealed was to protect the integrity of an unbiased jury pool from San Joaquin County. If the results were released and caused massive "public outrage", and they picked a jury from these outraged citizens, that might be grounds for an appeal of an eventual conviction if the trial was not moved elsewhere. The jury's not going to hear all the awful details of the pain and suffering Sandra endured until they are seated in the jury box, and I have no problem with that.

    I think they want to try this case locally and everyone concerned, including the judge, is doing what they can to insure as unbiased a jury as possible. You don't want a conviction overturned and the family having to go through the heartache of a second trial.
    Bold added by me.
    Joe, I am perfectly fine with whatever needs to be sealed pre-trial being sealed as well.

    Justice must be meted out in the most perfect human way possible with no contamination from pre-trial sensationalism ( more than what has already occurred, that is).

    Thank you for clarifying what time period the sealing and gag order covers.

    Maria

  7. #67
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    IF the autopsy revealed the presence of MALE DNA, wouldn't the State want that suppressed until, at the very least, TPD starts looking for male suspects???

  8. #68
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    Well, I'm assuming the results will be unsealed once the trial begins and the jury hears the details. At that point, there would no longer be a need to keep them sealed. I do not know, however, the time period the gag order covers.
    I'm just speculating here.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeekingJana View Post
    Snap, are you saying then that the details of exactly what the M.E. has stated happened to Sandra's body in the official autopsy will be made public in Melissa's trial, wherever it is located?
    That's the point that is not clear to me. Is the sealing of documents for pre-trial only, or will it extend to the trial itself? I've never heard of a fair trial where some official info as important as an autopsy report not entered into the court record, but then, I've never seen a defendant go this long without having to enter a plea of SOME TYPE either.

    Maybe CA law is extremely different from Texas law.. kind of an understatement, I would think.

    Thanks,
    Maria
    I do not know the answer to this. But I wouldn't be surprised if there is a gag order issued for the entire trial and the jury is sequestered. My guess is that we won't know any official details until the trial is over. They have said they do not want MH tried in the press. They are being extra cautious to avoid a mistrial. I, personally, think the evidence should be presented to the public, but our justice system has gotten a bit screwed up. To deal with today's justice system, the prosecuter/judge have to ensure a fair trial, especially in such a high profile case with an very rare type of defendant (female sex offender/murderer). Again, I think the fear is a mistrial. This will also be a VERY expensive trial too..

    As to the plea not being entered, I don't understand this either??? How long can this go on? Are there laws that say a plea must be entered by a certain time?

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veritas View Post
    IF the autopsy revealed the presence of MALE DNA, wouldn't the State want that suppressed until, at the very least, TPD starts looking for male suspects???
    If the autopsy revealed such information - then the City of Tracy & its courts are being HIGHLY irresponsible by suppressing this information. Such evidence would mean that there is still someone in the community that is running amuck and is a DIRECT threat to other children. Most parents are probably feeling a little better knowing there was an arrest in this case and for all intents and purposes, only 1 perp was involved. DNA of a male would mean that MORE than 1 perp was involved who has NOT been arrested and is still a THREAT to the community.

    It this were to turn out to be the case, I would personally write to all involved and let them know how disgusting the hiding of such evidence is! I don't think there is any evidence of a male perp.

    Salem


  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeekingJana View Post
    IF Sandra's family is being used for the basis of the sealed records, then I think they should have been flown out of the country weeks ago and secluded. The details of the crime are already horrific. When did justice decide that adults needed to be protected from the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

    I'm sorry but I do not support or condone this action, not in this case or in any other.
    If her family needs help and counseling, then I hope they get it.
    The details of what Melissa Huckaby did need to be known, because those details may help determine her final sentencing.
    There are apparently many people in CA who do not support the DP.
    The details of what happened to Sandra Cantu might make the difference to some anti- DP supporters, or those who are undecided.

    JMO as a defender of the truth,
    Maria
    ITA with all of your posts on this subject SJ! Just curious... but does anyone recall any other case where the autopsy was sealed? I am not able to think of one off the top of my head!

  12. #72
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    IIRC Laci Peterson and Connor's autopsy reports were sealed.
    "Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind." ~ Henry James

  13. #73
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    I'm not thinking it's that uncommon to seal autopsy reports prior to trial. I've seen it happen in a few high profile cases, can't remember off the top of my head nursee which ones. I'll be happy to go look for other's than the one I think I remembered (Laci and her son) but the words the judge used for sealing them ...I dont' recall ever hearing those used before.
    "Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind." ~ Henry James

  14. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by SeekingJana View Post
    I have VERY conflicted feelings about this ruling. First, I don't know if judges can seal parts of the actual trial. If so, then it appears to me that Melissa Huckaby is being protected. Sandra is in heaven. Words about what was done to her cannot hurt her any longer.
    But words about what was done to her could taint potential jurors. The legal process has to be preserved in case you or any of us here are ever accused unjustly.
    Quote Originally Posted by SeekingJana View Post
    The withholding of details in this case causes me to wonder:
    (respectfully snipped by lngrid)
    [B]Will the information be released at trial? How can a trial be complete if all the evidence against the accused is not released?
    I'm guessing the judge's primary concern is to conduct a fair trial that returns a verdict that won't be overturned on appeal. Therefore, to the judge the trial is compete if the jury knows the evidence. Our desire to know would be a distant secondary concern.
    Quote Originally Posted by SeekingJana View Post
    1) Will the Cantu/ Chavez family not have access to their daughter's autopsy either, even though they have a right to know if they want to know?
    That's a good question. Now I'm curious about that, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by SeekingJana View Post
    2) If the family has the documentation available to them, then are the records sealed to protect Sandra, who was pure, innocent, and is now deceased and cannot be harmed by the entire results being made public---
    OR is this a backhanded attempt to shelter Melissa Huckaby and HER family?
    A third option is that records are sealed to prevent public outrage from tainting the jury pool.

    Quote Originally Posted by SeekingJana View Post
    3) When did the judiciary start deciding to censor the results of a crimescene investigation, including an autopsy report? Who does the judge think paid for the investigation and autopsy? Taxpayers did, and she is accountable to the public.
    Crimes aren't investigated in order to provide lurid crime details to the public. The legal system works the way it does to stop crime and protect innocent people from being accused. It has flaws but it's the best system we've been able to come up with so far...

    Long ago a policeman knocked on my door. In his hand was a photo of a woman who looked just like me. Same hair, same eyes, same shade of skin. She even drove the same color, make and model car as I did. She was wanted for robbery. What saved me a lot of hassle was that she was apprehended that very day and identified by fingerprints. Life is full of quirks like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by SeekingJana View Post
    4) I don't know what could be in the sealed report that we haven't ever heard of or read about here on WS. I don't think there's one single thing that could be shocking at this point.
    Uh. I think the judge had a broader public in mind that just us here at WS.

    Quote Originally Posted by SeekingJana View Post
    Regrettably going against popular opinion here, I think the public does have the right to know, if they want to know. I do not see this decision as protecting either Sandra or her family as much as I view it as protection for the sick perp., Melissa Lawless Huckaby.
    Uh. What would be the judge's motivation for doing that?
    Quote Originally Posted by SeekingJana View Post
    Disclaimer-Again, I don't know if this ruling means it will not be part of her trial because IMO, if it will be part of the trial, then this is one heck of a short delay for ? reasons.
    I don't see how the judge could. Autopsy evidence is critical to a murder case. Excluding this evidence from the trial would have the lawyers screaming "MISTRIAL!" right after they exited the courtroom.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by QNA View Post
    During the short proceedings on Friday it has been reported that Huckaby seemed more relaxed and at ease than her previous appearance. And although she showed no emotion for most of her appearance she did smile at her attorney at one point.

    This to me would indicate a level of comfort and assurance. Could the defense be building a strong case for her, one that she is content with?
    , I think that it is MH's confidence that she is smarter than everyone. She sounded the same way in her account given to a reporter of an incident where she was suspected of drugging another child in the mobile home park.

    How smart is MH really? The statements that she made to that reporter about other aspects of Sandra's disappearance were contrary to those she had given to police, and in part resulted in her arrest.

    Her attitude is insulting, but since it seems to work against her, I hope she keeps it up, especially if she thinks she can prove she's innocent by taking the stand and her lawyer can't keep her from doing so.

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