CA - Supreme Court won't allow statements by murder victim

Discussion in 'Past Trial Discussion Threads' started by SewingDeb, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. SewingDeb

    SewingDeb "Sorry, I'm not qualified to land the plane."

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    Court won't allow statements by killer's victim

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that a murder victim's prior statements cannot be used against her killer because it would violate a defendant's constitutional right to confront witnesses who testify against him.
    The high court's 6-3 ruling was a victory for Dwayne Giles, who had been convicted by a jury in Los Angeles for the 2002 shooting death of his former girlfriend, Brenda Avie. He was sentenced to at least 50 years in prison.

    The court majority said the constitutional right to confront a witness applied even if the defendant was responsible for the witness being unavailable to testify at trial.

    At the trial, the jury heard statements that Avie made to a police officer several weeks before her death that Giles had assaulted her and threatened to kill her.

    Giles appealed his conviction and argued that Avie's statements should not have been allowed because his lawyers never had an opportunity to cross-examine her.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080625/ts_nm/usa_court_testimony_dc
     
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  3. Spazkat9696

    Spazkat9696 Former Member

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    All I have to say is That is outrageous.
     
  4. Ciara

    Ciara New Member

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    Thats disgusting and makes no sense........so if a child or anyone else is interviewed and says they were abused etc and the POS kills them then their statements cant be used ...even though its the POS's FAULT that the witness is not there.......Ohhh this makes me rage. Stupid Judges:behindbar
     
  5. ttrachel04

    ttrachel04 New Member

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    this makes no sense.

    THE KILLER SHOULDN'T HAVE OPENED HIS MOUTH if he didn't want this to be used against him.

    that's how i would've ruled.
     
  6. believe09

    believe09 Active Member

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    The wife who just convicted her husband from the grave-I guess this is going to get him set free. How about witness statements that include video interrogations etc??? Those cases are going down the toilet too....The Supreme Court is on a roll-K word to the court; they just encouraged batterers to kill their so's since prior complaints cannot be used against them if they kill the so's.

    FABulouS.
     
  7. hipmamajen

    hipmamajen I love the friends I have gathered together on thi

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    Did you hear that criminals? Just KILL ALL THE WITNESSES, then you're off scot free.

    Do these judges even think about stuff like this?
     
  8. fran

    fran Former Member

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    I'm not likin' this decision at all. There's two cases being investigated in Illinois right now, that depend on statements made by the deceased wives.

    Lisa Stebic and the Kathleen Savio and Stacy Peterson cases.

    I hope this doesn't mean they aren't going to be able to get these guys.:behindbar

    JMHO
    fran
     
  9. DeltaDawn

    DeltaDawn Inactive

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    Oh geez..this is bad news. I would say the killers already confronted the murder vic about what they had said, written or done..tha's why the vic is dead.
     
  10. Toby

    Toby Rest in Peace

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    We need to change our laws to make life as a criminal harder, and elect/appoint judges who are stronger on crime.
     
  11. philamena

    philamena Former Member

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    :clap: Dag-gone right ttrachel. :clap:
    The killer should have very few rights.
    Why are defendants offered more and more rights? :furious:
     
  12. oceanblueeyes

    oceanblueeyes Well-Known Member

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    Uh oh! This is the case that Mark Jensen's lawyer said would get him a new trial if the US Supreme Court found in favor of Giles.

    What a blow to the victims....more and more the defendants have all the rights and the victim has none.

    imoo
     
  13. SewingDeb

    SewingDeb "Sorry, I'm not qualified to land the plane."

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    I'm disgusted with this ruling. I think the jury needs to hear a lot more than they do now in order to make a true and right decision.
     
  14. DEPUTYDAWG

    DEPUTYDAWG Active Member

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    That was my first thought, as well.

    This just seems wrong, on many levels. Hurt the victim's chances for justice even more. That may not be the situation in every case, but we do know it has made a difference in some cases in the past.

    GRRRRRRRR
     
  15. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    The responses here all seem predicated in a belief that the victim's statement was accurate, but the accuracy of such statements is precisely the problem confronted by the court.

    Any statement that "so-and-so is going to kill me" is at best a prediction, rather than a statement of fact, and at worst it may be only a hunch, a vague fear, a rash statement made in anger or even just a joke. ("That man'll be the death of me yet!")

    But once the victim is killed, the same statement will take on a sort of eerie and uncanny accuracy which it may or may not deserve, and which a defendant has no way of counteracting. I believe this is the problem recognized by the court.
     
  16. evelyn24

    evelyn24 cray cray

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    HOLD THE &@#^* ON!

    A statement to the POLICE is not allowed if the victim winds up dead later on???
    WHAT?
    We know hearsay etc is not allowed, like Diary entries without an independant witness to whatever the person claims in the diary.
     
  17. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    Actually, killing a witness to prevent her testifying is a different situation (according to the article). If such can be proved, the defendant loses his right to cross-examine the (dead) witness. So such testimony is allowed.
     
  18. Salem

    Salem Former Member

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    This is only a part of what happens at the trial. I do believe a witness can say they "heard so and so say" because they heard it and they can be cross examined. Did you really hear it? How far away were you? Could you have confused the wording? The witness can not testify that what they heard was true or it meant this or that, only that they heard the words....

    They will still get this guy, he probably gets a new trial, but the prosecutor should be prepared for it.

    Salem
     
  19. BeavisMom62

    BeavisMom62 No, Butthead is NOT here!!

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    ITA! :furious:
     
  20. SieSie

    SieSie Active Member

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    Sure seems that way, ocean! :furious: Very bad ruling, IMO.
     
  21. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    I'm not a lawyer, but I believe there are about a billion exceptions to the hearsay rule (and exceptions vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction). One is "statements against penal interest" or words to that effect. Under certain circumstances, a witness can testify she heard the defendant say he was guilty (or something similarly inculpatory). In such a case, you are right that the witness is not testifying to the truth of the statement, only that it was made by the defendant.
     

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