CONVICTION OVERTURNED GA - Ross Harris Trial Appeal, hot car death of son, Cooper

Allabouttrial

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He was reading in a Forum called 'the child free life' and I think that is what he truly wanted and desired.
That was MSM misrepresenting the facts. They did that quite frequently in this case. Nancy G was the front runner.

IIRC it was evidenced in court that his friend sent him the link via e-mail. I'm also pretty sure he never even clicked on it. After reading the title Harris replied back "grossness" .
 

Allabouttrial

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@katydid23 It's too late to edit my previous response.

Just been reading the supreme court ruling and realise my recollection wasn't quite accurate!


On April 28, 2014, Hall said in the group chat with Appellant, Milling, and Abdo, “so r/childfree exists” and “it’s the r/atheism of not having kids.” Appellant went to the website and about three minutes after Hall’s messages, responded in the chat, “grossness.” Over the next seven minutes, he clicked on three articles in the subreddit, one about a woman who posted an ultrasound of her IUD (intrauterine device), one about a woman returning from prison, and one about a blind person having difficulty dating.

 

RANCH

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I searched the GSC opinion and didn't find any mention of "child free life." I did find this that I find interesting.
Appellant was allowed to ask Detective Stoddard if Appellant had done
any internet searches for “any video involving a vet or a hot car or anything like that,” and the detective responded that he had not seen any evidence of that. On redirect examination, he testified that it would be untrue if anyone said that Appellant “Googled hot car searches, death, anything like that.”
See page 131 of link.
 

RANCH

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@katydid23 It's too late to edit my previous response.

Just been reading the supreme court ruling and realise my recollection wasn't quite accurate!


On April 28, 2014, Hall said in the group chat with Appellant, Milling, and Abdo, “so r/childfree exists” and “it’s the r/atheism of not having kids.” Appellant went to the website and about three minutes after Hall’s messages, responded in the chat, “grossness.” Over the next seven minutes, he clicked on three articles in the subreddit, one about a woman who posted an ultrasound of her IUD (intrauterine device), one about a woman returning from prison, and one about a blind person having difficulty dating.

I see. It's written childfree in one word. It's on page 35 of the opinion. Thanks for finding it.
 

katydid23

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It was the opinion of this court backed up by case law. There's no way to get around the fact that the trial court erred in allowing the cumulative and prejudicial evidence in along with not severing the sex crimes from the murder trial. JMO.
it is the majority opinion OF THAT COURT. But there is case law that supports the minority opinion. It is not cut and dry.

And another court, if it is appealed or motions are brought etc, when/if it is retried might come to another conclusion. These opinions are fluid.
 

RANCH

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it is the majority opinion OF THAT COURT. But there is case law that supports the minority opinion. It is not cut and dry.

And another court, if it is appealed or motions are brought etc, when/if it is retried might come to another conclusion. These opinions are fluid.
I agree that the dissent used case law to support it's minority opinion. I found that most of it to be in regards to giving the trial court wide "discretion" and the need for the evidence to be allowed in order to support the State's theory. I find that to be unfair to the defendant and so did the majority of the GSC.

The State has much more resources that a private citizen and giving them more power to tip the scales in their favor is just not right in my opinion. This case needs to be retried in a fair and just manner. JMO.
 

RANCH

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Here's an example of the dissent using case law that implies the State's case, excepting for the cumulative and prejudicial evidence, was not all that impressive.
In light of that extraordinary theory, the State had a clear prosecutorial need for the evidence. See, e.g., Worthen v. State, 306 Ga. 600, 606 (832 SE2d 335) (2019) (explaining that the prosecutorial need for the evidence at issue was high because “[t]he evidence against Appellant, aside from the other acts evidence, . . . was far from overwhelming.
See page 147 of link.

 

HarmonyE.

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The State has much more resources that a private citizen and giving them more power to tip the scales in their favor is just not right in my opinion. This case needs to be retried in a fair and just manner. JMO.
This. The deck starts stacked against the ordinary citizen and the last thing we should be tolerating is the prosecution bending the rules just to get a conviction. We all like to win, but with prosecutors it should not be at all cost. Unfortunately, it often is.

Ross Harris is a sc*mba*g who gives me the creeps. From the beginning I couldn't fathom what Leanna ever saw in him. But the fact that she now knows - and does not forgive - all the gross cheating he did behind her back and still doesn't think he intended to kill Cooper has always given me some pause. Even before it happened, she was afraid of the dumb ditz leaving the baby in the car. She knows him far better than we do.

So yes, a retrial is in order. And if it's done fairly this time and he's found guilty of malice murder again, I'll be 100% fine with that verdict.
 

RANCH

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This. The deck starts stacked against the ordinary citizen and the last thing we should be tolerating is the prosecution bending the rules just to get a conviction. We all like to win, but with prosecutors it should not be at all cost. Unfortunately, it often is.

Ross Harris is a sc*mba*g who gives me the creeps. From the beginning I couldn't fathom what Leanna ever saw in him. But the fact that she now knows - and does not forgive - all the gross cheating he did behind her back and still doesn't think he intended to kill Cooper has always given me some pause. Even before it happened, she was afraid of the dumb ditz leaving the baby in the car. She knows him far better than we do.

So yes, a retrial is in order. And if it's done fairly this time and he's found guilty of malice murder again, I'll be 100% fine with that verdict.
The State can retry this case and still present evidence that supports their theory. They just can't pile it on like they did. The GSC mentions this in the beginning of their opinion.
Appellant’s trial was legally sufficient to support his convictions for
the crimes against Cooper, and some of the evidence regarding
Appellant’s sexual activities was properly admissible as intrinsic
evidence of those crimes or to establish the State’s motive theory,
the trial court should have excluded much of this evidence under
OCGA § 24-4-403 because it was needlessly cumulative and prejudicial, including three categories of highly prejudicial evidence:
See page 3 of link.

 

katydid23

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I agree that the dissent used case law to support it's minority opinion. I found that most of it to be in regards to giving the trial court wide "discretion" and the need for the evidence to be allowed in order to support the State's theory. I find that to be unfair to the defendant and so did the majority of the GSC.

The State has much more resources that a private citizen and giving them more power to tip the scales in their favor is just not right in my opinion. This case needs to be retried in a fair and just manner. JMO.
To me, the bottom line of the majority opinion seems to be that the evidence submitted was highly prejudicial, thus it was unfair. But why is something prejudicial?


Prejudicial definition=Determining “prejudicial effect” of the evidence is also at the discretion of the judge.

In general, it means; 1) The extent to which information arouses the emotions of the jury such as sympathy, bias, or hostility, thereby interfering with their ability to reach an impartial verdict.



Essentially, it means that RH's behaviour was so egregious that the jurors could feel hostility and bias against him because of how rotten he was acting.

So let's not reveal to the jury what scummy things he was doing so they won't assume he was guilty of his child's murder?

My problem is, those scummy things explained and revealed his motive for that murder. So I think the judge made the correct decision to allow the evidence of his sexual addiction to be shared with the jury.

I don't think it was unfair. It was what it was. It was HIGHLY relevant that he was sexting with various women at the exact time his child was over heating in the car.

I think it was also relevant that he was obsessively having sexual hook ups in the weeks preceding his son's death. He was obsessed with these sexual interactions to the detriment of his daily life. His job was hanging by a string, as was his marriage.But he didn't care because he was more interested in those hook ups than he was in saving his job and his marriage. He revealed his priorities BY HIS ACTIONS.
 

katydid23

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I agree that the dissent used case law to support it's minority opinion. I found that most of it to be in regards to giving the trial court wide "discretion" and the need for the evidence to be allowed in order to support the State's theory. I find that to be unfair to the defendant and so did the majority of the GSC.

The State has much more resources that a private citizen and giving them more power to tip the scales in their favor is just not right in my opinion. This case needs to be retried in a fair and just manner. JMO.
The 'power to tip the scales?' What was it that tipped the scales? It was the defendant's own words and actions. It was FACTUAL evidence against him. It was the testimony about his own behaviour---behaviour that put him in prison for sex crimes.

I don't think it is 'tipping the scales' for the DA to report the defendants own personal behaviour. That behaviour is evidence towards his motive, so in my opinion, it should be allowed.

I don't think it is unfair to the defendant if the jury sees truthful representations of his own words and actions. Why should he be protected in a way that would benefit him, and prevent the jurors from seeing the whole truth about his behaviour during the time of the tragedy?

I think that is unfair to the victim, to hide some of the ugly truth about the crime.
 

RANCH

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The 'power to tip the scales?' What was it that tipped the scales? It was the defendant's own words and actions. It was FACTUAL evidence against him. It was the testimony about his own behaviour---behaviour that put him in prison for sex crimes.

I don't think it is 'tipping the scales' for the DA to report the defendants own personal behaviour. That behaviour is evidence towards his motive, so in my opinion, it should be allowed.

I don't think it is unfair to the defendant if the jury sees truthful representations of his own words and actions. Why should he be protected in a way that would benefit him, and prevent the jurors from seeing the whole truth about his behaviour during the time of the tragedy?

I think that is unfair to the victim, to hide some of the ugly truth about the crime.
The GSC used rules of evidence rule 403 in this case. Looks like you don't agree and that's fine with me, I think that this rule applies to this case and the trial court made an error in allowing all of the cumulative evidence. If you can explain why so much evidence was needed to prove one point of the State's theroy let me know. JMO.
90.403 Exclusion on grounds of prejudice or confusion.—Relevant evidence is inadmissible if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of issues, misleading the jury, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence. This section shall not be construed to mean that evidence of the existence of available third-party benefits is inadmissible.
 

HarmonyE.

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I don't think it is 'tipping the scales' for the DA to report the defendants own personal behaviour. That behaviour is evidence towards his motive, so in my opinion, it should be allowed.

I don't think it is unfair to the defendant if the jury sees truthful representations of his own words and actions. Why should he be protected in a way that would benefit him, and prevent the jurors from seeing the whole truth about his behaviour during the time of the tragedy?

I think that is unfair to the victim, to hide some of the ugly truth about the crime.

Why? Because that's how the US judicial system is set up. And trials aren't about fairness to the victim; it's the defendant who is entitled to a fair trial.

I'll let the court explain further:

The trial court also clearly abused its discretion in admitting the sexual-activities evidence to show Appellant’s intent, absence of mistake or accident, and knowledge, as indicated by the State’s failure to defend these purposes on appeal. The evidence was not relevant to show intent, because the intent required for the alleged crimes against Cooper was different than Appellant’s intent when he sent sexual messages and engaged in sexual conduct.

And again, malice murder requires intent. Not intent to sext. Intent to murder Cooper.
 

DaisyKenny

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Does anyone seriously think if he had murdered his wife the sexting and cheating evidence would have been unfairly prejudicial?

Harris tells one he is addicted to sex. He tells another he "hates being married sometimes, too." He tells another he misses being single. He tells another that "my wife should divorce me." He tells another "sometimes I want to be unmarried." He tells another, on May 19, 2014, "Wish I was single." That was a month before Cooper's death. He tells another, on May 23, "I settled down. Kinda regret it." He tells another on May 28, "I'm a bit miserable, too . . . No sex (in my relationship). You?" He tells another, on March 14, "I'm tired of living with my wife sometimes, lol." He tells another in January 2014, "I miss being single. ... I just want to (expletive) a lot of girls, drink a lot and have fun." He tells another in February, "You don't need a baby. It's not easy, and expensive. . . . I love my son, but that joker drains my paycheck." He tells another, in February 2014, "I have sex with strangers to block out a lot of my pain. ... I like it with strangers." He tells another "I have a sex addiction I've acted on. I kind of regret that."

He clearly hated being married but Cooper was the biggest obstacle to living the life he really wanted. It would have been an easy matter to divorce his wife. They had no assets to speak of and made about the same salaries so there wouldn't have been any spousal support. But there would have been child support, daycare, and medical expenses, not to mention all the time involved and other expenses that are part of raising a child. As Ross Harris said above "You don't need a baby. It's not easy, and expensive. . . . I love my son, but that joker drains my paycheck."

I agree with the three justices who dissented:
Three justices dissented in part, with one writing there was no question about the circumstances of Cooper's death. As a result, "intent was the lynchpin of the case," the dissenting opinion read.
To prove the theory they presented to the jury, prosecutors needed to prove the defendant's "sexual appetites ... were so strong and uncontrolled" that he would "take the seemingly unfathomable step" of leaving his son in the car on purpose.
Given the state had to prove the "allegedly limitless extent of those desires and the level of depravity" prosecutors alleged, the trial court had "the discretion to admit a detailed and wide-ranging body of evidence concerning those issues," the opinion said.
 

RANCH

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Does anyone seriously think if he had murdered his wife the sexting and cheating evidence would have been unfairly prejudicial?



He clearly hated being married but Cooper was the biggest obstacle to living the life he really wanted. It would have been an easy matter to divorce his wife. They had no assets to speak of and made about the same salaries so there wouldn't have been any spousal support. But there would have been child support, daycare, and medical expenses, not to mention all the time involved and other expenses that are part of raising a child. As Ross Harris said above "You don't need a baby. It's not easy, and expensive. . . . I love my son, but that joker drains my paycheck."

I agree with the three justices who dissented:
The GSC didn't say that all of the cheating and sexting evidence was prejudicial. The cumulative amount of it was the problem. JMO.
 

ScotAng

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I've been having problems for days trying to post.

I can only see your name in the quoted reply box, no content. Hopefully it shows when it posts.
If not, it was about your post during the trial when you suggested a car experiment.

Didn't someone's husband try it and post pictures? I'm starting to re-read, when I come across them I'll bring them here.
 

DaisyKenny

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The GSC didn't say that all of the cheating and sexting evidence was prejudicial. The cumulative amount of it was the problem. JMO.
If RH had killed his wife there would not have been even a question about limiting the amount of cheating and sexting evidence.

I really hope they retry him but I don't think he would go on the stand. He would have to explain why he lied by omission about vising the car at lunch and why he told LE that he wasn't the primary person to take Cooper to daycare, among other things.
 
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