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Should a dead woman's notes be evidence in her murderer's trial?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
You can read the story here:
http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/04/17/po....ap/index.html
A woman who died in 1998 had feared that her husband would poison her and try to make it look like a suicide, and left a written note & evidence with her neighbor. She indeed died of anti-freeze poisoning, and her husband was charged with her murder, but a Supreme Court ruling in another case said that using notes from a murder victim violates a defendant's right to face his accuser!! So the husband was released to be free and remarry and the victim's family is awaiting the State Supreme Court to decide this one.......
What's your opinion? IMO, the victim's rights here are just as important as those of the defendant!! Esp. since she had provided pictures of the list of poisons. I guess it would have helped if she had the actual list, but unless it was in his actual handwriting the defense could argue that it's impossible who created the lists.....Wives, BEWARE, I guess...
post #2 of 14
That chaps my hide that the perpetuators have more rights than the victims too. Theres an issue here in Christchurch about this. Here, the victim doesnt get name suppression if s/he is murdered but the accused does until the judge decides so. I know innocent until proven guilty but what about victims rights???

There is a major case going on here, a woman was raped repeatedly by 3 policemen and her background was allowed to come into the trial and it was not til after the men were found not guilty that 2 of the cops were already on remand in another rape case. The jury was not allowed to know of this. That makes me so mad!!!!!
post #3 of 14
"But in March 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled a 1980 case that laid out complex rules for when statements can be used without the opportunity for cross-examination. The court said the case complicated a fairly straightforward part of the Constitution, which guarantees a criminal defendant the right to confront his accusers.", from the above article.

This I really don't understand. Aren't the accusers officers of the law, or the victim's family and friends? Society?
post #4 of 14
There was a recent ruling to this effect by the Supreme Court (I cannot remember the case from which it stemmed). It really REALLY hurts domestic violence and sexual assault survivors who are afraid to face their abusers in court; even with so much great physical evidence and other eyewitness testimony, cases may be thrown out because of the defendant's right to face their accusor.

Generally, I really respect the Constitution, but some things just get taken too far.
post #5 of 14
I think the rule of having the right to face your accuser if a good one.

But, on the other hand I would think they should have been able to prove their case against the husband without it.

If I were on trial for something I would want to be able to face my accuser but this is a tough one.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv
I think the rule of having the right to face your accuser if a good one.

But, on the other hand I would think they should have been able to prove their case against the husband without it.

If I were on trial for something I would want to be able to face my accuser but this is a tough one.
The "accuser" in this case is dead, though. I'm thinking of the OJ case - witnesses were allowed to testify to the fears that Nicole had expressed to them, and the 911 calls were allowed.
post #7 of 14
I think the letter should have been allowed but the prosecutor would still need other evidence to convict....
post #8 of 14



and the reason he can't face his accuser... she's dead!
post #9 of 14
I swear I've seen a Forensic Files episode where this happened. The only defense of the deceased was her diary that described how she feared him.

The guy got convicted in the end for her diary.
post #10 of 14
i think it should have been allowed. This guy got away with murder.
post #11 of 14
So what's the lesson here, class? Right! If you intimidate or threaten someone, you are better off just killing them so they can't use their complaints and written records in court under the "face your accuser" clause. Dead (wo)men tell no tales.

What a huge setback for victim's rights.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
So what's the lesson here, class? Right! If you intimidate or threaten someone, you are better off just killing them so they can't use their complaints and written records in court under the "face your accuser" clause. Dead (wo)men tell no tales.

What a huge setback for victim's rights.
Heidi, I have to agree - and it makes me shudder...
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
So what's the lesson here, class? Right! If you intimidate or threaten someone, you are better off just killing them so they can't use their complaints and written records in court under the "face your accuser" clause. Dead (wo)men tell no tales.

What a huge setback for victim's rights.


My question is do we truly live in a civalized society>>>??
post #14 of 14
[quote=jcat]"But in March 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled a 1980 case that laid out complex rules for when statements can be used without the opportunity for cross-examination. The court said the case complicated a fairly straightforward part of the Constitution, which guarantees a criminal defendant the right to confront his accusers.", from the above article.

I know we all know that this woman would be present if she could be so that this worthless #*&%# could face his victom. It should have been allowed!
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