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Tags Ahmaud Arbery , Georgia incidents , Gregory McMichael , prosecutorial misconduct , racism charges , racism incidents , shooting incidents , Travis McMichael , William Bryan

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Old Yesterday, 04:04 AM   #841
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
If they hadn't released a video of themselves doing the crime they would still be free men.
But do remember that the arresting officers at the time thought a crime had been committed. It was the DA that afterwards decided to sweep it under the carpet. It should have been prosecuted even without the video. The video made it impossible for the DA not to prosecute.
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Old Yesterday, 04:07 AM   #842
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Tell the truth: Do you really believe this garbage or are you just screwing with us?
I think he does sincerely believe that white people should not be prosecuted for killing black people.
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Old Yesterday, 04:36 AM   #843
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
I don't really see that happening on this one. This is multiple counts of felony murder and malice murder with aggravating factors. The coming body cam video is going to make "Depraved Heart" a slam dunk.
Bryan may be granted the possibility of parole. The McMichaels? Not a chance.
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Old Yesterday, 05:31 AM   #844
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Originally Posted by erlando View Post
Both felony murder and malice murder carries a mandatory life sentence with minimum 30 years served but the judge can decide to grant the possibility of parole in both instances.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/24/u...der-judge.html
From what you posted "Both charges can also result in the death penalty, but prosecutors did not seek it in this case." Surely that is the judge's decision?
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Old Yesterday, 05:34 AM   #845
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
From what you posted "Both charges can also result in the death penalty, but prosecutors did not seek it in this case." Surely that is the judge's decision?
Generally it's up to the prosecutor to seek death.
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Old Yesterday, 05:36 AM   #846
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Generally it's up to the prosecutor to seek death.
Why? - Genuinely don't understand why.
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Old Yesterday, 05:37 AM   #847
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Why? - Genuinely don't understand why.
It's part of the adversarial system. Sentencing is argued between the prosecutor and defense. It varies by jurisdiction, sometimes a judge rules or sometimes a jury decides where exactly within the prescribed limits the sentence lands.

Our system generally gives prosecutors a lot of discretionary power when it comes to how aggressively to act. Seems awfully arbitrary to me
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Old Yesterday, 06:49 AM   #848
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
From what you posted "Both charges can also result in the death penalty, but prosecutors did not seek it in this case." Surely that is the judge's decision?
Capital cases are litigated differently and the jury has to understand that the death penalty is an option during the trial.

For one thing, in most states the prosecution would have to prove that special circumstances exist in the case. So, the judge can't arbitrarily turn a non-Capital case into a Capital one at sentencing.
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Old Yesterday, 06:56 AM   #849
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Why? - Genuinely don't understand why.
Hate to generalize here but there is quite a bit of overlap between the kind of people who would vote to convict in a death penalty case and the kind of people who think it's okay to kill a black jogger. Asking for the needle might have seated a jury much more favorable to the defense.
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Old Yesterday, 07:06 AM   #850
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The point is, in most if not all death penalty states, the jury has to vote to recommend the death penalty, in addition to voting on the guilt of the defendant or defendants. Therefore, both the prosecution and defense have to take this into consideration during jury selection. That's why the judge can't just decide to impose the death penalty when the prosecution hasn't specifically sought it.

Note that there is an argument to be made that an entirely separate jury should vote on the death penalty. This is because anyone who admits to being opposed to capital punishment will have been excused from serving on the jury for cause, and one might reasonably conclude that people who favor capital punishment are more likely to vote for guilt.
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Old Yesterday, 07:06 AM   #851
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Originally Posted by jadebox View Post
Capital cases are litigated differently and the jury has to understand that the death penalty is an option during the trial.

For one thing, in most states the prosecution would have to prove that special circumstances exist in the case. So, the judge can't arbitrarily turn a non-Capital case into a Capital one at sentencing.
That makes sense.
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Old Yesterday, 07:12 AM   #852
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Tank View Post
I actually have to actively work to fight the conditioning about southerners.
By being an outspoken racist?

Yeah way to fight those stereotypes.
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Old Yesterday, 07:31 AM   #853
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
You have to remember there is only one "reason" behind all of Skeptictank's disgusting opinions, and that is "white is good, black is bad", there is nothing more sophisticated or rational than that simple mantra.
I would like to reiterate Darat's point by noting that the subject of this thread is a group of men who have been caught on camera committing murder, being successfully prosecuted for the act, and now we have a poster referring to this conviction as a "win for criminals."

Fascism is nested in contradiction and doublespeak. To anyone even a little bit familiar with the English language, a "criminal" is someone who commits crimes. But to the fascist, the word denotes something more akin to a personal judgement. The "criminals" are the undesirable elements of society, possessing some ineffable quality that just makes them bad people. And of course, a civilized society must treat them appropriately: Trash goes in the dustbin, milk goes in the fridge, and minorities go in the camps.

You even see this sentiment expressed in milder forms in our criminal justice system, when a younger white defendant is given a mild sentence for a serious offense because "he has his whole life ahead of him" or "he doesn't seem like the prison type."

So don't bother arguing the facts of a crime with a fascist. It's just a "law and order" coat of paint over a pile of racism.
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Old Yesterday, 07:38 AM   #854
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Thanks for the background on death sentences.
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Old Yesterday, 10:18 AM   #855
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Execution for those poor, poor men? Woe, heaven forbid! They've been punished enough!

Let them rot in prison for the rest of their lives.
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Old Yesterday, 12:07 PM   #856
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
It's part of the adversarial system. Sentencing is argued between the prosecutor and defense. It varies by jurisdiction, sometimes a judge rules or sometimes a jury decides where exactly within the prescribed limits the sentence lands.

Our system generally gives prosecutors a lot of discretionary power when it comes to how aggressively to act. Seems awfully arbitrary to me
In some cases, deciding on the death penalty can also be in the Jury's remit.
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Old Yesterday, 07:06 PM   #857
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Originally Posted by erlando View Post
Both felony murder and malice murder carries a mandatory life sentence with minimum 30 years served but the judge can decide to grant the possibility of parole in both instances.
I was thinking of 30 years when I made my remark. Even at a minimum, his son will be an adult, with a life and possibly a family of his own. His biological father will no longer be in any way relevant to him, except perhaps for curiosity's sake.
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Old Yesterday, 07:24 PM   #858
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We'll we've got the racist's opinion, I wonder how mean we'll have to be to the poor widdle racist murder to trigger the Batsignal for the board's non-racist contrarians to decide we need a good talking to.

Come on where's the "pound of flesh" people? The "we're just as bad" people? The "two wrongs don't make a right" people? Where one of our Swedes to call us barbarians because in their country murders only get 3 days in a luxury hotel?

Less flippantly and more actually on topic, my main concern now is the DA and other people who sat on the original incident. They need to see hard time.

Real talk. Long term we need more oversight on small town police forces and court systems.

We still need to remember that all of this only happened because one video went got out. Had Roddie had two more brain cells this entire incident would never have gotten out.
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Old Yesterday, 07:48 PM   #859
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Come on where's the "pound of flesh" people? The "we're just as bad" people? The "two wrongs don't make a right" people? Where one of our Swedes to call us barbarians because in their country murders only get 3 days in a luxury hotel?
Considering recidivism in Sweden is less than half of what we have here in the states, in spite of comparatively mild sentencing, maybe we should be listening when they tell us such things.

Oh wait, that would be unamerican.

Last edited by Shadowdweller; Yesterday at 07:51 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 07:53 PM   #860
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
.....
Real talk. Long term we need more oversight on small town police forces and court systems.
.....
In many places, including Georgia, prosecutors and judges are elected. Their decisions are heavily influenced by what the local voters want. That's not likely to change easily. But it's not always the problem either. In the Arbery case, the judge and (ultimate) prosecutors did an effective job.
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Old Yesterday, 08:00 PM   #861
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Originally Posted by Shadowdweller View Post
Considering recidivism in Sweden is less than half of what we have here in the states, in spite of comparatively mild sentencing, maybe we should be listening when they tell us such things.

Oh wait, that would be unamerican.
I would guess that in the small and largely homogeneous society of Sweden, there are strong social pressures against committing crimes and a high likelihood that someone who commits a serious crime will be identified, caught and punished. In the U.S., it's a crapshoot. A criminal has a very good chance of getting away with any particular crime. Tough sentences are intended to make the cost of committing a crime high, and to protect the public for a longer time. Whether it works is certainly subject to debate.
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Old Today, 01:26 AM   #862
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
I would guess that in the small and largely homogeneous society of Sweden, there are strong social pressures against committing crimes and a high likelihood that someone who commits a serious crime will be identified, caught and punished. In the U.S., it's a crapshoot. A criminal has a very good chance of getting away with any particular crime. Tough sentences are intended to make the cost of committing a crime high, and to protect the public for a longer time. Whether it works is certainly subject to debate.
There's also good evidence that prison regimens that concentrate on rehabilitation, payback and reintegration in society work far better than those that focus on punishment, isolation and "toughness" of sentence and conditions within a country which would negate the factors you mention.
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Old Today, 08:30 AM   #863
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I was thinking of 30 years when I made my remark. Even at a minimum, his son will be an adult, with a life and possibly a family of his own. His biological father will no longer be in any way relevant to him, except perhaps for curiosity's sake.
If you don't count the part about him being a convicted murderer..
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Old Today, 09:38 AM   #864
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I was thinking of 30 years when I made my remark. Even at a minimum, his son will be an adult, with a life and possibly a family of his own. His biological father will no longer be in any way relevant to him, except perhaps for curiosity's sake.
In the UK under our human rights the kid has a right to a "family life" so would have to have access to their father, don't know if a kid in the USA has such a right? If so it may not be ideal but there is no reason the child has to grow up without their father in their life.
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Old Today, 09:43 AM   #865
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This is kind of a Bizzarro World Smollet story in a way. If a black person said " yeah this guy Arbery was murdered by white men and the DA swept it under the rug and nothing happened", a lot of us would roll our eyes and say "yeah of course that happened".

Roddy-Rod has, in his exquisite hubris, showed the world that it actually does happen. And here and now, not buried in newspaper articles from a half century ago.

More than anything else, that DA needs to be led out of a courtroom in cuffs. White collar aiding of racist murder has to be handled the same way Travis was handled.
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Old Today, 10:06 AM   #866
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
In the UK under our human rights the kid has a right to a "family life" so would have to have access to their father, don't know if a kid in the USA has such a right? If so it may not be ideal but there is no reason the child has to grow up without their father in their life.
Depending on the level of restriction he's under, the child will likely have the right to visit his dad in prison. It may not be physical contact, just phone visits through glass. The severity and violent nature of his crime will mean he likely won't get physical visits right away. With good behavior, that can change though.
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Old Today, 10:45 AM   #867
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
This is kind of a Bizzarro World Smollet story in a way. If a black person said " yeah this guy Arbery was murdered by white men and the DA swept it under the rug and nothing happened", a lot of us would roll our eyes and say "yeah of course that happened".

Roddy-Rod has, in his exquisite hubris, showed the world that it actually does happen.
Yes, but I suspect the usual apologists will be along soon to insist that this doesn't lend any credibility whatsoever to any allegation that more or less exactly the same thing has ever happened at any other time in the past.

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Old Today, 01:12 PM   #868
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Question: Do any of these guys have any grounds for a successful appeal? Did the judge make any rulings or reject any evidence that hurt the defendants unfairly? This process could go on for years.
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Old Today, 01:25 PM   #869
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Originally Posted by Shadowdweller View Post
Considering recidivism in Sweden is less than half of what we have here in the states, in spite of comparatively mild sentencing, maybe we should be listening when they tell us such things.

Oh wait, that would be unamerican.
In the sense of not being a political football used to score points by elected prosecutors and law enforcers? Indeed.
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Old Today, 01:37 PM   #870
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Question: Do any of these guys have any grounds for a successful appeal? Did the judge make any rulings or reject any evidence that hurt the defendants unfairly? This process could go on for years.
So long as they can get lawyers, it will go on. This is enough of a political football to attract some sort of money or some sort of politically/culturally aspirational lawyer to do some work for free.

So my guess is that the legal process will have a long tail.
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Old Today, 01:43 PM   #871
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
So long as they can get lawyers, it will go on. This is enough of a political football to attract some sort of money or some sort of politically/culturally aspirational lawyer to do some work for free.

So my guess is that the legal process will have a long tail.
Sure, the process will go on. It always does. But is there any realistic basis for the verdicts to be overturned? I haven't seen one, but I'm not a lawyer. I doubt the "too many black pastors" complaint will go very far.
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Old Today, 02:34 PM   #872
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Question: Do any of these guys have any grounds for a successful appeal? Did the judge make any rulings or reject any evidence that hurt the defendants unfairly? This process could go on for years.
Actually, the "black pastors" and related issues is probably their best chance on appeal. Gough made sure to note for the record everything related. Who was in the gallery. He saw someone in the courthouse wearing a Black Lives Matter mask. Whether the jury could hear any noise from the outside. And so on. Plus the fact that a jury passes a note to the judge asking what information about the jury had been released to the public. That was right after the defense asked Albenze if he had received threats. And the constant requests to the judge to affirmatively ask the jurors if they had any issues.

I think the judge handled things well. I also think the appellant court would agree when the prosecution called out the defense for attempting to create situations that they could complain about. They are the ones who raised the issue of the neighbor receiving threats. They are the ones who brought up Jesse Jackson being there when it appears nobody else had even noticed. They were the ones making obviously inflammatory remarks about black pastors and Colonel Sanders knowing that would make the situation worse and not better. Absent any additional breaking news about something more that happened, I expect that will fail on appeal.
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Old Today, 03:27 PM   #873
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Question: Do any of these guys have any grounds for a successful appeal? Did the judge make any rulings or reject any evidence that hurt the defendants unfairly? This process could go on for years.
I think the judge did a good job. The only exception is right at the end where I think the prosecution and judge nearly blew it. This is a bit of a complex issue on the citizens arrest law. Here is the law:

Quote:
A private person may arrest an offender if the offense is committed in his presence or within his immediate knowledge. If the offense is a felony and the offender is escaping or attempting to escape, a private person may arrest him upon reasonable and probable grounds of suspicion.
It has a sloppy construction that can make it ambiguous. It is really setting two different stands of evidence required for different situations. Under the first sentence, an arrest can be made for any offense (misdemeanor or felony) that is committed in the person's presence or immediate knowledge. The second sentence provides for the lower stand of evidence of only reasonable and probable suspicion, but only applies when the offense is a felony and a person is trying to escape.

When they talked about the charge, there was disagreement about whether an arrest must always be done immediately after the offense is committed. The State provided case law that a higher Georgia court ruled that a person can't see a crime and then arrest the person days later. The defense argued that case was a misdemeanor and therefore only applied to the first sentence where the offense occurred in their presence and not to the second sentence for a felony (they claim burglary in this case) and the person is trying to escape. They argued an escape could occur when the person is confronted days or even weeks later and then tries to run away.

I completely disagree with the defense's interpretation because it is contrary to every other case ruling I have seen, but because the cases related to that second sentence are so rare there has never been a ruling in Georgia on that issue. The court agreed to just use "escape" in the charge and basically let the jury decide what that means. That means the defense and prosecution in closing arguments can argue their interpretation of how the jury should apply "escape" in this context.

In the prosecution's final rebuttal, she explained that a person must be present, or within immediate knowledge and explained what that is (like a security guard watching a shoplifter on a camera). She then said the arrest has to be made immediately or the right to arrest is extinguished.

But then she said there are a few other caveats. If the offense had been committed in the person's presence (as required in the first sentence) and was a felony then the person doesn't have to arrest right at that spot but can also chase the person down if they are escaping. The defense objected to that as a misstatement of the law. I agree.

They had a couple objections and the judge didn't seem to understand the objections. The defense didn't state the objection clearly and mixed it up with the "escape" interpretation issue. The prosecution kept going. That led to a motion for mistrial. They get the jury out of the room.

Houge tries to explain in his Eeyore voice that she is applying the "presence" standard to the second sentence when the standard for that sentence is reasonable and probably suspicion. Prosecution tries to argue that the law says "If that offense is a felony..." and therefore refers to the offense from the first sentence that happened in a person's presence even though that interpretation is obviously incorrect and would make the phrase "reasonable and probable grounds of suspicion" in the second sentence meaningless. The prosecution also has a slide up with the second sentence but has added a parenthetical that would make that sentence only applicable of the offense occurred within the person's presence.

The judge still is obviously tired of dealing with this issue. They all seem tired. He went over all kinds of stuff on this law last Friday and even allowed the defense to issue a written statement to review and ruin his weekend. Someone he still isn't picking up what the defense is saying and is stuck on the "escape" issue. He asks the prosecution if that is what they are arguing. The prosecution takes that escape hatch and says they will stick to that. The prosecution tells the jury this is just the State's argument of how the law should be applied and she drops the issue and moves onto the "escape" issue.

The judge blew it, sort of. He didn't understand the issue. And it is a very important one to the defense. I don't know why the prosecution was even trying this angle considering the possibility of opening a door to appeal. They could win without this.

But considering that the judge at least got the prosecution to drop the issue and get back on track and that both sides had argued interpretation of this particular law, and possibly that the appellant court would probably rule that even an arrest of someone escaping a felony must be contemporaneous, I expect the court would decide that this does not give sufficient rise to overturn the convictions.
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Old Today, 04:35 PM   #874
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Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
.....
The judge blew it, sort of. He didn't understand the issue. And it is a very important one to the defense. I don't know why the prosecution was even trying this angle considering the possibility of opening a door to appeal. They could win without this.

But considering that the judge at least got the prosecution to drop the issue and get back on track and that both sides had argued interpretation of this particular law, and possibly that the appellant court would probably rule that even an arrest of someone escaping a felony must be contemporaneous, I expect the court would decide that this does not give sufficient rise to overturn the convictions.
Did the judge's instructions touch on this specific issue? Did he lean either way?
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Old Today, 06:50 PM   #875
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Did the judge's instructions touch on this specific issue? Did he lean either way?
It was a mess. Prosecution starts saying, "If the offense, the one that was just committed in your presence, is a felony...Do you get why they are trying make Ahmaud a burglar so desperately? Because if all he is doing is trespassing..." Then Hogue objects because she is misrepresenting the law. He doesn't say why. I think he was hoping the judge would remove the jury because he doesn't want to talk about these arguments of law in front of the jury. He pauses and the judge isn't doing anything. He says the parenthetical is not accurate. The judge says the parenthetical is State's argument and the rest is the charge and he reminds the jury that the jury will be provided with the charge. He allows prosecution to proceed.

At this point I think the judge should have removed the jury so they could hash all this out. That would be unusual during closing because there usually aren't even objections because it is just argument. I don't recall this rather novel interpretation being discussed in Friday's charge hearing, but the judge allowed written arguments over the weekend and got a bunch of emails from both sides. He decided not to read those in court but said he would submit them into the record, so we don't know what was discussed. It is a bit difficult to judge the judge when we don't know all the facts.

Prosecution continues on reading the charge and saying that the parenthetical is the State's reminder that the offense in the second sentence refers to the offense in the first sentence and is saying "that means if the offense occurs right then and there..." Then Rubin (for Travis; Hogue is for Greg) objects because this is not the law that will be charged to the jury. Hogue joins. Judge says objection is noted and allows prosecution to continue.

I think this is where the confusion really began. Rubin objected when prosecution was talking about the "escape" issue, absent any further clarification from defense, the judge believed that was what this was about. Maybe it was; I'm not actually sure. I can understand defense not wanting to get into specifics in front of the jury, but they should have made some vague clarification or asked the judge to talk without the jury. They did not.

Prosecution proceeds to talk about the "escape" issue and then just reads the statement about "reasonable and probable suspicion" without further comment even though that phrase is now out of context. Hogue objects. Judge says this was discussed in the conference. Rubin joins. Motion for mistrial. Request for conference. Jury steps out.

Rubin says the charge will say that the arrest must occur immediately after the arrest or in the case of felonies during escape. If the person does not make the arrest immediately or during escape in the case of felonies the power to arrest is extinguished. Rubin says the State is arguing "and" when the charge says "or". Rubin seems to be arguing the "escape" issue. The judge already through them a bone on that one and went out of his way to accept written arguments over the weekend. That is a done deal. The judge isn't looking pleased.

Hogue says this is a misstatement of the law, but that is really it. Gough joins. Prosecution says defense argued their interpretation and now State gets to rebut with their interpretation. Still talking about the "escape" issue. Rubin goes on with the same "escape issue" objection.

Hogue finally gets close to the real objection: "The State is arguing that the felony in the second sentence has to have just occurred in the immediate presence of the person seeking to arrest the escaping felon. That is absolutely a misstatement of the law as the court agreed to charge it...The second sentence does not require the felony to have occurred within the immediate presence contemporaneous with the escape and the chase. That is not the law the court agreed to charge." There is the confusion. I think Hogue is talking about the "presence" issue but his statement also includes the "escape" issue so it is not clear exactly why he feels this misrepresents the law. He doesn't say. And Rubin and everybody else was talking about the "escape" issue.

Prosecution drops the ball, but recovers the fumble. She sees what they are saying. She says she isn't trying to work the "presence" issue into the second sentence. Dropped the ball. But then she says that is to set up the "escape" argument. Recovered the fumble. Judge is knitting his brows. He is confused. He focuses back on the "escape" issue because defense started with that and hasn't said anything that could not be interpreted as being along that same argument. Judge says as long as the State is limiting argument to that "escape" issue that would be permitted. Prosecution says that is what they will do.

That's the end. Prosecution doesn't go back to the "presence" issue and proceeds on with the "escape" issue.

So, I take back my statement that the judge blew. The defense blew it. They confused the two issues and never actually clarified that there was a problem with the "presence" issue.

Sorry to be so long winded, but this is a complex issue that was presented in a complicated way to the extent that it even confused an experienced trial judge of the Superior Court.
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Old Today, 07:15 PM   #876
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Did the judge's instructions touch on this specific issue? Did he lean either way?
Maybe I misunderstood your question. Did you mean the judge's instructions to the jury? He did accept the State's argument an arrest must be immediate. But also accepted the defense's argument that that is only when the crime was committed in a person's presence and that an arrest for a felony could be made when escaping. So he said something like an arrest must be made immediately after it was committed or in the case of a felony when escaping.

That's a pretty big bone for the defense, because other circumstances the courts would probably rule that even for a felony the arrest must be contemporaneous and that escaping means escaping the scene of the crime and not escaping some sort of confrontation at a later date.

He did leaving "escaping" with no definition and left it up to the jury to decide, based on argument, what that meant. A cop out really, but considering the very serious charges here with multiple defendants and a law that no longer exists, I think the proper way to go. Give the defense the best possible option and let the prosecution work the case so that this issue won't be a matter for appeal and send this back through the courts on a law that no longer exists.
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