"because the official date and time of Laci's death is the day her body washed up on shore, April 14th -- ???? Even though it was apparent by the state of decomposition that she'd been dead for quite some time? Puhleeeze."
The point is, if the date of Laci's death in the Coroner's report is pro forma, then why should I take the Coroner's classification of Laci's death as homicide as anything but equally pro forma, when the medical examiners who autopsied Laci could not assign any cause of death?
The Coroner's classification of Laci's death as homicide was not based on medical evidence.
To: J. Neil Schulman
Pro forma? You make absolutely no sense. No sense at all. Are you saying that a coroner has no authority to determine the manner of death? There have been murder cases brought to trial with convictions with no cause of death proven, but with a determination that the manner of death was homicide. If a corpse is too decomposed to determine whether or not death was caused by strangulation, poison, or suffocation, an ME or a coroner can still determine that a homicide occurred.
From Contra Costa County's coroner's website:
"The Coroners primary duty is to determine the cause, manner and mode of death as a result of homicide, suicide, accidental or unexplained deaths. The determination of death is reached through examination of evidence, scene investigation, review of medical records, witness and doctor interviews as well as autopsies and/or Coroner Inquests."
A coroner makes determinations that are legally defensible, and are used in court. But it seems that that doesn't matter to you.
posted on 11/30/2004 8:34:07 PM PST
To: J. Neil Schulman
Your entire article is FOS to anyone who has been paying the slightest bit of attention to this trial.
And that would not include you. Because if you had, you'd know that you don't need a body, a cause of death, or a motive to convict.
***CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE - Circumstantial evidence is best explained by saying what it is not - it is not direct evidence from a witness who saw or heard something. Circumstantial evidence is a fact that can be used to infer another fact.
Circumstantial evidence is generally admissible in court unless the connection between the fact and the inference is too weak to be of help in deciding the case. Many convictions for various crimes have rested largely on circumstantial evidence.
CIRCUMSTANCES - The particulars which accompany a fact.
The facts proved are either possible or impossible, ordinary and probable, or extraordinary and improbable, recent or ancient; they may have happened near us or afar off; they are public or private, permanent or transitory, clear and simple or complicated; they are always accompanied by circumstances which more or less influence the mind in forming a judgment. And in some instances these circumstances assume the character of irresistible evidence; where, for example, a woman was found dead in a room with every mark of having met with a violent death, the presence of another person at the scene of action was made manifest by the bloody mark of a left hand visible on her left arm.
These points ought to be carefully examined in order to form a correct opinion. The first question ought to be; is the fact possible? If so, are there any circumstances which render it impossible? If the facts are impossible, the witness ought not to be credited. If, for example, a man should swear that he saw the deceased shoot himself with his own pistol and upon an examination of the ball which killed him it should be found too large to enter into the pistol, the witness ought not to be credited. Or if one should swear that another had been guilty of an impossible crime.
posted on 11/30/2004 8:56:43 PM PST
(W, Still the President)
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