Skip to comments.Jury Finds Drew Peterson Guilty of First Degree Murder
Posted on 09/06/2012 1:02:23 PM PDT by GVnana
JOLIET, Ill. DEVELOPING: Jurors convicted Drew Peterson of murdering his third wife Thursday, capping a sensational, five-year legal saga that began after the swaggering former Illinois police officer's fourth wife vanished.
Peterson, 58, faces a maximum 60-year prison term when sentenced. Illinois has no death penalty.
The prosecution built its case almost exclusively on circumstantial and hearsay evidence, including testimony about what Peterson's wives had told friends and acquaintances before the one died and the other disappeared. The verdict was a vindication for Will County prosecutors, who gambled by putting on such a case and then committed numerous stumbles during testimony that drew angry scoldings from the judge
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/09/06/peterson-guilty-of-first-degree-murder/#ixzz25innzX3E
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
This I'm sure will be the primary focus of the appeal.
At least he won’t be on the streets.
I have heard from an oldschool attorney that the term “circumstantial evidence” was subtly dragged through the mud in the last few decades by defense attorneys to give it a negative connotation, but within legal circles it’s just another kind of evidence that has sufficient weight to convict.
It will be interesting to see how the defense frames it’s appeal since the newly enacted law allowing the testimony that convicted Petersen is in direct conflict with the hearsay rule.
I expect his conviction to be overturned as the law will be found to be unconstitutional. Then what will the prosecution do?
He should get the max. His lawyer(s) should get disbarred for ignorance and stupidity. They were laughing about rulings and the “lack of evidence”. Then the morons called a witness opening the door to information the Prosecutor wasn’t allowed to bring out. I think it was the last witness called. Cemented the guilty verdict against their own Client. I think they should never be able to practice law and/or do some prison time themselves. They left the door open for appeals for “Incompetent Counsel”.
They left the door open for appeals for Incompetent Counsel.
Well a good lawyer is supposed to do everything they can to get their client off, even if that means looking like you are an incompetent lawyer.
Pull what off?
Completely trashing the Constitution?
We gotta get rid of this no death penalty bullcrap.
This guy really needs a noose and a tall tree.
[It will be interesting to see how the defense frames its appeal since the newly enacted law allowing the testimony that convicted Petersen is in direct conflict with the hearsay rule.]
This link is a bit dated, but I found it instructive:
Two things I get from that read. First, the constitutional issue is the right to confront your accuser. There is no constitutional prohibition against hearsay generally, as long as the right of confrontation is honored, and the hearsay rule already accommodates numerous exceptions that do not violate that right, especially in those scenarios where the statement being offered cannot be made by the original witness because they have died or are otherwise unavailable (coma, etc.), i.e., where confrontation is no longer feasible. In those scenarios, the finder of fact (judge, jury, etc.) gets to decide, based on the realities before them, whether to admit such evidence or not.
Second, as the article at the link states, the special hearsay law enacted during the Peterson case apparently was not actually used as the basis for admitting some of the most damning hearsay testimony, but that common law hearsay was invoked, precisely because the prosecution could not meet the stringent requirements of proof in the new law that the unavailable witness had been intentionally made “unavailable” by the accused.
So don’t take out too much on your bet that this case will be overturned on appeal. The appeals court will give the lower court as much deference as it can in determining questions of fact, including evidence admissibility. Im betting it sticks.
Did anybody actually think this clown would get off? The MSM pronounced him guilty and sentenced him to prison years ago.
Circumstantial evidence can be some of the strongest evidence. Footprints in the sand are circumstantial evidence but it's pretty conclusive that someone walked there. In this case, though, it's the hearsay which is the problem. The guy was deprived of the right to cross-examination. There are exceptions to the hearsay rule but this is a stretch.
In other words, he got away with murder.
I am not a lawyer. Who is it that this guy did not get to cross-examine?
The deceased wives. People testified that they were told this and that by these wives before they died. So essentially, the supposed testimony of the dead wives gets into the record but he doesn't have any ability to cross-examine these deceased "witnesses". He is deprived of the right to confront these accusers.