O.J. Simpson Prison Photo
In a bizarre twist, LAPD announced today that they have a knife in place that was possibly recovered from O.J. Simpson’s estate. Apparently, a retired officer says that a construction worker gave it to him when we was off-duty, but working a detail across the street. It’s unclear, but it may have been when the home was being destroyed in 1998. The officer says that he kept the knife at home, and was getting it framed when he asked a colleague for some details of the case, at which point the colleague informed the higher ups, who ordered the retired cop to turn it over.
The L.A. police department indicate they are going to forensically test the knife, checking for blood, hairs, or anything that might determine if the knife was involved in the murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman. It’s doubtful there will be definitive evidence after so many years, and the knife apparently being buried for some time. Not that it matters, as double jeopardy prohibits O.J. from being tried again for the murders.
Michael Dunn mug shot
The city of Jacksonville released financial numbers indicating the Dunn trial cost taxpayers $99,158.26. These numbers don’t include a lot of important costs, such as the expenses incurred by the State Attorney to prosecute the case. The majority of these costs were for law enforcement overtime, and the costs associated with jury sequestration. Unfortunately for city coffers, the hung jury on the most serious counts mean that a similar retrial is likely. This case cost substantially less to try than the Zimmerman case, and is being used as a model for upcoming cases, such as the Marissa Alexander case. That case will also be a second trial.
Wait, why doesn’t double jeopardy apply to these cases? Because they were not acquitted the first time around. Had they been found not guilty, they could not be tried again. In Dunn’s case, the hung jury on the murder charge essentially
makes the trial on that count a nullity, and it must be retried anew. The convictions on the other charges will stand. As Marissa Alexander was convicted the first time around, she could have let that verdict stand. But since she got the benefit of a new trial being ordered on appeal, she faces the prospect of a new trial. Normally, the sentence cannot be increased on a retrial, as it could be seen as vindictive. However, legal changes may force the judge to order any minimum mandatory sentences under 10/20/Life to be served consecutively. That legal change may force the court’s hand, which would suggest the increased sentence was not due to vindictiveness. Defendant’s are not eligible for gain-time or other early release on a 10/20/Life sentence, which means Ms. Alexander would serve every day of 60 years, less what credit she already had.
Posted in 10-20-Life, 5th Amendment - Miranda Rights, Criminal Law, Florida, Florida Cases, Stand Your Ground
Tagged appeal, double jeopardy, jacksonville, michael dunn. marissa alexander, murder, retrial, trial
Amanda Knox, the American student charged with her roommate’s murder while studying abroad in Italy a few years ago, may be nearing the end of her saga. She was initially convicted of the murder of Meredith Kerchner, along with her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. Separately, a man named Rudy Guede was also convicted of the murder. Prosecutors insist that Knox and Sollecito were involved. The trial was an international media sensation, due in part to Ms. Knox’s attractiveness. The British tabloids dubbed her Foxy Knoxy, and she was condemned in the Italian press even before her trial.
The Italian courts held an appeal, and the convictions against Knox and Sollecito were both thrown out due to lack of evidence. They had already spent four years in prison on the case, and the prosecutors vowed to appeal. That appeal was argued before the Supreme Court, and the Court has announced they will issue their decision tomorrow. If Knox wins, she can finally put this ordeal behind her. If prosecutors are successful, the case will be returned to a lower court, and she could be forced to stand trial again.
Such a retrial would not be permissible under U.S. law, as our Constitution prohibits trying someone twice for the same offense. As such, if it were sent back, the United States may refuse extradition based on our own legal principles. It is too early to speculate and further than that, pending the decision to be issued tomorrow by the Italian court.
Posted in 5th Amendment - Miranda Rights, Amanda Knox, Criminal Law
Tagged amanda knox, appeal, double jeopardy, fifth amendment, foxy knoxy, italy, meredith kerchner, murder, rafaelle sollecito
Two of the four convictions Ms. Anthony received for lying to police have been thrown out for double jeopardy. The Courts ruled that the state could not convict someone of multiple statements during the same interrogation. Thus the court rejected the theory argued by prosecutor Jeff Ashton in his book, and again by the appellate counsel. The Court also rejected the Defense argument that the interview was single episode. The 5th District Court found that since there were separate interviews, with a significant temporal break between them, that constituted two separate occasions of giving false information. The Court upheld two convictions, and threw out the other two. This doesn’t have a major impact for Ms. Anthony, as she has already served her time for those misdemeanor offenses.
Also, Crimcourts got a chance to watch the movie about Miss Anthony’s case, Prosecuting Casey Anthony, which was based on Jeff Ashton’s book. It was not as one-sided as I was afraid, being based on the prosecutor’s book. Rob Lowe was fine as Ashton, though I have come accustomed to his comedic roles. Oscar Nunez (Oscar from the office) was excellent as Anthony’s attorney Jose Baez… perhaps too polished for Mr. Baez. The movie didn’t capture the tension the case carried in the courtroom. It did show that there was some ambiguity in the evidence but, true to life, Mr. Ashton had his prosecution blinders on. It’s probably only worth watching if you followed the case closely.
Posted in 5th Amendment - Miranda Rights, Casey Anthony, Criminal Law, Florida, Florida Cases
Tagged 5th amendment, casey anthony, criminal, double jeopardy, florida, Jeff ashton, miranda