Press "Enter" to skip to content

Tag: murder

The “Beauty Queen” Murder Case

 

The “Beauty Queen” Murder Case: I hate it when they call it that.

It really has absolutely nothing to do with the case. But it sure sells “widgets”. It just goes to show you how hard it can be to get a fair trial when the media, especially the silly social media, decides they are experts on something they know nothing about. They are so good at doing that, after all.

Leave a Comment

Avery v. O.J. Simpson

Avery v. O.J. Simpson - Seattle Criminal Lawyer Blog

I know I promised to write more about Making a Murderer. But, two things happened: first, I got busy with my actual job. Second, O.J.

I watched Episode One of the new O.J. series, The People Versus O.J. Simpson, sooo aptly named. The People really are all either for or against him, let’s face it – with a passion. It is actually one of the only cases, ever, where it really does ultimately boil down to what we, the People, think. Just post a blog about it and you’ll find out… quick.

The main reason I write any of this is to educate people about what criminal lawyers actually do. It seems to be an area that needs some input, with a view towards dispelling some of the myths that exist out there about criminal lawyers and how the criminal justice system functions in real life. I will try here to show how that goal ties in with this new O.J. show, although I’m not so sure the O.J. case has anything to do with what criminal lawyers really do. It is truly surreal in that otherwise all too real world of criminal law.

But it actually happened.

Leave a Comment

The Unsung Hero of the OJ Trials (Part III, or The Anatomy of a Trial)

OJ Simpson - The Anatomy of a Trial - Seattle Criminal Lawyer Blog

[If you missed the first part of this series, it would be good to start at the beginning HERE. I had to cut it in half to make it more manageable, but there are just so many aspects to Petrocelli’s excellent trial work that I couldn’t leave any of this stuff out. Here is the last part of the Petrocelli post…]

Previously, I was explaining how Petrocelli’s questioning of OJ Simpson about his ‘ugly ass shoes’ worked so well – primarily by repeating the defendant’s very memorable statements back to him, and having him repeat obvious lies over, and over, and over. This really made it all stick in the minds of the jurors and made it extremely clear whenever OJ contradicted himself or just sounded so unbelievable they couldn’t look past it anymore.

2 Comments

OJ Simpson Saved Lives! (Part II: Extreme Cases)

OJ Simpson Trials - Seattle Criminal Lawyer Blog

As we shall see, the O.J. Simpson criminal murder trial turned out to be a complete circus. From the “Dancing Ito’s” on Jay Leno to the wall-to-wall coverage of the ten million defense attorneys, all vying for attention in front of the cameras. It was a joke.

But the impact of the trial on the actual real world, the one off-camera away from L.A., was no joke. To this day I tell people that it changed the face of criminal law forever.

Gone were the days of Domestic Violence (DV) cases being dismissed just because the chief witness didn’t show up. You see, it used to be that when you had a DV case, literally half the time you got to trial and the complaining witness (or victim, depending on how you look at it) was a no-show. No witness, no case, no trial, case dismissed. Simple as that.

Enter Nicole, stage right, with her nearly decapitated head, a truly horrific image.

4 Comments

O.J. Simpson Saved Lives! (Part I: The Hidden Tapes)

OJ Simpson Trials - Hidden Tapes - Seattle Criminal Lawyer Blog

I know. Crazy title. Don’t worry, I’ll get to it.

The O.J. Simpson case(s) have had a huge impact on American society, particularly the legal system, and on me personally, over the past two decades. Most recently, A&E aired an excellent piece about his cases, the trials, and the legal work that was done behind the scenes, called O.J. Speaks: The Hidden Tapes (apparently there was another show on LMN, which I did not see, but will make a point of looking for it.) I predict that a lot of people watched or will watch these shows.

If you haven’t yet, you should. Try here.

They speak volumes about the anatomy of an actual murder case and describe in detail some extremely good (and bad) lawyering. This is real life murder mystery at its best – and worst.

4 Comments

Jury or Judge: Can You Kill a Corpse?

Brelo - Judge Jury Executioner - Police - Seattle Criminal Lawyer Blog

When I first heard the news that there was a verdict in Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo’s shooting case I was pleased. I thought it would give me a great opportunity to demonstrate what I had been talking about in prior posts regarding these types of cases: Let the Jury Decide, Let the Jury Decide, Let the Jury Decide. Except this case was not decided by a Jury. It was decided by a Judge. Ugh.

A judge trial, more properly called a ‘bench trial’, is rare. Very rare. As in, you almost never seriously consider it in criminal cases. In divorces, at least in Washington State, you are stuck with them. I guess that is because there is no Constitutional Right to a jury trial in those cases, no presumption of innocence, no proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Just two angry former lovers fighting over toasters and pet dogs and who gets to (or in some cases, has to) take the kids over holiday weekends. (Sorry Mimi and SDS, but you know it’s true. As I always say I’d rather handle a rape or murder case any day than a divorce. Much less nasty.)

Leave a Comment

Tampering with Evidence Makes You Guilty…

 

Tampering with Evidence Makes You Guilty - Taser - Seattle Criminal Lawyer Blog

Tampering with Evidence Makes You Guilty… of Tampering with Evidence, not Murder.

This is, for now, the final installment of the sad saga of Officer Slager’s shooting of poor Mr. Walter Scott.

People are talking about how Slager must be guilty because he apparently planted the Taser next to Scott’s body. The one that he probably thought Mr. Scott had grabbed out of his hand, but which in fact had flown out behind Slager and hit the dirt after Scott appeared to grab it.

It seems that Slager picked up the Taser and dropped it next to Scott’s body. Looks very bad. But remember what I said in my prior post about how Slager might have believed that if Scott had grabbed his Taser it might create an argument that Slager was shooting him because he thought Scott was a fleeing felon who was armed and dangerous.

I say might because it is not exactly an easy argument to make. However, that does not mean that his lawyer should just give up and not make the best argument he can for his client. That is the every decent criminal defense attorney’s job, like it or not.

Leave a Comment