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Old 02-17-12, 11:44 AM Thread Starter   #1
Aldakoopa
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How do I deal with this?


One of my close relatives was falsely convicted of a crime he would have never committed. I won't give any names or details. The accusers didn't have to have any evidence to win the case and he wasn't even given a fair chance in court. They refused to listen to over half of his witnesses and wouldn't even let the jury listen to a psychiatrist he had hired talk about the subject in his defense. There was also a quack doctor that wouldn't even give a straight answer to any questions they were asked, instead they decided to go for the vague and indecipherable route.

This relative was very close and was a strong member of our family. He would help out anyone when help was needed and could always bring a smile to your face. I don't know what we will do without him around now.

Mods: if this isn't a subject that should be posted about in here feel free to remove it. I'm not sure if it's appropriate or not.

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Old 02-17-12, 11:55 AM   #2
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Did he have a lawyer? It sounds like he represented himself. I'm not saying he did, but any lawyer in their right mind would think this would be an open and shut case. There must have been some issue not to allow witness testimony, but there should be no way to bar someone from actually giving testimony.

I guess you could change lawyers and appeal it.

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Old 02-17-12, 11:59 AM Thread Starter   #3
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Yes he had a lawyer. His lawyer thought they had it because he had even caught the accusers in a few lies. The prosecutor wouldn't allow most of his witnesses to testify, I don't know the exact details of why not, and he also wouldn't allow the jury to hear the psychiatrist my uncle had hired, only the judge.

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Old 02-17-12, 12:23 PM   #4
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Looks like he had a bad lawyer with as little info as your giving...

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Old 02-17-12, 12:31 PM Thread Starter   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhatter256 View Post
Looks like he had a bad lawyer with as little info as your giving...
I wish I could give more info but I don't feel that it's appropriate. Let's just say it was a felony charge that most people will take the accuser's word over the defendant's. I've been reading other accounts of people falsely accused of the same thing and you're more likely to get away with murder than this.

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Old 02-17-12, 02:29 PM   #6
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He said/she said stuff is one of several horrible loopholes in our judicial system. It doesn't even need to be true, just accusation and publicity can ruin someone [let alone conviction]. The only way to win circumstantial cases is to do what the plantiff often cannot -- prove someone's guilt. But in this case, the guilt of the accusor's false allegations. You need to get a GOOD attorney and go after the accusor, which may require hiring a private investigator. If you must, accuse the accusor of something and have them defend themselves against phantom evidence like they used against your relative. What comes around goes around, right?

I'm one of those "if you're going to **** with me, then you better come hard because I'm coming with both barrels."
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Old 02-17-12, 04:02 PM Thread Starter   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinky View Post
He said/she said stuff is one of several horrible loopholes in our judicial system. It doesn't even need to be true, just accusation and publicity can ruin someone [let alone conviction]. The only way to win circumstantial cases is to do what the plantiff often cannot -- prove someone's guilt. But in this case, the guilt of the accusor's false allegations. You need to get a GOOD attorney and go after the accusor, which may require hiring a private investigator. If you must, accuse the accusor of something and have them defend themselves against phantom evidence like they used against your relative. What comes around goes around, right?

I'm one of those "if you're going to **** with me, then you better come hard because I'm coming with both barrels."
No matter how much I like that idea, I don't think that's going to happen. The worst part of it is, some of the witnesses brought in to testify AGAINST my relative stated that the person bringing the charges up was lying about it in the first place. They only let one of them testify in court and after they said it was a lie, they didn't let anyone else from the accuser's side testify and even considered bringing some of them to my relative's side. But the jury obviously wasn't paying attention when that happened. The judge sentenced him to life +12 years. He has applied for an appeal though.

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Last edited by Aldakoopa; 02-17-12 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 02-17-12, 09:25 PM   #8
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There's really not much to be said without knowing more details.

My brother was accused and convicted of murder a few years back. He spend a year in prison and was finally let out because the DNA from an item left by the criminal at the crime scene did not match my brothers.

You could probably ask for a retrial if there was absolutely no physical evidence indicating your relative committed the crime.
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Old 02-17-12, 09:48 PM Thread Starter   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TempliNocturnus View Post
There's really not much to be said without knowing more details.

My brother was accused and convicted of murder a few years back. He spend a year in prison and was finally let out because the DNA from an item left by the criminal at the crime scene did not match my brothers.

You could probably ask for a retrial if there was absolutely no physical evidence indicating your relative committed the crime.
He has requested an appeal but apparently that can take up to 3 or 4 years for them to even go over his request, and they can also deny it as well.

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Old 02-18-12, 12:22 AM   #10
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This mostly seems confusing and pointless. Too much missing information (on top of what you won't/can't share...which is totally fine), especially when its 2nd, 3rd handed or whatever this is....which also is 1 sided. :\

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Old 02-18-12, 12:53 AM   #11
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Pretty much what SteveLord said. Best thing is get a new lawer that knows his ass from a hole in the ground and appeal.

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Old 02-18-12, 09:44 AM Thread Starter   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveLord View Post
This mostly seems confusing and pointless. Too much missing information (on top of what you won't/can't share...which is totally fine), especially when its 2nd, 3rd handed or whatever this is....which also is 1 sided. :\
I wasn't really asking for legal advice. The legal part is over for now, until there is an appeal. I'm going to admit it's one-sided, but to me and the rest of my family, this is the only side that matters. Imagine you were in the same situation, would you believe your family member or some other person accusing them of something unthinkable?

The thing is, this was a very close family member, we are all a close family and we live in a small town. He was the one mostly responsible for any family gatherings; birthday parties, holidays, camping trips, cookouts, and other activities we do together often. Him getting a life sentence for something we don't believe he did is just like if we just had to go to his funeral. Essentially, losing him is like losing a thread that holds our family so close together. He was a breadwinner for a large family and there is no way his wife is going to be able to make enough money in her job to continue with paying the bills, including the costs for their lawyer and the psychiatrist they had hired or their mortgage and car payments and other bills. They will probably lose their house, land, cars, everything. This not only ruined my relative's name and life, but the entire name of my family, and affected all of our lives in a way that will take a long time for us to recover from, if we ever will.

On another note, I would like everyone to consider this thought the next time they hear someone accused of a crime: Don't immediately believe they are guilty. In the US, it is supposed to be "Innocent until proven guilty." Think of it that way. Believe they didn't do it until you see or hear some irrefutable proof that they did. This is how the justice system should work, but I don't feel that it did in this case.

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Last edited by Aldakoopa; 02-18-12 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 02-18-12, 05:30 PM   #13
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Funny thing to me is, you said the "prosecutor" wouldn't let his expert witness testify, or most of his personal witnesses testify. Prosecutors cannot prevent that. They can file motions to suppress, but the judge is the one who makes the final decision about who is qualified or allowed to testify in any jury trial, as I understand things.

Agreed, without more details, it's all just speculation. But from what you have said, without examining things in more detail, I think your best bet is to hire a high-powered law firm and be prepared to mortgage everything to the hilt to pay the bill and file for appeals based on whatever you can find.

I know you said it's a small town, and the legal community is generally a pretty tight one, with lots of cronyism throughout. And judges may often be good friends and drinking buddies with prosecutors... this could explain what you describe as a very 1-sided presentation of the evidence. In that instance, your best bet may be to gather some information on such a relationship and point out in the brief to the appellate court succinctly and plainly the lopsided presentation of the evidence and examples of failed attempts by the defense to have such evidence entered in. A change of venue might have prevented such problems, but that can be difficult to obtain, and is beside the point now... it's done, and anything else has to be handled by the appellate court. They set aside the verdict and order a new trial, with a venue change, or take up the case themselves. You might have some luck if you can get the ear of a state politician, say a senator or representative, or even better, one of the national ones for your area. They can make some calls to get a case brought before an appellate court... not influencing the decision at all, just talking to the appellate court's clerks or judges to say, "Hey, this case seems kinda questionable, maybe you should look into it more closely."

It's not quick, and it's not cheap. If it means enough to you, you may be able to get it done, if you have the resources.

The bad thing is that judges and prosecutors may have prosecutorial immunity even if their conduct is found to be incorrect, if not outright fraudulent or conspiratorial. At the end of it all, you may, if the verdict can be overturned, MAY be able to recoup some of the expenses for the appeal from the state.

Good luck.

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