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Reply #24: OK, impeachable evid may have nothing to do with Defendant's guilt... [View All]

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Blackhatjack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #16
24. OK, impeachable evid may have nothing to do with Defendant's guilt...
.... some examples might be, prior false testimony in a trial, deposition, administrative hearing,etc. Or possibly signing a tax return that contained omitted information or false representations. Any situation that might cause the witness to be biased in his testimony. For example, if the witness has entered into an agreement with the State to testify against this defendant in exchange for a promise of a more lenient sentence.

So impeachable evidence does not always have any bearing on the crime being tried. It goes to the jury being able to judge the 'truthfulness' of the witness. Which is critical to a jury believing what the witness has to say, and ascribing weight to that testimony as part of their duty to find proof of each and every element of the crime charged, beyond a reasonable doubt.

It is malpractice for a criminal defense attorney not to file motions demanding full discovery prior to trial.

As a result of defendants being convicted and given the death penalty in NC who later were exonerated, we now have an 'open file' policy. And NC is one of the first states in the country to set up an "Innocence Commission" to review the record and evidence of defendants who have been convicted, who have evidence to be considered which may prove their actual innocence.

We had two prosecutors in NC who withheld witnesses' statements that 'they had to make up a story' in order to satisfy law enforcement. They testified against the Defendant naming him as the perpetrator while he was so many miles away from the crime scene at the time of the crime it was impossible for him to have committed it. The local newspaper, THe News & Oberserver did an extensive examination that eventually resulted in the Defendant(Gell) being released from death row. The two prosecutors were investigated by the State Bar for prosecutorial misconduct, but the charges against them were dismissed because of a technicality --the complaint against them was not raised early enough.



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