Ohio Man Imprisoned For 2 Decades Is Acquitted

Ohio Man Imprisoned For 2 Decades Is Acquitted – http://huff.to/1x53se9

Getting details of the shoes wrong isn’t particularly important in most cases but this is a disclosure issue.

If the jury is deciding who to believe we don’t know what could have been the last straw to change the mind of at least one.

So in such a case if it came down to credibility any material non-disclosure ought to result in mandatory striking of the verdict.
That’s however trivial. 

It could affect the jury if wavering, more importantly it could cause an erroneous witness to doubt the certainty of the rest of his evidence and change the whole flow of the case as well as opening the door to the stock question, “are you as certain of that as you are of the rest of your evidence?”

Only in cases where it would be nonsensical to change the verdict should it make no difference, such where the defence is, wasn’t there, didn’t do it but there is DNA, who cares then about identifying shoes.

Such errors can be the result of innocent contamination.

It reminds me of a horrific blunder in a historic abuse case.  The victims identified the house where the abuse occurred, including the color of the house.

However their memories must have been contaminated by a more recent picture or viewing of the house, because the house had been painted that color more recently than the alleged time of the events – in particular, after the victims had all reached the age of consent.  So there was an acquital.

It’s so easy to contaminate a witness’ evidence with a sincerely believed false memory, especially on a non-central detail.

Not much an appeal judge can do but punt the verdict when that isn’t disclosed, protecting the administration of justice is more important than any case. 


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