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Emphasis added...

http://www.practicalhomicide.com/articles/LegalCS.htm

PRACTICAL CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION:
Legal Considerations

By
Vernon J. Geberth, M.S., M.P.S.
Author of Practical Homicide Investigation, Copyright 2003
REPRINT: LAW and ORDER Vol. 51, No. 5, May, 2003

The search of the crime scene is the most important phase of the investigation conducted at the scene. Decisions of the courts restricting admissibility of testimonial evidence have significantly increased the value of physical evidence in homicide investigations. Therefore, law enforcement personnel involved in the crime scene search must arrange for the proper and effective collection of evidence at the scene.

Physical evidence, which is often referred to as the "unimpeachable witness," cannot be clouded by a faulty memory, prejudice, poor eyesight, or a desire "not to get involved." However, before a forensic laboratory can effectively examine physical evidence, it must be recognized as evidence.

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44 minutes ago, Cliff Varnell said:
48 minutes ago, Sandy Larsen said:

 

Which would have worked out well in a real trial. But I imagine it wouldn't work in a mock trial because the necessary evidence and witnesses wouldn't be available for examination.

 

Why not? 

 

I was responding to your statement that the prosecution would have to prove that the autopsy photo is real. In response, I pointed out that they couldn't do that these days in a mock trial, because the evidence and witnesses that would be needed are no longer available.

 

Quote

Physical evidence trumps photos of physical evidence.  Photos can be doctored.

 

Maybe so. But what really matters is what the jury can be convinced of. I don't think I need to point out that even we have several CTer members here who can't be convinced the photo was doctored. (Don't ask me why... it baffles me.)

 

Quote

Just read from the HSCA report doubting the authenticity of the autopsy photos and Saunda Kay Spencer's ARRB denial that she developed the extant autopsy photos --  and those photos get thrown out.

 

Saundra Kay Spencer wasn't there to testify. See, that's the problem with a mock trial.

 

Edited by Sandy Larsen

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50 minutes ago, Sandy Larsen said:

 

I was responding to your statement that the prosecution would have to prove that the autopsy photo is real. In response, I pointed out that they couldn't do that these days in a mock trial, because the evidence and witnesses that would be needed are no longer available.

If they can't prove the autopsy photos real then they're not admissible.

What's the problem?

 

50 minutes ago, Sandy Larsen said:

 

 

Maybe so. But what really matters is what the jury can be convinced of. I don't think I need to point out that even we have several CTer members here who can't be convinced the photo was doctored. (Don't ask me why... it baffles me.)

 

 

Saundra Kay Spencer wasn't there to testify. See, that's the problem with a mock trial.

 

But we have her prior testimony...and physical evidence trumps photos.  Period.

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1 hour ago, Cliff Varnell said:
2 hours ago, Sandy Larsen said:

 

I was responding to your statement that the prosecution would have to prove that the autopsy photo is real. In response, I pointed out that they couldn't do that these days in a mock trial, because the evidence and witnesses that would be needed are no longer available.

If they can't prove the autopsy photos real then they're not admissible.

What's the problem?

 

The problem is that you can't use a deficiency inherent in a mock trial to draw a conclusion in the case being tried. Because the deficiency has nothing to do with the case. You can see that, can't you?

Any reasonable mock trial would take such deficiencies into account.

For example, if the defense called into question the authenticity of the autopsy photo, the prosecutor would respond by saying he can't possibly prove authenticity because the witlessness to that are all dead. And that if the trial were being held in 1964, he could indeed have proven the photo was authentic. (Even if it really wasn't.)

 

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1 hour ago, Cliff Varnell said:

..and physical evidence trumps photos.  Period


Are you sure about that, Cliff? I mean as far as this mock trial goes?

All they would have in evidence would be the PHOTO of the body and the PHOTO of the shirt. Would the shirt still trump the autopsy photo?

I think your mind is reverting back to what a real trial would have yielded. Whereas I am speaking only of this mock trial.

 

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3 hours ago, Sandy Larsen said:

 

The problem is that you can't use a deficiency inherent in a mock trial to draw a conclusion in the case being tried. Because the deficiency has nothing to do with the case. You can see that, can't you?

That makes no sense at all.  The Oswald defenders in the mock trial impeached the chain of possession of the Magic Bullet, so why couldn't they have impeached the authenticity of the autopsy photo?

3 hours ago, Sandy Larsen said:

Any reasonable mock trial would take such deficiencies into account.

There are no such deficiencies.  They didn't bring CE-399 into court, did they?  They didn't bring the police dictabelt into court and test it in front of the jury, did they?

3 hours ago, Sandy Larsen said:

For example, if the defense called into question the authenticity of the autopsy photo, the prosecutor would respond by saying he can't possibly prove authenticity because the witlessness to that are all dead. And that if the trial were being held in 1964, he could indeed have proven the photo was authentic. (Even if it really wasn't.)

Factually incorrect.  There is no chain of possession for the autopsy photos, and you insist on pressing a false equivalency between photos and physical evidence.

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9 hours ago, Sandy Larsen said:


Are you sure about that, Cliff? I mean as far as this mock trial goes?

You insist on drawing a distinction without any logical basis.

 

Quote

All they would have in evidence would be the PHOTO of the body and the PHOTO of the shirt. Would the shirt still trump the autopsy photo?

There is a chain of possession for any photo of the shirt; there is no chain of possession for the BOH autopsy photo, no proof that the photo shows the body of JFK.

Quote

I think your mind is reverting back to what a real trial would have yielded. Whereas I am speaking only of this mock trial.

 

I think you're inventing distinctions out of whole cloth.

Edited by Cliff Varnell

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Dawn:

I watched the whole thing.

I was disappointed in many different aspects.  And I agree, the lawyers did not do a good job either keeping things simple enough for the jury, or in countering the circumstantial case.  Plus, they let the prosecution get away with saying that there was no evidence of any other kind of weapon or ammo.

My God, what do you call the recovery by the FBI of a 7.65 Mauser shell in Dealey Plaza and the three reports of the rifle being a Mauser in the Commission volumes?  

And I agree that they should have said something like, yep LHO was really in a panic to get away.  He walked toward the bus station about four blocks away to get on a bus going back to the scene of the crime.  That bus stopped in traffic and he got off in the Plaza.  He then hailed a cab, but then offered the cab to an older lady first. Public transportation to beat a murder charge.

And BTW, they did not use the other way to counter that: Roger Craig and Marvin Robinson.   What made that hurt was this: the guy who made that Nash Rambler escape famous was sitting at the defense table: TInk Thompson. 

 

PS Dawn, I want to send you a message but your box is full.

Edited by James DiEugenio

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Jim you can email me dmeredith@austin.rr.com

The clothing WAS presented by the state's only witness -that and the silly drawing of the bullet going from neck out of neck, more than once but it was left unchallenged by the defense.  As for the Mauser,  the defense said that was a mistake.  A mistake when that kind of gun has  its name printed on it. How could trained cops make that mistake?

But I do commend the defense for all the work that went into the trial,  perhaps TX jurors would never vote NG.  They also plan to learn from the mistakes and do it again.

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1 hour ago, Dawn Meredith said:

They also plan to learn from the mistakes and do it again.

They need to hire Vincent Salandria.

Period.  Full stop.

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12 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

And I agree, the lawyers did not do a good job either keeping things simple enough for the jury,

Didn't they go on and on about the Magic Bullet chain of possession?

Jim, have you ever met a complex proof of conspiracy you couldn't like?

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Got to give them credit for having Don Thomas as a presenter for the acoustics analysis. They had the right guy ... he is by far the premier advocate for the acoustics analysis. The opposition has no one who can match the knowledge that Thomas has on the subject.

The science behind the analysis is not difficult to understand. The complicated part is the explanation that Thomas provides that rebuts his critics. Suffice to say he does rebut all criticism of the work of BBN and Weiss-Aschkenasy, the experts who did the acoustics analysis.

BBN said there is a 50% chance that a second shooter fired a shot from the grassy knoll. Weiss-Aschkenasy said there was a 95% chance that a shot came from the grassy knoll. Weiss and Aschkenasy are the guys who write the computer programs for the sonar navigation system employed on Navy subs. These guys know their stuff.

Weiss and Aschkenasy only verified the shot from the grassy knoll. BBN said there were 5 shots, eliminating the first shot, the misfire, since it did not meet it's criteria. Why Weiss and Aschkenasy did not verify all five shots, IDK. Possibly not enough funding ????????

Ninety five percent is darn near perfection. That kind of accuracy means there was definitely a shot from the grassy knoll. And that's probably why the acoustics analysis was included in the trial. But Thomas may have lost the jury in the fog of the explanation.

Edited by George Sawtelle

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5 minutes ago, George Sawtelle said:

Got to give them credit for having Don Thomas as a presenter for the acoustics analysis. They had the right guy ... he is by far the premier advocate for the acoustics analysis. The opposition has no one who can match the knowledge that Thomas has on the subject.

The science behind the analysis is not difficult to understand. The complicated part is the explanation that Thomas provides that rebuts his critics. Suffice to say he does rebut all criticism of the work of BBN and Weiss-Aschkenasy, the experts who did the acoustics analysis.

BBN said there is a 50% chance that a second shooter fired a shot from the grassy knoll. Weiss-Aschkenasy said there was a 95% chance that a shot came from the grassy knoll. Weiss and Aschkenasy are the guys who write the computer programs for the sonar navigation system employed on Navy subs. These guys know their stuff.

Weiss and Aschkenasy only verified the shot from the grassy knoll. BBN said there were 5 shots, eliminating the first shot, the misfire, since it did not meet it's criteria. Why Weiss and Aschkenasy did not verify all five shots, IDK. Possibly not enough funding ????????

Ninety five percent is darn near perfection. That kind of accuracy means there was definitely a shot from the grassy knoll. And that's probably why the acoustics analysis was included in the trial. But Thomas may have lost the jury in the fog of the explanation.

The bullet defects in the clothes  -- too low to associate with the throat wound -- establish 4+ shots.

Why argue with something any more complex?

Why put the jurors to sleep?

Edited by Cliff Varnell

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1 hour ago, Cliff Varnell said:

They need to hire Vincent Salandria.

Period.  Full stop.

12:10 to 14:22

Salandria's greatest accomplishment!

Cut to the chase and the jury will love it!

Edited by Cliff Varnell

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Cliff,

Apparently you believe that it's okay for a mock trial of Oswald today to have virtually no resemblance to what a real trial in 1964 would have looked like.

For example, if the prosecutor or defense is at an advantage today because numerous relevant witnesses have died since 1964, that is fair game for their opponent. This according to your attitude.

More specifically, suppose that in 1964 a prosecutor could have proved an autopsy photo was authentic, but these days could not prove it. You talk as if that is okay.

To me that makes absolutely no sense. And if you are right that that's the way a historical mock trial should work, then IMO these trials are completely irrelevant and a waste of everybody's time.

I mean, why would anybody be interested in the declaration of innocence or guilt of anybody based on severely diminished and faulty evidence?

 

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