Originally posted by sh76
I don't think he's entitled to a re-trial. He almost certainly pulled the trigger and the jury found the same. The prosecution had a parade of witnesses that saw him do the shooting and that placed him at the scene, witnesses that he confessed shortly after the murder and forensics indicated that it was his gun that did the shooting.
Once a jury finds a pers ...[text shortened]... kill that guy."[/quote]
Hint: It wasn't exactly a right wing sympathizer.
I don't practice a lot of criminal law, and I certainly don't know the law in Pennsylvania, however, I'm certain that in California there's no "presumption of guilt" at any phase. I assume that you're referring to the policy favoring jury verdicts, in which you only question the evidence if the Appellate Court finds that there was an abuse of discretion, a very rare occurrence. However, if evidence was improperly excluded either through improper court ruling or prosecutorial misconduct, the only issue is whether the evidence would have been material to a jury decision and not whether it, by itself, proves innocence. I would hope that no court system operates with a presumption of guilt requiring proof of innocence at any phase, and I really doubt that would meet the due process requirements federally.
What is undisputed is that there were witnesses who, with various details, say they saw a fourth individual or heard the running footsteps in the alleyway leading away from the scene. The trial judge apparently decided to exclude some of the evidence because it wasn't in his mind credible (such as one witness who had been convicted of fraud), and the alleyway audio witnesses because it could have been anybody running from the shooting. But it's not his call. I'm not exactly impressed with what I've read in the pro-defense literature, but as a juror I would want the opportunity to hear the examination and cross-examination of the witnesses and decide their weight and relevance myself, in the context of the entire case, to resolve on my own whether the evidence left me with reasonable doubt. The defendant is entitled to that, and a result-oriented judge should not be allowed to impede that right.
That being said, I am quite uncomfortable with the cult around this guy, and lack of skepticism on the part of many on the left. There are plenty of exceptions. I don't know who is the author of your quote, but it could easily be a number of them. Probably the leftist individual who has taken the most crap over it is Marc Cooper who edits The Nation Magazine.