armchair lawyers [21/365]

7072457b39bcd9cdb1a812c0c5b8e68bGuess you could call them that — «armchair lawyers» — all the ones who have been watching [too?] many criminal cases and forensics shows on TV. That’s me included, to a certain extent. People you wouldn’t expect, have become very knowledgeable about the terminology used in criminal cases and forensics … words you wouldn’t even have a clue about otherwise. «petechial hemorrhage» for example, «nuclear DNA» … who would have known about all this, hadn’t it been for TV?! Not the average guy, methinks … In real-life-trials, they nowadays talk about the CSI-factor; all the jurors have watched so much CSI on TV so they ‘know all’ about forensic evidence.

But now many of us do know some, and when Netflix aired the documentary  ‘Making a Murderer‘, just recently, it became the topic of conversation all over the web and on TV. Won’t go into any details of that case here and now … I do have some opinions and they boil down to «beyond reasonable doubt». So many questions were left unanswered, regardless of how much Nancy Grace shouts on her show. I do think the guy is exactly where he should be, but that’s because of what he did to the cat, and has nothing to do with the case.

Here, in little Saint John, New Brunswick, we’ve had [have?] a high-profile murder case, that would be suitable for a show like the above, or at least a crime novel. A rich guy, belonging to the Moosehead Breweries family, was bludgeoned to death in his office, four and a half years ago. His son became the only suspect. It has all the necessary ingredients; money, adultery … you name it. The trial was over just before Christmas last year, and the only suspect was found guilty of second degree murder. Again, I was baffled … where did the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ go? Did that fly out the window? The case was entirely circumstantial, no murder weapon was ever found, the judge kept underscoring how much reasonable doubt there was, when he gave the instructions to the jury.  Still, the jury came back with the guilty verdict. Just like in the Netflix case, there were many unanswered questions, but I still think there must have been doubts. The emotions were flying high in the local Facebook group — the place where you can find most  of these, so called “armchair lawyers” — where many of them had him guilty from day 1. «Innocent until proven guilty», huh?!

Coincidentally, as I’m typing up this post, a news-flash popped up from the local paper; the guy has filed for appeal in the murder case here, so … the saga goes on.

If some forensic team were to investigate my computer after all my searching for petechial hemorrhage, nuclear DNA and all that stuff, they’d find me a very suspicious person 😊, but I just wanted to make sure the spelling was correct.



36 Replies to “armchair lawyers [21/365]”

  1. The Making A Murderer thing puts me off just from the name. I really don’t want to know – life is filled with enough problems. That said, journalism that uncovers miscarriages of justice is important. Sometimes someone’s life hangs in the balance.

    I watch the CSI crime things when I am flicking channels – waiting for my interest to be piqued enough for one of them to keep me looking. Anything with labs, ultraviolet light, cameras, and microscopic samples – they switch on my buttons.

    The same people must direct all these shows. The cast stand collected around the scene. The shot pans to one face and then another as they contribute their lines.

    Have you seen the film FRACTURE with Ryan Gosling and Anthony Hopkins? That’s well constructed.

    1. The title of the documentary was a very unfortunate choice. The miscarriage of justice was what scared the hell out of me.

      When I first got here, I watched CSI Miami, and often wondered what real people, working law enforcement and forensics, would think about all those glossy actors and high tech labs.

      Haven’t seen the film Fracture, but I will check it out now.

  2. You crack me up! I love the cartoon about premeditation. I agree, there is so much on social media a person doesn’t stand a chance. That’s why I never go anywhere or break the law.:D

    1. Right! This guy here … they never even looked in any other direction, and the people had him guilty from the first day. Because the family is so rich, or whatever … it’s disgusting.

      It’s been a long time since I broke the law; used to steal ash trays from hotels LOL

  3. Love your comments at the end of the post Rebby!!!! Good one! 😉
    As for the Crime shows I have leaned a lot watching them…they are interesting to say the least.
    Now ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ is an interesting term/concept. What constitutes ‘reasonable’? How much ‘doubt’ is needed? I agree with you that it seems people are guilty until proven innocent in our society.
    How things have changed…
    Back in 1986 when my Brother Dale’s killers were on trial it was a total botch up of the case. Tampering with evidence & a lot of heresay. It was me who suggested to the Police they check the elevator shaft for the knife (how stupid were these guys??) & of course it was there but it was 3-4 months later & the prints were smudged from the knife being in water so long…..And there was a lot of other inconsistences, So as the trial went on the Jurors’ became more & more confused by both sides.
    In the end the 3 Brothers got OFF!!!! And there we were left with NO justice for Dale……
    There was some Kkarma tho’. A year later their drug operation was busted wide open & they all were convicted & sent to Kingston Pen. That gave me some satisfaction…..not sure about rest of the family as I walked out that day & never looked back!

    1. Wow. What a story! I can’t even begin to imagine what all that must have felt like. They often use the word «closure» but I’m not so sure about that. It sounds made-up.

      Yeah, what is ‘reasonable’?! As long as one has some doubt, wouldn’t that be reasonable!? I don’t know anything, but if I’d been a juror on our case here in SJ, they would have had a hard time convince me of his guilt without doubt.

      People seem to be very inclined to jump to conclusions nowadays.

      1. There was a lot to the trial. Between the knife ending up as ‘in admissable’? & some of the remarks struck from the records but the jury heard the words it went from bad to worse. The killer’s Lawyer actually told us he KNEW the Brothers 3 were guilty but he was a Public Defender lawyer. When the trial was over Anthony stormed out…..he had ‘won’ the case but he felt he failed us….
        And closure? No such thing as ‘closure’. With time the pain & loss lessen….but there is never ‘closure’…
        Reasonable doubt lets in a lot of trouble. And we have a problem in that in our world today most people who are accused of the crime ARE guilty. But there are the innocents & they have no chance. I think there is so much violence that we just assume guilt now…sad but true…..

          1. Me either! Murder is one of my un-favorite words also!
            My foster family & hubby Paul & I went thru HELL…… a living HWLL> I cried for most of the first year of Dale’s death. Paul (he was the paralyzed hubby) & I would snuggle in bed & just cry like babies. Dale was Paul’s Attendant Care Aide & they were so close; like Brothers. Paul never ‘got over’ Dale’s dying…Foster family fell apart. And I have never been quite the same either.
            I STILL miss Dale to this day…..

    1. My 1 foster Sister had a complete mental breakdown…she was close to Dale & she never fully recovered. Poor Nancy…..I often think about her. Have no idea where any of them are now….
      When I got clean we stopped talking. I would call but they were always ‘too busy’ to talk.
      They ignored Paul also. Destroyed so many lives AND Dale’s 😦

          1. Oh okay! That explains it! I lost a lot of ‘people’ when I quit, but that was like … good riddance. I also became much less social then.

            1. Of course….I remember how those ‘fair weather’ friend just vanished when I changed my life. I remember my ‘bestie’ coming to visit me in my new apartment. I was 6 months sober. I had 3 sticks of furniture….really starting from scratch. The place was spotless tho’. She said she could not possibly come back to such a dump! LOL she lived in a Subsidized building but had brass & glass furniture & nice clothes because she had many boyfriends. Oh & whn I told her I was sober she said she as ot going to stop drinking. (I never even inferred she should).
              I never spoke to her again!
              No judgement; I just realized she was not on the same page as me. I think of her every so often but do not miss all the dysfunction.

              1. I had it pretty much like you, then back in 1993. Very few pieces of furniture, but spotless! I loved that little apartment!!!

                Tonight I have TWO episodes of Downton Abbey to watch … missed it last Sunday!

                1. I relate! I loved the HessKing Apartment. 3 storey brownstone walk up built in 1929. It was HOME & there was a peace there even with all the street traffic.
                  Wasn’t “Downtown Abbey” fab???? So gad Anna was able to get the surgery to save the baby. Loved the Carson & Carson dilemma…..that made me laugh!

                    1. I think Mary is slowly ‘falling’ for Henry Talbot. he is rather dashing isn’t he??
                      And this thing with Carson always telling Mrs. Hughes to go to Mrs. Patmore for cooking lessons & housekeeping tips is utterly out of left field & hilarious!
                      Did you see last night’s episode in full?

                    2. Oh yes, I saw it … every moment! I think Talbot will be good for her. If I were Mrs. Hughes I would slap him with a wet trout ROFL

                    3. Oh Rebby did you see ”Downton Abbey” last nite??? Mrs. Hughes-Carson got her own back!!! I was laughing so hard I could not breathe!!!!!!
                      And Mary was a real A$$ I thought. Poor Henry Talbot….. 😉

                    4. Oh yes! I watched! I laughed so hard at that about Mrs. Hughes-Carson! Good on her! Mary made a huge mistake there. You can’t go through life without living it. Now they must sort that out, and I don’t know how many episodes there are left?!

                    5. I think 4-5 more episodes left!
                      Mary can be quite selfish at times. She is one complex woman…hopefully she reconciles with Henry….
                      And I think Mrs. Hughes-Carson’s ‘revenge’ will be my fave part of this season!!!!

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