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April 24, 2013

"The Defense Rests:" Gosnell Case Sent to Jury For Verdict

This isn't as uncommon a maneuver as you might think. There are two tracks of a legal defense: The affirmative defense and the more common tactic of challenging each part of a proseuctor's case.

Bear in mind, for each offer of proof the prosecution made, the defense questioned the expert or witness, attempting to cast doubt on his claims.

But the case now goes to the jury, which has been dismissed until Monday. The New York Times immediately announced it would devote a special section of the Sunday magazine to something else entirely.

In addition, the judge reversed his previous error -- apparently he had dismissed the murder charges for the wrong baby. He had meant to dismiss them as against one but instead named another. He corrected this snag by reinstating charges in the case of the murder of Baby C and dropping them against another one, in whose case there was (in his opinion) no evidence of murder.

Update: Obama had been scheduled to be the keynote speaker at a Planned Parenthood gathering on Friday night. The last word is that President Gutsy Call has backed out.


White House spokesman Jay Carney announced the decision to cancel the keynote speech at the gala during his daily press briefing with reporters Wednesday. He attributed the schedule change to Mr. Obamas desire to spend more time at a memorial service in Waco, Texas, for family members of the victims of the fertilizer plant explosion.

I believe you, Jay. You believe I believe you don't you? Because I do. I really believe you. It's important to me that you believe that.

Thanks to Jane D'oh and rickb223.

Well Then! I seem to have gotten virtually everything wrong in my original post. "Criminal Procedure 101" corrects me:

The main blog author needs a refresher course. An "affirmative defense" is something for which the defense has the burden of proof. Such as self-defense or insanity. The defense can't call its own witnesses during the prosecution's case in chief. For the defense to call its own witnesses it needs to put on its own defense case. The defense cross-examines the prosecution's witnesses; it does not "rebut" them. "Rebuttal" is an entirely separate component of a trial. Only the prosecution can offer "rebuttal witnesses" in a criminal trial. Not that any of these details matter. It's the Internet, after all.

Okay, so rebuttal witnesses can't be called after a prosecution witness but can only be offered in the defense's case. So apparently Gosnell has none.

As for "affirmative defense," I didn't know the right word; I meant the defense case, apart from the cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses during the prosecution's case.

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posted by Ace at 01:59 PM

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