I must have missed that part of it. Same reasoning applies, however. No evidence is being excluded from consideration; three pieces of hairs will be included. Without looking at the entire record as the Court will do, I can't say for sure what any decision will be.
Logically speaking, however, three 'unsourced hairs' in a home where people presumably visited, where people who presumably went out to visit numerous other people, and one of the residents was admittedly having an affair with another woman isn't actually unusual. What would be unusual would be to find only three hairs in a violent scene where a man trained in combat supposedly fought three other men. It just doesn't seem conclusive enough to warrant another trial, though maybe a hearing to weigh that evidence against the rest of the evidence to be sure of that face. It is certainly not compelling enough to set MacDonald free without a trial.
The new evidence is the three unidentified hairs.
"Both sides agreed that the three 'unsourced hairs' did not belong to anyone in the home..."
The prosecution said those DNA results also excluded Stoeckley and her boyfriend.
I think the problem the defense has here is that their own new evidence- those unidentified hairs- contradicts their other new evidence- the Stoeckley confession.
If it was supportive evidence, that would be VERY different, but rather than support the confession, it actually undermines it.
Both sides agreed that the 3 hairs didn't belong to anyone in the family based on 2006 DNA tests.
That's a pretty fine piece of evidence to base an appeal on I would think.
Maybe, but it's not like there's a barrier that stops every hair but family members' hair from entering a house. That's why it has to be weighed against the rest of the evidence in the case.
For instance: I go out to a bar and see my friend, John, who I haven't seen in a long time. I give him a hug. A few of my hairs fall onto his shirt. Not long after, he puts on his coat and goes home where he takes off his clothes and goes to bed. The hairs fall off and that night he's brutally murdered. There are my random hairs on his floor in the middle of the crime scene, they don't belong to his family or him, they don't belong to any of the killers, but they're there. Oddly enough, if John and I haven't talked in a long time and we only had a brief encounter, it's unlikely that I'll be matched up with the hairs. Do they give reasonable doubt? Maybe. It depends on the rest of the case the lawyers have built.
We don't know if these hairs are long, short, male or female which could say a lot about where they may have come from. They could belong to MacDonald's Mistress and they stuck to his coat or his pants. The Justices have all of that information and will fit it into the case that was presented.
The thing about the contradiction of evidence, however...
Lawyers can offer up different scenarios. It's called pleading in the alternative. So the defense attorney can say, "Look, we have Stoeckley confessing that she did it. And if you don't believe her, we have evidence of a different person that could have committed it."
Edited to add:
Also, remember that getting an appeal is not the same as getting a new trial. An appeal is heard to determine if he will get a new trial or not and the standards are quite lower for an appeal than they are for a new trial. I'm not disputing the fact that the court may hear an appeal. I do doubt, however, that the court will reverse the decision or order a new trial based on the new evidence.
Edited by shrewgoddess, 25 October 2012 - 02:27 AM.
Gee. It appears I was mistaken about when we could expect the judge's decision. I'd figured December, and I thought that was an outside estimate!
Joe McGinniss explains in an article titled Court Cases That Last Longer Than Some Lives, published in the NY Times October 6, 2012.
"At the closing of the proceedings in Wilmington, the presiding judge, James C. Fox, of the Eastern District of North Carolina, told both sides they could file written briefs following receipt of the transcript. It is estimated that it will take the court reporter at least 60 days to transcribe the six full days of testimony and arguments.
Upon receipt of the transcript, the defense will have 60 days to submit a final written brief.
Upon receipt of the defense brief, the prosecution will have 60 additional days to respond.
Do the math: 60 + 60 + 60 = 180. That means that it will be six months before Judge Fox can even begin to shape his opinion."
Well, I knew better than to hold my breath, but good grief...
I can't link directly to the article, but it'll be the first item if one googles "court cases that drag on forever".
Nothing was ever said on how long delivery might take.
It was in this case and that was the point of my post. With 60 days here, and 60 days there, and so on...we're given a good idea of how long this could possibly take.
I don't know what your opinion is about that, but mine is that it's certainly not how I'd like to see the system proceed.
In this case, and since I think MacDonald is guilty, I sympathize with the family of the victims.
And turn it around, if MacDonald were innocent, then not only would he (and both families) have already suffered a gross injustice with a wrongful conviction, but injustice would continue because it would be more confinement for an innocent man, while the actual perp remained unaccountable.
If it goes against MacDonald and I think it will, does that mean he will stop appealing or lose the right to stop appealing?
He can appeal. In the article, McGinnis explains how it's possible this case could go on and on, at six months to a year each step of the way.
The article is at this link. http://www.nytimes.c...rever.html?_r=0