Saturday, February 16, 2013
Prosecuting Murder Cases on Circumstantial Evidence Alone
With the recent talk of the Grand Jury meeting again in just a few weeks and in light of the recent Press Conference where MSP announced that it is not likely that Ayla is alive although she has yet to be found, is it reasonable to think that Justin will be indicted on murder charges and that the State of Maine can successfully prosecute him based on circumstantial evidence alone?
In most cases, LE starts with a body, the Medical Examiner rules on the cause of death and if it is a homicide, LE builds their case from there. For obvious reasons, LE is at a little bit of a disadvantage when there is no body to confirm that a murder did indeed take place. When an adult goes missing and their blood is found somewhere, it is a little easier to establish that they were murdered. LE can check their bank accounts, their credit cards, their phone records, their social security number, etc to see if there has been activity on them. If LE finds there has been and it is not suspicious, LE can quickly conclude that a murder didn't take place. If there is no activity, LE has more reason to believe that this person is no longer alive. What happens though when it is a child that is missing? LE can't check for activity on their cellphone, a toddler likely won't be making ATM withdrawals, and isn't going to use their SSN to set up utilities for the apartment they just rented in another state. A toddler is going to rely on someone to feed them, clothe them, change their diaper, and bathe them.
In this case LE quickly came back and announced that there was not an abduction. Ayla did not walk out of the house on her own. LE is saying no one went into that house and took her and that those in the house are lying about what happened to her. Ayla's blood was found in the home, and given the fact that no one CREDIBLE has come forward with proof that she is alive and there have been no confirmed sightings of Ayla since she was reported missing. It seems unlikely that someone could all of a sudden have a new toddler living with them and not one person they have interacted with in the past six months has put two and two together and reported it to LE. I am sure that this fact along with other evidence that LE has obtained is what lead them to the belief that Ayla is not coming home alive sadly. So what happens now? Does Justin really think because there is no body, there is no murder? Does he really think that he will get away with this?
The United States case of People v. Scott 176 Cal. App. 2d 458 (1960) held that "circumstantial evidence, when sufficient to exclude every other reasonable hypothesis, may prove the death of a missing person, the existence of a homicide and the guilt of the accused".
Many years ago, Justin may have been right to think this but since the advancement of forensic technology, it is much easier for LE to prove that a murder did take place and Prosecutors are no longer shying away from trying these cases in court. As of April of 2012, there have been 366 trials where the defendant has been prosecuted for a murder with no body found at the time of trial. Out of those 366 cases, 90% resulted in convictions. All states, with the exception of N.H. and Idaho have attempted to prosecute a "No Body" murder case. In Maine, it was the case of James Hicks. James Hicks was found guilty.
For a complete list of "No Body" Cases brought to trial visit:
Truth4Ayla did a post awhile back highlighting three children who were murdered by their parent(s) or caregivers and were prosecuted even though the children were never found. Her post can be found HERE
Depending on the actual amount of blood that was found and if all of that blood was Ayla's and depending on what LE recovered from the dam the first time, that prompted them to search again, it was sufficient enough for them to announce during a press conference that Ayla's is no longer alive and in order for them to say such a thing, they would have to have proof that a crime was committed. In order to prosecute a case in court, LE would have to prove that a murder happened and with a body, it is much easier to prove. LE knows that so they know that in order to convince a jury that a murder took place beyond a reasonable doubt, they have to make sure that their case is strong even without the presence of a body. This case was already brought in front of a Grand Jury in February and the Jury may not have thought there was enough evidence at the time, but do they now? Especially since they felt they had enough evidence to publicly say they believe Ayla is dead?
Corpus delicti (plural: corpora delicti) (Latin: "body of crime") is a term from Western jurisprudence referring to the principle that a crime must have been proven to have occurred before a person can be convicted of committing that crime. For example, a person cannot be tried for larceny unless it can be proven that property has been stolen. Likewise, in order for a person to be tried for arson it must be proven that a criminal act resulted in the burning of a property. Black's Law Dictionary (6th ed.) defines "corpus delicti" as: "the fact of a crime having been actually committed."
If LE is able to publicly say they think Ayla is dead, it is reasonable to think that they do not believe she died of natural causes since she was a healthy 20 month old toddler and why hide a body if she died of natural causes? Same with it being an accident, if Ayla's death was an accident why would there be a need for the DiPietros to lie to LE or to hide her body? Since LE has announced to the public that they believe Ayla is no longer alive, they must have enough evidence, circumstantial or not, to prove corpus delicti. This leads me to believe that when the Grand Jury convenes again on the 20th-22nd of June, this case will be brought in front of them again and this time I believe that the Jury will find enough evidence to go forward with an indictment.
Those who swear Justin is innocent and that LE is not prosecuting because there was no murder but instead was an abduction, either do not know that this case was brought before the Grand Jury or believe the pathetic lies put out by his supporters that they met in front of the Grand Jury to uncover the identity of an internet poet. I wonder then why Lance, Elisha, Courtney, Trista, and Phoebe plus a few others were asked to testify? What could they possibly know about an anonymous commenter who posted a poem online? Why would they need to be interviewed when the paper already submitted the info regarding the person's identity to LE? As Stephen McCausland likes to say-"It doesn't pass the straightface test"