Trial as Narrative: Why The Whole Truth Always Emerges Over Time
A criminal trial isn’t about the role presentation of evidence and testimony. That’s only part of the larger equation. Any knowledgeable defense attorney understands that the trial is, at its core, about two differing narratives and how the evidence and testimony support those interpretations of events. On the surface, it may seem as though the person standing accused of a crime is guilty well beyond a reasonable doubt. Throw away the key — nothing more to see here. However, we don’t just give the facts a cursory glance. We inspect them thoroughly to see if they hold up under scrutiny. Often the story changes as testing reveals some evidence to be unreliable. Innocent facts become vital and once solid testimony becomes inadmissible.
The Kidnapping of Hannah Anderson
Evidence continues to emerge in the kidnapping of Hannah Anderson and the alleged death of her mother and brother at the hands of James DiMaggio. Authorities reportedly took letters into custody and recovered text messages that show communication between Anderson, 16 years old, and DiMaggio, 40 years old, in the months and days leading up to the tragic events. What does this new evidence say about the man (DiMaggio) who died in a firefight with FBI agents as they worked to rescue Anderson? Rumors have swirled in the wake of his death. Some allege the man was the father of Hannah and her brother Ethan, and that the kidnapping was the backlash of a cover-up attempt on the part of the Anderson family. Sounds far fetched, but that’s what new and developing evidence can do the narrative of a trial or other criminal proceeding. The letters and text messages aren’t the only new pieces to emerge.
A Six-Figure Life Insurance Policy?
New reports from multiple media outlets indicate that DiMaggio named Hannah’s grandmother the sole beneficiary of a $112,000 life insurance policy so that she could provide for Hannah and Ethan. Why would the man want to provide for children who weren’t his own flesh and blood when he had legitimate immediate family members? At 44 years old, it seemed unlikely that DiMaggio would leave suddenly and leave Hannah and Ethan unable to provide for themselves. After all, they still had a mother and father at the time to take care of them. Did he know something the rest of us still do not? More questions and twists in the story.
These events, as they unfold, can paint differing pictures of DiMaggio’s relationship with Hannah’s mother and the children themselves. Was he functioning as a father figure for the kids? Sadly, the best person to answer that question is the man himself, but he’ll be unable to provide additional information. Hannah is the sole witness to the alleged abduction, which in and of itself lends to bias because we won’t have multiple perspectives. The truth is a shifting form in this case, like so many others happening across the country. As is often the case, the plot thickens before it clears.
If you or someone close to you is facing criminal charges, an aggressive criminal defense lawyer may be all that stands between you and a life-altering conviction. Call our Pennsylvania law offices today to get the help and peace of mind you need during this trying time in your life. We’ve handled more than 10,000 criminal cases. Call today — we have 24-hour availability.
NO JAIL TIME
Commonwealth v. "H" (DUI case)
Client was charged with three separate DUI cases calling for mandatory minimum imprisonment of 90 days on each case. Client was advised to seek immediate intensive alcohol counseling. Client was sentenced to 1 year of house arrest after serving 3 days in the county prison.
Commonwealth v. "C" (Felony drug/Firearms case)
Client was charged with felony Delivery of drugs and illegal gun possession and was facing a mandatory 3-6 year prison sentence in the State prison system. Client was sentenced to one year of house arrest.
Commonwealth v. "S"
Client was charged with simple assault, domestic. After a hearing where evidence and testimony was presented, the entire case was dismissed by Judge Leonard Brown.
State of New Jersey v. "H"
Charges for young man charged with second degree aggravated assault were downgraded to third degree and he was accepted into the County Pretrial Intervention program with charges to be dismissed and record expunged after one year of misconduct free behavior.
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As former prosecutors, we have a balanced and in-depth understanding of the criminal justice system and how the prosecution prepares cases. In addition, we have long-standing experience dealing with local police departments, prosecutors and judges throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
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