January 11, 2012 |
The Supreme Court refused to put new legal limits on the use of questionable eyewitness testimony at trials, ruling Wednesday that juries must weigh the evidence and decide what is true. The 8-1 decision came as a disappointment to some criminal law experts who say false identifications by eyewitnesses are a leading cause of wrongful convictions. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg acknowledged the problem, but disagreed that the right solution was to have judges consider the reliability of all eyewitness testimony prior to trials.
January 30, 2010 |
Reacting to rising criticism from New York officials and both Democrats and Republicans in Washington, the Justice Department on Friday began considering sites for the trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other top Al Qaeda operatives away from the shadow of the toppled World Trade Center. The alternative locations include an Air National Guard base and a federal penitentiary near Manhattan, both considered safe and secure facilities. Two months ago, the Obama administration had pledged to try Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept.
June 26, 2012 |
OMAHA — For every Michael Phelps or Missy Franklin , there are dozens of Shelby Webbers , the swimmers who pack preliminary heats with no chance to make the Olympic team. Of the roughly 1,850 swimmers entered in the Olympic trials, about 50 will qualify for the U.S. team. Webber was one of 162 swimmers competing Tuesday in the women's 100-meter backstroke, with two Olympic spots available. She finished 153rd overall, last in one of 17 preliminary heats. She spent barely one minute in the pool, and her trials were over.
October 30, 2012 |
Opponents of the death penalty, including The Times' editorial page, have been arguing for years that one of the biggest reasons to replace capital punishment with a sentence of life without the possibility of parole -- as California voters will have a chance to do in November under Proposition 34 -- is that it would prevent the state from mistakenly executing an innocent person. Avoiding that terrible outcome remains a top priority, but the case of Douglas R. Stankewitz points up another, less frequently mentioned flaw with our current system: Sometimes, even guilty people get unfair trials.
May 7, 1996 |
A doctor who performed the autopsy on the body of Polly Klaas testified Monday to the pitiful state of her remains, a litany of horrors that sent her family fleeing from the courtroom. Later in the day, three jurors wept as they looked at photographs of Polly's small, headless body, partially clad in a child's flannel nightgown. Others grimaced and appeared to be fighting for control.