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Despite lack of body, jury convicts man of murder

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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 10:07 AM
Original message
Despite lack of body, jury convicts man of murder
Despite lack of body, jury convicts man of murder


Armed with only circumstantial evidence and vague references that Gary L. Robinson had made to others about how one might hide a body, a Franklin County jury convicted the former Grove City resident on a murder charge despite the absence of a body.

Robinson, 46, told Grove City police in 1999 that he didn't know where his girlfriend was after she disappeared the night of June 12. But he didn't help look for her body either, testimony showed.

Nearly 11 years later, police and prosecutors told jurors in a four-day trial this week that Robinson choked Tammi "T.J." Campbell in their apartment, wrapped her body in a carpet and took it to a local landfill. Her remains were never found.

It was the first case since 2003 in which local prosecutors tried a murder case without a body.

The Common Pleas jury of 10 women and two men deliberated eight hours over two days before convicting Robinson of murder and tampering with evidence. Three jurors and the defendant's mother cried as the verdicts were read.

http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/04/10/despite-lack-of-body-jury-convicts-man-of-murder.html?type=rss&cat=&sid=101
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
1. We have abandoned the Rule of Law in the US
Edited on Sat Apr-10-10 10:11 AM by ixion
and are now on a very dangerous and destructive path. :(

Habeus Corpus has been a standard for centuries. But I guess we no longer need such pesky obstacles. :puke:
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Not the first case without a body.
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Uh, and that makes it okay?
Linking someone accused of a murder to a piece of physical evidence that ties them to a body is rudimentary in any murder case. To convict someone of such a crime on circumstantial evidence is unconscionable, in my opinion.
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DemocratSinceBirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Not Going To Got In A Discussion Of Our Penal System
It's the best justice money can buy.

However, circumstantial evidence can ne more reliable than eye witness testimony which can be subject to mistake, error, or prejudice.
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Habeas Corpus does not mean produce a dead body.
Edited on Sat Apr-10-10 10:30 AM by hobbit709
It refers to unlawful detention without a hearing in court.

Apples and oranges. And people have been convicted on circumstantial evidence if it proves a crime was committed. Talk to any halfway competent lawyer.
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DemocratSinceBirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. That's Corpus Delecti
Does anybody think Jimmy Hoffa got permanently lost or went on vacation?
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. You and I know that but some people confuse the two.
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DemocratSinceBirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. I Guess They Are Hung Up On The Word Corpus
I think habeas corpus literally "means give me the body", Corpus delecti is a body.
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. Nope, although it's related. It's the concept of proving that a crime has been comitted
Edited on Sat Apr-10-10 10:41 AM by ixion
but Habeus Corpus DOES MEAN "produce the body" Sorry. Nice try at snark, though.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_delicti
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DemocratSinceBirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. We Are Getting Into Semantics
It was a general rule not to convict unless the corpus delicti can be established, that is, until the dead body has been found. Instances have occurred of a person being convicted of having killed another, who, after the supposed criminal has been put to death for the supposed offence, has made his appearance
alive. The wisdom of the rule is apparent; but in order to insure justice, in extreme cases, it may be competent to prove the basis of the corpus delicti by presumptive, but conclusive, evidence.

http://www.lectlaw.com/def/c338.htm


Habeas corpus and Corpus Delecti are two very different legal principles.
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. it means: You (shall) have the body)
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DemocratSinceBirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. NO
Habeas corpus loosely means "charge me or let me go"

A corpus delecti is a corpse.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #13
22. Well, you're both right
In legal parlance, habeas corpus means you can't be held without charges.

In Latin, "habeas" means have and "corpus" means body, so "habeas corpus" means "we have the body." (IOW we know you did it because there's a dead guy in the cooler over there with your fingerprints on his neck.)
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DemocratSinceBirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #3
15. In Order To Sustain A Conviction You Need Means, Motive, And Opportunity
Edited on Sat Apr-10-10 10:46 AM by DemocratSinceBirth
You really don't even have to establsh motive.

In a lot of mob murders the body is never found.

This case has little to do with the rule of law or unlawful detention.

Hey, I agree with you that our justice system is flawed but I can see the justice of obtaining a conviction for murder where the body is never found.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #1
14. Way off
Habeas refers to having the body, as in, being in custody.

It is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. In some cases, there could be enough proof without the body.

There are cases where they might have the body but not enough proof to convict anyone.

In this case the jury must have found proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim was dead and that the defendant killed the victim.
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. The jury found proof enough is a something the story does not cover
Edited on Sat Apr-10-10 12:35 PM by ProgressiveProfessor
Without a body there needs to be some pretty convincing evidence that the person is dead. Massive amounts of blood or something similarly credible other than the police can't find them.
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Berry Cool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. "Habeas corpus" has NOTHING to do with that.
Neither does "corpus delicti."

"Habeas corpus" relates to unlawful detention of a person by the justice system. It does not relate, by necessity, to murder of any kind--unless, of course, someone is being detained unlawfully who is suspected of having committed murder but who has not been formally charged with anything.

"Corpus delicti" has to do with proving, in general, that a crime has been committed. It can apply to any kind of crime, even, say, a car theft. It means "body of the crime," and does not refer to the physical dead body of a murdered person. It refers to the principle that it must be proven that a crime has taken place before anyone can be convicted of having committed it.

Now, in a murder case, a dead body can obviously serve as part of the corpus delicti. But a dead body alone is not sufficient proof that someone was murdered. Evidence on the body, such as signs of a struggle (flesh under fingernails, for example), or that the person was shot in a way he couldn't have shot himself, may also add up to the corpus delicti, but so may other factors.

Without a body, however, it is still possible for a jury to convict someone of having murdered someone based solely on circumstantial evidence, without reason of a doubt. For example, if the jury is presented with sufficiently convincing evidence that the murderer destroyed or disposed of the body in such a way that no evidence of it can be found. It's possible for such evidence to be entirely convincing and for an entire jury to be able to say in all honesty that it truly believes no other outcome is possible other than that the person was murdered by the individual on trial. Such a conviction is no less possible, or fair, than a conviction made in the absence of an actual witness who can testify to having seen the murder committed by that individual.

The circumstantial evidence may even be physical. For example, if a person's DNA is found in an area connected to the crime in such a way that connects him or her to the likely place of the murder, even if the body has disappeared.

To assume that it's a miscarriage of justice for a person to be convicted of a murder with no body is wrong, just as it's wrong to assume a miscarriage of justice for the person to be convicted despite a lack of witnesses to the crime.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 10:35 AM
Response to Original message
9. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
DemocratSinceBirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. All They Had In OJ's Case Was Circumstantial Evidence
But yeah he was guilty but his exoneration only shows the power of money in the administration of justice in America.
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DJ13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #10
18. his exoneration shows the power of money
It shows that our justice system is abusing their ability to out spend most every defendant to obtain convictions.

The one time a defendant can finally match the government $ for $ and they cant get a conviction.

If OJ had needed to rely on a public defender he would have been found guilty (even with his celebrity status).
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #18
23. His acquittal shows the ineptitude of the prosecution's case.
That was one of the worst presented cases I've ever seen. There was no direct line of reasoning, an unambiguous series of events leading to the murder, rather they pursued a shotgun case, just spray the evidence everywhere and hope enough sticks to him.

That works fine in a case against a poor person with a public defender, OJ had the greatest legal team ever assembled and Clark & Darden were so outmatched I felt sorry for them. Remember that the jury was spared the 24/7 circus of speculation and innuendo, all they saw were the cases presented. Ito didn't help when he became star-struck either.

Of course all this was possible because he was rich, and I guess that's your main point, but it also served to show just how unjust our justice system is.

At least we put Phil Spector's sick ass in jail.


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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #9
17. Why do much lingering anger over the OJ verdict yet Robert Blake (Baretta)
strolls the street like a king, You KNOW he shot his wife in head. he's never mentioned again...people don't fume over the verdict.
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Berry Cool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. Oh, that one wasn't a great moment in jurisprudence either.
There are a million situations where one comes away feeling justice was denied. It's just that some get more publicity than others.
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