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  1. #1
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    Default Amber Guyger Indicted for Murder

    It's been too long for the original thread to stay open but Amber Guygen was indicted for the murder of Botham Jean yesterday.
    She had been originally booked on manslaughter charges.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Amber Guyger Indicted for Murder

    I'm surprised what's his name that was so hyped hasn't been back to discuss.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Amber Guyger Indicted for Murder

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
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    I'm surprised what's his name that was so hyped hasn't been back to discuss.
    I didn't even look at who started the thread, figured it was him.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Amber Guyger Indicted for Murder

    I saw that yesterday and my first thought was, "OMG, what's his name on EL will be all over that."

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Amber Guyger Indicted for Murder

    Quote Quoting cbg
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    I saw that yesterday and my first thought was, "OMG, what's his name on EL will be all over that."
    me too LOL.... I do think this would be an interesting case to be on the jury to hear all the evidence.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Amber Guyger Indicted for Murder

    Scuttlebutt on a number of law enforcement boards is that they may have overcharged. Murder requires a greater burden of proof that may be difficult to meet.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Amber Guyger Indicted for Murder

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    Scuttlebutt on a number of law enforcement boards is that they may have overcharged.
    I can understand why that might be the prevailing sentiment in law enforcement circles. But we do not yet know all the evidence the prosecutor has. I will say this much: the statements released so far regarding what she said happened do not for me make a very compelling story for her. I wouldn't be surprised if the jurors also share my skepticism.

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    Murder requires a greater burden of proof that may be difficult to meet.
    It is not, however, technically correct to say that murder requires a greater burden of proof than a lesser offense like manslaughter. The burden of proof is the same in both: guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. What is true is that the elements of the crime that the state needs to prove are more challenging. In particular, the mens rea element (the level of intent) requires proving the intent to kill, rather than a more generalized intent to do harm or simply criminal recklessness.

    But if the state thinks it has at least a shot a winning on the murder charge then charging the murder offense may be tactically a very good way to go if Texas law allows the jury to find her guilty of a lesser offense even if they acquit on the murder charge.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Amber Guyger Indicted for Murder

    Well, I did not bother to evaluate the opinions or look into Texas law on the issue even if I misstated my intended thought on the elements rather than the burden. History tells us, however, that overcharging often results in dismissals in such cases. If lesser offenses are always an option in Texas, it may not be an issue.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Amber Guyger Indicted for Murder

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    History tells us, however, that overcharging often results in dismissals in such cases.
    Maybe in California it does. But a dismissal, rather than acquittal, suggests that the state failed to produce enough evidence to survive a probable cause hearing (or whatever California calls it). If the state's case is that weak, it should get dismissed. But in that event, the state ought to be able to refile for an appropriate lesser charge. That would not generally violate double jeopardy.

    If you meant that overcharging often results in acquittal, that of course means that the state takes the case to trial. But what I see most often is that prosecutors overcharge to something that is a bit of a stretch but would at least survive a probable cause challenge to help strong arm the defendant into a plea agreement on the charge the prosecutor really wants to stick. The prosecutor knows that he or she likely won't win at trial on the more serious offense, but he or she succeeds in scaring the defendant with the possibility, even if it isn't great, of much greater time (or death, in one of the jurisdictions I practice) and thus gets a plea agreement he or she wouldn't have got if the more supportable charge was pursued instead. I think doing that is ethically wrong, but that consideration doesn't seem to stop the practice. So even if overcharging might present a problem for trial, it still happens a lot as a way to get more plea deals favorable to the state.


    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    If lesser offenses are always an option in Texas, it may not be an issue.
    I did a little digging on the Texas law on this. The basic Texas rule, at least for the various murder offenses, is this: "If facts are elicited during trial that raise an issue of a lesser-included offense and a charge is properly requested, then a charge on the issue must be given." Nevarez v. State, 270 S.W.3d 691, 693 (Tex. App. 2008). In this context the term charge refers to the jury charge, i.e. the instructions the court gives the jury in the case. Thus, if there are lesser included offenses that are supported by the facts of the case and either the defendant or prosecutor asks for the jury to be instructed regarding lesser included offenses, the court must provide that charge (instruction) to the jury. So there are tactical considerations for each side regarding whether to seek the lesser included offenses charge or whether to go for all or nothing on the primary charge. There also appears to be some situations in which the court must provide that charge sua sponte (on its own).

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