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Old 05-13-2019, 02:17 PM
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Andrew Krivak conviction tossed in rape, murder - What the everloving fuck??


Andrew Krivak conviction tossed in rape, murder of Josette Wright

Maybe one you law-talking guys can 'splain it to me. Or maybe I am just misreading it. Or maybe it yet another example of the state of journalism. But something is fucked up.

Quote:
Judge David Zuckerman ordered a new trial for Krivak after hearing testimony that a Connecticut sex offender, Howard Gombert, had made jailhouse statements in 2011 implicating himself in the crime.

The judge ruled there was a reasonable probability that Krivak would have had a more favorable verdict in the trial if the jury had known about Gombert.
OK, the judge.....orders a new trial....saying the jury (in 1997) might have reacted differently if they heard statements by a sex offender....that were made in 2011.

The other defendant had his conviction tossed by the same judge, with the same reasoning.

WHAT???!??!??!???

According to the article, there was witness to the crime. One of the defendants' girlfriend testified:
Quote:
she was with them and Wright in Krivak’s van and witnessed the two rape the girl before taking her lifeless body into the woods
The article does not say that she recanted.

But, someone testified that another guy told him that the other guy may or may not have committed the murder and two suckers may may not be doing the other guy's time......and this is enough to overturn??

Girlfriend testified she witnessed the crime, has not recanted.
Jailhouse informant testifies about out of court conversation with sex offender 13 years after the conviction
Sex offender did not testify in this proceeding at all
Judge orders new trial


Have I got that right? Because I really, really hope I am missing some important information here.
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  #2  
Old 05-13-2019, 02:30 PM
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There's links on that page to two other stories.
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:35 PM
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Eyewitness testimony is not the most reliable kind of evidence, for a variety of reasons. If that testimony was the largest factor in the conviction then I would say that conviction was not very strong and would be subject to overturning due to new evidence. However, IANAL.
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:38 PM
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I'm not a law-talkin' guy, but as a general rule, if evidence turns up indicating that someone was wrongly convicted of a crime, I think it's a generally a good thing that that evidence can lead to a new trial.

Not sure why that has you outraged.
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Old 05-13-2019, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miller View Post
I'm not a law-talkin' guy, but as a general rule, if evidence turns up indicating that someone was wrongly convicted of a crime, I think it's a generally a good thing that that evidence can lead to a new trial.

Not sure why that has you outraged.
I think this legitimately depends on the quality of the evidence in the first trial. Circumstantial? Eyewitness? DNA evidence? And on the quality of the new evidence. In any case, a new trial isn't the same as an acquittal.
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Old 05-13-2019, 06:13 PM
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Not the best written article, but from what I can tell, the convict, Gompert, in his conversation with the informant did not confess to killing the girl, Josette Wright, only "persuading" her to have sex.

He's more cagey about a second girl, Robin, who disappeared at about the same time.

Do they have reason to believe the girlfriend was lying about being in the van?
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Old 05-13-2019, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roderick Femm View Post
Eyewitness testimony is not the most reliable kind of evidence, for a variety of reasons. If that testimony was the largest factor in the conviction then I would say that conviction was not very strong and would be subject to overturning due to new evidence. However, IANAL.
Generally, this kind of eyewitness testimony is not the kind that tends to be unreliable. A person who knows the defendant well, who testifies that they were present when the defendant committed the offense, is not likely to be mistaken in their identification of the perpetrator. Is there some other lack of reliability at issue?
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:03 AM
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Tons of innocent people have been sentenced because exculpatory evidences hadn't been disclosed (deliberately or not). It's an excellent thing that a new trial would be ordered when new evidences emerge.

If the new evidence is as weak as you make it appear, and the known evidences as damning as you make them appear, then presumably he'll be sentenced again. Contrarily to you, the court will hear the full story (not that I really trust juries, but still better than "I read somewhere that someone said he was guilty, so obviously he should be on the electric chair already").

If you think that "there was a witness" shows indisputably that he's guilty, you should read some cases from the innocence project or its Canadian equivalent. Witnesses being mistaken, lying, being coaxed into testifying in a certain way by the prosecution, etc... abound.
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Last edited by clairobscur; 05-14-2019 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:15 AM
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The judge said the jury might have found differently if they had known about Gombert's implication in the crime, not if they had known in 1997 about a statement that Gombert made in 2011. In other words, new evidence came out in 2011 about a crime that happened in 1997, and if the jury had known about it in 1997 they might have acquitted the defendant.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:33 AM
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If you read one of the linked articles, it sounds like way back at the first trial Gombert was implicated - DiPippo's (the other defendant) lawyers were arguing that Gombert had committed the crime. So his name didn't just come out of the blue in 2011.

And note that the defendant was not given bail, and will stay in jail until the new trial is complete.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clairobscur View Post
If you think that "there was a witness" shows indisputably that he's guilty, you should read some cases from the innocence project or its Canadian equivalent. Witnesses being mistaken, lying, being coaxed into testifying in a certain way by the prosecution, etc... abound.
Again, to be perfectly fucking clear, this is not a case of mistaken identity. The witness knew both defendants very well before the crime occurred.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:18 AM
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Stories like this just ruin any hopes of van ownership. Such useful vehicles.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clairobscur View Post
If the new evidence is as weak as you make it appear, and the known evidences as damning as you make them appear, then presumably he'll be sentenced again.
It's so sweet that you have that much faith in the US judicial system. But lemme break this down for you: there will be a jury involved. A dozen people pulled from the exact same pool of people who ended up agreeing Trump would be a good president. How comfortable would you be flying in an airplane with engines that burst into flames mid-flight roughly 50% of the time? The wisdom right after "Don't speak to the cops" is "Don't hope for a predictable or even modestly reasonable decision from a jury"

Last edited by Inigo Montoya; 05-16-2019 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clairobscur View Post

If you think that "there was a witness" shows indisputably that he's guilty, you should read some cases from the innocence project or its Canadian equivalent. Witnesses being mistaken, lying, being coaxed into testifying in a certain way by the prosecution, etc... abound.
But the new trial is ordered because 'there is a witness'.

But the witness is a jailhouse informant giving a 3rd hand account of what some other criminal said. (or is it secondhand?)

Jailhouse informants....I cannot put any stock into what they say. They are playing an angle and their testimony is most likely bullshit. But even if he is telling the truth, there is no telling if what he heard was the truth. If the guy is a sex offender, is it a stretch to think he may also be a pathological liar? That he might like to spew some bullshit every now and then?

I'm not saying the cops shouldn't look into it. See where it goes, see if there is any corroboration, new physical evidence, etc... Maybe they could question the sex offender and see if he could tell that story to someone who isn't interested in getting a deal.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Typo Negative View Post
I'm not saying the cops shouldn't look into it. See where it goes, see if there is any corroboration, new physical evidence, etc... Maybe they could question the sex offender and see if he could tell that story to someone who isn't interested in getting a deal.
Not the prosecution's job--they got their conviction and have no call to go undermining it. In fact they'll do what they can to uphold the original conviction regardless of what the new evidence is, and how strong. The prisoner is the one at this point who has to push the case forward, and the prisoner is working against an institution experienced in defending convictions.
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Old 05-16-2019, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Typo Negative View Post
But the new trial is ordered because 'there is a witness'.

But the witness is a jailhouse informant giving a 3rd hand account of what some other criminal said. (or is it secondhand?)

Jailhouse informants....I cannot put any stock into what they say.
Me neither, but their testimonies are frequently used to convict defendants, so it's only fair that they'd used to innocent them, don't you think?

Quote:
They are playing an angle and their testimony is most likely bullshit. But even if he is telling the truth, there is no telling if what he heard was the truth. If the guy is a sex offender, is it a stretch to think he may also be a pathological liar? That he might like to spew some bullshit every now and then?
Maybe, but he also might say the truth. And anyway the witness the OP uses as evidence that the defendant is guilty could also be lying for a variety of reasons. I'm not sure why I should believe one and disbelieve the other.

What would you prefer? Ignoring that new evidence emerged and declare him guilty because you have a hunch that he is? Why then was he allowed a first trial, if this how you think things should be done? Someone who knew him said that he did the crime, and you think her testimony is good enough, so why wasn't he sent directly to jail without this annoying and time-consuming trial thing? Conducting a new trial where the jury will be able to hear the new evidence and the old evidence seems to me the obviously right thing to do.

What if he has exceptionally convincing evidences that the jail informant testimony is truthful? Don't you think he should be allowed to present his arguments, at least? In fact, why exactly you or anybody else would want to prevent a new trial? What good would come from that?

By the way, I really don't see why a sex offender would be particularly likely to be also a pathological liar.



Quote:
I'm not saying the cops shouldn't look into it. See where it goes, see if there is any corroboration, new physical evidence, etc... Maybe they could question the sex offender and see if he could tell that story to someone who isn't interested in getting a deal.
So what? You'd want the right to a new trial to depend on the opinion of a cop about whether or not you're likely to be guilty? Again, what issue do you have with a trial were the defense can present its argument? If the new evidence is as unconvincing as you *assume* it to be, then presumably, his sentence will be confirmed. What kind of justice system do you want? One where when the evidence against the defendant seems good enough, he should go (or stay) behind bars without trial? One where the defendant isn't allowed to argue his case?
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Last edited by clairobscur; 05-16-2019 at 02:32 PM.
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