Couple of things about “corpus delicti” that confuse me, and I would rather bunch them all into one thread than a separate one for each:
- Does corpus delicti only apply at a trial, or does it apply to an arrest or pre-arraignment/preliminary hearing in the first place?
- Does corpus delicti only apply to state courts, or to federal courts as well?
- Does a guilty plea make corpus delicti irrelevant? Say John Doe is accused of murder by an informant who tips off the FBI, and he enters a guilty plea when pre-arraigned, but the court still has absolutely no idea who was murdered, when, where, why and how. How do they send him to prison for homicide if they don’t know any facts about the murder?