While a person charged with a crime does not have to offer evidence in their defense at trial, it would be prudent to introduce any information that may exonerate them. Generally, all evidence must be exchanged prior to trial, and if a party fails to introduce evidence, they waive the right to do so. There are exceptions, however, such as when exculpatory evidence is not discovered until a later date. Recently, a Florida court explained when a conviction should be set aside due to newly discovered evidence in a murder case in which it ultimately denied the defendant’s request for relief. If you are accused of murder, it is in your best interest to talk to a St. Petersburg violent crime defense attorney to evaluate your possible defenses.
Background of the Case
It is reported that the defendant was convicted of first-degree murder and kidnapping and sentenced to 100 years in prison and death. He filed a postconviction motion, resulting in the vacation of his death sentence and the ordering of a new penalty phase. The defendant then filed a second motion, claiming newly discovered evidence based on an alleged jailhouse confession. An evidentiary hearing was conducted, during which the defendant presented testimony from witnesses, including the individual to whom the alleged confession was made.
Allegedly, the court denied the defendant’s motion for relief, concluding that the evidence presented was insufficient to support the claim of a jailhouse confession and would likely be inadmissible under the Florida Rules of Evidence. Consequently, the defendant appealed the court’s decision. Continue Reading ›