Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Hi, My name is*****'m an attorney with 15 years vigorous courtroom practice experience, and I would like to assist you in answering your question. My response is for information and education, and not as legal advice and we do not form an attorney/client relationship.
In order to better assist you, I need you to answer some clarifying questions. You stated that the DA video taped in court testimony from the parents. Was this during a trial, or what type of hearing was it? If it was in court, why did it matter that the DA was video taping the in court testimony? I do not see how video taping in court testimony would prevent the defendant's attorney from meaningful cross examination. Can you please provide additional clarifying details so that I can better assist you with your question?Thank you,
Heather S, Attorney
I believe they taped testimony because of the ages and health of the parents. They wanted to make sure they had the testimony. Because the defendant was not aware that his parents would be testifying, he had not had the chance to discuss the event with his attorney in any detail - and the attorney only asked a few questions.
Consequently, many exaggerations and falsehoods in the testimony went uncontested and are now gospel.
It sounds like the prosecutor was using pre-recorded taped testimony in the trial rather than having the actual witnesses? Generally, the prosecutor will need to give the defendant notice about who the witnesses would be, and I see no reason why he would not need to give notice about the taped testimony, unless the parents were still alive and testified themselves in court, but then said something different that what was in the recording, in which case, the testimony would come in for purposes of impeaching the parents as witnesses and showing that they lied either on the tape or in court. If a defendant does not have a chance to cross examine or challenge the testimony he is up against, then he has not been given a fair trial. So, I would agree that he should file a motion to have the testimony excluded, based on the facts you described.
Does this help?
His lawyer did not challenge anything they said...
It sounds like the lawyer should have, but it's hard to say without seeing a recording of the proceedings.