Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Two Critical Trial Observations, from Yesterday

There is some obscurity in the statute from before 2005. Granted, the law was changed, but before it was changed, the state may have to deem the "Victim" to be "married."
The Plural Life - "Judge Barbara Walther observed that that would also show that the alleged victim could not legally have married Raymond Jessop since she was married to someone else — a comment that seemed to make defense attorney Mark Stevens freeze up."
That may very well be the case since it seemed possible for persons to become less formally married, but married nonetheless in Texas before Harvey Hildebran's bill changed law effective 2005. My friend "Toes" wrote me and also blogged on this:
"Judge Walther is willing to recognize the previous marital status of the 'child' 'victim'.

According to DFPS legal definitions the 'victim' would then be an Emancipated Minor, according the DFPS definitions :

Emancipated Minor - A person under age 18 who has the power and capacity of an adult. This includes . . . a minor who, with or without parental consent, has been married.

Texas Family Code, Chapter 5, Sec. 101.003 defines a child:

CHILD OR MINOR; ADULT. (a) 'Child' or 'minor'" means a person under 18 years of age who is not and has not been married or who has not had the disabilities of minority removed for general purposes.

If the Judge (State) recognizes the previous marriage performed under the auspices of the FLDS church in a religious ceremony, the Judge (State) must also recognize the termination of that marriage under the auspices of the FLDS church and the subsequent remarriage under the auspices of the FLDS church to the Defendant.

The law regarding sexual assault of a child: Texas Statutes, Penal Code 22.011,

(c)(1) 'Child' means a person younger than 17 years of age who is not the spouse of the actor[perpetrator].
(2) 'Spouse' means a person who is legally married to another.

This throws the whole case out the window, as 1) the 'victim' was not a child by legal definition; and 2) the 'victim' was a spouse of the accused."

If she was married, the state has no case. If that's ignored on the trial level and a conviction handed down, it will eventually be reversed. Period. I've seen the prior statute and it did seem to say you could purport to be married and go through certain motions and be recognized as married and the state can't have it both ways. If they're going to try Raymond on bigamy for purporting to be married, well then, his "victim" was married. That, we'll have to wait and see to know.
"DNA shows Jessop is the father and photographs and other documents put the alleged victim and Jessop at the ranch, though not yet during the critical time period."
This is also critical, and I believe the jury to be stacked, and they will ignore this as well. With some judges and some trials there might be a directed verdict at the point where the state fails to "connect the dots." I don't think this will happen with Walther.

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