Victims often testify in court, but not usually in murder trials. Surprisingly though, a woman recently testified from beyond the gave against the man who took her life. Here’s what happened and what a San Diego criminal lawyer believes those facing charges should know about this unique case.
Obviously, most murder victims can’t answer questions about the murderer. Even those who survive long enough to make it to the hospital are usually surrounded by a flurry of doctors and nurses and in no condition to talk, let alone make a disposition. But Judy Malinowski survived nearly two years before succumbing to the injuries she suffered after her boyfriend,Michael Slager, dumped gasoline on her and set her on fire.
Five months before she died, Malinowski gave what many called a “deathbed testimony” about the incident that would eventually take her life. While Slager’s lawyers challenged the admission of the video into evidence just like any decent San Diego homicide defense attorney would do, the judge ruled that because Malinowski was the only witness and she couldn’t testify due to her fragile condition, that it was important to include her disposition. Additionally, he ruled that it was fair to use under the right to confrontation granted through the constitution because Slager’s attorneys cross-examined the victim.
While this was a unique situation, perhaps the first of its kind. This sort of thing could happen again. That is why it is so important to always work with a top criminal defense lawyer in San Diego from the beginning of a criminal investigation. You want to ensure that your rights are protected from the first second you have been accused.
If you have been charged with any kind of crime, it is critical you speak with a San Diego criminal attorney as soon as possible. You can schedule a free initial consultation with experienced lawyer Peter M. Liss by calling (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024.
Creative Commons Image by Tony Fischer