Getting away with murder.

I just finished watching a rather disturbing episode of American Justice, which is a show that depicts mostly murder cases that actually happened.  Usually these cases are high profile, that are above and beyond average murder cases.

This one in particular was about a man who literally got away with murder, similar to the same way Karla Homolka did.   Melvin Henry Ignatow, the suspect in this case, was charged for the murder of his fiance after large amounts of witness testimony.  They recovered the body of his fiance, in the backyard of his ex girlfriend's home.... right where she said it would be.  Her story was that, Melvin - a sexual sadist, and controlling person, ordered his ex to participate in the sexual assault and murder of his fiance, by helping him find a place to hide her body, provide a place for the assault and murder to occur (the ex's home) and even took pictures while the assault occurred.  She testified because she had a deal with prosecutors, for immunity from any criminal action in regards to the case.  She exchanged testimony for immunity.   They tried very hard, but could not locate the alleged photographs taken during the assault.  Regardless, the state felt as if they had enough to prosecute him... along with this testimony, there was many witnesses including ex-girlfriends who called him a sexual sadist, friends of the victim who claimed that the victum while still alive, claimed to have been sexually assaulted by him before, and notified friends that she was planning on ending the engagement that she claimed to have been convinced into with great reluctance.   In addition, the police knew that the victum was leaving Melvin's home just prior to her going missing.  All of the evidence was against him... there were no other links to any other suspects... all fingers were pointed at him.
Police were counting on the testimony of Melvin's ex girlfriend/accomplice, including a taped conversation between the two of them, talking about the possibility of police finding the body due to construction development on the plot of land where the victim was buried. 

Unfortunately, the testimony and audio left the jury with reasonable doubt.  They thought that the ex was just a jealous ex who committed the murder herself, and framed Melvin.  The defense claimed that the audio was about a hidden safe - not the body of his fiance.  They found the body - but no safe.  They found him not guilty, and acquitted him of the crime.   According to the constitution, police could not bring murder charges upon him for this crime as he was found not guilty by a jury of his peers.  This law is in place to protect the innocent from repetitively being charged and tried for the same crime, until some jury finds them guilty.

Later, the new owners of his home (at the time of the murder), had hired a carpet installer, who found a hidden, cut off, heating vent that contained a bag of jewelery and containers with rolls of undeveloped film in them.  Upon developing the film, they found the conclusive proof of Melvin's guilt.  Everything his ex said in her testimony was exactly true.  She did take pictures of him sexually assaulting the victim, drugging her, and even preparing her body for burial by bounding her and wrapping her in garbage bags (which is how they found the body).  Because he was protected by the double jeopardy act, he could not have been charged with this offense again... ever.  They instead sought out to charge him with a new crime of lying to the police and the FBI, in which he admitted to.  He also went on to admit his guilt in the murder of his ex... he even went on to tell her family that "she died peacefully".

Now.. we know this is wrong.  There should be exceptions to this right, in certain situations where new and crucially relevant evidence comes to surface. 

I also have come concerns.  We have all heard of cases where the innocent are wrongly convicted of crimes, and further evidence comes into play in order to prove their innocence. They are often given new trials with a jury, or  have their case reviewed by a governor or a supreme court who over rules the prior conviction.   Regardless of fault, all convicted criminals have the right to appeal the court's decision.  Sometimes, even proving that you did not receive adequate counsel would warrant a mistrial.     I don't get why the prosecution cannot call a mistrial in this case.  New and important evidence has come forward that would dramatically change the outcome of this trial... they should be allowed to claim mistrial.  This evidence alone would change the entire face of the trail before hand.  Justice has not been found for anyone in this case, and it is because of the "justice" system, that this has happened....

Your thoughts?

Uploaded 10/22/2010
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