Sunday, October 27, 2013

Free in Kentucky: This is Why David Camm is Not Guilty

Free in Kentucky: This is Why David Camm is Not Guilty: David Camm has been incarcerated for 13 years.  That's a helluva lot of time.  He was twice conviced of the Murder of his wife and chil...

This is Why David Camm is Not Guilty

David Camm has been incarcerated for 13 years.  That's a helluva lot of time.  He was twice conviced of the Murder of his wife and children, and those convictions were overturned by a higher court.  This past week, he was retried for the 3rd time and found Not Guilty of the Murders.  He is a free man.

Here is why that’s the right result:

1) Another guy killed Camm’s family.  Charles Boney killed Camm’s wife and kids.  He has been convicted of the killings, and is serving a 225 year sentence for that conviction.  Boney testified in the Camm trial.  That was the prosecution’s major piece of evidence.  A previously convicted felon (not just for the Camm family murders) who had ALREADY been convicted of killing the Camm family.  That alone, is reasonable doubt.  No matter how detailed Boney's account could have been, no matter how fervently his accusation may have been - the Defense gets to say "Of course he's going to say that.  He is the one who killed Camm's family.  We know that because he's already been convicted."

2) Camm had nearly a dozen alibis.  Camm was playing basketball at the time his family was killed.  He came home to find the family murdered.  Part of the reason he was arrested (three days after the family was murdered) was because Camm had blood on his clothing.  However, Camm’s story was consistent with having some blood on his clothing.  Which conveniently brings us to blood spatter evidence - which happens to be my next numerical paragraph (this is called a transition sentence).

3) Blood Spatter Evidence doesn’t help anyone.  On either side.  Aside from the testomy of Boney, the other big piece of evidence was blood spatter analysis.  In fact, some people following the third Camm trial believed that the entire result would hinge on blood stain pattern analysis.  If you looked at the stains on Camm’s clothing and believed that they were “high velocity impact spatter” then you would believe that it was the result of bloog “mist” that is present after a victim is shot with a gun.  Supposedly, this type of blood spatter travels up to about four feet.  

But if you believed the blood on Camm was the result of “contact stains” then you would believe that the blood pattern is consistent with Camm’s statements that he made contact with the bodies themselves.  

OR you could just believe that blood spatter analysis is hokum, and that the “experts” just make it up as they go along.  Either way it isn’t proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

4) People don’t kill their kids unless they are absolutely nuts.  Just as a practical matter, it is much more common for a person to kill a spouse and much less common for a person to kill their own children.  Usually that type of homicide is committed by someone who is having very serious mental health issues – and there wasn’t any sort of evidence to support that in Camm’s case.

As a side note, the first 2 convictions never should have happened.  In the first, there were allegations that Camm had a previous affair(s) and that basically he wanted to dip his wick in anything that moved.  A higher court correctly found that this evidence is inadmissible (and tends to smear a man’s name) when they had no proof whatsoever of a link between the evidence and killings (that Camm killed his wife for another woman, for example).  In the second trial, the prosecutor made some argument that Camm had molested his daughter – the second conviction was overturned in 2006 after an appeals judge ruled that the trial judge, Robert Aylsworth, should not have allowed Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson to argue that Camm murdered his family to cover up alleged molestation of Jill.  From what I understand, there wasn’t much of a basis for the Prosecutor to make that argument.

There was reasonable doubt all over this case.  A lot of people think Camm probably did it.  But the standard of proof in a criminal case is not “probably.” 

In order to take away your children without your consent, and do an involuntary Termination of Parental Rights (making you legally no longer the parent of your kids) the standard of proof is “Clear and Convincing Evidence.”  It is a high standard of evidence.  But that standard is NOT as high as Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. 

It takes less evidence to take your kids away from you than it does for a jury to convict a person of ANY crime.  It is the highest burden in our court system.

The fact that Charles Boney was already convicted of the killings was enough evidence, alone, to provide reasonable doubt in the Camm Murder case.

Whether you agree or not, I hope you’ve enjoyed this little discussion.

If you have any more questions about Camm, homicide, or criminal burden of proof, feel free to give me a call.

Greg Simms

Murphy & Powell, PLC.  502.473.6464

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Free in Kentucky: The Government is Watching You. Try Not to Say An...

Free in Kentucky: The Government is Watching You. Try Not to Say An...: " just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you." - Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings There’s ...

The Government is Watching You. Try Not to Say Anything Dumb.

"just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you."
-Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

There’s an article out on NBC News today about how police (and schools) monitor social media sites.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise to you or to anyone, really.  Your government is watching you. 

Watching.  Judging. 

And if you are charged with a serious crime, you’ll be less than thrilled to know that modern technology has gone to the trouble of collecting and documenting evidence for the police.  If you’d like to read that full article from NBC News, you can find it below.*

All social media activity is fair game during a police investigation.  If your spouse dies under mysterious circumstances, you can bet the police are going to be rooting through your Facepage and tweeters, looking for any evidence whatsoever of an imperfect marriage.  If you complained a year ago via status update that your hubby won’t take out the trash, that’s going to be blown up on a monitor in high definition for the jury to see.

Whilst gathering all of your social media data, the police are going to subpoena your cell phone service provider for all of your records.  This will allow the coppers to use what they call “ping” data to pinpoint your exact location the moment your husband had that mysterious “accident.”  As long as you are carrying a cell phone, you are carrying a bona fide tracking device that will let the police know where you are at any point you have that phone.  Within feet.  Not yards.

This obviously doesn’t just pertain to Murder investigations.

Anyone on probation or parole should delete their social media accounts IMMEDIATELY.

It should go without saying (but it doesn’t) that when you FacepageFriend your probation/parole officer and you put pics or status updates about your illegal activity on the web, you are going to get in more trouble.

This may sound like something you wouldn’t need to tell people.  But I’ve had countless clients who got home on a Thursday afternoon and updated their status something like “Can’t wait to bust into that first cold beer!!!” or “Who fixin’ to roll this big blizzy laced with hizzy?  This guy!” 

Guess who gets called in for a “random” drug screen the next day?  That guy!

Long story short - social media, cell phones and pretty much any advancement in technology whatsoever are all problematic for those who engage in activity not approved by the masses.

Not to mention people going through civil lawsuits, not-yet-litigated disputes over things like contracts or property, and especially Divorce and Custody cases.  You might think it’s cool to brag on the internet about all the ladies you’ve been slaying, but when you try to get more overnight visits with your kids, you will regret the information you put on the internet.  Because some Judges consider that to be a poor moral example.**

Again, you can find the NBC News article below.

And if you have any more questions about how the government is watching you and wants to listen to your conversations, you can call me at 502.473.6464.  My door is always open.  Or you can go ask a homeless person.  Apparently all that crazy paranoid ranting is somehow legit.

Have a fantastic day.

Greg Simms
455 South 4th Street
Suite 1250
Louisville, KY 40202

**Take any advice I give you about Divorce/Custody with a grain of salt.  I’m not really that kind of lawyer.  For more information about that stuff, see Rosalie Guthrie at Murphy & Powell PLC.  And if she's not available, my little sister Rebecca Simms seems to know everything about that stuff.