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Court Observation - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Court Observation The Court proceedings for the case of the five missing teens in Newark, New Jersey, have been one of the longest ever witnessed. The case has been in court ever since the year 1978. This is the year that five teenage children were reported missing…
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Download file to see previous pages In the year 1978, five boys were reported missing and were presumed dead. The suspects that were captured at the time, Lee Evans and his cousin, Philander Hampton could not be held due to the absence of credible evidence. However, as time went by, the court found something to link Lee with the murders of the five teens. The issue that arose during the case was the linking of Lee to all the murders (Henry, p. 20). Questions as to why he would do such an act were asked. The public was very interested in the closure of the case. To this day, the bodies of the teens have not been recovered. Families of the deceased are appealing to the accused to disclose the location of the bodies. This is to allow them to be at peace and have the ability to let go of the memory of their lost ones. Facts reveal that Lee Evans and his cousin led the teens into a vacant house, put them in a closet, poured gasoline and lit it. They then left. It is believed that the teens were forced to the abandoned house at gun point (Henry, p. 22). First, three were taken by Lee then two followed later. When asked the reason he was doing this by his cousin, Lee said it was payback since the boys had stolen his marijuana. The case came to a close as the jury found Philander Hampton guilty of the five counts of murder. This is because he had pleaded guilty to the charges. The case had gone cold and had been put under missing persons. A confession from Hampton helped law enforcement agencies to start the case again. This time they had a witness. Lee Evans still has not pleaded guilty to these charges (Henry, p. 23). There was a plea made by Lee’s defence for a mistrial but the judge, Patricia Costello, denied the motion for the mistrial. If the case was considered a mistrial, then the case would have to start all over again. Beside Hampton, Lee Evans is the only other person who truly knows what happened. This means that the prosecution is heavily reliant on his account of what happened. Since the fire destroyed the credible evidence, the prosecutors have nothing else to go by. Lee’s defence asked the witness why he did not stop the accused from doing what he allegedly did. The answer Hampton gave was that he did not know Lee was going to do it (Henry, 25). He is the one who allegedly gave Lee the matches to use to set the place on fire. The prosecution in this case has a hard time since the evidence produced by their only witness is being questioned. With his tenth grade education, Hampton seemed confused with the account of what actually happened. Hampton, in his testimony, claims he fled from the scene of the crime before it was set on fire. He explained to the jurors in the case how the accused, Lee Evans, led the victims into the deserted building and carried out the actions (Millman, p. 15). Lee acted as his own defence at the beginning but later on, he decided to involve a public defender. The credibility of the key witness was also questioned. This was because of his past criminal record. He had been arrested on several occasions and charged with drug possession. He was also charged with shoplifting. The defence thinks that Hampton was coerced into agreeing to testify against his cousin. They also think that if he is the key witness, why did he have to wait this long to decide to testify (Millman, p. 25). As a witness, Hampton had a lot on his plate. Family members claim that they suspected Lee Evans from the start. This is because, at the time of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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