Man Avoids Murder Conviction After Expert Testified via Skype
Gareth Andrews / 5 years ago
We all love technology. Sometimes it crashes and breaks but when you get to talk to a friend or family member in a country the other side of the planet, you truly begin to understand just how much technology frees us. In one case this has become more than a phrase as a convicted murderer is getting out of jail because a key expert in their case testified by Skype.
The case against Thomas was made when they found blood at the crime scene where a women had been assaulted, the results ultimately that the blood matched Thomas’s. After two years Thomas went to trial but at this point, the state’s forensic analyst had moved away from New Mexico (where the case was being tried). The defence attorney said there was no “problem” with a two-way skype call and afterwards the jury found the suspect guilty of murder (throwing out kidnapping charges).
New Mexico’s highest court reversed this conviction based on the Skype testimony saying that the suspect had a “constitutional” right to confront his accuser (in this case a DNA expert). As a result, the murder conviction will be facing another trial and hopefully will see the DNA expert travel to face the court in person.
This is just another case of the law not catching up with technology and putting both people and the law at risk because people are afraid to update rules to match what courts use to protect the people.