dugo wrote:Why hasn't the extortion trial started yet? Or is trial in absentia and speedy trial an alien concept to the U.S.?
Trials in absentia are exceedingly rare—most judges and attorneys will never be involved with one. The procedure doesn't jibe with the notion of due process, especially the constitutional right of the accused to confront witnesses. So, judges are careful to make sure that a defendant's absence is truly voluntary, rather than the result of foul play, ill health, or lack of notice, lest they create grounds for an appeal.
If a defendant takes off during the pretrial phase, however, he may be able to elude an in absentia conviction. In the 1993 case Crosby v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that federal law "prohibits the trial in absentia of a defendant who is not present at the beginning of trial." This despite the fact that Crosby, accused of mail fraud in Minnesota, appeared before a federal magistrate to enter a "not guilty" plea before escaping to Florida. As for a fugitive who has never been in custody, such as Osama Bin Laden, odds are slim to none that any U.S. court would permit his trial in absentia, regardless of the strength of the evidence.
Nor can globe-trotting criminals be tried in absentia by the International Criminal Court. Article 63 of the Rome Statute, which governs the ICC's operation, simply states, "The accused shall be present during the trial." Of course, it's doubtful that anyone high-profile enough to merit the ICC's attention would be afforded the chance to skip out on bail.
yankee-in-france wrote:.. and what about what really happened to Natalee? Does a parent, regardless of whether or not he or she is popular on message boards, not have the right to know what happened to a child? Joran started this case and offered the bait, Beth merely took him up on it. Certainly he knew that he was commiting a crime and so he gets caught and now what, thinks that his subsequent sentence for the violent murder of Stephany Flores is all there is. The US gov't is pursuing this case not Beth although I am sure that she would very much like to see a few more years jail time for him after he serves his present sentence in Peru. Maybe now is the time for Joran to tell the truth about Natalee and just maybe the US case would go away.
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