This is a complete presentation on Famous Cases Involving Mistrials in the Criminal Law, including a 10 point multiple choice quiz with answer key.
The author is a retired lawyer, instructor and textbook writer.
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MENENDEZ: There was a change in defense strategy for the second trial which sunk them for another mistrial. Lyle had a big mouth and had been running it. Now the prosecutors had damaging impeachment evidence of tape recorded conversations between Lyle and Norma Novelli, Lyle's one-time confidant. Lyle describes how he "snowed" the jury at his first trial with his abuse testimony. The prosecution also found a letter Lyle had written to a former girlfriend instructing her on how to testify at the first trial. Lyle did not dare testify with this ammunition the prosecution could use against him on cross examination. Since he didn’t take the stand and establish his state of mind, the child abuse experts could also no longer testify about his state of mind.
SPECTOR The biggest difference between the two trials was that at the second trial there was testimony by five women from Phil Spector’s past about similar abusive behavior with them. The inference was clear: the fatal interaction between Spector and Clarkson came too close to Spector’s confrontations with other women in the past. Most of these confrontations involved his using alcohol and Spector had been drinking with Clarkson that last night. The five women witnesses painted Spector as a demonic maniac when he drank.