Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Judge Told Jury To Ignore The Murder Date

Expand Messages
  • J. Nayer Hardin
    From Ira Einhorn October 17, 2005 That I did not kill Holly Maddux on September 11, 1977, as alleged by the prosecution for twenty-three years and steadfastly
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 26, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      From Ira Einhorn

      October 17, 2005

      That I did not kill Holly Maddux on September 11, 1977, as alleged
      by the prosecution for twenty-three years and steadfastly maintained
      through two trials, was demonstrated so strongly by the defense at
      my trial that Judge Mazzola was forced by his obvious bias to tell
      the jury to ignore the date, though the date was integral to what
      both the prosecution and the defense did at the trial.

      His actions at the end of my trial as demonstrated in the enclosed
      two pages {Section Two} taken from my Superior Court Appeal, made a
      mockery of the trial and violated the very nature of Due Process,
      the foundation of American Law.

      His "aside" (there are no asides in law) deprived me of a defense,
      for he changed what I was charged with after the trial was over,
      rendering the entire process a ludicrous and expensive farce.

      His shameful behavior intensified by his ignorant attack on me at
      the end of the trial is in direct violation of the principles
      enunciated by Chief Justice Roberts in his confirmation hearing who
      made one thing clear: A judge at a trial must remain a referee no
      matter what his personal feelings.

      Judge Mazzola was not a referee, but a second prosecutor during the
      entire trial bending over backwards to accommodate the prosecution
      by making conscious judicial error after judicial error that did
      away with any possibility of a fair trial.

      His behavior was reprehensible.

      What journalist has the courage to call his kangaroo court into
      question?

      What Journalist has the courage to bring Mazzola's actions into the
      cleansing light of the sun?

      SECTION II

      X. APPELLANT IS ENTITLED TO A NEW TRIAL AS A RESULT OF THE TRIAL
      COURT'S ERROR IN INSTRUCTING THE JURY THAT IN ASSESSING APPELLANT'S
      GUILT, IT WAS NOT BOUND BY THE DATE OF THE KILLING OF THE VICTIM
      THAT WAS ALLEGED IN THE INFORMATION, SEPTEMBER 11, 1977

      The trial court erred when it instructed the jury that in assessing
      appellant's guilt, it was not bound by the date of the killing of
      the victim that was alleged in the Information, September 11, 1977.
      As a result, appellant is entitled to a new trial.

      The trial court instructed the jury as follows:

      "As an aside, I would also advise you that you are not necessarily
      bound by the date alleged in the indictment in this case. The date
      of the death is not an essential element of the crime.

      You may find the defendant guilty if you are satisfied beyond a
      reasonable doubt that he committed the crime charged even though
      you're not satisfied that it occurred precisely on the specific date
      mentioned on the bill of indictment." (NT 10/16/02 p. 184).

      Appellant submits that the trial court erred when it instructed the
      jury that in assessing appellant's guilt, it was not bound by the
      date of the killing of the victim that was alleged in the
      Information, September 11, 1977.

      In Commonwealth v. Groff, 378 Pa/ Super. 353, 548 A.2d 1237 (1988),
      citing Commonwealth v. Devlin, 460 Pa 508, 333 A.2d 888 (1975), "the
      prosecution must fix the date when an alleged offense occurred with
      reasonable certainty." The doctrine that the Commonwealth is allowed
      a reasonable measure of flexibility applies only in cases in which
      an assault on a child is involved. Id.

      A variance in the date of the offense charged is fatal where it
      misleads the defendant at a trial, involves an element of surprise
      prejudicial to the defendant's efforts to prepare his defense,
      precludes the defendant from anticipating the prosecution's proof or
      impairs a substantial right. See Commonwealth v. Ohle, 503 Pa. 566,
      470 A.2d 61 (1983), quoting Commonwealth v. Pope, 455 Pa. 384, 317
      A.2d 887 (1974).

      Herein, during appellant's first trial, which was held in absentia,
      and his second trial the Commonwealth never wavered in its claim
      that Ms. Maddux was killed on September 11, 1977. Appellant's
      defense against the charges was premised upon the fact that the
      commonwealth alleged that the killing occurred on September 11,
      1977. Appellant presented a number of witnesses, including people
      who stayed in his apartment soon after the day on which the victim
      was killed, and people who saw the victim months after the date of
      the offense charged based upon the Commonwealth's firm allegation
      that the victim met her death on September 11, 1977 (N.T. 10/9/02 p.
      67-76, 97-110, 122, 145-156, 161-162, 165-167, 171-186). Had
      appellant known that the trial court intended to instruct the jury
      in this manner, he either would not have presented these witnesses
      or would have presented additional witnesses to cover a broader
      period of time.

      The trial court's instruction had the impact of significantly
      defeating or diminishing appellant's defense. In view of the
      Commonwealth's continued claim with regard to the date of death, it
      was not entitled to a jury instruction that had the effect of
      varying the date on which the victim met her death.

      Under these circumstances, the trial court erred when it instructed
      the jury that in assessing appellant's guilt, it was not bound by
      the date of the killing of the victim that was alleged in the
      Information, September 11, 1977. Accordingly, appellant is entitled
      to a new trial.
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.