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Monday, February 11, 2008

CrimProf Abraham Dash Comments on the Exclusion of Evidence in Homeland Official's Murder Trial

Adash From washingtonpost.com: University of Maryland School of Law CrimProf Abraham Dash comments on the evidence being excluded in the trial in which homeland security official Keith Washington is accused of shooting two unarmed furniture delivery men.

Evidence about a psychiatrist's report in 1995 that said Washington, then a police officer, had "fleeting homicidal and suicidal thoughts" and "fits of internal rage" will not be admitted, a judge has ruled. Allegations that Washington used excessive force during his more than 16 years as an officer, including two incidents that led two lawsuits, will probably not be mentioned, except to rebut other evidence, legal experts said.

"It does complicate matters for the state's case in chief," the portion of the trial when the prosecution presents its evidence, said CrimProf Abraham Dash.

"But the defense has to be very careful, too," he said. "I don't see how the defense can avoid putting Washington on the stand. That can open a lot of problems." Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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