Criminal Law, Evidence, Murder, Soering

DNA Identification, Circumstantial Evidence, and Jens Soering

[source] One of the first things they teach you in law school is that circumstantial evidence is just as powerful as direct evidence. In fact, they say, the distinction is irrelevant and misleading. "But that's only circumstantial evidence!" is the type of thing that non-lawyers think is a winning argument, but which isn't. Why is… Continue reading DNA Identification, Circumstantial Evidence, and Jens Soering

Comparative Law, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Murder, Police and Prosecutors

Jens Soering’s Guilt and a System Failure of German Journalism

UPDATE: 15 July. Full disclosure: this post has gotten some attention since I posted it. I've made a number of revisions to it after correspondence with people very familiar with the case, who graciously corrected some errors. I'm also reading 'Beyond Reason', the 1990 book about the case, and may update the post a bit… Continue reading Jens Soering’s Guilt and a System Failure of German Journalism

BGH, Criminal Law, Murder, Police and Prosecutors

Christin and Her Murderers — Inside a German Murder Trial

(cross-posted to German Joys) The public radio station for Berlin-Brandenburg recently released an 8-part podcast -- "Christin and Her Murderers" exploring a German murder case. The podcast yields interesting insights into German criminal trials, mainly because the authors -- Martina Reuter und Uta Eisenhardt -- got unusual access to the main players in the case:… Continue reading Christin and Her Murderers — Inside a German Murder Trial

BGH, Criminal Law, LG Berlin, LG Hamburg, Mental State, Murder

Drag-Race Deaths, Intent, and Murder in German Law

Two interesting and controversial judgments have been handed down by German courts recently in cases involving high speed chases and drag races in German cities. Illegal drag races have happened in Germany since there were cars, but the new phenomenon is driven by young males from urban areas, usually of immigrant background, who conduct either… Continue reading Drag-Race Deaths, Intent, and Murder in German Law