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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

More Limine

In the last post, I said that one of the first issues brought up in Coy's Habeas Corpus was his lawyer's failure to object to the state referring to the complainant as 'the victim.' This is an incomplete description. The issue brought up was the suggestion that the lawyer failed to competently defend Coy, and the first illustration of this was his failure to object to the aforementioned assumption of facts not in evidence (that the girl was a victim.)

Clarity and truth are of the utmost importance, but sometimes I write with the assumption that everyone has just read the same thing I have, and that's wrong.

The appeal focused on Lewis's lawyering performance, which is not uncommon in Habeas Corpus appeals. The problem is, proving ineffectiveness is extremely hard because a bad strategy is not the same thing as incompetence.

I don't know if Chip Lewis did a good job or a bad job, but he seems to have known in advance that the prosecution, the prosecution's witnesses, and even their experts, were going to introduce 'facts not in evidence; their assumption that the child was a victim. Forewarned is forearmed, and he tried to prevent it by filing the (denied) motion in limine.

The Habeas Corpus says it was rejected because there was no precedence for it; after all, it seems a little ridiculous to ask the judge to make a rule requiring the other side follow the rules, right? So no prohibition was put into place, and in order to avoid 'antagonizing' the jury, the prosecution was allowed to present a fact to the jury that was not in evidence, unobstructed by any objection.

People suggest it's not that big a deal; how could one little word, even if used repeatedly, decide the outcome of a case? Well, according to the Houston Chronicle, the jury was leaning towards acquittal before suddenly reversing themselves. I would imagine, in close cases like this, that every word has meaning; any advantage that you can get, by any means, could turn the tide in your favor.

What would have happened if the State had not decided early on, before a single witness had spoken, that the complainant had been assaulted, and was therefore a victim? What outcome would that have lead to?



Anonymous said...

i cant remember where i read this from but i remember reading that carlos coy said half of the accusers that testified against him after the guilty verdict were lying. if you know anything about that statement, do you know what he meant by that ?

Anonymous said...

Is SPM going to write more about his case "Court Transcripts" soon?

Incandesio said...

Anon 11:42:

I don't know, but I did find an article talking about the one that claimed she had sex with him while he was out on bond. Apparently she had tried to extort money from Dope House before.

Anon 12:00:

I have a response from him that will be up soon about the polygraph and Dope House's new website. He's gotten a little behind because right now he's focusing on The S.O.N.

Clemente Rodriguez II said...

Wow...that's crazy. Like they say if you speak a lie enough you'll start to convince yourself it's the truth. I can't believe he was close to being acquitted. What are his options now since he was denied the appeals?

Incandesio said...


I'm not familiar enough with the legal situation to know all of his options, but I believe the best chances are to either catch the attention of a politician who can question his conviction (such as Pat Lykos,) or new evidence.

If they can turn up new evidence, he can file another appeal.

Anonymous said...

Incandesio i got one question.. whats spm's address? I've been wanting to write him a letter. hope u respond soon...

Incandesio said...

Anon 4:10:

His address is:

Carlos Coy
James V. Allred Unit
2101 FM 369 N.
Iowa Park, TX

Evidence said...

I have a question im wondering did chip lewis motion for a mistrial.the reason i ask is it does not make sense that the jury had none of carlos coys peers on it. This may seem a bit crazy but this whole case seems like a set up a conspiracy to me. Then r kelly had sex with minors n nothing happened he should have been.locked up not carlos.justice is not justice in our judical system it never has been fair.and never will

Anonymous said...

I heard the lil girl was going to come out & say it wasnt true when she turned 18? Now she would b 19 years old whats up ?

Angela Nino said...


Clemente Rodriguez II said...

What would constitute as new evidence? I really don't see anything besides a confession from the alleged "victim" or her family. It's really unfortunate but SPM said himself it helped him regain perspectives on things like his life.

Incandesio said...

Thanks for that link! That's a fascinating website, and I've used it in the past to find stories of the wrongfully convicted.

Anything from a witness saying they lied, to an expert admitting they had incomplete information, or signs that the D.A.'s office had hidden exculpatory evidence, or dismissing a juror because of race, could be new evidence.

There are a lot of possibilities.

Eric said...

That's not "assuming facts not in evidence". That objection would not hold whatsoever. The limine was denied, so no matter how Chip objected, he would have been overruled each and every time. Chip played his cards right. The prosecution just had a better hand.

Incandesio said...

Eric, I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

Since there was no evidence of a crime, the entire trial revolved around whether or not the child was a victim. That was the whole point. By designating her 'the victim' with judicial approval, the state negated the question and the trial became almost completely pointless.

EVen though Lewis tried to remind the jury that they were there to decide whether or not she actually was a victim, while the State and it's experts were already referring to her as such.

Eric said...

As soon as that little girl testified, evidence was entered into the Court. Her testimony was evidence. Testimony from police officers and other experts can be considered evidence too.

A proper example of "Assuming Facts Not In Evidence" would be the following. OJ Simpson's defense team wanted to introduce a drug dealer theory in their trial. They wanted to say drug dealers killed Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman over a drug debt. This theory never entered the court room though because the defense could not introduce a shred of evidence to support their theory. No facts, no testimony, no evidence. Assuming facts not in evidence.

In Coy's case, the prosecution had the victim's testimony, which is considered evidence. Her testimony supported their theory, it logically made sense, and it was consistent with all the other circumstantial factors that occurred before, during, and after the assault.

Incandesio said...

Eric, her testimony was evidence. The truth of it, however, was not an established fact. If there had been some kind of physical injuries, or DNA evidence, then it would have been a fact. The only thing left to prove would be whether or not it was Coy that assaulted her.

In the case you mentioned, it was a fact that Brown and Goldman were murdered; their bodies were the proof. Where is the proof that this child was touched by anyone? The testimony of the therapist that hadn't spent enough time on the case to find out that she was taking a hallucinogenic drug? The mother who testified that she knew the claims were true, even though she was also aware that her daughter had said she wasn't sure before the trial even took place?

Eric said...

You do not need physical evidence to charge someone. Many people are convicted of murder without the body ever being found.

The proof that this child was molested? Her testimony proved it, and she was backed by experts and other logical circumstances.

Hallucinogenic drug? That's a new one. Was she on acid that night, or on the day she took the stand and spoke boldly into the microphone?