Criminal Defendants Have Right To Investigate Victims Homes

According to an article in the Denver Post, a Colorado court has ruled to criminal defendants have the right to examine the homes of the victims in the crimes. The Defense would presumably have to be able to show that the search of the homes would provide potential evidence that is ““relevant, material and necessary to his defense.”

Courts in California, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey have come to similar conclusions. The Court reasoned that the defendants right to a fair trial supersedes the privacy interests of the victim. The reasoning seems to be that the defense has a right to inspect the crime scene to determine independently what occurred, whether the initial investigation was sloppy, or whether there are other possible explanations for the crime than the one that the government is promoting.

The notion of the Defense exploring the crime scene is not a new one, however Victims Rights Advocates were uncomfortable applying this notion to the victims private dwellings.

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