When is Doubt Reasonable?

30 May

Chris Harris is on trial for the brutal slaying of 5 members of a family he claimed were his friends.  His defense attorney, Daniel Fultz, theorized throughout the trial perhaps the family’s 14 year old son killed 4 of his family members, then was killed himself by Chris Harris, who was acting in self-defense when he struck the young boy 52 blows with a tire iron.  The brother of Chris Harris testified he personally witnessed the terrible beating of the 14 year old boy, who laid helplessly on the ground.  You can read the whole story here:


What evidence did the defense attorney present to support his theory?  The blood of the 14 year old, which was found in copious quantities throughout the house, including under a bed where he hid from his killer, was found under the fingernails of his slain father.  The defense attorney tried to convince the jury this evidence indicates the father and son struggled.  Or could it be true the father touched his bleeding son in an effort to comfort or protect him in their final moments?

Daniel Fultz, defense attorney: “There’s your reasonable doubt.”

Is our “reasonable doubt” really “there”?

Did the boy who was struck with a tire iron in excess of 50 times kill 4 other people?

Did a grown man need to strike a half-grown boy 52 times with a length of steel in order to defend himself?

Blood evidence shows the boy bled all over the house.  Did the defendant reasonably need to chase the boy around the house inflicting blow after blow?

The defense attorney did give some good advice to the jury.

Daniel Fultz, defense attorney: “Don’t decide the case because you don’t like him.”

The defense attorney is correct.  The jury should decide the case on the merits of the case, which includes the evidence, which demonstrates a 14 year old boy was no match in hand to hand combat with a grown man armed with a tire iron.

What have we learned?

We have learned the jury needs to decide for itself if doubt is “reasonable” or ludicrous.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: