"Police say they talked to 20 people "related to the case" and interviewed eight witnesses. Witnesses say they saw punches and kicks thrown while the men were on the ground, but the prosecutor says the video doesn’t show it."
So what happens in a situation like this and there are no cameras at all? Does the prosecution not file charges because there are no cameras? Whatever happened to multiple eyewitness accounts being enough to push forward and file charges. Seems like they have a few eyewitnesses in this case.
Chilling video to watch. It appears there are at least two PTZ cameras that can view the scene. Both look like they are at or near max zoom. I detected the cameras attempting to auto focus. The lighting looked good (metal halide) in the area. Do you have any further information as to what type of cameras these were? Not make so much but 7 year old analog with 18x optical zoom & 12x digital ?? If these were zoomed all the way out, very little shake in the scene albeit there is some.
Regardless of the obstructions, the quality sucks.
Makes me sick to think WSU invested the money they did in surveillance to come up empty. Especially with such a high price being paid in human tragedy.
Prosecutorial discretion exists for a reason. If evidence is sufficent to sustain a conviction then charges are filed. If not sufficent that's regrettable but the outcome is likely to be acquittal so it does no one any good to prosecute. Recall the innocence projects that have freed many inmates convicted on weak, often eyewitness testimony only to be exonerated later. That's why you just don't stretch the rope too far and prosecute weak cases. Well, that and the losing DA looks really, really bad in the newspaper! :-)
There are so many variables, John, I can give just a few here: a social scene at night means some witnesses have been drinking, some toking, some not. Some might have had a good position relative to the line of visibility to the attack, some won't have that. Was traffic obstructing a view momentarily? Does the witness wear contacts or glasses, have good night vision or poor? Were they emotionally engaged or distracted at the time or was the witness focused directly on what was happening? Does physical evidence support the witness version of events. Are there conflicting witness versions from different witnesses and perspectives?
There's simply far too many factors an assistant DA has to evaluate and then make a decision and for that reason I make it a point never to second guess the prosecutor's discretion. Excepting cases of prosecutorial misconduct (and those are very, very rare) you better rely on their judgement to determine which cases are viable and which aren't.
I really can't believe some of the comments on this string. Seriously, how can you guys really be that dispassionate and clinical?
Imagine that the dude who got beat down was your dad.... or your little brother. Still think the prosecutor shouldn't file charges?
This (insert various profane adjectives) prosecutor should resign in shame for being such a (insert various profane adjectives) bitch. Gutless (insert derogatory & profane noun) - your job is to seek justice! Period.
The District Attorney is the head law enforcement official.... do your (insert profane adjective) job!
To use the quality of the video as an excuse to decline to prosecute is pa-the-tic. As others have mentioned above, though eyewitness testimony - by itself - is questionable at best, there is plenty of other circumstantial evidence that can be used to corroborate (and weed out maybe) these witness statements.
It is abundantly clear that this (insert profane noun) is eyeballing a higher position somewhere and doesn't want to risk his (most likely high, based on his lack of any perceivable gonads) conviction rate.
I'm gonna puke just thinking about him.
I get that it wouldn't be easy. For all the reasons (and more) stated above by others. But I would maintain that this case is absolutely winnable - without the video at all. Simply ignore it and use the other evidence.
If the defense wants to introduce the video, let them. Let them make conclusions that you can then pick apart - while standing on the high ground and telling the jury that the video was of such terrible quality that you refused to introduce it so as to not insult their collective intelligence by making conclusions based upon it... and then proceed to show them why you felt you had overwhelming evidence enough without it! I watch a lot of old Perry Mason reruns. (I'm a Raymond Burr fan; I also watch Ironside reruns - not that new, stupid Ironside)
Most everyone who has a 'normal' job can (and probably should) decline to accept work that they deem too difficult. Prosecutors shouldn't have this option.
I so hope the fact that this guy was a professor will come back to bite this gutless (insert profane noun) in the ass and derail his 2016 gubernatorial bid.
The streaming video at the top of the thread appears to be a cropped video recording of a monitor. Alot of the issues mentioned appear to be caused by this re-recording of a monitor whilst the footage was playing and then its been cropped and trimmed into the compilation.
It would be unwise for me to comment on this footage as it is not 'best evidence'.
Putting the incident to one side, and dealing purely with the video, the question has to be asked - where is the original footage and did a court make a decision on the footage above or the true recordings, properly clarified and presented by a person trained to do so?