David Harris Discusses the Challenges of Trying Multiple Defendants

Professor David Harris spoke to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review regarding the difficulties of trying six defendants jointly in a murder case involving the torture and killing of a mentally disabled woman. With multiple defendants in any case, judicial efficiency and consideration for the burden on witnesses favor one trial, but this creates substantial hazards for the defendants when their defenses are inconsistent with each other. “What you’re going to do if you’re only one defendant is to shift the blame onto the others,” he said. “It’s everybody punching each other out, and the prosecution can sit back.”


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