Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Crux Of The Scott/Cervini Case

According to the Live BLOG from today's D&C, Judge Egan's instructions to the jury center on the following issues:

Egan: You are the sole judges of credibility of every witness.

Egan: with respect to the only charge-- first-degree manslaughter. Scott has raised the defense of justification, also known as self-defense. He is not required to prove that. The people are required to prove the case.

Egan: under law, a person may use deadly force on another person, when in the case he feels he reasonably needs to use deadly physical force.

Egan: Deadly physical force means it is readily capable of causing death or other serious physical injury.

Egan: The reasonable part of it means that a reasonable person in Scott's position would have had those same belielfs as Scott did in this situation and would have used the same deadly physical force in the same circumstances. And that another person would have used the same force if they honestly felt that way at the time.

Egan: The defendant would not be justified if he was the initial aggressor. The person who reasonably believes another is about to use deadly physical force on him need not wait for the other person to strike the first blow or inflict the first wound.

Egan: Whether or not the people have proven their case beyond a reasonable doubt will determine whether you find the defendant guilty of this crime.

Egan: In order to find him guilty of first-degree manslsughter, You will need to find the following elements: that the defendant caused the death of Cervini and did so with intent and was not justified in causing the death of Cervini. If you cannot find the 3 elements, you must find him not guilty.

The jury is prepared to be sequesterd, if necessary.


Anonymous said...

Thank you. From that description he is definitely not guilty.

SCATS said...

It looks like it will boil down to who gave the more believable testimony, Scott or James Cervini. There is a glaring lack of exacting evidence to consider. The most significant evidence comes from the coroner who said he can't determine which shot came first and the fact that Cervini was intoxicated. So how do these things add up?

Since Cervini was drunk and had already showed poor judgement by going out, drinking, smoking, rummaging through cars in the middle of the night, Finocchio's argument that it wasn't "logical" for Cervini to charge at Scott loses its "oomph." He wasn't acting logically in any of his decisions that night, based on his chosen activities. Add in the effects of liquor & I am convinced Cervini COULD HAVE charged at Scott. Teens often feel invincible by nature. And he also may have done so in an ill-fated attempt to "protect" his cousin who feared more trouble with the law since he was serving (and breaking) probation that night.

Since we don't know which shot came first, both sides produced their own theories. I'm not sure either theory made "more sense" than the other one. To me, that testimony was a wash given what was reported (I know we didn't hear it all outside of the courtroom and I didn't get to see the autopsy photos of the wounds, etc.).

So that makes it largely a "he said" (Scott) vs. "he said" (James Cervini) case in my mind. Who was more believable? To me Scott was clearly more believable.

Cervini's "I guess" testimony that the diagram he helped produce for police following the shooting showed Chris Cervini running towards Scott, not stationary with hands in the air as he testified months after the incident speaks volumes! At the time of the shooting, I think James was very likely "scared straight," as short lived as it was. I think he told the truth to the police at that point in time. Why lie then? That makes no sense at all, especially since he was so concerned with saving himself from further trouble with the law. I believe Chris Cervini was MOVING as that diagram showed, not frozen in place like James (known to have troubles telling the truth) testified.

On the other hand, Scott has a background free of other troubles. He has never been anything less than cooperative with law enforcement. He has never waivered from saying that he felt threatened and pulled the trigger in self-defense. And his story didn't evolve and change significantly over time despite the many hours of gruelling questioning he underwent. Had he done so, Finocchio would have used it against him. She had nothing that she presented to show that.

So, if I were on the jury, he would get my vote of "NOT GUILTY." And there would be "no doubt" ... reasonable or otherwise ... in my mind.

Anonymous said...

"I am convinced Cervini COULD HAVE charged at Scott."

That statement makes no sense whatsoever. I am convinced that anyone COULD do anything. Not much convincing necessary.

Anonymous said...

In order to find him guilty of first-degree manslsughter, You will need to find the following elements:

1. that the defendant caused the death of Cervini and;

a: Without a doubt, the defendant caused the death of Cervini. He shot him dead. Plain and simple.

2. did so with intent and;

a: Intent defined: Law. the state of a person's mind that directs his or her actions toward a specific object.

He showed his intent when he directed the gf to call 911, and didn't stop there. He took his gun and followed them to 59 Banebury, then towards Manitou Road, then to 39 Banebury. He assumed a "shooters" position. His intent was clear. He told them "my wife called 911 *and* I have a gun". He himself proves my case.

3. as not justified in causing the death of Cervini.

a: The Penal Code is clear: Penal Law Section 35.15, defense of jurisdiction, including, a person may nevertheless not use defensive deadly force if he knows he can with complete safety to himself avoid such use of deadly physical force by retreating.

Scott had plenty of open space to retreat, and had he himself NOT put himself in the middle of a crime scene after calling the authorities, he would have never been on trial in the first place.

If you cannot find the 3 elements, you must find him not guilty.


SCATS said...

To 3:44PM ~~ I made that statement in light of what we already know about Cervini's state of mind that night: making repetitive poor choices while intoxicated. He could have, and I believe he did, charge at Roderick Scott. Don't forget, the prosecution was trying to claim charging at Scott made no sense. It DOES make sense given Cervini's probable state of mind.

SCATS said...

To 4:19PM ~~ Justification is contingent upon believing Scott's claim that Cervini charged at him. I said he charged. Clear-thinking, unarmed people do not charge at someone who tells them they have a gun, people like his cousin and the other friend who both fled the scene ;) If Scott wasn't justified, I believe there would be shots taken at the other two. That didn't happen.

NOT guilty :)

Anonymous said...

The fact that he DIDN'T shoot at the other 2, and said his intent was to detain, when in fact he let them walk and run away shows that what HE said does not match what HE did.

He targeted Christopher Cervini and shot him, not once, but twice, and in his own statement says that he was "charged" after the first shot, which was Cervini falling down the driveway past him until moving out of the way to let him pass and drop at the end of the driveway. He knew exactly what he was doing, and showed no fear when faced with Cervini from 12" from his person.

He never, ever, not once, tried to retreat. He was "the man" - he had "the gun" - he intended on using it, unjustifiably so, and as such is:


Anonymous said...

SCATS: Cervini is not the one on trial here. His intent, justification, and "force" is not at question - Scott's is.

Keep things in focus, please. You of all people should know better than to skew the facts.

Anonymous said...

Looks like he won't be home in time for dinner!


Anonymous said...

Beside the Scott case filled with speculative ME testimony, what else have we learned about the Professional TestiLIARS on the government payroll this week?

We learned ADA Sweetie has no objection to skewing a prosecution with the Green Stamp on it.

We learned 40 NY DAs have been alerted to begin reviewing cases that were tainted by the State Police Lab. Gee, so much for the credibility of the SuperTroopers who get to murder citizens with their car and investigate the crash in house.

We learned if you're a cute White girl age 17, you can drive drunk and kill your passenger, but if you're a Black man and shoot a neighborhood punk comitting a felony crime ADA Sweety will try to nail your hyde to a cross. Oddly both victims are equally dead, but the little white darling is offered 6 months in County lockup in full satisfaction. INTERESTING equal justice.

We also learned GPD does have an interview room equipped to record Video & Audio, they used it with Mr Scott. So, why have they denied that capability for years in Courts when they didn't tape interviews?

What next you wonder?
Will the Cadaver cousin now be charged with the obvious Probation violation? No if Scott is convicted; possibly if Scott walks. ADA Sweetie doesn't need that purgerer any more.

And, what will we hear in the famed N.J. case? How long till it becomes public what was hidden under that rug?
WHY was Fat Vinny used to tow a wrecked vehicle off 390 in Greece? Vinny is an Irondequoit towing contractor, and damn sure ain't on the GPD list. Will that get pushed under the 911 dispacher screwed up rug?

Oh yea, there's more, plenty more.

SCATS said...

Intermittent technical problems have left SCATS unable to access comments and update the BLOG on a consistent basis. It may be a day or so before the problem is completely resolved. I will do what I can, as I'm able to access pages. Thanks for understanding :)

Anonymous said...

Since nobody knows which shot came first, the fatal one or the other one, doesn't that alone make for "reasonable doubt" about R Scott's "guilt?"