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Posted on April 20th, 2014, by

The case of Michael Peterson reveals the imperfectness of the contemporary criminal justice system. More important, this case gives insights toward possible effects of the involvement of poorly qualified professionals in trials and work of the criminal justice system. In actuality, Michael Peterson is likely to face the second trial because the first one was far from perfect, while the prosecution relied heavily on the expert’s opinion, but Duane Diver was fired for his incompetence and manipulations with his records (Greene & Heilbrun, 2011). Therefore, the entire case is under a question since it is unclear whether Peterson was tried fairly and properly or probably the criminal justice system just prosecuted him since prosecutors and jurors believed that he had the reason to murder his wife.

In fact, the position of witnesses of both prosecution and defense was quite strong. Virtually all family members supported Peterson and testified in his favor but the sister of the deceased Kathleen. The prosecution relied heavily on the expert’s opinion, who conducted the autopsy and made expert conclusions concerning the cause and possible circumstances of the death of Kathleen Peterson. In fact, the expert’s opinion has proved to be crucial for the outcome of the case since Duane Deaever was the expert who insisted that Kathleen’s death was the result of the act of homicide, while Michael was the only person, who could commit such an act (Greene & Heilbrun, 2011).

However, the trail failed to involve the owl theory that emerged after the trial and the defense of Peterson definitely failed to use this theory to defend the client effectively. Hence, the defense just had nothing to respond to the expert’s opinion.

Thus, Peterson eventually got life sentence, although his case was not fully investigated and not all circumstances of the case were taken into consideration.

 

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