As a juror on this case, there is an abundance of information, testimony and evidence to take into account. I would like to begin this case analysis by first stating my verdict and then describing why. Based on the Prosecution’s testimony, I find the Defendant/suspect of the bank robbery of Small Town Bank guilty beyond reasonable doubt. My decision was formed based on the circumstances of the crime and pursuit, forensic findings, and what evidence was found useful when reaching the guilty verdict.
Circumstances of the Crime
I do believe that the suspect is the bank robber due to numerous and varying circumstances. To begin, the suspect travelled in the same direction (South) as witnesses reported when seeing him flee the bank. In addition, the suspect was also found in the same location (South) as witnesses reported him fleeing. As a juror, one of the main things I found to be puzzling in this case was the presence of the individual apprehended by Deputy Engle close to Home 1. Moreover, the fact that this individual is a relative to the suspect is ironic, yet somewhat bothersome. However, coincidences do happen, so this fact had no overall bearing on my final decision.
Aside from being found in that location, there was also evidence suggesting that the suspect had abandoned the silver vehicle used to flee the scene of the crime at Small Town Bank. Since an attempt to determine who had stolen the vehicle is a separate crime, the fact that a car matching the same description as the getaway vehicle is further damaging evidence for the suspected bank robber.
The most detrimental evidence I found against the suspect was the presence of clothing matching the description of the bank robber’s. The fact that this evidence was scattered along the same fence line that led investigators to the suspect in Home 2 from where the vehicle was found is nearly impossible to refute. Also, the suspect would have had ample time to hide the stolen money and his weapon since another individual had been apprehended by the closest officer on duty, causing a momentary distraction.
Forensic Findings and DNA Evidence
Regardless of circumstances, as a juror, scientific evidence speaks volumes. Unlike circumstantial evidence, forensic analysis is hard to disprove. The forensic findings and testimony presented in this case by the Prosecution aid in proving guilt in numerous ways. First, the snub-nose revolver, for example, found along the fence line of Home 2 was the same type of gun used in the robbery at Small Town Bank. This was determined through controlled testing and bullet fragment analysis.
Secondly, DNA evidence is extremely reliable, and aided in provided one of the most convincing pieces of evidence in this entire case. It was disappointing that more DNA evidence was not found useful, but DNA testing demonstrated that the black gloves found along the fence line between Home 1 and Home 2 definitely proved that the suspected bank robber was not merely a homeless individual that had been squatting in the attic of Home 2. DNA testing ruled it a fact the same individual found at Home 2 had been wearing the gloves, and therefore, was most surely the person that also discarded them along the fence line. Moreover, this evidence ruled out the idea that the black gloves found near Home 2 could have been worn and discarded by the other individual apprehended at Home 1. I found this to be an important discovery because not only does this clear the first individual that was apprehended, but it serves as additional evidence suggesting the black gloves found near Home 2 were believed by scientific reason to have been worn by the suspected bank robber.
Understandably, the shoeprint played an important factor in this case as well. As the Prosecution mentioned, a footprint is not the same a fingerprint, but it does aid in proving the likelihood that an individual was at the scene of the crime. Even though forensic analysis failed to determine an exact type and make of shoe from the shoeprint analysis, which is disappointing, the fact that the shoeprint left at the crime scene matched the same size and tread as the suspected bank robber is overwhelming evidence proving guilt. When we, the jury, combine all of the evidence based on the circumstances, forensic findings and DNA evidence surrounding the crime, we can collectively see that the suspect is guilty of this crime.
As we know, in the realm of criminal law, “guilty beyond reasonable doubt” does not mean that no amount of doubt exists. Rather, it is a way for jurors to ask ourselves whether or not any other conclusion presented, other than the one suggested by the presented evidence, exemplifies rational sense. In the case of the bank robbery in a Small Town Bank robbery, the suspect robbed the bank at gunpoint, fled travelling South in a stolen vehicle, abandoned the stolen vehicle, attempted to hide and dispose of evidence after deserting the stolen vehicle, successfully broke into and entered a citizen’s home, and attempted to evade police officers by hiding in the attic of Home 2 where the suspect was later found and taken into custody. For me, there is no other rational explanation of the events that occurred surrounding the robbery of Small Town Bank.