Taped TV Crime Show Confession Isn't Admissible in Capital Murder Trial
Videotape of a suspect’s confession that was broadcast on A&E’s true-crime program The First 48 can’t be shown to the jury in his capital murder trial, a Tennessee judge has ruled.
Criminal Court Judge James Beasley Jr. said he is concerned that taped material that may have been favorable to Jessie Dotson’s defense was discarded, reports the Memphis Commercial Appeal. So prosecutors in the Shelby County case will have to use incriminating statements Doyle allegedly made to police rather than what he said on the TV show in an attempt to impeach any testimony he may give.
“We’ve been doing that for centuries in our system without the backup of a television show,” the judge noted.
The TV show’s producers were given special access by the Memphis Police Department to crime scenes, interrogations and detectives’ opinions, the newspaper reports.
“It’s a TV show. TV shows have never been admissible in trials in this country, and they shouldn’t be in this trial,” defense attorney Gerald Skahan tells My Fox Memphis.
Dotson, 35, is accusing of murdering his brother, and then killing three more adults and two of his brother’s children and attempting to murder three other children in the house in March 2008 to eliminate the witnesses to his brother’s slaying, according to the station and the Associated Press.
The government is seeking the death penalty.