Well, what did they do?
Posted by Linden on May 13, 1998 at 20:34:28:
In response to Trial procedure in the Regency, written by Linden on May 11, 1998 at 20:46:31
Thanks to everyone who answered this and an earlier posting on the subject.
It does appear that defendants could certainly not act as witnesses on their own behalf, and probably not speak at all.
So how did you set about proving that you couldn't have dunnit? Or that you could have dunnit, but that you had a justification?
Let's take a case of a woman accused of stabbing a man to death. She could say:
1. She was three hundred miles away at the time (I suppose she could bring witnesses for her alibi - but what if the only witness was her husband, who also couln't testify?)
2. She was very small and totally inept with a knife so she couldn't have dunnit (again, witnesses might fill in)
3. She dunnit, but she was preserving her honour from him because he was trying to rape her? (No witnesses, presumably)
4. She didn't really do it: he had the knife, she put up a fight, and he fell on the knife and killed himself.
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