After 7 years, Jesus Silva Santiago walked out of court a free man, a second jury acquitting him of Murder in connection with the shooting death of Eugene Monteiro, 25, of Boston, Massachusetts.
The Murder allegations stemmed from an incident at Mike’s Lounge in Brockton. The Plymouth County District Attorney alleged that Santiago called the victim a racial slur as he and his friends headed into the bar, saying they weren’t allowed in the club. As the victim and his friends left the bar because one was underage, they passed Santiago again and he allegedly shot the victim in the chest. The Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office alleged that Santiago went into the bar after the shooting because there was no other place to hide as the police were on their way.
Santiago, 35, was in custody since 2003. At his first trial in 2006, he was convicted of Murder, but the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court overturned the conviction and automatic life sentence and ordered a new trial. At this second trial, a jury consisting of 4 men and 8 women deliberated 8 hours and finally acquitted him this past Thursday.
After his first trial where a jury convicted him of Murder, Santiago appealed to the Massachusetts Supreme Court, claiming that the trial court committed error by denying his pre-trial Motion to Suppress Photographic Identifications. He also claimed additional errors by the trial judge, specifically, that the judge impermissibly refused his attorneys to show evidence pertaining to an inadequate police investigation.
Although the Massachusetts Supreme Court upheld the pre-trial order denying his Motion to Suppress Photographic Identifications, the Supreme Court did find error with regards to denying Santiago the opportunity to admit evidence concerning an inadequate police investigation.
Boston Criminal Lawyer Cautions Against Wrongful Convictions:
Despite having what is considered to be the premier judicial system in the world, our system of justice is not without its flaws. A wrongful conviction can occur in a number of way, the most common being Mistaken Identifications and police misconduct.
Since 1989, the Innocence Project has found that there have been 258 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States – 192 since the year 2000 alone. Most pointedly, 17 of the 258 exonerations have been people who were serving time on Death Row in various states.
According to statistics, 75% of DNA exonerations have involved mistaken eyewitness identifications. Of one of the least known mistaken identity cases involved United States President Abraham Lincoln who used the defense of mistaken identification to defend William “Duff” Armstrong in 1858. President Lincoln used a farmer’s almanac to prove that a witness could not have seen Armstrong in the moonlight, as the position of the moon that night could not have provided sufficient illumination – his client was acquitted.
Case in point, in the picture above, witnesses mistakenly identified the men on the right and left as the person responsible for rapes. The actual perpetrator of the crime, however, was the man in the middle.
Boston Criminal Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 to discuss and evaluate your criminal charges, whether Murder or any other Crime of Violence, as well as any potential defenses you may have, including Motions to Suppress Evidence and Identification Defense.
To schedule a Free Consultation with a Boston Criminal Attorney, Contact Us Online or call 617-325-9500.