Posted: July 7th, 2022

State v. Henderson Brief

State v. Henderson Brief
Name
Institution

State v. Henderson Brief
Facts:
Rodney Harper was shot to death in an apartment in Camden in the early morning hours. James Womble, a witness to the killing, did not speak with the law enforcers until they approached him ten days later. Harper and Womble were in Vivian Williams’ (Womble’s girlfriend) apartment when 2 men forcefully entered the house and demanded that Harper pay $160 he owed. Womble knew one of the men (co-defendant George Clark), but the other one was a stranger to him. While Womble remained with the stranger in a dark hallway, Harper and Clark went to a different room. Womble heard Harper and Clark argue over money after which he heard a gunshot. When he walked to the room, Womble saw Clark holding a handgun and offered to pay the $160 while urging Clark not to shoot Harper again. Clark warned Wamble not to report him to the police. Harper died a few days later. Larry Henderson, the stranger who had accompanied Clark to the apartment was arrested and the court convicted him of 2nd degree reckless manslaughter.
Issue:
Did the NJ and OR judiciaries overstep their bounds in their unilateral adoption of advanced reliability criteria? Should reform efforts left to law enforcement agencies alone for implementation? Are reforms really necessary?
Discussion
No. the NJ and OR judiciaries did not overstep their bounds. It is their duty to establish if the criterion was impermissibly suggestive and if it is so, if the procedure led to a very substantial possibility of irreversible misidentification. Furthermore, unilateral adoption of advanced reliability criteria serves to determine the witness’ degree of attention, witness;’ accuracy, and degree of certainty at the time of confrontation.
No. The reform efforts should not be left to law enforcement agencies alone for implementation. It should be a combined effort as such reforms touch on the various departments of justice, and thus need a collaborative approach for them to be successful.
Yes. Reforms are very necessary. This is to ensure that they conform to our ever changing world.

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