PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Pedro Hernandez's retrial is of interest to this Blog because of the false confession allegations. As the jury selection and trial may last for many months I will be dipping in from time to time - as opposed to our usual day by day coverage.
Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;
"Jury selection began Monday in the retrial of the man accused of killing 6-year-old Etan Patz, who vanished in SoHo in 1979 as he walked to the bus stop for the first time alone. The first trial against Pedro Hernandez in May 2015 ended in a hung jury, but the majority of jurors who voted guilty urged the district attorney to retry the case. Hernandez emerged as a suspect in 2012 based on a tip and a videotaped confession that prosecutors say was foreshadowed by remarks he made to friends and relatives in the 1980s. In Hernandez’s videotaped, hourslong confessions, he said he offered Etan a soda to entice him into the basement of the SoHo bodega where he worked. He told authorities he then choked Etan, put the body in a bag and a banana box and dumped it about two blocks away. The defense argued Hernandez has low intelligence and falsely confessed because of a personality disorder. Prosecutors said the confession was accurate.......Because of the case’s high-profile nature hundreds are expected to be surveyed and then interviewed before 12 are chosen for the new trial. The presiding judge said familiarity with the famous case won’t disqualify potential jurors. Jury selection is expected to take weeks, and the trial process is expected to last through mid-January."
See Wikipedia account at the link below. "In April 2013, Harvey Fishbein, a defense lawyer for Pedro Hernandez, filed a motion to dismiss the case, citing that Hernandez's "confession in one of the nation's most notorious child disappearances was false, peppered with questionable claims and made after almost seven hours of police questioning". The next month, however, Manhattan State Supreme Court Justice Maxwell Wiley ruled that the evidence was "legally sufficient to support the charges" and that the case could move forward. He also ordered a hearing to determine whether the defendant's statements could be used at trial. Hernandez had a hearing in September 2014 about whether his statements made prior to police giving him his Miranda warning were legally admissible at trial. This would be influenced by whether he felt free to leave during the time before he was informed of his Miranda rights. The hearing was also to determine whether he understood the significance of the Miranda rights and was competent to waive them when he did so. This was significant because it would decide whether any statements made after that point by Hernandez were legally admissible at trial. The actual truth or falsehood of the statements was not the focus of the hearing; rather, the question of the statements' truthfulness was to be discussed in the trial, which began on January 5, 2015. The case resulted in a mistrial in May 2015 after the jurors deadlocked 11-1 for conviction. Jury selection for a new trial began in September 2016."