In this highly publicized case that was prosecuted decades after the crime, the trial court had to address a motion for acquittal notwithstanding the jury’s verdict. The court looked only at the State’s case in determining that it had produced enough evidence. The Amicus brief, written by Gibbons P.C. on behalf of both the ACLU-NJ and the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey, argues that courts must look at all the evidence to decide whether a reasonable jury could convict.
Excluding evidence that comes in during the defendant’s case forces courts to ignore critical evidence like alibi evidence and evidence of third-party guilt. Such an approach is inconsistent with the general approach of courts to evaluate all evidence (the totality of the circumstances) before deciding critical issues.