'Probable Cause' in US Jurisprudence

Article excerpt

ITs too early for Nida Blancas daughter Kaye Torres and her legal counsel, Atty. Harriet Demetriou, to fault the DoJ for the dismissal by the California District Court of our governments request for Rod Strunks extradition. The DoJ will still appeal the case. Since the dismissal was based on lack of probable cause, the government could submit additional evidence to fill up the deficiency. It is not only DoJ and NBI that should be blame, if ever; but Kayes lawyer too. Thats why she engaged a private counsel to see that the public prosecutors had the crucial evidence on hand.

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DoJ Sec. Datumanongs opinion is like a hammer squarely hitting the nails head when he said the US courts denial of our extradition request does not mean the American judge believes Strunk is not guilty. At any rate, his guilt or innocence is for our courts to decide. But first, we must have the US court reconsider its ruling and grant our extradition request. All that court needs is evidence to establish probable cause to warrant Strunks trial here. The DoJ prosecutors and NBI agents, together with Kayes lawyer, should collect the appropriate evidence to establish probable cause.

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Evidence to support probable cause is something that cannot be without in any criminal complaint. The complaint may be filed with the prosecutors office, which conducts an investigation. If the investigating prosecutor and finally the DoJ Secretary find no probable cause, the complaint will be thrown into the waste basket. Following the line of least resistance, some prosecutors may hastily find probable cause to file the complaint in court. Usually the outcome is dismissal. Such could not have happened in the Strunk case. Kaye had her lawyer supposedly to monitor the prosecution.

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The Strunk extradition had no probable cause. We know what probable cause is. But in American courts, we must rely on their jurisprudence, not ours; although theres not much difference. Thus, when we file our motion for reconsideration of the dismissal, our supporting evidence must abide by American jurisprudence, which says that: Probable cause is an objective standard rather than a function of subjective opinion or suspicion not grounded in fact or circumstance. …