We're guessing 7-foot-2, 420 pounds.
The key that allowed this clusterfuck to reach the Supreme Court was the document-sharing issue (and even if this was an honest mistake, as prosecutors have always claimed, this was still a Class A screwup on their part). But that didn't make the thing about the witnesses anything other than bullshit, as Justice Antonin Scalia couldn't resist pointing out in his written opinion:
"The desperate implausibility of the theory that petitioner put before the jury must be kept firmly in mind. ... To assert that unhesitant and categorical identification by four witnesses who viewed the killer, close-up and with the sun high in the sky, would not eliminate reasonable doubt if it were based only on facial characteristics, and not on height and build, is quite simply absurd. Facial features are the primary means by which human beings recognize one another. That is why ... bank robbers wear stockings over their faces instead of floor-length capes over their shoulders; it is why the Lone Ranger wears a mask instead of a poncho; and it is why a criminal defense lawyer who seeks to destroy an identifying witness by asking 'You admit that you saw only the killer's face?' will be laughed out of the courtroom."
Oh, yes. He. Did.
But he wasn't laughed out of the courtroom. Kyles was in fact granted a new trial, not based on the witness thing but that other issue about the prosecution failing to share information.
Kyles was actually tried three more times, with each trial ending in a hung jury, until the prosecutor called it quits and released him. But the guy shouldn't beat himself up too much. The justice system is getting another chance at Kyles, given that he was arrested in 2010. On suspicion of murder. Again. Doh.
Eddie would like to thank his sister, Marissa, and her law professor, Steve Vladeck, for their help in researching this article.
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For more courtroom shenanigans, check out 7 Ridiculous Cases Where Animals Were Put On Trial. Or find out about some fictional judges who didn't do their homework in The 5 Most Wildly Illegal Court Rulings in Movie History.
And stop by Linkstorm to see what happened when the Supreme Court tried to tell Andrew Jackson to stop shooting people.
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