April 21st, 2011
A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that a lower court was too restrictive in refusing to consider new DNA evidence and witness statements in the case of Jeffrey MacDonald. MacDonald was charged in 1979 with the murders of his pregnant wife and two young daughters but has always maintained his innocence. In trying to prove his innocence, MacDonald has urged the court to consider both DNA evidence and witness statements. The DNA evidence shows that a hair found under one of his daughter’s fingernails does not match him or anyone else in the family. Furthermore, under yesterday’s ruling, statements made by a retired deputy U.S. marshal, who claims he overheard the lead prosecutor threatening a witness, causing her to change her story, will also be admissible.
Debra Cassens Weiss, “4th Circuit Tells Lower Court to Consider DNA in Appeal of “Fatal Vision” Doc. April 20, 2011. ABA Journal.