Former lead singer of a Chicago punk bad, Anthony Lovato, allegedly stabbed a man to death. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office however, has determined that there was “‘insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the killing was not a justified use of force in self-defense.'” Read the details at cnn.com’s Law Center by clicking here.
Law in Life previously discussed the legal elements for murder, in addition to the theory of self-defense in our February 15, 2007 entry. Click here to read that entry and refresh your memory or learn more about these legal theories.
The prosecution’s role in the criminal justice system is to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant committed a crime. This burden of proof includes proving beyond a reasonable doubt that any affirmative defense a defendant raises is inapplicable.
In this case, the prosecution’s decision to not file charges against Lovato was apparently based on the lack of evidence that would disprove the theory of self-defense.
It is significant to note that the failure of the prosecution to pursue a criminal case against Lovato does not preclude the decedent’s estate from pursuing a civil wrongful death case against Lovato, assuming a such a viable case exists.