Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Law And Order Beats Its Own Record

As you probably know, stories on Law and Order many times reflect an actual story that is in the news. If there was any irony or bizarre situation about the actual gruesome event – you could almost bet money that a very similar story-line would be only a few weeks away on Law And Order.

In Georgia for the past few days the search and finding the body of hiker Meredith Emerson and her accused killer Gary Hilton. The medical examiners yesterday determined she was kept alive for three days before bludgeoned to death and then decapitated. And also yesterday speculations were popping up about other murders on hiking trails and parks – “were they done by Gary Hilton also?” Seems to the question of yesterday.

Last night on Law And Order, Special Victims Unit, the story was uncannily similar to this case in Georgia – less than 16 hours afterwards when all the news about the case were hitting the fan. Wow!

Speaking of the murder of Meredith Emerson and Hilton as the murderer – I don’t think this falls under the “innocent until proven guilty umbrella", he has already admitted he did it and led the authorities to the body in Dawson County. He made a deal that if he led them to the body the prosecuting attorney would not seek the death penalty.

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Blogger deborah wilson said...

Meredith's death is horrid, Eddie. My thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.

This is a bad way for Georgia to have to start off the New Year...

Hilton...he's a scary looking man. What got my attention was the woman in the park who said that she almost had a fight with him. I wonder why she didn't report him?

But, Hilton will have to have his day in court, it is his constitutional right to a fair defense and trial as to his alleged guilt "in the murder of Meredith" - so therefore, we have to "assume his innocence until proven guilty".
Due process of law...

Law and Order, I missed the episode, but I'm sure they did hop on this story...Probably a good reason why officials aren't talking, now that her body has been recovered - low media profile.

I'm waiting to see what happens in the investigations of Hilton in NC and Florida. If Hilton is connected to those murders (or others), the deal to not seek the death penalty possibly won't hold. I think officials are on to something and that the prosecutor did that out of desperation to recover her body for the sake of the family - and to seal a case, not only for Meredith, but maybe for other victims.

11:03 AM  
Blogger ET said...

I am unsure how that "innocent until proven guilty" thing works if they admitted they did the killing during interrogation and even led them to the body.
I thought the same as you, even though the state made a deal, I bet it is for Meredith's case only, so if they can prove any other deaths Hilton may be responsible for... it may be another story.
Yeah, I could not beleive Law & Order when I watched it on tivo this morning. They couldn't have written, produced, acted, edited, and whatever else they needed to do in such the sort time the information has been available to the public - not even a full day... but, eerie anyway.
I feel for Meredith's family also. That must be a terrible thing to live with, knowing your child died in such a painful vicious way.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 things.

He had already done a complete confession. Part of the deal should have been a guilty plea with no jury trial at the tax payer's expense.

The DA should also have made a deal to not go for the death penalty only if he admitted and provided evidence about the other murders. There was still room for negotiation. They had enough evidence to be pretty sure that Meredith was not alive.

12:30 PM  
Blogger ET said...

That was informative.

And also just now on the news Lee Darragh, district attorney for Georgia's Northeastern Judicial Circuit, said he was not a part of any deal made with slaying suspect Hilton to take the death penalty off.

12:42 PM  
Blogger deborah wilson said...


Well, due process is a basic right for everyone. It was written into the constitution to ensure that no one is unfairly penalized or convicted. It does seem out of place in a case like Meredith's, just like in the Jessica Lunsford case. But the constitution was written by honorable men who knew the true meaning of tyranny and unjust persecution. So due process must be a judicial right of every citizen, to protect the rights of the (alleged) innocent as well as the (alleged) guilty. Due process is just one of the stamps of a free and civil society.

(I agree with anonymous that part of the deal should have been guilty plea no trial and/or info on the other possible victims.)

It will be interesting what Lee Darragh does...

I've always believed that there's something not right with people who commit crimes such as this...They're not 'wired' right. Their brains don't function in the same way as ours.

And it's not always detectable. Ted Bundy was/is an excellent example.

Patricia Cornwell touched on this subject/theory a few years back in her novel "Predator". If anyone should be interested, it's a good read.

1:45 PM  
Blogger ET said...

I agree with you 100%. Regardless if he is obvious guilty or not, he has a right for the best defense possible. I am just saying "innocent until proven guilty" may not come into play here, because he already admitted it. But, I think as anonymous pointed out, usually a plea agreement cuts the expense of a trial - so, if that is the case, then he would not go to court to be judged by his peers - he would have agreed to bypass the trial in order to skip over the death penalty. But these are just words, because the district D.A. said he made no such deal - so, he may have his day in court, and if so, he is innocent until proven otherwise.

2:10 PM  
Blogger deborah wilson said...

I'm been reading the news all afternoon - this case is evolving so fast, my head is spinning.

I agree with you and Anon both - but another factor may come into play - federal charges. National Parks are federal land.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Renie Burghardt said...

Interesting discussion here.
As for me, Eddie and Deborah, I'm just too emotional when it comes to this case right now, to make a good comment. I just can't imagine the pain and despair her loved ones must be going through, knowing what happened to Meredith. Thinking about it makes me feel utterly sad and sick!


5:20 PM  
Blogger ET said...

Hmmm! I didn't think of that detail. National Park = federal property = federal crime.

You are right - it is a very emotional thing. I am with you, I can not imagine the pain a parent goes through knowing their own flesh and blood died in a misery sort of way.
And, it being an emotional thing as you said, is probably a good reason swift justice is not justice.

5:50 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Although I generally agree that a confession plus leading investigators to a body equals guilt, there have been cases where a person found a body and in some weird bid for attention or out of mental illness, confessed to the crime.

8:47 AM  
Blogger ET said...

I think in this case the guy lead the authorities because of a plea-bargain, if he showed them, they would take the death penalty off the table - which now the head DA said he made no such deal, somebody lesser than him made the deal, which might be void.... which could possibly get the whole thing thrown out.

9:52 AM  

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