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Thoughts on In a Grove and Tabish v. State: Should the Dead be able to testify from the grave?

In the murder case of Ted Binion, Sandra Murphy and Rick Tabish were accused of first degree premeditated, in cold blood style murder of casino mogul Ted Binion.  Murphy was Binion’s girl friend, and the two were accused of suffocating Binion and removing silver bullion from Binion’s underground vault in Pahrump, Nevada.  Yes, Nevada is still the wild west, my friends. 

At trial, Tom Standish, one of Binion’s lawyers and an upstanding Vegas lawyer, testified at trial that he was present when Binion told Tabish that if Binion died, Tabish should retrieve the silver from the vault so that greedy Binion family members would not try to keep the silver from Binion’s daughter, Bonnie.

Binion’s estate lawyer, James Brown, testified at trial that Binion had called Brown’s office the day before his death and had asked Brown to change the terms of his will.   Brown testified that Binion had said to him, “Take Sandy [Murphy] out of the will if she doesn’t kill me tonight.   If I’m dead, you’ll know what happened.”
 
On appeal, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled the statements were inadmissible hearsay, “akin to testimony from Binion after his death.”
 
In In the Grover, the Murder victim also speaks from the grave. 
 
What do you think?  Are these statements reliable evidence?  Did the Nevada Supreme Court get it right in Murphy?

 

The full opinion can be accessed here: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/nv-supreme-court/1323598.html

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