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Double homicide at Baton Rouge apartment sets investigators to work

In our last post, we noted that homicides have increased in East Baton Rouge Parish. Although authorities aren't clear what is behind the increase in homicides, some common have pointed to the high number of domestic cases.

Detectives are apparently investigating a double homicide at an apartment complex in Baton Rouge on Tuesday morning. Police reportedly found a 26-year-old woman and her 24-year-old boyfriend inside their apartment, the couple having been shot overnight. The couple reportedly had two children together, but it isn't clear where they were on the night of the homicide. The cause of the deaths is not known, but police have apparently ruled out murder-suicide. Investigations continue, and suspects will likely be targeted in the coming days and weeks.

Criminal defense in homicide cases is, obviously, extremely important, because of what is at stake. An individual convicted of murder could face life imprisonment without parole, the death penalty, fines and other punishments.

A good defense attorney will challenge charges on the strongest possible grounds. This includes presenting defenses where applicable. Witnesses presented by prosecution must also be thoroughly cross-examined, and their credibility will be thrown in question where necessary.

Prosecutors must be held to their full burden of proof in show that all the elements of the crime have been satisfied. When the evidence falls short of this proof, a good defense attorney will capitalize on its shortcomings.

Another issue is the severity of the punishment, which is based on a number of factors, including prior criminal convictions, status of probation or parole, the community's attitude toward the crime, and aggravating or mitigating circumstances.

There is no doubt that having a strong advocate early on in the criminal defense process can have a beneficial impact on a defendant's case.

Source: wafb.com, "Man & woman found shot to death in apartment," July 10, 2012

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