Relevancy of Evidence

Byron Smith was found guilty of first degree premeditated murder and most people (myself included) seem to believe that this ruling was correct. But there are some people who believe everything Smith did was totally cool because those teenagers broke into his house. Those people are now in the process of grasping at straws in an effort to discredit the trial, which has lead to complaints about what the judge didn’t allow the jury to hear. This is most common article I’ve seen passed around regarding the supposedly omitted data:

Now, for the first time, MailOnline can reveal the story the jury DIDN’T hear, the history suppressed by the prosecution and the truth behind the hideous explosion of violence in Smith’s Little Falls home that Thanksgiving morning.

Because though the prosecution argued that Smith did not know whom he was pulling the trigger on that day, he DID know both his teenage victims.

Oh. My. God. This changes everything! Just kidding. But this does open the door to discussion relevancy of information in trials. According to Smith’s few advocates the history of the teenagers (you see they were evil drug using gang bangers who knew Smith personally) was critical information withheld from the jury and that caused the horribly unjust ruling.

How is such information relevant to Smith’s actions? The trail wasn’t a simple case of Smith shooting two teenagers who broke into his home unexpectedly. Evidence presented at the trial strongly suggests that Mr. Smith setup an ambush. Even if he didn’t setup an ambush he still continued the use of deadly force after the threat of death of great bodily harm was no longer a reasonable fear. After his initial shots he moved the bodies to another location in the house, said some disparaging remarks about the teenagers, and eventually put a gun under one of the teenager’s chins and shot her dead.

Does it matter if Smith executed complete strangers or people he knew? Not under the law. In either case he would be guilty of murder. And that is why Smith’s prior interactions with the teenagers and the teenagers’ histories of criminal activities were irrelevant to the case and thus not presented to the jury.