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New Jersey man relies on science to appeal his murder conviction

It sounds like a case fit for a TV movie. A wife falls to her death from a New Jersey cliff, where she and her husband reportedly were visiting to discuss the hardships of their marriage. She didn't survive that meeting with her husband. The cause of her death is still in question more than 20 years after it occurred.

For some, the matter is settled. Prosecutors successfully won a murder conviction for the New Jersey husband 16 years after the death of his wife. The defendant hasn't accepted his fate of a life sentence in prison. He's appealing his conviction and finding support from scientists who've studied the case.

At least one scientist, a physicist, has looked at the evidence in the case and suggested that it conflicts with the fact that the husband in the case was convicted. His theory is that the victim's body was not far enough from the cliff. If she had been pushed, the body would have landed in a different location.

Juries might have a hard time believing that the husband in this New Jersey murder case is innocent. Why? He confesses that he wasn't the greatest husband. When asked, he admits that he'd had 20 affairs during his marriage. Being an unlikeable person, however, doesn't mean a defendant is guilty of a crime. He insists that his wife stumbled and fell from the cliff.

On appeal, perhaps it will take the science behind the case to mitigate the dislike that a judge and/or jury would feel toward the defendant because of his infidelity. The defendant may have never thought that his extramarital activity would play a role in his potential life-long lockup.

Our Bergen County criminal defense lawyers handle violent crime cases, including those related to potentialdomestic violence. Visit our website to learn more about how we can help in homicide cases and more.

Source:, "In TV interview, experts dispute evidence that N.J. man pushed wife off Palisades cliffs," S.P. Sullivan, April 10, 2013