According to a recent article in the New York Times, the prosecutors handling the case against Angelika Graswald are suffering from a lack of physical evidence that implicates the defendant. Graswald was charged with second degree murder by the Orange County district attorney’s office, who claims that she caused the death of her fiancé, Vincent Viafore, while the two were kayaking. So far, however, it seems that the strongest evidence against Ms. Graswald are the written and oral statements that she made after Viafore disappeared on the Hudson.
However, several legal scholars have weighed in on the case and have said that while these statements constitute the bulk of the prosecution’s evidence against Graswald, they also represent the prosecution’s greatest weakness. According to Stuart P. Green, a law professor from Rutgers University, statements like these often seem to be extremely condemning for defendants, when in actuality, “a person who has just suffered the trauma of losing a loved one in such circumstances may be under tremendous stress” and that individuals in situations like these “may be confused and easily subjected to suggestion.”
Graswald’s attorney, Richard Portale, has highlighted the fact that Graswald is not a native English speaker, and has stated that he will seek to have her statements suppressed.