EvidenceProf Blog

Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

Friday, March 30, 2018

Analyzing the Four Cases Cited by Judge Graeff in Her Dissenting Opinion That Would Have Denied Adnan Relief

As I noted in yesterday's post, Judge Graeff dissented from the Court of Special Appeals Maryland granting Adnan a new trial. Judge Graeff dissented based upon the conclusion that the defense had failed to prove that Cristina Gutierrez was deficient in failing to contact prospective alibi witness Asia McClain. I've previously noted on this blog that I've been unable to locate a single case in which a court found that an attorney acted properly despite failing to contact an alibi witness brought to her attention by a defendant who maintains his innocence. In its briefing and oral arguments, the State also cited no such cases. 

In her opinion, Judge Graeff cited four cases, and these cases are likely to be at the heart of briefing and oral argument if the Court of Appeals of Maryland allows the State to appeal. So, what are those cases?

 

Broadnax v. State

Judge Graeff leads with Broadnax v. State, 130 So.3d 1232, 1236 (Ala. Crim. App. 2013), in which Donald Broadnax was convicted of murdering his wife and her grandson. Broadnax told the police and defense counsel that he was at his job at Welborn Forest Products at the time of the murders. After he was convicted, Broadnax brought an ineffective assistance of counsel claim, alleging that his trial counsel should have investigated the work release center where he resided, which would have uncovered alibi evidence that he was at the center at the time of the murders. The court denied Broadnax release, and Judge Graeff notes that

Although Broadnax did not involve a failure to investigate an alibi witness identified by the defendant prior to trial, it does illustrate the principle that a decision not to investigate a certain defense does not constitute ineffective assistance of counsel if it is reasonably based in trial strategy.

It's confusing to me that Judge Graeff led with this opinion because, as she acknowledges, it's not on point and doesn't resemble the factual or legal context presented by the Adnan Syed case. Immediately after discussing this case, Judge Graeff then notes that "[t]wo other cases, however, reach the same conclusion in the circumstance where the potential alibi witness was identified by the defendant."

Commonwealth v. Rainey

The first of these cases was Commonwealth v. Rainey, 928 A.2d 215 (Pa. 2007), out of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Michael Rainey was convicted of first-degree murder in connection with a robbery. After he was convicted, Rainey appealed, claiming his trial counsel was ineffective based upon failing to contact five prospective alibi witnesses.

When Appellant was arrested, he provided a statement to police admitting that he was present when the robbery of [Carroll] Fleming occurred....

Moreover, counsel pursued a trial strategy of conceding Appellant's involvement in the crime but arguing that the facts of the case did not demonstrate first-degree murder. Appellant's purported alibi evidence would have contradicted this defense strategy, which was reasonable given the testimony of [accomplices Kevin] Lewis and [Alvin "Eyeball"] Morgan.

So, Rainey is a case in which the defendant admitted to being at the crime scene, with the defense strategy being to try to minimize his culpability in the crime; therefore, an alibi defense would make no sense. As I noted in a prior post, Maryland has a similar case -- State v. Lloyd, 48 Md.App. 535, 540 (Md.App. 1981) -- but neither of these cases has any relevance to a case like Adnan's case, in which (as far as we know) he has always maintained his innocence. This distinguishes his case from cases like Rainey and Lloyd, in which calling an alibi witness would actually be suborning perjury.

Weeks v. Senkowski

The second of these cases was Weeks v. Senkowski, 275 F.Supp.2d 331 (E.D.N.Y. 2003), out of the Eastern District of New York. In Weeks, Daniel Senkowski was convicted of killing two children. He thereafter appealed, claiming that he received the ineffective assistance of counsel based upon his trial counsel's failure to contact seven alibi witnesses he had mentioned. The first thing to note about this case is that the court held that "Petitioner's claim is rejected on the ground that it is procedurally barred." Therefore, the court only addressed the merits of the claim in dicta, which is not precedential.

Next, the court noted that Senkowski's claim failed because he failed "to append affidavits from six of these seven potential alibi witnesses, as required by New York procedure." In other words, Senkowski was in the same position as Adnan Syed after his first PCR proceeding in which Asia McClain did not testify. Finally, the court held, that, even with the affidavit from the one alibi witness,

there can be little doubt that trial counsel's refusal to investigate the potential for an alibi defense—if, indeed, he refused to do so—was a sound strategic choice. Among the seven alibi witnesses petitioner lists, three were convicted of having participated in the same murders for which petitioner was being tried. One had already been convicted, one was on trial with petitioner, and one was dead. Trial counsel was not ineffective for failing to pursue a trial strategy in which petitioner defense would be that he was with the other murderers drinking in a different location; to do so would require petitioner to, in essence, disprove the state's ironclad case against the other defendants. Instead, counsel reasonably channeled his efforts toward suggesting to the jury that petitioner was not at the crime scene where his codefendant and the other defendants were committing this heinous crime.

So, I'm not sure that much meaningful can be drawn from Weeks. The relevant portion of the opinion is dicta, there were no statements from 6/7 alibi witnesses, and several of those alibi witnesses were alleged co-conspirators. I don't really see how this could help the State's case.

Weaver v. State

The last case cited by Judge Graeff was Weaver v. State, 114 P.3d 1039 (Mont. 2005), out of the Supreme Court of Montana. In Weaver, William confessed killing James Fremou (Fremou) to Anthony “Shorty” Dye (Dye), his Georgia prison cellmate. After he was convicted, he appealed, claiming that trial counsel -- Margaret Borg -- rendered ineffective assistance of counsel by failing to interview several witnesses, including his wife, an alibi witnesses In rejecting this claim, the Supreme Court of Montana held that

A review of the record demonstrates that Borg knew the possible accounts of exculpatory testimony that may have been solicited from Weaver's list of potential witnesses. Borg further testified that “[t]here were lots of witnesses in this case that said so-and-so told me this. So-and-so told me that. Someone confessed. Someone said they were there. Someone said this and that and something else. Crego had followed all of those leads,” and conceded at trial that the State had considered other suspects.

It appears that Borg weighed all of the possible exculpatory testimony in light of the “squirrelly” characters of Weaver's potential witnesses and made a “reasonable decision” that investigating those witnesses proved unnecessary....This decision seems particularly apt given that Borg elicited similar exculpatory testimony, that would have been provided by Weaver's list of potential witnesses, from Crego, the State's chief witness. We conclude that Weaver fails to demonstrate that Borg's decision not to investigate potential witnesses fell below an objective standard of reasonableness.

From the opinion itself, this seems like it could be that one case in which failure to contact an alibi witness was found unreasonable, albeit with a very different factual context. But when you look at the briefing in the case, it becomes clear what was going on. In the State's brief, they note that "Weaver complains that Borg did not call his wife as an alibi witness. His assertions did not overcome the court's finding that Borg was credible when she testified that Weaver did not want to involve his wife." Brief of Respondent, 2004 WL 3101876 (Mont. 2004).

So, assuming this is a fair characterization of the appellate proceedings, Weaver was denied relief based on a determination that trial counsel credibly testified that Weaver told him not to contact his wife. And, if that's true, Weaver provides no support for denying Adnan relief.

-CM

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/evidenceprof/2018/03/as-i-noted-in-yesterdays-post-judge-graeff-dissented-from-the-court-of-special-appeals-maryland-granting-adnan-a-new-trial.html

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Comments

She seems to be additionally arguing, though, that because there exists a handful of cases in which not contacting an alibi witness was deemed reasonable (even though in very different circumstances), then not contacting a witness isn't per se unreasonable. She then goes on to state that Adnan's argument was that it was per se unreasonable, and he didn't argue anything beyond this (e.g. extremely poor strategic choice given every other case already cited by Syed). Is there any merit to this?

Posted by: Cupcake | Mar 30, 2018 11:11:56 AM

Nicely done and a great summary. Do you think the judge was persuaded by the "overwhelming evidence" the state keeps harping on and was looking for a way out?

Posted by: Mike | Mar 30, 2018 1:03:53 PM

First, you had a typo in the second to last paragraph. You used unreasonable when you meant to say reasonable.

But my question to you is, Is it common for appellate judges to go shopping for their own precedents like this? I thought under the adversarial process, each side makes their best arguments, then the judge weighs in on which are best/most appropriate to the instant case? With this decent it seems like Adnon is not just pitted not only against the state prosecutor but also this judge with absolutely no opportunity to rebut short of further appeal, if available. In this case it is a decent so no harm done, but what if that had been the majority opinion?

Posted by: Jeff P | Mar 30, 2018 1:07:22 PM

A non-lawyer, I read through the dissent rather quickly. It seems that Judge Graeff infers a mental state/attitude/sterategy on the part of trial counsel, Gutierrez, without any evidence of her thinking/motivation. In these other cases cited, there seems to be evidence of the thinking/attitudes of counsel, or else dismissal for other reasons. You note that these comparisons might not be pertinent. A footnote in Woodward’s opinion (hasty scan here) seemed to be inferring the same point about evidence there being no evidence of a trial strategy that interviewing McClain would endanger.
Occam’s razor would seem to apply; the simple fact is that Cristina Gutierez just didn’t do it, and common sense suggests she should have done so, and then made a decision as to whether or not to use McClain at trial, especially because at that time the possibility of corroborating witnesses existed. And the Court majority appears to agree. Explanations? She either forgot, or was overwhelmed and couldn’t get around to it; was physically exhausted, and/or was in denial as to how much her many health problems, including diabetes and MS, was affecting her judgment, or didn’t want to spend the money for an investigator or …we will never know. 16 months after the 2nd trial she was disbarred, by 2003 her son reports that Gutierez could not remember his name, and she died in early 2004.
I believe that Brown tried to introduce evidence of Gutierez’ declining abilities and professional competence in the 2/15 PCR hearing, but I gather the judge shut down such lines of exploration. I’m unsure of the legal principles involved, perhaps he felt it exceeded the scope of the remand. And I suppose that allowing evidence of partial and progressive disability in support of allowing a new trial might open up many cans of worms—and many more cases to appeal—which COSA may want to avoid. But given this context--which I’m sure everyone in Maryland Esquiredom knew—and when there is no evidence for Graeff’s or Thiru’s theories of Gutierez’ mentation and strategy, I’m rather shocked that Graeff is making this 25-page argument based on such shaky legal and logical grounds. Is she trying to create precedent? I might defend the argumentation if it was a trial brief by a representative of a contending party (you’ve got to argue something!), but to a non-professional from another state, this dissent by a sitting appeals judge seems very strange. I can see why it may have taken so long to publish this decision.

Posted by: Hal | Mar 30, 2018 2:03:27 PM

Hi Colin!

I found the waiver decision particularly interesting. They did not rule on the merits of the cellphone cover sheet as being exculpatory, but said this issue was waived because trial counsel and appellate counsel was aware of this cover sheet.

But I was under the impression that until Susan Simpson uncovered this fax cover sheet, neither trial counsel nor appellate counsel was aware of this . Hence the Brady claim at the reopened PCR.

Can this Brady claim be revisited if the State decides to appeal?

Posted by: Teeter | Mar 31, 2018 5:28:22 AM

Teeter,

SS discovered it in the defense file, I believe. Which means CG and CJB both had it in their possession, but did not realize its significance.

Posted by: Michael | Mar 31, 2018 9:45:40 AM

From a comment I vaguely remember Rabia making, it is unclear if Guttierez ever got a copy of the phone records that included the cover sheet. And if so, whether anyone in her office ever read it and communicated the fact to her. Apparently some of the records were lost and there was a sharing back and forth between defense and prosecution teams years after the trial. I’ve forgotten the whole story, but it makes Brady harder to prove. As someone pointed out (Colin?), presenting (and paying for) an expert witness on the autopsy/lividity, and on cell phones might have transformed the case.
Guttierez apparently never grasped the significance of the cell phone issue; I believe an argument over the presentation of cell phone documents in the jury's hearing triggered the first mistrial (and I in retrospect might flag that Gutierrez’ gears/judgment was slipping). I have seen comments by others that Gutierrez never understood lividity. I wonder if she may be one of those persons with great social acumen in controlling interactions in trial settings, guessing motivations, but with little intuition of or knack for understanding scientific/physical things. Actually, is there anywhere a discussion as to what Gutierrez’ trial strategy WAS and how it may have changed in the courtroom?
This may have had a limited contextual relevance to Graeff's dissent, though as of yet its not in court documents unless I missed it in my scan.
Sorry for the long posts. If it's too annoying, don't hesitate to complain.

Posted by: Hal | Mar 31, 2018 9:57:46 AM

One more question about the waiver issue:

Assuming that the state appeals, could Adnan argue that the recent reopened PCR hearing was part of the original pcr hearing given that the initial issues had been incompletely adjudicated? In this case, the issue of the cellphone fax cover sheet would not have been waived since it was brought up during l the original “ongoing” PCR hearing?

Thanks!

Posted by: Teeter | Mar 31, 2018 12:44:46 PM

I see that Former Agent has made these same points, far more succinctly, in the former, "My First Take...," blog entry.

Posted by: Hal | Mar 31, 2018 6:35:36 PM

I read this list and see a judge who made her decision to begin with, and then went on an exhaustive thorough scouring of case law from random states desperately looking to find cases which if you squint hard might look similar as long as you don’t actually think about it very much.

Posted by: Paul | Mar 31, 2018 7:21:56 PM

I should preface this by saying that I'm a law student AND I really want Adnan to be innocent. I've listened to Serial and Undisclosed, and I'm listening to Serial a second time. That being said, I think this dissent is important, if anything, so the defense knows what they are up against at re-trial. Regardless, I found it interesting that they approached the defense strategy for what it was in 1999: Adnan's routine and reputation. Since Adnan could not provide an alibi for himself* (as in, straight from his own mouth, "I was in the library"), Gutierrez focused on his routine, including track practice and the mosque. I absolutely think trial counsel should have contacted McClain, but I also see the validity in not doing so due to inconsistencies of all the witness statements including Adnan and McClain herself. In Serial, Adnan does concede that at that point in time, Asia is legally useless (this is after the 2014 hearing I think). I guess that my issue is that the analysis here is always "what she should have done" versus what she actually did and why she did it. The dissent judge seems to be accepting of why Gutierrez may have chosen not to pursue Asia as a witness, including possible conflicting evidence from her client that we may not know about.

*obviously Asia was a route to an alibi, but not a promised one. Adnan simply denied everything that happened instead of making certain statements, such as "I WAS on the school campus until I WENT to track practice at 3:30." He was wishy washy on all the details, which could not have been easy for his counsel. Thus, she created an alibi of sorts for him in her trial strategy.

We do not know why she chose not to attack the state's 21-minute timeline, but that alone is not unreasonable. For example, the court opinion also states that while the state did not prove the murder itself, the circumstantial evidence heavily implicates Adnan in the burial at minimum. So, if Asia saw him in the library in that window of time in the early afternoon, does that change the court or jury's opinion on the circumstantial evidence from the burial on? It's important to read this to know where the judges stand. And clearly they still see the circumstantial evidence as valid.

I'm a bit surprised at the high scrutiny of case facts this judge used instead of her legal analysis of it.

Posted by: Bailey | Apr 1, 2018 7:40:42 PM

Bailey, regarding the “routine” alibi, it is worth noting something the majority mentioned in its opinion: CG made no mention of this in her opening and closing statements at trial. Perhaps she intended to offer “routine” as an alibi, but what she actually offered was nothing - no mention whatsoever of Adnan’s whereabouts during the relevant time frame.

Posted by: Michael | Apr 3, 2018 9:08:22 AM

Michael, I think Bailey makes an important point that bears repeating - Adnan had no alibi. Not in discussions with the police, not at trial. That's why I agreed with Judge Welch's ruling that the "crux" of the case was the eyewitness statement (jay wilds) + technical location data (cell tower report). asia mcclain's testimony would not have been material, if offered.

Posted by: Jonathan | Apr 3, 2018 2:08:16 PM

Isn't true that the AT&T cover sheet was in the defense file but not attached to the cell phone records? It was when Susan found it and realized it was a form fax cover sheet that came with all AT&T phone records at the time that it would probably apply to these records as well.

Also Asia's testimony has never negated Adnan's routine, as the public library was largely considered among the students to be part of school grounds and Adnan said he stayed at school until track practice.

The "crux" of a murder case is always the murder. Judge Welch correctly noted that the crux of the state's case was one of Jay's many versions of the burial in conjunction with the cell phone tower evidence, but this would only be enough to convict Adnan of being an accessory after the fact.

Posted by: Kristina | Apr 3, 2018 4:07:38 PM

Jonathan - Hold up, slow down and help walk me through what you just said. Adnan had no alibi. None was presented at trial to the jury. Ok.

Because of this, you are saying that had an alibi for the time of the murder been presented, it would not have been material? How does that follow? Perhaps I’m missing something, but isn’t that akin to saying, “The defense offered no evidence during his trial. Therefore, had the defense instead actually presented evidence, the jury could not have been swayed.”

This was not Judge Welch’s reasoning, at all. There was no “Adnan had no alibi, therefore-“ ...anything, much less “Adnan had no alibi at trial, therefore having an alibi at trial could not possibly have helped the defense.”

Unless I’m missing something?

Posted by: Paul | Apr 4, 2018 6:42:27 PM

Paul,

I'm not speaking about alibi evidence in general, as you are, only about Asia's specific statements as interpreted by Judge Welch. His reasoning was that even if we fully accept her statements as true it wouldn't have changed the outcome of the trial. That's because the State did not prove (or attempt to prove) any direct link between Adnan and Hae. It offered possibilities of when he might have killed her but made no iron clad claims of how it *must* have happened.

Thus, Judge Welch ruled that what really matters here is the eyewitness plus the corroborating technical location data. How/when did Adnan kill her? Doesn't matter.

Posted by: Jonathan | Apr 6, 2018 5:44:27 AM

Jonathan: Wearry v Cain.

New precedent that came after Welch’s ruling, which is why Welch didn’t rule based on it.

Posted by: Paul | Apr 6, 2018 9:05:50 PM

“. But all of the evidence the dissent cites suggests, at most, that someone in Wearry’s group of friends may have committed the crime, and that Wearry may have been involved in events related to the murder after it occurred. Perhaps, on the basis of this evidence, Louisiana might have charged Wearry as an accessory after the fact. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §14:25 (West 2007) (providing a maximum prison term of five years for accessories after the fact). But Louisiana instead charged Wearry with capital murder, and the only evidence directly tying him to that crime was Scott’s dubious testimony, corroborated by the similarly suspect testimony of Brown. “

Posted by: Paul | Apr 6, 2018 9:25:01 PM

Paul-

Yes, I agree with you on the legal side of things re: Wearry.

What I found intuitively appealing about Judge Welch's ruling is its connection to a factual analysis of the case, as opposed to a merely legal analysis. It's the difference between the Serial and the Undisclosed communities here, in a sense, with one asking did Adnan kill Hae, and the other asking did the State prove Adnan killed Hae? Related, but distinct, questions.

In his trial, the jury was presented with three essential facts.

(1) An eyewitness claimed he saw Adnan produce Hae's body from the trunk of his car in the park;
(2) Despite his denials, we know Adnan's phone was in the vicinity of the park at that time;
(3) Adnan provided no evidence that he was somewhere else at that time.

It's not hard to reason that the State proved he was there with her body, and therefore he either killed her or participated with those who did. How else to explain his possession of her body in his trunk? Only through a legal lens can we say that only proves accessory after the fact.

Posted by: Jonathan | Apr 8, 2018 8:35:23 AM

I see what you are saying, but I still disagree that a factual analysis would necessarily yield that result were you to consider the jury was also presented with the following facts;

4. Multiple witnesses saw Hae leaving school in a hurry immediately after the bell rang. One of these witnesses, not a student but a teacher, testified she saw Hae leave in her car within minutes of class letting out at 2:15, and she did not see Adnan in her car.
5. The prosecution beat like a drum over and over that Hae was murderer by 2:36. This was not a small tidbit, read the closing and opening statements. She had to have been murdered immediately after school, says the prosecutor, for she was first discovered missing when she didn’t pick up her cousin at her school less than an hour later.

Now while this might seem neither here nor there for the jury at trial, imagine the new scenario. In the new scenario now that they had heard fact 6:

6. A witness not related nor even a close friend of Adnan testifies she had a normal, casual conversation with Adnan until at least 2:40pm. This places Adnan still lounging around at school long after Hae had left school in a hurry. And yes, the library is considered still at school.

I can’t fathom how one could conclude that such a fact presented at trial would not have given each and every juror significant pause. Before they had Jay’s story vs nothing. Now they have Jay’s story vs someone alibi’ing Adnan during the necessary murder time frame. If this case doesn’t present a situation where an alibi would have been prejudicial, i simply don’t think there is any case where an alibi would ever be prejudicial.

Perhaps that’s how it is though. Alibis simply don’t work. The presumption of guilt in real world juries is too strong.

Posted by: Paul | Apr 10, 2018 8:36:58 AM

Paul-

I have a theory about those who are adamant that Asia's testimony matters. I would like your thoughts.

I have heard expressed many times in various forums the desire for Adnan's innocence. Some state it explicitly - "I want Adnan to have not done this"; others are more subtle.

I believe that many of these people are articulating a deep-seated need for order, for a broader understanding of how the world works and how people in it behave. This is especially so for parents of teenagers, who strive to give their children every advantage and opportunity in life. Good schools, stable households, no real material wants. Children who grow up in such environments don't commit crimes like this. They don't commit serious crimes at all. Children who do so, we want to think, are faced with little or no opportunity in life and resort to drugs, to crime, to violence as a result. To believe that children with ample opportunity would throw their lives away is to invite chaos into our thinking. It is the opposite direction of order.

I think this is why the thought of Adnan's guilt is offensive. It offends our sense of how the world should be. If we're truly honest with ourselves, a difficult thing to do sometimes, the idea frightens us.

Posted by: Jonathan | Apr 14, 2018 8:26:33 AM

Jonathan-

I don’t think I have ever heard anyone express the thought “I *want* Adnan to be innocent” at all. That seems like a thought entertained only by the family and friends of Adnan, especially friends he knew at school who were unsure what to believe. Family, I imagine would be less so, in that they might not entertain the possibility he might be guilty at all. No offense, but it sounds like a convenient way to dismiss those that hold a contradictory viewpoint to your own, without having to actually listen to their argument.

That said, you just asked me for my viewpoint, so maybe not.

I would be surprised if anyone actually felt that way, more less announced it. How does that even make sense? Someone clearly murdered Hae. It’s not like she was walking around Linkin Park, tripped and killed herself in a ditch, not to be discovered until a month later.

If Adnan didn’t do it, clearly someone else did—-like say I dunno...the current boyfriend Hae was actually going out with at the time? The boyfriend she was rushing out of school to go see that day, only never to be seen alive again. But at that point, your hypothetical blissful order is still threatened because it’s just a different affluent young kid who listener parents don’t want to be capable of murder because he too closely resembles their own children. And this guy is even white to boot! So he would actually be a much better match to parents’ kids than Adnan would.

Me personally? I don’t have kids. Probably never will. The way I approached Serial is this: I am a intensely logical person. I subscribe to mostly podcasts about scientific skepticism, a worldview where there can be no sacred cows. There is science, and then there is pseudoscience. The goal is to get to the truth, and the tools we use are science and logic. Somebody murdered Hae. When I hear about a murder case where the person convicted has maintained their innocence for years and years, I think it’s worth looking back at the case. Sometimes, like say Paul Modrowski, I eventually conclude he did do it. May he rot in hell for his despicable crime. Other times, like with Adnan, I found that there is simply no logical way that the person did it. The timing and the evidence and the facts just don’t work out. The facts don’t support it because it just didn’t happen.

And of course there’s the elephant in the room: The current boyfriend. The one who Hae was supposed to be meeting that afternoon, the one who a couple days later falsified an alibi to make it look like he was at work that day—he is so much more likely. It’s hard to get over just how guilty that makes him look. Especially since, as the victim’s current boyfriend, he’s already the odds on favorite to be the one to begin with.

That’s a lot of typing, but I could go on for much more. I’ll conclude by saying this. There’s a common theme shared when you have the guilty person: The more investigating done, the more bad things come to light. Think about that when it comes to Adnan. All the investigation and deeper inspection has done nothing but destroy all the existing evidence against him. The state is in a position now where they wouldn’t even be able to re-try him because their case is in such tatters due to all the new investigation. New evidence of Adnan’s guilt? Nope, the unprecedented scrutiny has yielded nothing new, just destroyed the old.

Now look at the boyfriend. He wasn’t investigated pretty much at all back in 1999. What happened now that intense investigative scrutiny has been brought to bear since then? Ouch. Let’s just say it hasn’t been a good time for him, What with all the new information that has been uncovered.

This is why people feel strongly about the case. Your psychological profile is interesting, but off the mark. People feel strongly about this because they can’t stand the injustice of the person who committed this heinous murder having gotten away Scott-free for all these years. The fact that person is white and from suburbia doesn’t change that, at all.

I mean really, if anything, our implicit biases would prefer the brown guy with the traditional Muslim headdress to have been the murderer. The facts just don’t bear this out though, because on January 13th 1999 everything points to the fact that Adnan wasnt murdering his ex-girlfriend while using dimensional time rifts to simultaneously be many places at once, eventually calling his random weed dealer to come by with a wholly unnecessary second vehicle, basically just so he could witness everything, hovering nearby while Adnan did what was clearly done by just a single person dumping the body way later than 7pm.

I can argue both why Adnan legally should be given a new trial, and also factually who the person who killed Hae really is. The Asia alibi is important legally, for the purpose of the recent court proceedings, but there’s so so SO much that doesn’t even begin to touch on. The more important question of who actually killed Hae though? For that the Asia alibi is just a small detail.

Posted by: Paul | Apr 18, 2018 5:27:32 PM

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