Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Today was the premiere of Episode 3 of the Undisclosed Podcast: Jay's Day. In the episode, we discussed the possibility that significant portions of Jay's police statements were coached, meaning that the detectives taking the statements knew that those portions were false and part of their narrative rather than Jay's narrative. Is there enough evidence at this point to prove this possibility? I don't know, and I don't know that the possibility needs to be proven. It's still quite possible that the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland will remand Adnan's case to the Circuit Court so that Asia McClain can testify, which could result in a new trial. But let's assume that the Court of Special Appeals doesn't remand. That's quite possible as well.
In that event, Adnan could file a motion to reopen pursuant to Section 7-104 of the Maryland Code of Criminal Procedure, which states that
The court may reopen a postconviction proceeding that was previously concluded if the court determines that the action is in the interests of justice.
One ground for such a motion to reopen would be Asia's second affidavit, which raises the possibility of prosecutorial misconduct. Another ground for such a motion to reopen would be the evidence that Susan Simpson has uncovered, which raises the possibility of police misconduct. I wrote about this in an entry I posted last December after Jay's Intercept Interview. The key Maryland case on this issue is Gray v. State, 879 A.2d 1064 (Md. 2005). In Gray, the Court of Appeals of Maryland found that a motion to reopen was properly denied despite a witness admitting to perjuring herself because, inter alia, "there is no indication that the officer who obtained [her] testimony believed it to be false or that the State knowingly used false testimony at trial."
What this implies is that, if Adnan could present evidence indicating that the detectives who took Jay's statements knew them to be false, it would be grounds for reopening the postconviction proceeding and possibly a new trial.