EvidenceProf Blog

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

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Full, Cleaned Up Audio From My Interview With Dr. Leigh Hlavaty Now Posted

We have now posted the entire interview between Dr. Lee Hlavaty and me with cleaned up audio. Special thanks go to (1) Amar Nagi for cleaning up the audio and his work on Undisclosed in general; and (2) Dr. Hlavaty for her time spent reviewing the case materials and her clear and informative responses.

Note: The fifth episode now also has the cleaned up audio from the interview inserted.



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Not a lawyer but I have been thinking about this for a long time and wondering if you could shed a little light. Basically it seems that Jay's stories and the state's timeline are more or less blown away by the work you folks have done and Jay's own interviews. My question is more about what would happen with these stories if there was a new trial granted. Are the original trial transcripts and testimony fair game for a new trial? Basically I would imagine Adnan's new attorney would be tearing apart any testimony given by Jay (and also the state's original timeline by proxy) by repeatedly asking the question to Jay "Were you lying then or are you lying now?" over and over again. Is that permissable? In a new trial can the inconsistencies between the old stories and what has been learned be used to impeach witnesses especially Jay and Jenn?

Thanks and I appreciate your hard work!

Posted by: Eric | Jun 18, 2015 8:54:59 AM

Eric: At a hypothetical new trial, testimony from Adnan's prior trial(s) would be admissible nonhearsay under Maryland law. Therefore, any inconsistencies could be pointed out.

Posted by: Colin Miller | Jun 18, 2015 1:49:11 PM

Suppose Adnan is granted a new trial. There could be, of course, numerous appeals as a result, but at some point the State might decide or realise that it really doesn't have a strong case (especially if it has listened to Undisclosed). Among the options available to the State, you have mentioned the possibility of a plea deal. I imagine that could include dropping the case for time served, but there has also been mention of an Alford plea. Rabia has said that if one was offered she would recommend accepting it, but I'm wondering what your take is on that possibility. It seems to me, based on all that your team has uncovered and presented, that there is no question of the State having sufficient, let alone overwhelming, evidence to result in a guilty verdict at a new trial. So why would an Alford plea become part of any future scenario?

Posted by: streetwriter | Jun 18, 2015 4:09:52 PM

A new trial would cost a lot of money, and there's always the risk of a conviction. An Alford plea w/time served would be risk-free, cost nothing, and not require an admission of guilt. I would probably recommend the plea, but there are a lot of variables.

Posted by: Colin Miller | Jun 18, 2015 4:23:13 PM

Understood, but an Alford plea still results in a conviction, does it not? It's hard to imagine maintaining innocence and agreeing to be convicted, given all the doubt surrounding the merits of the State's case now.

Posted by: streetwriter | Jun 18, 2015 4:34:19 PM

I agree. I would be devastated if Adnan took a plea (selfish I know as I understand the optimal end result is to just get him out and home).

With all the information you Colin, Susan and Rabia have uncovered I would be absolutely astounded if the State went back to trial on this. They can surely understand they are going to be torn to shreds with this new information and new premier counsel (who will not tolerate Urick’s type of deceit and arrogant (illegal) game playing!!).

I cannot stop thinking about when (not if) Adnan is released he will still have much of his life to live and I would hope he would be able to do that without a recorded conviction – technically pleading “not guilty” but one recorded none the less.

I think about him being accepted to University to study medicine, to have a wonderful rewarding life, and then it being stolen from him. I believe this, apart from the tragic loss of life at the heart of this case, to be the greatest injustice.

Please accept and pass on my highest regard for yourself, Susan and Rabia for all the wonderful insight and information you are uncovering. I appreciate all the time and dedication.

Posted by: Eryn | Jun 18, 2015 9:11:17 PM

Streetwriter - Didn't the West Memphis Three all take Alford pleas?

Posted by: Alex | Jun 19, 2015 2:44:24 AM

Thanks folks for your discussion and insight. I must admit I am in the "Unsure if he's innocent but definitely the state's case does not prove him guilty camp". I very much appreciate all the work that Colin, Susan and Rabia are doing and think it is work that is about more than just Adnan's case. It shows very real issues with our justice system and I fear for how many others are also in prison without enough evidence of their guilt. Keep up the great work and I'll be reading and listening as you go.


Posted by: Eric | Jun 19, 2015 4:39:53 AM

Alex: Yes, they did, acknowledging that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict them. However, it's hard to see anyone acknowledging that the State has any hard evidence to convict Adnan now.

Posted by: streetwriter | Jun 19, 2015 5:02:10 AM

do you know if Adnan received his college degree while serving?

Posted by: navymom | Jun 19, 2015 6:02:13 AM

Navymom – being from Australia I am unsure of how it works in the US but I have been wondering (hoping) that Adnan would have had the opportunity to continue his studies whilst incarcerated. However, in Australia we are unable to register to practice if we have a criminal record, hence my prior post.

Also Colin, I wonder about the legalities of the States case and police interviews considering Adnan was a minor without legal or parental counsel when he was arrested. Does this not invalidate the case?? Sorry once again from Australia and from a medical background not a legal one and have always wondered the implications of this.

Posted by: Eryn | Jun 19, 2015 6:07:32 PM

streetwriter: It’s a tough situation. Should he choose to go to trial again if there’s a 1% chance he’s convicted? A 10% chance? I’m sure he wants to prove his innocence at trial, but there’s definitely a risk.

Eryn: Thanks. It’s a tough situation for the State, too. I’m not sure what they will do if a new trial is granted.

Alex: Yes, there were Alford pleas in the WM3 case.

Eric: Thanks.

navymom: That’s a good question. I don’t know.

Eryn: Minors can be interviewed without parents in the U.S. The question is the overall voluntariness of the statement.

Posted by: Colin Miller | Jun 20, 2015 3:35:27 AM

Could Adnan take an Alford plea off the back of a successful IAC claim, but still continue to appeal his case in other ways once out of jail (e.g. motion for DNA testing)?

Posted by: Cupcake | Jun 20, 2015 10:15:59 AM

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