EvidenceProf Blog

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

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Five More Bail Letters From Adnan's Classmates

I've gotten a number of e-mails from people who have greatly appreciated reading the bail letters submitted from some of Adnan's classmates at Woodlawn. In this post, I will post some more of the letters to give readers added perspective.

Letter One:

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 11.17.39 AM

Letter Two:

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 11.19.54 AM

Letter Three:

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 11.21.35 AM

Letter Four:

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 11.23.28 AM

Letter Five:

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 11.26.23 AM

-CM

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/evidenceprof/2015/08/ive-gotten-a-number-of-e-mails-from-people-who-have-greatly-appreciated-reading-the-bail-letters-submitted-from-some-of-adnan.html

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Comments

Colin, this still won't be enough for Seamus!

Posted by: Michael | Aug 5, 2015 8:58:07 AM

These are tough to read, thanks to the friends who shared these. What's the status of Adnan's appeal? Is the wait now for the state's brief opposing the remand? I wonder if any of the original judges are following your work now. What must they be thinking!

Posted by: Randy | Aug 5, 2015 8:58:14 AM

Randy: Right. Adnan filed his motion to reopen on June 30th and is awaiting the State's response. There is no deadline for the State to file uner the Rules. I'm guessing that the judge imposed a deadline no later than August 31st, but that's just a guess.

Posted by: Colin Miller | Aug 5, 2015 9:00:42 AM

Colin, thanks for posting those. Is there any way to find out if the judge imposed a deadline by which the State must respond? What would happen if the State did not respond by that deadline. (I recall they missed the last deadline.) Thanks - and please ignore Seamus.

Posted by: Ella | Aug 5, 2015 9:51:48 AM

I'd still like to know what your understanding of:

"the leading biometrics firm dealing with cell tower evidence"

is.

Posted by: monstimal | Aug 5, 2015 10:04:24 AM

Ella: Adnan's attorney should know. If the State doesn't respond, the court will decide without its brief.

monstimal: http://cherrybiometrics.com/celltowertracking/index.html Unless there are other experts that have won these types of arguments, Cherry Biometrics would seem to be the leading firm.

Posted by: Colin Miller | Aug 5, 2015 10:10:56 AM

I understand that if the post-conviction proceeding is reopened, Asia will be allowed to testify, and Adnan will be able to present other evidence relating to his ineffective assistance of counsel claims. But what are the possible outcomes? I have seen you state repeatedly that you think he will be granted a new trial. Is that the only relief that can be granted? Or can the court decide right now that his conviction should be overturned? Thanks for all your hard work!

Posted by: Ann | Aug 5, 2015 10:12:42 AM

Ann: If Adnan wins his PCR petition on the Asia issue, his conviction is overturned and he gets a new trial. The question is whether the State decides to reprosecute, Adnan decides to accept a plea deal, or the case is dropped. Right now, I'm thinking the last option is the likeliest.

If Adnan wins his PCR petition on the plea bargain issue, it's unclear what the outcome would be. The court would have to decide what the plea bargain would have been and resolve the case accordingly (Adnan could be released based upon time served; he could serve 2 more years, 5 more years, etc.).

Posted by: Colin Miller | Aug 5, 2015 10:15:57 AM

I see. I think it's safe to say there's only one "biometrics" firm providing expert testimony in "cell tower evidence" since those two things aren't related. It's like asking your dry cleaner to cut your hair.

Posted by: monstimal | Aug 5, 2015 11:31:15 AM

is there any record of whether or not the judge actually read the letters? Is there any official statement by the judge concerning his assessment of the letters regarding the bail hearing?

Posted by: Pdxkat | Aug 5, 2015 11:32:16 AM

These letters are so hard to read, especially after your post on the "exonerated" individuals whose lives were so negatively impacted after their release from incarceration. Unlike parolees, these wrongfully convicted individuals are set free without any kind of support beyond some (often inadequate) financial payoff. The wrongfully convicted lost years of living in a society, lost friends and family who doubted their innocence and went on with their lives, lost opportunities for education, training, careers.

Perhaps if Adnan is released —WHEN Adnan is released, it can help serve as a catalyst to examine the responsibilities society has to make sure these people have every possible chance to make something positive of the years they have left—providing support in mending relationships with family and friends, career and vocational counseling/training, how to answer that job application "Have you ever been convicted...." To which even the wrongfully convicted must say, "Yes..."

These letters from his classmates bring home so vividly that this young man had such a bright future ahead of him—graduation, college, career, family. A life. All evaporated in a terrible miscarriage of justice.

Hae Min's family has suffered so much too, beyond the tragedy of her murder. Now they must grapple with the overwhelming evidence that the wrong man was convicted of their daughter's murder. Do they deny? Do they ask forgiveness? What a horrible time for so many people. Who IS the real murderer?

Thank you, Colin, Susan, Rabia, and all those working on this terrible perversion of our justice system. Just one example among many, I fear.

Posted by: Kim Hamilton | Aug 5, 2015 12:14:03 PM

monstimal: My understanding is that his firm is the only firm of any kind to win these types of rulings.

Pdxkat: At the bail hearing, the judge said that he had not read all of these letters.

Kim: Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

Posted by: Colin Miller | Aug 5, 2015 12:46:21 PM

Let's welcome our newest member of team prosecution: monstimal!

Posted by: John | Aug 5, 2015 4:20:14 PM

The heartbreak of this case is worthy of Euripides.

Posted by: FarFarAway | Aug 5, 2015 5:29:38 PM

Thanks, Colin. I have a follow up question - if the court says Adnan can have a new trial, I agree with you that it is very unlikely that the State would want to re-prosecute. But what would stop them from making a plea deal, even if it is for time already served? If they want to save face, don't they have to say to Adnan that he needs to accept a plea or they will go to trial again? I would assume that if they just drop it, it would look like they are acknowledging all the wrongdoing and the fact that they had an innocent man behind bars for 16 years.

Posted by: Ann | Aug 6, 2015 6:27:25 AM

BD: It’s a possibility, assuming that she actually was in the trunk. If that were the case, though, it would push back the earliest burial time even further.

Elizabeth MM: Thanks.

Ann: I think we’re getting close to the point where there is n realistic way that the prosecution could take this case to trial again or even threaten it.

Posted by: Colin Miller | Aug 6, 2015 6:45:42 AM

These letters are heartbreaking in an already difficult case. Shame on the judge.

Posted by: MK | Aug 6, 2015 7:19:27 AM

Colin your thoughtful and well presented information is greatly appreciated. It is difficult to read comments by people like Seamus and Monstimal and your responses to them exhibit class and grace. I am not sure I could do the same. What you, Susan, and Rabia are doing is amazing. Your willingness to scrutinize every detail and provide thoughtful analysis as well as expose what is frankly criminal should be held up as an example to all in law enforcement and the judicial system. Every time I read a comment from Seamus and the like, I appreciate your work even more. If anyone dear to me is ever in trouble with our broken system--I hope to have the likes of you helping them.

Posted by: MK | Aug 6, 2015 7:29:38 AM

I continue to be horrified by the conduct of public employees in this case.

How could any public employee claim that Adnan's classmates knew the "real" Adnan in light of letters like these? Is there no shred of integrity in these people?

Posted by: brgulker | Aug 6, 2015 10:02:28 AM

Did Asia write a letter that early? Just curious if she mentions the library, or if she didn't realize she saw him in the library until July. You know what I am talking about.

Posted by: jlpsquared | Aug 6, 2015 10:42:56 AM

jlpsquared: I haven't found a bail letter from Asia in the files. That said, I don't think the files contain all 600 letters.

Posted by: Colin Miller | Aug 6, 2015 11:00:58 AM

Colin,
I do want to say thanks for addressing those of us who are not on "Adnans' side". I think that is very good of you, and puts you a few marks ahead of Rabia and Simpson who just delete our questions without any response.

That being said, I am curious if you have looked at Reddit today, there is active discussion about Asia possibly having written the letters in July, and Adnans parents lying about it to Gutierez, and that is why she never contacted Asia. Curious about your thoughts?

Posted by: jlpsquared | Aug 6, 2015 11:27:33 AM

One more point, since the bail hearing occurred after Asia wrote her letters, you would assume hers would be one of the most important bail letters, assuming she actually was writing letters at this time, wouldn't you assume?

Posted by: jlpsquared | Aug 6, 2015 11:33:26 AM

jipsquared: Asia’s first letter says, “I just came from your house an hour ago.” Her second letter states, “I’m missing the instructions of Mrs. Ogle’s CIP class, writing this letter.” Unless you think that Asia engaged in a pretty complicated subterfuge, it’s tough to say how these letters could have been written in July. Additionally, doesn’t it look like the March 2, 1999 in the bottom left of each page of the second letter is automatically generated by a computer? For that letter to be written in July, Asia presumably would have needed to change that date on her computer, assuming she even had a computer with word processing. I didn’t have such a computer in high school or in 1999.

As for Asia’s letter, it seems to me like everyone was operating under the assumption that Hae was still at school at 3:00 P.M. in March 1999.

Posted by: Colin Miller | Aug 6, 2015 11:41:55 AM

Hi, Colin. New to your blog but pretty stoked to have found it. Curious about a realistic timeline. Even if everything goes perfectly for Adnan, is he more likely to be released within weeks, months, or years? How long is expected best case scenario?

Posted by: lovemultiplies | Aug 7, 2015 6:23:26 AM