EvidenceProf Blog

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

Monday, December 7, 2015

Why Did Billy Murphy Force Gutierrez to Move Out of His Firm "Literally" Overnight Without Planning Whatsoever?

Following up on my post earlier today, another portion of the district court's opinion in Merzbacher made me think of this scene from the movie "Parenthood." As we reported in the Tina episode of the Undisclosed Podcast, the Baltimore Sun did an article on May 15, 1994 about Cristina Gutierrez and her near unparalleled success at Billy Murphy's law firm. Eight months later, the Baltimore Sun published an article about Gutierrez's departure from Murphy's firm. In the article, Gutierrez describes the split as "amicable." But was the split as amicable as Gutierrez describes?

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December 7, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (9)

Did Gutierrez Perjure Herself By Saying She Saw Adnan's Case as a Victory Because She Saved Him From Death Row?

Over the last week, Audioboom released a series of Recording in Progress minisodes because we didn't record a new Undisclosed episode during Thanksgiving week (we will have a new episode tonight). The minisodes deal with the role of social media in the news, and I've been thinking a lot about the crowdsourced nature of our investigation as Season 1 winds down. As you might recall, a listener first informed us of someone claiming the $3,075 CrimeStoppers tip in the Adnan Syed case, which we were later able to confirm through written documentation from a source at CrimeStoppers. And now, a listener, pointlesschaff, has passed along a huge piece of information that could lead to Adnan being granted a new trial.

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December 7, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (14)

Friday, December 4, 2015

Some Observations From the State's 8/23/99 Amended Disclosure in the Adnan Syed Case

Next week's episode of the Undisclosed Podcast will deal with the case that the State presented against Adnan Syed. Preparing the episode got me to thinking about how the State prepared its case. In a prior post, I included an Amended State's Disclosure in which the State notified the defense of potential witnesses it might call at trial who were not included in prior disclosures. Some of these witnesses, such as Detective O'Shea and Young Lee, were eventually called at trial. Others, such as Mark Pusateri and Ann, were not called as trial witnesses. Today, let's look at another Amended State Disclosure and the witnesses whom the State did and didn't call.

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December 4, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (6)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

How Does Jay Now Know That Nothing Bad Happened in the Best Buy Parking Lot?

In Natasha Vargas Cooper's interview with Jay for The Intercept, there was the following exchange:

Where was Hae’s car? Was it in the Best Buy parking lot?

Hae’s car could have been in the parking lot, but I didn’t know what it looked like so I don’t remember. When I pick him up at Best Buy, he’s telling me her car is somewhere there, and that he did this in the parking lot. But that, according to what I learned later, is probably not what happened.

Regrettably, there was no follow-up question asking what Jay later learned, and I had kind of put this response aside until I recently reviewed what Jenn told Sarah Koenig during Serial.

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December 3, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (20)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Habit Defense Squandered by Cristina Gutierrez in the Adnan Syed Case

I was taking another look at the alibi notice that Cristina Gutierrez filed for Adnan. Here is the introductory comment on that notice:

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 10.34.56 AM

What's interesting is that this comment makes clear that this isn't solely an alibi notice; instead, it is also a notice of habit witnesses, which makes the failure of the defense team to contact most of these witnesses even less defensible.

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December 2, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (14)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Even More on the Hair Analysis in the Adnan Syed Case

This is the third in a series of posts about the hair evidence in the Adnan Syed case (prior posts here and here). This post deals with the defense's motion for a Brady hearing on the hair evidence and the judge's denial of that motion.

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December 1, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (12)