The Absurdity of the State’s Self-Professed “Best Evidence”

As I assume anyone bothering to read this blog would already know, Adnan’s PCR hearing concluded last week after five days, eight witnesses, and approximately 3,000 donuts consumed by various members of the Undisclosed team. We published daily on-the-fly podcast updates of the hearing while it was ongoing, and in a week or two, we’ll be following up with a full-length episode recapping the entirety of the hearing in greater detail.

In the meantime, however, I’d like to take a moment to address some comments made by the prosecutor, Thiru Vignarajah, at a press conference held immediately after hearing ended. During this press conference, he outlined what he believed to be the State’s strongest evidence that Gutierrez was not ineffective in failing to investigate Asia McClain as an alibi witness, in a manner very similar to the claims he had made earlier that day during his closing argument:

Reporter: What’s the state’s best evidence, and why do you think the State is going to win the hearing?

Vignarajah: [. . .] Although there are victims of ineffective assistance of counsel, Mr. Syed is not one of them. And if you’re looking for the best piece of evidence for that, all you have to do is look at the record that defense counsel had in possession until very recently, and what you see is investigative step followed by investigative step, scrutiny after scrutiny, lines of cross examination that were pioneering at the time, and were conducted by one of the most seasoned, effective defense attorneys of her time.

And if you want to focus on two thing it would be this:

First, that the security officer at  the Woodlawn Public Library was interviewed within 3 days of Mr. Syed’s arrest along with the track coach, and so if anyone was wondering if the investigators and the attorneys were taking seriously a potential alibi, they certainly were, and the defense’s own file confirms that.

And secondly, again it’s not a conspiracy, it’s common sense, when you’re client is asking how mail is scrutinized, when you see notes that your best friend is telling detectives that a girl named Asia is being asked to type up a letter, and then you see that letter with lots and lots of facts that come from exactly one place, which is the defendant’s own search warrant, it’s pretty clear that a seasoned attorney like CG could see those warning signs a mile away.

These claims are varying degrees of misleading, irrelevant, and false. They are not based on evidence, but on the prosecutor’s misinterpretation of completely innocent materials found in the defense file. To show why, I will go through them line by line, and explain the actual basis of the State’s claims, and why the reality is radically different from what the State would have the public (and the court) believe.

Although there are victims of ineffective assistance of counsel, Mr. Syed is not one of them. And if you’re looking for the best piece of evidence for that, all you have to do is look at the record that defense counsel had in possession until very recently, and what you see is investigative step followed by investigative step, scrutiny after scrutiny.

If this were the case, the State would have shown this evidence during the hearing. Since he did not, we can safely assume that the defense file does not, in fact, contain evidence of a thorough investigation performed by Cristina Gutierrez.

Does the defense file, as Thiru claims, show “investigative step followed by investigative step”? Well, yes, it is in fact a defense file, so by definition it contains a record of an investigative step followed by another investigative step. But the fact that investigative steps were taken is not evidence in the State’s favor; it is an obvious fact that anyone would know, with or without looking at the defense file. That some form of investigation occurred says nothing about the quality or effectiveness of that investigation. For instance, sending multiple subpoenas to inaccurate addresses is an investigative step — it is just not a very good one. Likewise, obtaining copies of the photos in the prosecutor’s file is an investigative step — but failing to follow up with those photos with a medical expert was an investigative misstep with disastrous consequences for Adnan. Pulling a copy of the Woodlawn High School yearbook and calling the top 8 track athletes listed there is also an investigative step — but choosing to investigate alibi witnesses for the time Adnan was at track based on the track team’s relative athletic ability rather than by their relative likelihood of having seen Adnan on January 13th is so stupid it is tragic.

In short, the State’s evidence that Gutierrez performed a thorough investigation amounts to no more than unsupported claims during a press conferences, which were submitted in lieu of any evidence that existed in a form that permitted it to be presented to the court.

lines of cross examination that were pioneering at the time,

Here, I believe, the State is referring to Gutierrez’s cross of Waranowitz here. He mentioned at some point during the hearing that she was the first to make certain challenges to cellphone evidence, that defense attorneys to this day continue to use. Of course, he neglected to mention that those lines of cross-examination are based on a completely lack of understanding about the functioning of a cellular network.

If further proof is needed of Gutierrez’s complete dereliction of duty when it came to the cell evidence, let’s look at her own words on the subject:

Gutierrez - on the cell evidence

And yet, according to the State, the attorney who did not even look at the cellphone evidence, because she did not care about it, was incredibly effective — indeed, pioneering! — in the field of cell evidence defense.

and were conducted by one of the most seasoned, effective defense attorneys of her time.

The attorney that Thiru is calling “the most seasoned, effective defense attorney of her time” set a state record for most claims brought against her before the Attorney Grievance Commission. Her failures to take even the most basic steps in many of the cases she was involved in during the same period of time she represented Adnan (i.e., failing to brief issues, failing to communicate plea offers, falsely claiming to be consulting with experts she was not) have resulted in incredible amounts of damage to the clients she victimized, both those whose stories we know and many more still whose we do not.

And if you want to focus on two thing it would be this:

First, that the security officer at  the Woodlawn Public Library was interviewed within 3 days of Mr. Syed’s arrest along with the track coach,

On March 3rd, Drew Davis, the defense investigator hired by Adnan’s attorney, interviewed Officer Steve. He did not take any notes of this interview, and the only reference made to these notes in the defense file is from a billing invoice that Davis submitted:

Billing Summary - Drew Davis

Asserting that this document has any relevance to Adnan’s claims in the PCR hearing is so strained that it borders on meritless. On March 3rd, it is virtually certain that neither Adnan nor his defense attorneys had Asia’s letters, which were mailed no sooner than March 2nd and March 3rd. We do not know why Davis spoke to Officer Steve, or what he spoke to him about, but there was nothing significant enough about the conversation to be worth preserving. According to Thiru, though, this is the State’s best evidence against Adnan, because it is proof that shortly after Adnan’s arrest, his attorneys were looking into whether they could locate alibi witnesses for where Adnan was after school that day.1

But if Adnan’s first words to his attorneys were, “I think I was at the library and then I was at track,” that is evidence of innocence, not evidence of guilt! It is the same alibi he is advancing now at the PCR hearing, and his bail attorneys’ prompt initial steps to investigate that alibi shows that they took Adnan seriously.

The fact Officer Steve (presumably) had no useful information to provide the defense investigator is not evidence, in any respect, that Adnan’s alibi was no good. It just means the single witness Davis spoke to could not verify it. In no legal universe is that a basis to desist all further investigative efforts.

As was made clear from the testimony last week of both the Woodlawn librarian and the security guard, however, the security guard’s failure to specifically recall seeing Adnan on January 13th is yet another meaningless fact with no evidentiary relevance. Both the Woodlawn librarian (called by the defense) and the security guard (called by the State) testified that they might remember a student they spoke to that day, but hundreds of students came through the library between 2pm and 4pm, and they would not be able to say whether or not a student hadn’t been in the library based on whether or not they remembered seeing them.

To comment briefly on Officer Mills: his testimony is on my top 10 list of most bizarre witness testimonies I have ever seen in court. Officer Steve was contacted a week before the hearing, and interviewed twice. He was then subpoenaed to testify for the state for as to three facts:

  1. He does not recall being questioned by Davis, Adnan’s attorneys, or anyone else in connection with this case
  2. The library did not have cameras in January 1999 (and therefore Asia is lying)
  3. Adnan Syed was not in the library on January 13, 1999 (and therefore Adnan’s attorneys reasonably did not pursue the Asia alibi)

At trial, he then testified to the following:

1. He does not recall being interviewed by Davis, Adnan’s attorneys, or anyone else in connection with this case

Assuming that Davis really did speak to Officer Steve on March 6, 1999, Officer Steve’s lack of memory of that encounter doesn’t have much significance for Adnan’s case. If, for instance, Davis asked him, “Do you have any records of a disturbance on Jan. 13, 1999,” then Officer Steve would never have known in the first place that he’d been questioned in connection with Adnan’s arrest.

2. He did not remember any cameras on that side of the library building, but it was possible there were cameras he did not know of, because that was not his responsibility.

My notes from the hearing have two exchanges which should clarify how little light Officer Steve was able to shed on this. First, on direct,

Thiru: Is it possible there were cameras at the library that you did not know of?

Officer Steve: Yeah, it’s possible, possible.

And then on cross,

Chris: Could there have been cameras at the library you were not aware of?

Officer Steve: Yes.

Officer Steve has no idea if there were cameras. There could have been, he just did not know of them because they were not his responsibility.

3. He did not see Adnan Syed in the library on January 13th,  but he easily could have been there and Officer Steve either didn’t see him or didn’t remember seeing him.

During cross, Officer Steve frankly acknowledged that, despite what the detectives’ notes said, he could not say for certain whether or not Adnan had been at the library that day. Perhaps he misspoke when speaking to the detectives, or perhaps the detectives took liberties in what they wrote down. Either way, the following exchange tells you all you need to know about whether Officer Steve actually believes he could tell whether or not Adnan had been at the library that day:

Chris: They showed you yearbook photos of a number of students from 17 years ago?
Officer Steve: Yes.
Chris: And they asked you to determine if one of them had been in the library on January 13, 1999?
Officer Steve: Yes.
Chris: That’s kind of a ridiculous question, isn’t it?
Officer Steve, speaking in a knowing/amused tone: I’m not answering that one!

So Officer Steve’s testimony was a complete dud for the State. Nothing about his testimony supports the State’s position at the PCR hearing in any way. The bar for “best State’s evidence” must have been set very low indeed, if this makes the cut.2

and so if anyone was wondering if the investigators and the attorneys were taking seriously a potential alibi, they certainly were, and the defense’s own file confirms that.

Yes, Adnan’s initial attorneys were taking the investigation seriously, because that is what an attorney is supposed to do. Unfortunately, Flohr and Colbert only represented Adnan during the bail stage, and six weeks after his arrest, Gutierrez took over his case. It is Gutierrez’s failure that is the basis of Adnan’s IAC claim, and the fact that his bail attorneys were competent and diligent has no bearing on Adnan’s claim that Gutierrez was ineffective in her representation of him.

And secondly, again it’s not a conspiracy, it’s common sense, when your client is asking how mail is scrutinized,

What Thiru is alleging never happened, and there is no evidence to support it. And unless he is an idiot — which, without question, he is not — he had to have known that the notes that are the basis of his claim have nothing to do with any obstruction of justice scheme. In short, a prosecutor for the State of Maryland misrepresented evidence at Adnan’s PCR hearing, in support of his claim that another attorney — one who was in fact present in that very courtroom — had been and continued to be complicit in a scheme to fabricate the existence of an alibi witness.

Everyone, regardless of their position on Adnan’s guilt, should find this horrifying.

To explain what is going on, it helps to look at the document that is the “source” (scare quotes warranted) of the prosecutor’s claim. The defense file contains a page of notes written by Chris Flohr (Adnan’s attorney during the initial bail hearings) on March 6, 1999, the top of which looks like this:

Flohr notes

These notes contain short, jotted-down references to a number of issues related to Flohr’s representation of Adnan, such as administrative matters, information needed for investigative purposes, getting legal releases signed, and fixing the bail issue in which Adnan’s date of birth was incorrectly listed.

In short: this is an attorney’s to-do list. A list of things for Flohr to discuss with his client when he sees him in jail, things for him to pursue as lines of investigation, and paperwork issues to be taken care of. Items were checked off as he went along — like after Flohr told his client about how to have people send him self-addressed stamped envelope in their letters to him so that he would be able to write them back, and after Flohr gave a routine cautionary reminder that everything his client sent and received through the mail could and would be monitored by authorities.

While I do not know what regulations Baltimore City jails had in place in 1999, sending an inmate a self-addressed stamped envelope with a piece of paper is, in institutions where permitted, a standard way of giving the inmate you are writing the materials necessary to actually write back, and that is clearly what Flohr’s notes here are referencing. As shown from guides published by correctional institutions and other agencies about how to write to inmates:

  • Each week a prisoner is allowed to send one free letter. If they want to send more than this then they need to purchase stamps and envelopes from the prison shop/canteen. Alternatively you can post self addressed stamped envelopes to the prisoner so they can post letters back to you
  • Inmates will be permitted to receive only the following types of materials through routine mail: [. . .] Self-addressed stamped envelopes. These items do not count toward the 15 page limitation for additional materials, but cannot exceed the equivalent of 20 (1 ounce) first class stamps.
  • Further, inmates may possess only the personal property, materials, supplies, items, commodities and substances received or obtained from authorized sources, as permitted in the institution’s procedures. Even the possession of excessive stamps can become an economic bargaining tool. Sending a client only self-addressed pre-stamped envelopes avoids any problems.

But even setting aside all that, Thiru’s conspiracy claim has overlooked an obvious point that disproves his entire argument. Namely, WHY THE FREAKING HELL WOULD ASIA NEED A SELF-ADDRESSED STAMPED ENVELOPE FROM ADNAN?? Asia isn’t in jail! Asia can buy her own envelopes and stamps! And buy her own “one piece [of] paper”! Why, oh why, would this notation from Flohr ever be, in any universe, evidence of Adnan asking for materials that he could use to solicit a false alibi from an acquaintance?

Flohr’s notes are, as anyone with criminal law experience should be able to see, about people writing letters to Adnan, and have nothing do with a hypothetical request to enlist an attorney’s help to carry out a conspiracy to fake an alibi. Flohr’s notes are not, as anyone with common sense should be able to see, about how Adnan can obtain materials to write out to another person and request that they write back with a letter that sets forth a falsified alibi.

In the words of Justin Brown, “I have a problem when prosecutors present info in a manner that they know to be inaccurate.” Thiru is a very smart man, and I will not insult his intelligence by presuming he holds a genuine belief in such a stupid theory, but that raises a much more troubling concern. At the PCR hearing, Thiru accused another attorney of being, at best, silently complicit in a scheme to commit obstruction of justice, and at worst, an active participant in the scheme, despite the fact that Thiru knew or should have known that his supporting “evidence” for this claim was a sham.

This is not okay. This is so far from okay.

Moreover, Flohr was actually in the courtroom for most of Adnan’s five day hearing, available to testify at a moment’s notice. If Thiru believed that Adnan had solicited Flohr’s help in constructing a false alibi, then he should have called him to the stand and asked him about it, not used his imagination to conjure up a conspiracy out of a defense attorney’s routine checklist of things to discuss with his client.

As with the rest of its case at the PCR hearing, however, the State preferred to submit its own willful misinterpretations of innocuous notes in lieu of any actual evidence.

 when you see notes that your best friend is telling detectives that a girl named Asia is being asked to type up a letter,

The Ja’uan notes issue has already been addressed in detail in other places, so I will just add a couple notes to it here. First, if anyone doubts the way in which notes jotted down by the police during an interview can be misleading when read out of context, simply look at Officer Steve’s testimony for your proof. Second, for Thiru to be right about the Ja’uan notes, it would mean that Ritz and MacGillivary were such terrible detectives that a defendant’s friend told them about his scheme to falsify an alibi, and they didn’t take a damned step to follow up on it.

And then there’s one other point in response to Thiru’s claim that is critical: although Thiru says, “when you see notes that…,” implying that Adnan’s attorneys made strategic decisions based upon their interpretation of the Ja’uan notes, such a thing never could’ve happened. Why? Because those notes were not disclosed to the defense until 2010. At the time of Adnan’s trial, no one connected with the defense in any respect ever had a clue those notes existed. The defense could not have obtained this information from Ja’uan, either, because Gutierrez’s team did not make contact with him until February 20, 2000, at the very end of the second trial, and those notes reflect nothing about any possible knowledge he might have had of either Asia or Adnan’s alibi defense. In short, Thiru’s conspiracy reading of the Ja’uan notes had nothing to do with any decision, strategic or otherwise, ever made by the defense.

and then you see that letter with lots and lots of facts that come from exactly one place, which is the defendant’s own search warrant, it’s pretty clear that a seasoned attorney like CG could see those warning signs a mile away.

Thiru made this claim a half dozen times during the hearing, and questioned Asia about it on cross, aggressively and at length. But it is not true. There is exactly one fact that appears in both the search warrant affidavit and Asia’s letters: that Hae was buried in Leakin Park. That’s it. No other facts from Asia’s letters appear anywhere in the search warrant.

3-9 search warrant

Plus, the “facts that come from exactly one place” part of Thiru’s argument is even more bogus, given that not only are the “facts” from Asia’s letters self-evidently not in the search warrant affidavit, but that during the course of the PCR hearing Thiru had been shown numerous sources that did contain those facts, and that Asia would have had access to on March 2, 1999. I guess he must’ve forgotten about that by the time the press conference rolled around.

And this is what Thiru calls the State’s best evidence in opposition to Adnan’s petition for a new trial?

Damn, no wonder I feel so hopeful.

– Susan

1. We know that Adnan told his attorneys that he believed he had a conversation about Ramadan with his track coach, Coach Sye, on January 13th, because that’s what Coach Sye says the defense investigator asked him about. The same day that Davis interviewed Coach Sye (March 6th), he also went to speak to the library security guard. To the extent that any inference can be drawn from this, it is that Adnan may have also identified the library as another location he had visited after school on the day of Hae’s disappearance.

2. So, all that aside, what actually is the deal with Officer Steve? Why on earth did the State call him in the first place, and what exactly did Officer Steve think he was talking about?

Well, best I can figure, based on the exhibits and testimony from the hearing, Officer Steve was under the belief that Hae had been murdered before January 13, 1999, and that he was being questioned about whether he had seen her killer in the library after her death.

Take a look at what the detectives’ notes say from Officer Steve’s second interview:

When [Officer Steve] saw Syed’s picture, he can say for certain he was not in the library the day of Wed, Jan 13, 1999

If Syed was in the library [Officer Steve] states he would have brought it to the attention of police.

At trial, Officer Steve gave testimony that was almost identical to his previous comments to the detectives the week before:

Thiru: If you had recognized Mr. Syed [in the library on January 13th], what would you have done?

Officer Steve: Call 911.

A perfectly reasonable response — if you mistakenly believed that, as of January 13, 1999, Adnan had been a murderer that the police were trying to arrest. Officer Steve testified that he remember seeing Adnan’s picture in the news, so he knew what Adnan looked like, and — as Officer Steve reasonably testified  — if he had seen this murderer at the library where he was a security guard, he would have responded by calling 911. Therefore Officer Steve is confident he did not see Adnan Syed in the library on January 13, 1999, because if he had, he would have called the police to  alert them to the fact that he had found the murderer they were looking for.

So Officer Steve’s testimony was not ridiculous at all, although it appeared that way at first glance. His only mistake was in assuming that the detectives were asking him reasonable questions, and he responded accordingly. Because why on earth would detectives show up at a security guard’s workplace and ask him something as ridiculous as whether he could confirm whether or not a student of no particular note had been it the library on a specific (but uneventful) day 17 years ago? No detective would be useless enough to ask such a thing, surely.

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92 thoughts on “The Absurdity of the State’s Self-Professed “Best Evidence”

  1. Susan, great post as always. One question on the last paragraph about Steve. How on earth would Steve know to call 911 on January 13 if he had seen Adnan since on that date Hae was a missing person and no one new if she was dead. Nor had Adnan been arrested.

    • Susan mentioned that Steve may have been under the impression Hae was killed prior to 1/13 and that the police had fingered Adnan for the killing, but had not picked him up yet.

    • Steve has no idea when Hae died in relation to January 13th. He does remember seeing Adnan’s photo on the news, and it seems to me that he thought the cops wanted to know if he had seen a murderer on the run in the library on January 13th.

      Because that’s the only way to make sense of the questions he was being asked. Did you see some random student in the library on an unmemorable day 17 years ago? Who would even ask that? Of course he doesn’t remember!

      But: did you see an accused murderer whose photo had been all over the news in the library on a particular day? That question makes a bit more sense. The detectives’ real question was so dumb that he seems to have interpreted it in a way that was a little less ridiculous, hence all the confusion at the hearing.

      • I am still so perplexed why the State fights with such vigor to prevent someone from recieving a fair trial.
        I honestly believe (correct me) that their jobs could be likened to a chess match. This desire to win is sickening. Or./ another analogy .. The state is fighting for the honor of the a (lady) to solidify the belief that the (she has been attacked) justice system works.
        I do not know how these people (prosecutors) can sleep at night knowing they are fighting to keep a man imprisoned for a crime he did not committ.
        As you stated, he’s smart. He has to know the facts do not add up because he tried, and failed. Why is he fighting this?
        You’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars (prob more) to incarcerate and innocent man. This Revemue could have been used in so many other ways. Not to mention the loss of taxes Mr. Syed would have paid to the State of Maryland in his profession. (Had the state not took this away at 17)
        They should do a “Dirty Jobs:Worst Job episode called “Proseutors who prosecute the innocent”, and at the end drop Urick and TV in a big vat of &@$).

        • It’s a bit like the jealous person dichotomy. Like someone’s jealousy being the wedge that drives someone away, Thiru’s overzeal in defending the State actually makes the State (and him personally) look even worse. Tawdry, sleazy and dishonest are words that spring to my mind.

          Not words anyone would want associated with Maryland’s Justice system I would have thought.

        • The State is not going to admit to wrongdoing. Giving them the benefit of the doubt they simply don’t want to look bad and get a conviction overturned. Assuming the worst there is some deep bias and something truly nefarious here and they don’t want it coming out.

      • @Susan Simpson: Answer this as OBJECTIVELY as you can!

        (1) Would you say the AT&T how-to-manual that warns: “Do NOT use this for incoming calls”(emphasis theirs) was enough to make the leakin tower pings inadmissible in the courtroom?

        (2) Would you also say a defense forensic expert on the stand would have easily rule out the 7pm burial time due to lividity?

        if she had stablished these two major facts of the case, wouldn’t Urick and his deceptive leutinent Murphy find themselves in a tough spot?

        • (1) Would you say the AT&T how-to-manual that warns: “Do NOT use this for incoming calls”(emphasis theirs) was enough to make the leakin tower pings inadmissible in the courtroom?

          Yes. Reliability is at the heart of Daubert and Frye. If someone creates data, but then says, “This data is unreliable for the purposes you are trying to use it,” then that data is not reliable.

          (2) Would you also say a defense forensic expert on the stand would have easily rule out the 7pm burial time due to lividity?

          Yes. The autopsy report says that the body was buried on the right side, and that lividity was fixed on the anterior surface. These two facts cannot be reconciled with a 7pm burial.

          Some ME’s testifying for the State have, at times, given contradictory testimony, which is unfortunate. Outside of that scenario, however, this is the medical equivalent of black letter law.

          • Alright then. The next question is. Does her failure to accomplish these two goals constitute the legal definition of ineffective counsel or is it just good ol’ incompetence?

      • That’s amazing how you could put all that together. I couldn’t make any sense out of Officer Steve’s response that he would have called 911 if he had seen Adnan at the library.

  2. Prosecutor Thiru seems to have deliberately mislead the judge in this process, thus violating his duty as a lawyer.

    Therefore, it seems that a complaint should be filed against him with the Maryland Bar Council.

    This outrageous behavior is unfortunately rational, since there is a lack of accountability, and that is why it is not completely unusual behavior. I know that the Bar Council has a problematic bias in favor of prosecutors, but I respectfully submit that as a profession lawyers have an ethical obligation to report on these abuses. I know this is a tough path, but it is more fruitful then cursing the outrage, and I hope either you, the judge, council Flohr or council Brown.

    Keep up the great work! Eliot

  3. Great rebuttal to Thiru’s haunting press conference Susan. And I really appreciated your multiple daily updates during the hearing. If I lived within 1000 miles of Baltimore I would have been there myself.
    I honestly don’t know how he can say this stuff with a straight face. He has to be too smart to actually believe it. He lies worse than a politician. I wish I could have seen the faces of the reporters when he was spinning this tale. I was not surprised the first question basically asked, “So what exactly is the State’s evidence?” He worded it nicer, but the implication that he presented nothing was there. Then he confirms it with the statements you just tore apart.
    Living on the other side of the country I’m just glad my tax dollars don’t pay his salary. Of course whose to say our state/county does not have morally challenged prosecutors of our own.

  4. I don’t understand how Thiru can get away with lying to the Judge, the media & their audiences. Didn’t he admit to knowingly prosecute another innocent man in another case? Is it really that difficult to sanction prosecutors? Can Asia or Flohr sue him for defamation? Can we, Team Adnan, do anything? Also, why isn’t the media reporting this corruption? I see totally “unbiased” stories out there but they are not unbiased. They are ignorant. I understand that when Serial started we were all trying our best to be “unbiased”. But after we know the FACTS of the case, to pretend they don’t exist is willful ignorance, no?

    • The media doesn’t understand what’s going on because there is too much going on for them to have reasonably gotten caught up yet, and I assume they believe anyone who is already close enough to understand it at this point — i.e., all people who are in some fashion connected to the defense or Undisclosed — are too biased to use as sources, and cannot be accepted as providing objective facts. So, even if we provide documentation that demonstrates the untruthfulness of prosecution claims, that cannot be acknowledged until they find it through a different source.

      And that’s fine. Eventually they will get enough documents to figure it out for themselves, and then the media might start reporting on it. Or maybe not.

      But the prosecution is knowingly (or should-have-knowingly) making false claims in connection with this PCR hearing, both inside and out of court, and whether the media reports on it or not, nothing stopping me from doing so.

      • And I’d add: the “media” industry, as in news media, reporting, enterprise journalism, etc. — all the important things the public has grown over decades if not centuries to rely upon — has shrunk to the point where it’s stretched too thin to tackle many, many important issues. It’s a travesty, and a tragedy in so many ways. The resources just aren’t there. [Add frowning face here.]

      • Susan, What is the Judge doing to make his decision on whether Adnan gets a new trial and why does it take so long? Do you think the cards are stacked even more against Adnan with this Judge being the Original Judge in his trial?

        • I keep seeing and hearing this reported, but I think there’s been a misunderstanding somewhere. This is not the judge from his original trial, he’s the judge who ruled against him at his previous PCR hearing.

          • But he is the judge Kevin Urick may have perjured himself in front of. No wonder Urick wasn’t called to testify.

          • Thank you I did not think he was the original Judge but started assuming since they kept reporting that he was,

  5. Wow, what a great post, Susan! I assume/hope that the judge will see through the State’s tactics. Thanks also for keeping us up to speed throughout the hearing.

  6. P.S. why doesn’t the State correct Adnan’s DOB, and does the recent Supreme Court ruling on life sentences for juveniles have any bearing on Adnan’s case? Thanks.

  7. Excellent, clear rebuttal to all the wild distortions of evidence by Thiru (and certain redditors).

    You might want to correct the year in this sentence in the Ju’aun:

    “because Gutierrez’s team did not make contact with him until February 20, 2010, at the very end of the second trial”

    • I had to read this several times, thinking “What? The second trial ended just 5 years ago?” Yeah, it’s late. I should have understood immediately that it was a typo without having to think quite so much!

    • Either the detectives told him, or his attorneys immediately figured out the significance through the same way everyone else did. They had Adnan’s phone records, and he told them the phone was with Jay all day. So who is Nisha and why was she called? Of course it would be high on their list of things to check out.

      Also see Episode 15 of Undisclosed for why Adnan knew all kinds of info about the investigation as of 2/28. The detectives’ methodology involved laying out all kinda of facts and conjectures during the initial interrogation. It’s how he knew about Jay, it’s how he knew about the “red gloves,” it’s how he knew about the Park’n’Ride.

      • I guess she could also be there simply because she’s his current ‘girlfriend’ and therefore worth talking to, just in case she has anything of relevance to say – maybe he mentioned that he speaks to her fairly often – need it be much more complicated than that?

  8. Is it possible CG did not care if the cell tower records were admitted because she knew that either a) Jay had Adnan’s phone or b) they’d never “prove” Adnan was where he wasn’t? Of course this would still be unacceptable on her part, but even if she HAD looked at them she had incomplete info.

  9. Susan– serious question. Is this level of spin (and obfuscation) typical for prosecutors? Like, is this how people get convicted? Or is TV especially bad. I hope it’s the later!

    • Not normal.

      Attorney spin is present in all cases, and prosecutors are fully entitled to draw reasonable inferences based on facts which they have a good faith basis to believe exist. What they are not permitted to do, though, is to advance knowingly false claims in a bid to win the case no matter the factual truthfulness of their arguments.

      The latter is what is happening here. Just look at a couple of the unsupported claims that have been made by the State about the cell evidence, and then presented as if they were established fact rather than things the prosecutor imagined into existence: (1) Ex. 31 is not the same document as the 2/22 fax from AT&T; and (2) AT&T had cell coverage in the metros in 1999. Both of these claims are factually untrue. There is no underlying factual basis for either. Thiru only claimed these things as facts because they supported his arguments, and it sounded theoretically possible that they were true statements, but it turns out neither is. Unfortunately, that both are demonstrably false is something he either didn’t care to consider or knew but actively disregarded.

      That the prosecutor here is comfortable with making up facts that sound as if they could be true, and then presenting them to the court as if they were things actually supported by evidence, is a great lesson in just how fucked up our system is. Someone’s freedom depends on the outcome of this hearing, and any result reached should be based on evidence found in reality, not the prosecutor’s imagination.

  10. It depresses me so much that some prosecutors lie with no consequence (see Ken Kratz and his terrific press conferences). I really hope that this judge can see through that.

  11. I’m curious what the line in the attorney’s notes says regarding mail…is it “address of jail…writing letters those most scrutinized”?

  12. Did Jenn have a relative (possibly an uncle) that was involved in law enforcement? I recall hearing someone of Jay’s friends in that regard in Serial.

    If so, that explains how Jenn and Jay were able to skirt the arrest on January 26, amongst a plethora of other things.

  13. Hi Susan

    I’m a lawyer in the UK and we are required to advise the court if we come to know something we have said or submitted as evidence is incorrect as soon as we discover the error. Is this not the case in the US? If it is then can Thiru not be forced to make a correction to the record, if he was made aware of his ‘mistakes’?

  14. Guilty or not…….. One thing is for sure….. Tina did not adequately represent her teenage client facing lifetime imprisonment!

    Ignore alibis Don’t call your own experts . Not bother with the cellular stuff.

    Just a complete and utter failure.

    Thiru knows this but he just doesn’t want to lose a popular case. Bad for his career when he runs for attorney general . Ooh that’s that loser who lost that famous case. Right Thiru? I know you are reading this. You Reddit trolling adulterer!!!!

  15. Susan, you mentioned on the live podcast the fact that Thiru wasn’t putting a lot of stuff into evidence, such as the “sources” from above. Could Justin have had them entered into evidence on rebuttal? And if so, why didn’t he? Thanks!

  16. I am curious whether the judge will be likely to pick up on the weaknesses and mistruths in the state’s case or whether s/he will rely solely on the arguments as they stand wit out reviewing the evideo center further. To what extent do the judges have discretion in pursuing their own suspicions and leads?

    It looks like this case has gotten quite nasty so s/he will have to wade through a lot of spin

  17. Thanks for this update, and for the Undisclosed updates, you did a great job! Third was acting like such a brat! He’s not a great advertisement for the MD “justice” system.

    Oh, and it was pretty hilarious contrasting the Serial updates with yours, have you heard them? Dana Chivvis has no shame, none at all.

      • Oh you must! It was sooo weird going from your doughnut-fuelled, coffee-stoked breathless updates (I mean that as a compliment, I thrive on information overload!) to Sarah’s “Well, I’m in a closet with zebra print bathrobes and the State’s case is blah blah…” with Dana Chivvis’ desperately angling for dirt on the defence side.

        At the end of Serial Dana pretty much declared Adnan guilty, and it seems like all the evidence unearthed in the intervening year has not penetrated her shell.

        Have fun listening!

        • I listened while getting some housework done today. I think, as a lawyer, hearing a non-lawyer recap any legal proceeding would be frustrating for me, so I don’t think it has anything to do with Adnan’s case in particular, but there’s just no commentary on the legally relevant stuff at all.

          It was also way more exciting than Sarah is making it sound! For a court hearing, that was like 99th percentile for pure entertainment value.

      • Isn’t comparing Serial to Undisclosed really unfair to both? I can see why people do it but I feel that Serial was a narrative about the events while Undisclosed was more like an analysis of theses same events. I wonder why compare them at all? I enjoy them both and am so grateful to my daughter for sharing Seriak with me way back in Nov of 2014!!!

  18. Superb. You should consider a job in Law 🙂

    You’ve made such complicated matters so accessible to us laypersons with such palpable enthusiasm and passion because ‘it’s the right thing to do’. I can only tip my lid to you, say thank you and hope you continue exposing the likes of Thiru. As you said, the guy is smart…

    I’ll be sure never to commit a crime if I’m ever in Baltimore. And if I have a phone: I’m switching the motherfucker off.

    All the best, Dan

  19. Ms. Simpson:
    I must say that I admire your passion and commitment to Adnan’s case. I can see that you have a sense of outrage and incredulity about Thiru V.’s ‘creative interpretations’ of the evidence. I know that this prosecutor’s cynical approach to your common profession is offensive to you and contrary to the ethical core of your legal training and beliefs. It seems obvious- even to my untrained eye- that Thiru V. has ventured beyond what can be construed as typical “attorney spin”. He has arrogantly misrepresented and reimagined scenarios not supported by evidence, testimony, or even the limitations of time and space.
    My question is: isn’t this hubris the Achilles heel in the state’s case? It does seem to me that this prosecutor has made the mistake of taking Judge Welch for granted, attempting to sway him with the same baseless mumbo-jumbo he would use toward a jury. Didn’t the prosecutor risk slighting this judge- one who came out of retirement to hear this very case- by presenting such a wafer-thin response? Isn’t the bar set a little higher in these appeal proceedings because both sides must present to a judge instead of a jury?
    I think it is a fair to assume that Judge Welch is no fool. No doubt he noted what was absent in the state’s presentation. Where was Kevin Urick who may have perjured himself (in front of this same judge, no less) and tampered with evidence? Where were Det. MacGillivary and Det. Ritz to answer questions about perceived misconduct? It could not have escaped his scrutiny that most of the state’s key players are too ‘radioactive’ to put on the stand.
    By attempting to avoid all the potholes left by Urick, it looks like Thiru V. stepped into a bigger one: his own ego. It seems very unlikely that Judge Welch, or any judge for that matter, would rule in his favor.

    • Good post. My theory? Thiru knows this is a losing battle with the judge, but is hoping to spew enough BS that most of the public will believe him when he later claims that “the judge was swayed by popular sentiment and not by the evidence.” Just watch.

  20. Hi Susan and a 1001 Thank You for all of your hard work on this case. I know you feel that justice for Adnan is justice for Hae. I have a quick question. I am concerned about the improper age listed for Adnan and how this led to denial of bail. Had Adnan been released, might things have been different? He may have been able to contribute much more significantly up the early fact finding of his innocence. Am I way off here?

    • Brenda – Addendum 7 of Undisclosed (and to a lesser extent episode 7 too) contain the discussion about what difference bail might have made.

  21. Thanks for the awesome blog. I have a question about the hearing which wasn’t addressed in your blog. What was your favorite type of donut?

  22. Two questions related to what is required to rule that an attorney did not adequately support his or her client:

    At what point did CG know about the State’s timeline? Not until the first trial, correct? The state doesn’t have to disclose their case ahead of time. If so, then how was CG supposed to know that Asia was an alibi? It’s not a stretch to conclude that she was focused on later afternoon, meaning Asia’s letter would have been ignored early on.

    At what point does money come into play for ruling on inefficient counsel? Clearly more money gets you a note thorough defense. I read multiple times where CG was asking Adnan’s family for more money. Maybe she couldn’t afford to argue the cell phone evidence with the same vigor that we are doing 16 years later. Maybe she had to pick her battles with the limited resources she had at her disposal. She didn’t have a team of lawyers working with her, only a summer law school intern or two.

    And after the first mistrial, most felt that everything was going in Adnan’s direction. Why would she change course with her defense? If she wasn’t getting more money from her client, how can someone be so convinced that it must be a strategic error vs simply putting in the effort in accordance for what she was paid? It’s far too easy to play Monday morning quarterback.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think the State proved that Adnan was guilty. But I also don’t think that CG was ineffective. Too many people are falling victim to confirmation bias here, just like the police did during their original investigation.

    • According to JB at the hearing, even CG’s family was ok with the evidence he was presenting. If colleagues as witnesses and her family approval of the Defense case doesn’t convince you she was a very ill woman then I can’t imagine what would.

      The other point you make about not knowing the State’s timeline – in that case CG should have locked down any potential alibis for the whole of the day. By the second trial she knew the 2.36pm timeline because the prosecution had argued this in opening arguments of the mistrial. She still didn’t contact Asia.

      CG was ineffective but she also had several debilitating illnesses that are known to affect a sufferer’s cognitive skills. It’s not a story of a lawyer screwing someone over, it’s a story about a lawyer who didn’t understand what was happening to her. CG’s story is as tragic as Adnan’s imo.

      • Thanks Sue. I understand the evidence presented about her illness, but I’m more interested in what the legal threshold is for establishing ineffective counsel. Even if we all agree her cognitive skills were impacted by her illness, that doesn’t directly mean that Adnan’s defense wasn’t sufficient. If that was the threshold, than any lawyer over the age of 60 could be found to be ineffective. As many studies show the decline of cognitive functions over 60 years old. If CG was still more effective even in her lesser cognitive state than say: a court-appointed lawyer? If she put together a stronger overall defense than a court-appointed lawyer would have, could she still be found as ineffective due to missing the Asia alibi? This is asking more of a legal question rather than an opinion of someone who is not a lawyer or judge.

        And specific to the Asia alibi, I agree that after the first trial, she now had the state’s timeline and should have dug deeper into the interview notes, possible witnesses, and she ‘should’ have found Asia. However there was only one month between trials (including the holidays). There were boxes and boxes, thousands of pages of interviews, reports, etc. I haven’t read anything that CG had extra legal help at this time, so one could assume she was working solo at this point. And Asia wasn’t the only possible alibi, recall that Adnan’s family and community sent over 80 possible alibi witnesses at one point. If there was a whole team of investigators looking over everything for 5 weeks in December/January, yes I’m sure that the Asia alibi would have been re-discovered. This is where my question about money comes in. In her own blog, Rabia discusses her meeting with CG between trials and the main focus of that meeting was CG asking for more money. A defense with unlimited funds is going to be more thorough, does that play into the ineffective decision? It’s not unreasonable to consider that CG working alone for 5 weeks between trials simply didn’t have enough time to go back and review the thousands of pages in order to change her defense strategy.

        In the trial transcripts I’ve listened to, CG definitely shows advanced cognitive abilities, between her cross-examinations and attention to detail, objections, etc. However she was utterly boring (and annoying) to listen to, made issues more complex for jurors to understand, and simply created unlikable atmosphere. Perhaps Adnan simply hired the wrong attorney, rather than an ineffective one.

        • Matt – I’m sure Susan can give you a better reply to your questions, but also go read the evidenceprof blog that Colin Miller writes. He cites several cases (including a few from the same Maryland circuit court) as precedent that say failing to ever contact a potential alibi witness that your client tells you about is constitutionally deficient and qualifies as IAC. He has said repeatedly that he has found no counter precedents, and none were entered into the PCR proceedings so I’m guessing the Maryland AG didn’t find any either.

          • Thanks Dan – yes, I follow Colin’s blog as well. It’s unclear whether Asia can be defined as an alibi witness or not. In some of the state filings during the appeals (Colin just posted about this today), the State suggests that the timeline they presented in the trial may not be the actual timeline. The reality is that Asia is an alibi for Adnan for only 15-20 minutes that afternoon. Yes, it proves the State’s timeline in the trial was incorrect, but it does nothing to prove Adnan’s innocence. An interesting decision for the judge for sure.

          • Matt, there is no question that Asia is an alibi witness. Asia is an alibi witness. The State has suggested that it has no idea how the crime “really” happened so it’s free to invent a new explanation, but that doesn’t support its position the way you’re saying. That idea is wrong for a host of reasons, including the fact that, had Asia testified credibly and the State been forced to shift its timeline, the State would have to come up with evidence to support the new timeline. The defense could then have attacked the new timeline and introduced evidence showing why it was insufficient.

            In other words, the State is not permitted to simply say, “oh, well, we would have changed the timeline and proved it another way,” because the State has never shown in court that it could actually do so. There’s no presumption that the State could prove any case it wanted to. That’s the whole point of an alibi witness. It proves the defendant could not have committed the crime the way the State argued, and forces the State to introduce evidence that shows the crime happened in a different way. That’s what CG should have done here, because the State’s “3:15 timeline” would have collapsed under the weight of its impossibility.

          • I’m responding to Susan’s 5:41pm response as the site wouldn’t allow me to respond directly to her post. I agree with Susan on what CG ‘should’ have done, she clearly made a mistake in not going back after the first trial to review possible alibi witnesses once she knew the State’s timeline. This is clear to see in retrospect. Was CG so confident after the first trial that she didn’t want to change anything? She only had 5 weeks, did she simply not have the time/money/resources to re-investigate everything? Attorney error? yes. Ineffective counsel to the point of getting a retrial? Not necessarily as black and white.

          • The blog is structured to allow only so many replies deep per a chain.

            The idea that five weeks was too short a period of time for CG to pick up the phone and call Asia is laughable, but also kind of beside the point. CG had a duty to contact Asia before trial — long before. It’s not about time to “re-investigate,” because she never even investigated in the first place.

            She was barely doing any work on Adnan’s case in between the two trials, let alone investigating new leads based on info disclosed from the State. She was overloaded with multiple capital cases in multiple jurisdictions, and as even Urick acknowledges, dealing with illness at the time.

            If CG made a strategic call during this time period not to call Asia to the stand, then that would not be IAC. But that’s the entire point — CG made no call whatsoever, she just didn’t do anything. And that is black and white deficient performance.

        • Hey Susan, sorry for stepping on your toes here and maxing out the nested reply levels! Thanks for explaining this complex and important legal principle again.

        • Matt- attorneys have a special duty to their clients called a fiduciary duty. This exists whether or not the client is paying you. An attorney has other remedies, including withdrawing from the case in certain circumstances, if they are not being paid, but doing an incompetent job because the client can’t afford to pay you more is not allowed. Part of the fiduciary duty (and an attorney’s ethical obligation) is providing a diligent representation. If the law is such that contacting a potential alibi witness is required to be considered effective then the attorney needs to contact that witness and worry about being paid for it later.

          I don’t do criminal law, but if your client’s case hinges on understanding cell phone records and cell tower evidence, then the attorney needs to do that. The law and rules of ethics are less concerned that an attorney is getting paid than it is about the client getting diligent representation. Ability to pay is something an attorney needs to consider before agreeing to take on a client. If you can’t retain an expert because of lack of funds, you need to let your client know that and let them make an informed decision about whether or not to come up with the money.

          It’s also not an excuse for the attorney to say “I didn’t have time to adequately prepare a defense.” It’s the attorney’s obligation to not overload themselves to the point where they can’t do an effective job.

          Attorneys are held to a higher standard than people in other jobs. Excuses that would fly in other professions don’t in the law.

          That said, all of this is based on an attorney’s ethical obligations. I don’t know how much overlap there is between ethical obligations and what is legally considered “ineffective assistance.”

  23. Hey miss Simpson. I just listened to undisclosed and you said something crazy. Which is that adnan was not as cathy’s house on the evening of Jan. 13th 19999! That makes no damn sense, miss Simpson, because the tower pings near cathys place took place on that same date and time! Do you even read the comments section of your blog two days later after your last post or we talking to ourselves?

  24. Constant layers of bullshit. I cannot understand why the state is allowed to get away with this. I studied law in England and I only have a passing understanding of the American legal system but I think there really should be an inquiry into the conduct of state law officers in Maryland.

    On the evidence presented or better still the lack of it, I can see Adnan walking after a retrial.

  25. Why wouldn’t Justin move for a Rule 11 sanction on Thiru for some of these blatant misrepresentations (assuming they were also briefed)? Too distracting from the main issue? I think it would help flush out these lies even more, although I am no litigator.

  26. Susan, I have seen your requests on Twitter for a reasonable explanation of TV’s conspiracy theory regarding Asia’s letters, so I am going to do my best to try to provide one. Please note first that this is only based on information I have learned from Twitter, Periscope and the various updates from Undisclosed and Truth & Justice. Also, this comes with the full disclosure that I am firmly on the #FreeAdnan bandwagon and believe in his innocence. Here is the theory:

    Asia wrote a letter on March 2 telling Adnan that “I saw you in the library,” (wink wink), “maybe there are cameras there” and “contact me if you want someone to account for lost time between 2:15 and 8:00,” (hint hint: I’ll lie for you). The next day, the defense investigator spoke with Officer Steve and discovered that there were no cameras in the library. Adnan receives the letter from Asia some time before meeting with Chris Flohr on March 9. He comes up with an idea to take Asia up on her offer to provide a false alibi for him, so he asks Chris about how to send letters from jail and how they are scrutinized. Adnan sends a letter to Asia asking her to type up a letter providing him with a fake alibi. For whatever reason, perhaps he includes information from his search warrant in his request. Asia complies with Adnan’s request and sends him the second letter, backdated to March 3 to hide the fact that she was writing it at Adnan’s request. When Christina Gutierrez comes on the scene, she sees these two letters, along with the notes from the investigator from March 3 (figuring he found out there actually are not cameras in the library) and Chris’s notes from March 9th and, being the superstar attorney that she is, figures out that the second letter is a fake alibi. She decides not to even contact Asia because she does not want to solicit perjury or otherwise assist in the scheme for the false alibi.

    I am aware that there are numerous holes in this theory, but it is the best I can come up with!

      • I have to agree; both of the State’s main arguments: that Adnan conspired with Jay, and that Adnan conspired with Asia, rely on the assumption that Adnan is this masterfully manipulative criminal who is at the same time completely inept at executing any given plan. Like some sort of bumbling bank-robber from a kid’s show, which is just as ridiculous as it sounds.

        However, I think some of the commenters who are attacking TV are missing some important points: First, TV is in the same shoes as CG was. It was NOT on him to prove guilt at this hearing, it was on the Defense to prove reasonable doubt in the standing verdict. Just like CG “didn’t care” about some of the details, maybe TV doesn’t feel that he needs to care either, because he believed fully that the Defense’s burden of proof wouldn’t be met. CG felt that way – that the opposing case was weak so she didn’t need to try very hard. Ultimately, as we have seen already, these are detrimental presumptions for any trial lawyer and they will very likely not be able to “win” with this MO.

        Second, Hae’s family understandably believes in the standing verdict, and has an emotional, deep stake in maintaining the ruling – this is the pressure that TV/ the State is under. Remember that although lots of people will be happy to see Adnan vindicated, it would mean something very different to Hae’s family: either a) the State failed them from the very beginning and Hae’s murderer will never be known after so much time and incompetence, or b) the State failed them now to keep her killer in prison and Adnan is walking away after doing this horrible thing. I believe TV is absolutely obligated to fight this all the way to the end, regardless of what evidence he has before him (and regardless if he thinks this theory of the case is wrong), and those who say the State/TV should just let it go are not considering that the number one victim in this case is still Hae – not withstanding ethical concerns, TV is under that pressure to stay on the side of the victim’s family no matter what. This is precisely what he means by “restoring faith” in the system.

        Caveat: I am not making excuses for TV’s tactics – I agree that tax-paid officials such as him should be held to ethical standards above all else, and that he is failing in that responsibility – but we should all be prepared for a very long, often nonsensical battle from the State because that’s really his/their only choice at this point.

  27. I am looking forward to the transcripts from the hearing. Thiru makes it sound like the state knocked it out of the park in the press conference. The Twitter feed, even from objective journalists, pointed to a five day endless “hypothetical, what if” waste of time. Seems like Justin wiped the floor with Thiru.

  28. Susan, if Adnan is granted a new trial, would the State’s case have to be based on the same evidence and timeline as the original trial where he was convicted, or does the State have an option to try a different angle and different evidence?

    • I’ve assumed that they can throw in anything in terms of evidence, timeline, motive, in a new trial……however, it would come at a price in terms of assessing the credibility of the State’s case. Can you imagine the scene, as Jay is cross-examined over his 20th version of the events of that afternoon? It would be horrendous. An embarrassment.

  29. This reminds me of my brother’s conviction. https://www.gofundme.com/freepatch Why ineffective counsel is allowed is unconscionable. My brothers lawyer sent all the defense witnesses home without testifying and did all he possibly could to help the state get a conviction. He never even subpoenaed the neighbors who were eyewitnesses and made 911 calls that night.

  30. Pingback: Lazy Sunday #1 | Paula Acton

  31. I don’t understand how Thiru can make claims about cell-phone evidence that isn’t supported by any actual evidence. How in the world is he able to get away with this?

  32. Aloha Susan and all!

    Susan a remarkable conclusion as usual!
    I just want to say, that, “what is said in darkness, will come to light.” This is part of a prayer I sent Adnan, it’s called a,”going to court,” prayer…
    I hope he got it in time😊
    I really cannot se the point in the prosecutions case, I don’t even remember if they quoted and cases?
    I surley hope the Judge reads between the lies/lines!

  33. You three have accused many members of the legal profession in trying to get Adnan out and get him a citizen of the year award. If you’re case doesn’t go the way you want it, who will you blame at that point? Will the Judge be included in the conspiracy theories, tap tap tap, or will this go higher than that, the attorney general, perhaps?
    I know Thiru. He’s smarter than you, Colin and Rabia put together. He doesn’t have time to waste to assassinate your character, you’re kind of a nothing in the legal community, like most Agnes Scott/GW grads, no offense, but that doesn’t mean karma isn’t going to bite you in the ass. You believe you’re fighting the good fight but you seem to forget, Thiru, his family, etc., the cops, their families, they didn’t murder an 18 yo girl. You treat them like they did.
    You’re and ugly person, inside and out.

    • If Thiru is smarter than 3 other lawyers put together, why did he only cite one case at the PCR? Why didn’t he put witnesses on the stand who could prove all his theories and conjectures? That’s what a smart lawyer does.

      • I think Thiru is smart enough to know this: There’s an old legal aphorism that goes, “If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the hypotheticals [table].”

        • Yeah, ain’t really much more the best lawyer in the world could’ve done there. That’s not on Thiru. You can invent hypotheticals, but you can’t conjure up witnesses and case law if they don’t exist in the first place.

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