Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Meehan Cross-Examination

p. 5: "Non-probative" specimens there in his May 12 report--therefore not withholding anything.

[Why, then, didn't Meehan or Nifong make this point in the Dec. 15 hearing?]

"This was a poor choice of words, and I shouldn't have used it."

"Was a surprise to me that nobody reacted" to his non-probative claim--just assumed everyone would be able to identify it.

[It's the defense lawyers' fault for not figuring out his language!]

Meehan: DSI now has a new policy--record meetings with "clients." Did not do so with Nifong.

Meehan, as he did in the Dec. 15 hearing, continues to desperately claim that he was not trying to hide anything with his report.

As in his Dec. 15 hearing, makes his bank comparison--no DNA after a crime just like robbing a bank without leaving fingerprints.

Freedman: can have no DNA if improperly collected?
Meehan: yes

But, of course, lots of DNA did survive.

In an odd line of cross-examination, David Freedman is suggesting that some or much of the DNA found on Crystal Mangum might not have come from sexual contact--and might have come from mishandling the evidence. [Meehan: evidence was not mishandled.]

[Even if true, the issue is irrelevant--the question is why Nifong didn't turn it over.]

Freedman is exploring at considerable depth the possibility that the evidence was mishandled.

Freedman is now trying to blame Meehan and Meehan alone for the incomplete nature of the report.

Meehan: Nifong never asked him to conceal anything in the report.

[NC statutes are clear: subjects of an NTO order must receive all test results from NTO as soon as practically possible. Freedman seems to be skating over this point.]

Meehan: has never done an "interim report" before. Probably has prepared more than 2000 reports. Has never prepared an "interim report" in any other case.

[Freedman appears to have violated a lawyers' maxim of never to ask a question to which you don't know the answer.]

Meehan appears to equate "non-probative" evidence with "exculpatory" evidence.

Admits that Nifong asked him to write a letter for the court outlining Meehan's objections to handing over discovery.

Meehan: at 12-15 hearing, his answers were factual and accurate--but his listeners misunderstood him.

--Objective of the report was set out by Nifong.

"Non-probative" reference was included by Meehan--Nifong never asked for it.

--calls Nifong a "good student" about DNA

--"absolutely not" that May 12 report was a final report--but Nifong never asked for one.

Meehan: Nifong encouraged that male DNA there, but claims he wasn't upset that non-lacrosse player DNA was present.

"Certain" that they spoke of this issue in the 4-21 or 5-12 meetings.

Williamson: Did Nifong ask you to follow up on this information?
Meehan: No additional follow-up we could do.
Nifong said there were "other reference specimens" to be sent in--but, of course, these didn't match, either.

Meehan told Meehan on "multiple times" that there was unidentified male DNA.

Nifong never explicitly said that May 12 report wasn't a final report.

Nifong initially was excited that DNA was present. But Meehan has no recollection of Nifong reacting to discovery of non-players' matches.

Meehan claims that unidentified DNA was probably "benign"--comparable to kindergarten stduents' DNA on their teacher(!!). Some of Mangum's male DNA came from a rectal swab.

Williamson: In any other rape cases, have you ever limited this to just reference specimens?

Meehan: Zero.

W'mson: How many reports have you done?

Meehan Over 100.

Meehan concedes "this is the only report of its kind we have ever issued." But said this didn't concern him. Nifong's request "didn't send off any bells." His excuse? "This was an unusual case before we got it."

Meehan: discussed unidentified male DNA in all three face-to-face meetings with him.

April 21--talked about putting the Evans fingernail item into the report.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

What if that so-called "non-probative" DNA was from the real rapists?

Anonymous said...

Trinity '89

Are they trying to imply that something still happened BUT no DNA was transferred???

Anonymous said...

Freedman and Fong are miserable MFers. These smear attempts aren't going to save them, just upset more people who already hate them. Keep digging A-HOLE

Anonymous said...

re they trying to imply that something still happened BUT no DNA was transferred???

That's the condom / broomstick "possibility".

Anonymous said...

I am really puzzled why these witnesses do not assert fifth. are they under oath?

Bella said...

This is infuriating. It seems like the current line of questioning is implying that "something did happen". And now this ass of a lawyer is trying to imply that the DNA found on her underwear was from transfer!!!! GAH! How Rae Evans can sit there and remain composed is beyond me. I might have pulled a VP by now.

The Drill SGT said...

Anonymous said...
re they trying to imply that something still happened BUT no DNA was transferred???

That's the condom / broomstick "possibility".


The dog don't hunt.

She was, how do you say it? experienced?

She claimed that they wore no condoms and ejaculated in her mouth (and everywhere else). she claimed to have tasted it, and she had some experience. She did not shower, douche, brush her teeth, and went fairly directly to the hospital.

DNA from the rape absolutely should have been there from the attackers unless she lied. Nobody questioned the issue.

Anonymous said...

KC - I saw you in the back of the courtroom at WRAL - Thanks for the work.

Bella said...

By transfer, I mean, people handling the underwear...not by sexual contact. Nevermind she had a veritable sperm bank inside of her...

Anonymous said...

The condoms would leave their own footprint = as would the broom. The broom would have caused massive internal and external damage, she would have been in surgery for hours and rehab for weeks.

Anonymous said...

Why is the Bar even allowing these questions to be asked??

Tim said...

Good Lord. is it just me, or is Freedman a lousy attorney?

Anonymous said...

Be clear - your analysis (and mine, for that matter) of the credibility of the condom/broomstick theory doesn't matter.

What is happening here, I think, is that the defense is trying to make the case that the lack of lax DNA did NOT automatically imply no assault could have happened.

Anonymous said...

I still think the bar is doing a terrible job with Meehan, letting him cover himself while not giving up Nifong or saying anything incriminating.

Anonymous said...

If Nifong thinks the DNA was mishandled, why didn't he indicate this before now?

Space Puppy

Anonymous said...

What is the point of trying to say the evidence was mishandled?

That Nifong thought all the results were bogus and unreliable and that's why he didn't turn it over to the defense?

Seems a bit late in the game to be using this tactic when he never brought it up in any of his previous excuses.

I believe he is a crazy person and wants to make it seem like the boys might be guilty, otherwise, what does this line get him?

Anonymous said...

Nifong's lawyers are trying the wrong case.

Anonymous said...

Meehan is a mealy mouthed scientist who has already contradicted himself and admitted using poor choices of words.
Any good lawyer should be able to get him to say just about anything.

If Freedman is worth his salt he'll have this whole thing pegged on Meehan.

What the bar needs to do is refer to the 60 Minuntes interview in which Meehan said he had never produced a report like that ever before. If that's the case then why did he do it in this instance and who's idea was it?

If the answer is Nifong then that's all we need to know.

Furthermore I think some of this is overkill. It has been established that all parties knew about the DNA (and lack of it) before indictments were handed down. There's only one person responsible for passing that info to the defense.

Anonymous said...

bogus/unreliable handling of DNA is still exculpatory

maybe they're trying to set it up so some contorted line-of-thought could see the edema finding as proof of a crime and they need to establish that some vacuous thought process could discard all the DNA that was found

of course, none of this really has much to do with the Bar charges...

Anonymous said...

KC wrote:
Meehan: has never done an "interim report" before. Probably has prepared more than 2000 reports. Has never prepared an "interim report" in any other case.

This is the whole point. Meehan has never ever made a report like this before. So, who's idea was it? I think we all know the answer.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone managed to keep count of the DNA excuses -- must be getting near 20!

Anonymous said...

The Fifth amendment does not apply as this is an administrative proceeding by the Bar Association and not a criminal trial (although it looks like a trial). The Bar probably has no authority to compel witnesses to testify, although attorneys who did not participate could be sanctioned or disbarred.

Anonymous said...

I believe the whole "was DNA there due to mishandling" line of questioning has already been ruled out with regard to the results of multiple male non-lax DNA being found. I recall reading in one of Mr. Bannon's posts that the entire chain of handling of all the rape kit evidence was coincidentally entirely female. So no male DNA could have been left on any of the evidence from mishandling.

mb said...

Anonymous 3:18 said: "Nifong's lawyers are trying the wrong case."

Exactly what I was thinking.

Anonymous said...

"Meehan: at 12-15 hearing, his answers were factual and accurate--but his listeners misunderstood him."

This brings into doubt his previous testimony as a witness in all prior cases as an expert.

Anonymous said...

"trying the wrong case"

You just missed Cash on national TV telling the world that Durham dimwits still think "something happened in that house"

This is the absolute best they can do and the N.C. Bar is letting them get away with it.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

They haven't 'gotten away with it' unless Nifong gets off.

What's happening in this hearing is not the same thing as bloggers do. There WILL most likely be a court challenge if Nifong loses. Therefore it is absolutely critical that the panel allow attempts at diversion, so that no claim can be made that Nifong was prevented from putting forth defense arguments of relevance to the issue.

Anonymous said...

Trying to watch the proceedings on Court-TV, but the various hosts keep interrupting - and with some of the most repetitive and vacuous comments ever uttered by alumni of Valley Girl Near-College.

They obviously believe their own inane words to be infinitely more important than anything said in the actual proceeding.

And now I remember why I deprogrammed Court-TV when I set up the Sony in the first place.

Anyway, Mr. Nifong was not sitting quite as arrogantly as he did yesterday.

Anonymous said...

The Bar so far is indeed disappointing. Barely touch on the Dec. 15 hearing testimony of Meehan and allow that little weasel to drive the testimony. Can't the Bar put in some heavy hitters?

Anonymous said...

My guess is that if they bring in any heavy hitters who weren't already on the right committees etc. that Nifong will claim Joe Cheshire is behind it all.

I think the bar has totally missed the boat on Meehan's testimony and allowed him to make claims that they shouldn't.

THey should be hammering him on this interim report stuff, asking him why in the 2001 case did he issue an interim report, is he sure this report and its contents weren't the final report, and is he sure Nifong didn't ask him to configure it the way he did.

At this point, Nifong might not get more than a sanction.

Anonymous said...
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mac said...

Legal question(s):

Can a disbarrment be appealed?

On what grounds?

Do they need grounds?

Does an appeal go into the
regular court system, or does it
stay sort of extra-legal?

Anonymous said...

4:04

Go ahead and make fun of me, I've seen PLENTY of trials where clearly guilty people got off because of poor showings by the prosecution.

So by all means, feel free to be totaly smug that Nifong isn't going to be able to weasel out of this.

Anonymous said...

Meehan is an idiot!! He danced around the "juror question" like it was a hot coal! He must really love the 'Fong.

Anonymous said...

On court TV Dr. Saunders seems to understand the situation at least.

Of course I would be incredibly busy this week and scarcely able to watch any of it.

Lack of probable cause IS the most significant issue, of course. Surely the Bar does not believe that if (1) Mr. Nifong had not make the prejudicial pre-trial statements and (2) he had turned over all the DNA evidence in a proper manner, there would be no issue of wrongdoing here and the Bar would have nothing to examine. Why did the State Bar not amend to include the problem with probable cause? Or are we to conclude that the threshold for establishing probable cause is so low it requires only the accusations of a person known to be mentally ill, unstable, and somewhat criminally inclined? Good grief.

Observer

Anonymous said...

Williamson is on an 'absence of evidence' path. An absense of evidence goes to the sensitivity of the tests used by the lab. But the other DNA is evidence of absence, and that is exculpatory. He's great.
Mee-han isn't the point. Williamson is getting to Nifong's behavior and judgment.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

re: MAC

I am not an attorney nor do I live in NC, but what I have read is:

Can a disbarrment be appealed?

Yes.

On what grounds?

Errors of law in the hearing.

Do they need grounds?

My understanding is yes, but I have not read a direct answer to this.

Does an appeal go into the
regular court system, or does it
stay sort of extra-legal?


Appeals go to the state appeal courts and then the state supreme court.

Anonymous said...

JLS says....,

I guess after this witness is done it will be pretty well established that before some of Nifong's statements he knew there was no DNA match????

Anonymous said...

Re: "The Fifth amendment does not apply as this is an administrative proceeding by the Bar Association and not a criminal trial (although it looks like a trial). The Bar probably has no authority to compel witnesses to testify, although attorneys who did not participate could be sanctioned or disbarred."


The Bar DOES have subpoena power. Therefore, if a witness is subpoenaed, he or she may take the 5th. The 5th applies to any proceeding where you are being compelled to testify. Recent example: Monica Goodling took the 5th at a Congessional hearing, and she only could be compelled to testify after they gave her immunity.

Ken Duke

Anonymous said...

All Meehan's testimony today showed is that he is an idiot. He had never provided a report like this before (one that just happened to exclude exculpatory info) and he just assumed this was something this unique case needed and he would be asked for a full report later on.

Yeah, it had nothing to do with trying to frame 3 innocent guys. What a knucklehead.

Anonymous said...

Sweetmick says: The most improbable testimony so far was when Meehan told Nifong that he had found male DNA on Crystal's panties and rectal swabs that did not belong to any of the lacrosse players. Meehan said that Nifong responded, "GOOD". Together with his kindergarten teacher analogy, and his claim of being misinterpreted at the Dec 15 hearing, you know he is in bed with Nifong.

Anonymous said...

What is happening here is the Bar is proving quilt. They still believe in the innocent until proven quilty.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only guy who wishes the bar were a little tougher? Some of those guys look like C+ students or something. Have they read the entire case before the proceedings? I'd love to see someone like Rudy Guiliani have a crack at Nifong.