At 8:45 in the morning, in front of the gate of the court.
Adam Bard is a new public defender. He was assigned to defend a young man accused of murder. Today is his first appearance in court. Today’s task is simple. The prosecutor will file an indictment on behalf of the state government, and he will plead not guilty on behalf of the client Ronald Pearl.
“Aha, you must be Bard’s lawyer, the defendant’s agent?” a tall, white-haired man greeted him actively.
“Yes, are you?”
“Charles Belkamp, State Attorney.”
“It’s nice to meet you.” Bud held out his hand.
“It’s easy to say. If your client is Ronald Pearl, I suggest you consider a plea agreement. In this case, we can ask the court to sentence him to 15 to 30 years in prison. If he behaves well, he may be in prison. He was released after serving fifteen years in prison.”
“Mr. Charles, I have not seen the person involved, nor do I know the details of this case, but I will remember your proposal.”
“Okay, I will give you time. This is your first case, and I don’t want you to ruin your future. I have been working on cases like Pearl for nearly 20 years. I can totally convince you. The jury sentenced him to life imprisonment unless you consider a plea agreement and enter into a plea bargain.”
Bud was about to answer when he was suddenly interrupted.
“All stand up! Judge Roger Parson appeared in court to preside over the trial.” The bailiff shouted.
“You can sit down.” Judge Parson knocked the gavel and sat down.
Both lawyers are still standing.
The judge raised his head and stared at Bud through his glasses: “You must be Mr. Bud?”
“Yes, Your Honor.”
“Mr. Judge, the defendant has brought it.” The bailiff interrupted.
Bud turned around and saw a tall young black man wearing an orange tracksuit.
“Ronald Pearl, Mr. Bard is the lawyer appointed to you by the court because you have said that you cannot afford a lawyer. This is the first time you two met. I can give you time to get to know each other. At any time, if you I think Mr. Bard can apply to the court to change his lawyer without fair representation. Do you understand?”
“Very good. Attorney Bard, Pearl was charged with the murder of Wangdan Brewer on June 21, 2015. What defense are you prepared to defend?”
“Innocent defense!” Bud replied.
“Mr. Pearl, your lawyer has pleaded not guilty, do you agree?”
“Okay, the court will study the case and arrange a date for the trial.” The judge said, knocking on the gavel, and got up from his chair.
Bud looked at his watch and turned to Pearl and said, “I’m going to have a cup of coffee, about half an hour, and then I will come back to talk to you.”
“Okay.” Pearl smiled.
In the cafe, Bud sorted out Pearl’s case again. Pearl, thirty years old, single, cook, had no criminal record before being arrested. According to the police, the victim Wang Dan was attacked and killed while jogging along the Mulika River. The police believed it was rape and murder because Pearl’s DNA was found on Wang Dan’s waistband and his DNA was also found in the part of her throat where she was strangled.
After the incident, an eyewitness told the police that a black man had fished nearby. The police found an empty coffee cup and a paper bag with the “Sally Restaurant” logo on it.
The coffee cup and paper bag were sent to the forensic laboratory. After testing, the DNA on it matched the foreign DNA on the victim. The police immediately went to Sally’s restaurant to investigate and found Ronald Pearl in the kitchen that matched the witness’s description. After testing, Pearl’s DNA sample matched the DNA of the victim.
After drinking the coffee, Bud went to the detention center behind the court and waited for the bailiff to bring Pearl over.
Soon, Pearl was brought in.
“The bailiff, you can take off his handcuffs, and I will take responsibility.” Bud said.
The bailiff took off his handcuffs and left the room. Pearl stood for a while, rubbed his wrists, and then sat down at the table.
“When the police took you for an interview, did they ask you to provide a DNA sample?”
“How old are you?”
“Just turned thirty.”
“date of birth?”
“It should be July 14, 1986.”
“Are you not sure about your birthday?”
“Not sure. I was adopted. My mother always celebrated my birthday on September 9th because it was the day when she adopted me.”
“The chef at Sally’s restaurant.”
“Who is the boss?”
“How long have you been working there?”
“Almost three years.”
“Oh, do you like fishing?”
“I have never fished.”
“How far is it from the restaurant to the Mulika River?”
“I don’t know, maybe two to three kilometers.”
“Do you know what DNA is?”
“As far as I know, it seems to be related to cells and genes. No two people have the same genes.”
“Almost. Can you tell me how your DNA appeared on the victim’s throat and clothes?”
“do not know.”
“I think someone put it deliberately.”
“do not know.”
“Have you been arrested before?”
“Please listen clearly, Mr. Pearl, the prosecutor has offered you a deal called a plea agreement. As long as you plead guilty of second-degree murder, he will let you serve fifteen to thirty years in prison and promise you fifteen. Get out of jail after one year. What do you think?”
“I disagree, Mr. Lawyer, I didn’t kill anyone.”
“Okay. You know, the prosecutor will launch a fierce attack. He has police investigation reports, laboratory test reports, eyewitnesses, DNA test results and expert witnesses, etc. We are very passive. In order to defeat this strong opponent, I want to ask you a very important question, did you kill anyone?”
“Sir, I never killed anyone!”
Back at the law firm, colleagues are very concerned about the progress of the case.
“Man, how did it feel to be in court for the first time?” Director Cummings asked.
“State Attorney Charles has the initiative.” Bud replied.
“He has good cards in his hand, especially the DNA evidence.”
“Did he make a plea agreement with you?”
“Thank you, fifteen to thirty years, you can come out after fifteen years.”
“Oh, what did your client say?”
“He refused, and he assured me that he was innocent.”
“Do you have any idea?”
“I have to go to the law library as soon as possible to find DNA information.”
“I suggest you check the website of Project Zhaoxue, it should be helpful to you.”
“Okay, thank you Director.”
The biggest problem currently facing is the discovery of Pearl’s DNA in the victim. The prosecutor will definitely hold on to this point, and Bud has no way to refute him. At present, it is necessary to find out the defects of this DNA, such as whether the extraction is legal, whether the test is reasonable, whether the source is reliable, etc. At the same time, look for evidence of Pearl’s absence on the spot.
Lawyers have access to the court’s electronic files to find out whether Pearl has a criminal record.
Open the “Zhaoxue Project” website, a notice pops up on the page: The Zhaoxue Project is a non-profit legal organization dedicated to exempting people from wrongful convictions through DNA testing, and is committed to reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustices.
The website recorded examples of DNA extraction or testing due to errors, and concluded that when the FBI reviewed the national DNA database, it found nearly 170 possible errors, such as handwriting errors and laboratory technicians’ interpretation errors. Wait.
He suddenly became interested and continued to read: “These errors will cover up the source of clues and mislead investigators. Harvey Kramer, a professor of biology at Winslow College, said that there are errors in the database, and there are actually 166 errors. The instances have conflicts at a single point, and the DNA profiles in the database are almost the same.”
He wrote down Professor Harvey Kramer’s name. At this time, someone sent a letter, a pathology report.
The body was an 18-year-old white female. The cause of death was suffocation. The time of death was approximately 9 am on June 21, 2015.
Bud fell into deep thought, and Cummings came over and said, “Bad, your burden is very heavy now. I will find a helper for you. Her name is Nancy Milner. She has just graduated from law school. She is very smart and also Very charming.”
“Haha, thank you.” Bud laughed.
“Mr. Budd?” Twenty minutes later, a female voice interrupted his thinking. He raised his head and saw a blonde girl with a height of 1.68 meters and a pair of big dark blue eyes standing in front of him.
“Yes, it’s me.”
“Director Cummings has assigned me to be your assistant. Please advise.”
“Do you understand this case?”
“I don’t fully understand.”
“Please sit down. I will tell you what I know so far. I hope you will find some court cases, which is the kind where the defendant was convicted of DNA and was later overturned. Can you find it?”
“No problem. Mr. Cummings said, you want to know the latest knowledge of DNA, especially the role of DNA in criminal cases.”
“Yes, what do you think?”
“DNA can be damaged by many things, such as DNA damage caused by natural causes, mutations and aging; in addition, oxidants, alkylating agents, high-energy electromagnetic radiation, such as ultraviolet and X-rays, can also damage DNA.”
“Oh, but the case didn’t mention DNA damage. What’s more difficult at the moment is that the victim’s DNA was found on the victim’s throat, back of the neck, and shorts.”
“Have you heard of the Simmons case in California?”
“Connors was murdered, and the DNA samples collected at the crime scene matched George Simmons’s after testing, so the police arrested him. Later, his defense lawyer did a lot of investigations and found that the morning of the crime George Simmons was already in the hospital. Coincidentally, the two medical staff who carried Simmons happened to be the two medical staff who came to the murder scene to rescue the victim Connors. The DNA was brought to the scene and the victim.”
“What a fantasy, Simmons was acquitted in the end?”
“Okay, now we are partners. You can find information about Professor Harvey Kramer. He is a famous geneticist and a professor at Winslow College. I hope he can become our expert witness.”
“I also want to visit the victim’s jogging path and the crime scene on the spot, and then go to Sally’s restaurant and chat with Pearl’s acquaintances.”
“Okay, can I make a suggestion?”
“The background of the victim Wang Dan also needs to be made clearer. For example, did she know Pearl, why she ran that way, why she chose that time and so on.”
“Good idea, I will ask the director to find another private investigator to assist us.”
Two weeks later, Bud, Cummings, and Nancy sat in the office and listened to Frank, a private investigator hired by the Office of the Public Defender, to report on Wang Dan’s situation.
“I went to Flange Borough and met the Breuer and his wife of the victim Wang Dan’s parents. Wang Dan was eighteen years old and had just graduated from high school. She had been admitted to Temple University in Philadelphia. According to her parents, she was physically Healthy, is a runner, likes to jog along the banks of Mulika River on weekends.
“The following content may be more interesting to you. Before every run, she drives to Sally’s restaurant, eats pancakes, and puts a lot of butter and syrup on them. If you don’t have pancakes, eat donuts, coffee, and cream. And sugar, etc. After every run, she would rest in the car for a while, and then pour coffee or tea from the thermos. That’s the situation. Next, I will try to answer your questions.”
“How long did she run?” Bud asked.
“For several years, I usually run on Sundays.”
“Don’t run normally?”
“Oh, what you said is basically consistent with our information. The autopsy report said that he was killed on Sunday, June 21. I have to check if there is a thermos in the victim’s car.”
“Why?” Nancy asked.
“The thermos can tell us if she went to the restaurant early in the morning as usual.”
At eight o’clock the next morning, which is also a Sunday, Bud and Nancy came to the trail by the Mulika River.
“Sir, what are we looking for?”
“Find where the eyewitness said Pearl was fishing, and where Wangdan was killed.”
The roadside is full of dogwoods in full bloom, and the milkweed in the swamp shows pink petals. When they rounded a bend, a large blue heron suddenly flew from the shallow water, flapping its wings frantically, trying to avoid the intruder.
“It should be here. I stepped on it many times and consolidated the soil. This is also the only place nearby where you can throw the fishing line into deep water.” Bud said.
“Well, it makes sense.”
“We should find places with bushes and weeds.”
“It seems to be right in front.”
They speeded up, and soon entered a bush and weeds. The yellow tape used by the police to protect the crime scene was faintly visible.
“It’s here. The murderer attacked Wang Dan, dragged her here, and tried to pull her shorts, but failed. As a result, she became angry and strangled her to death.”
After watching the scene, they drove to the Sally restaurant and sat down in a seat next to the window. The waitress handed them two glasses of water and the menu.
“Is Boss Sally here?” Bud asked.
“Please tell her that Attorney Bard would like to talk to her. Please come over when it is convenient for her.”
The restaurant is very spacious, the door to the kitchen is revolving, and the restroom is not far away.
“Hello, is it Mr. Bud?” Bud quickly turned his head and saw a woman about fifty years old with short, thick blond hair that was not natural, and might be used to cover up the white hair on her head.
“This is Sally Burns, are you looking for me?”
“Yes, I’m bothering you, can I sit down and talk? I won’t take up too much time. First of all, please allow me to introduce to you my assistant, Miss Nancy, who is Ronald Pearl’s agent. Can you tell me how long he has worked for you?”
“About three years.”
“You should know that he was arrested on suspicion of murder, right.”
“Yes it is.”
“Do you know Wang Dan, the victim?”
“Yes, she’s a regular customer. She usually comes here on weekends to have a hearty breakfast and fill the thermos with hot coffee.”
“Which position does she usually sit in?”
“On the high stool in front of the counter.”
“Is it the stool on the side of the kitchen door or the stool in the bathroom?”
“Rely on the kitchen.”
“Do you mind if we look at your kitchen?”
“Okay, please follow me.”
A few minutes later, Bud found Pearl in the kitchen where he was standing and working in front of the grill. She watched the waitress approach and walk through the revolving kitchen door. He noticed that every time the door was opened, Pearl could see the high stool on the side of the kitchen on the side of the bar.
He turned to Sally: “Do employees have separate toilets?”
“No, the restrooms are shared.”
“Does Pearl have holidays?”
“Yes, every Sunday.”
“Oh, yes, thank you very much.”
After returning to the dinner table, Bud said to Nancy: “Perl’s job position is where Wang Dan can be seen. He can use the opportunity to go to the bathroom and enter the restaurant where customers eat.”
“Are you suing Pearl or defending him?”
“I’m worried that prosecutors and police will pay attention to this. We have to think about the problem from the perspective of the opponent, and then look for countermeasures, right?”
“It makes sense.”
“Professor Kramer contacted?”
“No. He has retired. I heard that he lives in a place called Havel Grace in Maryland. I’m looking for his phone number.”
Two days later, Nancy made an appointment to talk to Dr. Kramer on the phone. In order to find Kramer, she called all the fixed telephones in the Havel Grace area, and finally found his cousin, and then contacted him.
At two o’clock in the afternoon, Bud called.
“Hello, Professor Kramer, my name is Adam Bard, and I am currently defending a murder suspect. I have read your paper and you said that government departments have made many mistakes in DNA.”
“To be honest, I don’t want DNA evidence to be mechanically used in litigation. I’m sorry, I have retired, and I don’t want to have any academic conflicts with friends and colleagues. I hope you can understand.”
“I understand your thoughts, thank you for answering my call.” After speaking, Bud hung up and turned to Nancy. “At least we tried.”
“Well, I will always keep his phone number.”
In the reception room, Bud watched the defendant Pearl eating ham, cheese, and sandwiches.
“Now we are in a defensive position. I wanted to find an expert witness, but unfortunately I didn’t succeed. I talked to your boss and she promised to testify in court. She told me that the day Wang Dan was killed was Sunday, and you happened to be that day. On vacation, isn’t it?” Bud asked.
“I remember that I only got up at eleven that morning, and then went to the house of my girlfriend Violet Bier in Egg Harbor.”
“Well, where is your birthplace?”
“Newark, New Jersey.”
“You have never had a criminal record?”
“Well, do you need anything else?”
“The food here is not good.”
Bud took out his wallet from his trouser pocket and handed Pearl a ten-dollar bill.
Twenty minutes later, Bud returned to the office, and the prosecutor called.
“Mr. Bard, I think you haven’t provided any valuable evidence to the court. It’s better to consider the matter of plea bargaining.”
“Thank you for your kindness and professionalism, Mr. Charles, not considering it at this time.”
“Oh, you’re welcome, I’m always waiting for your call. If you really don’t think about it, then see you in court.”
“There will be a period later.”
After a while, Nancy came in and told him that he had contacted the Department of Children and Families and obtained the names of adoption agencies in Virginia, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Because Pearl said he was born in Newark, she focused on New Jersey.
Copies of the prosecutor’s prosecution materials were also served, and Bud hurriedly studied to see which cards the other party had. The prosecution found geneticist Dr. Elko as an expert witness, as well as two eyewitnesses. They both saw Pearl fishing on the banks of the Mulika River on the day of the crime. Of course, the most important thing is that the victim has Pearl’s DNA. The prosecutor didn’t even mention the restaurant owner Sally and Pearl’s girlfriend Bier.
“It seems that Charles intends to rely solely on DNA evidence. He may be overconfident that I, a novice, will accept his deal sooner or later.”
Nancy entered the keyword “Elko” on the website and quickly found his information: a graduate student, using X-ray crystallography to study the three-dimensional structure of RNA. This structure can encode DNA and give instructions to other parts of the cell.
The rain outside was warm and humid, but Bud’s mood was always heavy. Only three weeks have passed since the court session.
At this time, the private investigator Frank came to the office. He opened a small notebook and began to report on his investigation over the past few days.
“According to your instructions, I went to Bier. She said Pearl did go to her house that afternoon. I asked her why she remembered so clearly. She said that Pearl asked her to help with medicine that day. The thorn has been punctured and it has been bleeding.”
Bud shook his head helplessly. After Frank left, Nancy hurriedly asked, “What should I do?”
“Now we can’t put Bier on the witness stand. If she told the jury that Pearl was injured that day, it would be easy for the jurors to think of a murder case. How could our opponent miss such a good opportunity?”
“How is that good? The prosecutor will find out this clue sooner or later.”
“It depends on Pearl. He should tell us the truth about the scratch on his right hand.”
The guard sent a large envelope from the New Jersey Police Department. Bud opened it and saw it was a photo taken by the police, which read: Tardis Loveton.
“Fuck!” he couldn’t help shouting loudly.
“What’s the matter?” Nancy hurried over.
“Look, who is this?”
“Our client Ronald Pearl.”
“Wrong! It’s Tadis Loveton.”
“are you sure?”
“This man spent three years in Trenton Prison for theft. This is a portrait of him, very similar to Pearl.”
“No wonder, I found the birth records of Tyrone Loveton and Tadis Loveton at the adoption agency in New Jersey. Tyrone Loveton was born on July 14, 1989, July 15, 1989. Tadis Loveton was born again in Japan.” Nancy said.
“The two are separated by a day, is there a mistake in the record? How can the DNA of the two be distinguished?”
“There are ways to distinguish between the same DNA. Have you heard of the Bethillon identification method? Alfons Bethillon was the head of the criminal identification department of the Paris police agency, the world-recognized “father of fingerprint identification”, and the originator of western criminal investigation technology. He invented a criminal identification system called anthropometry, which can measure the following eleven data: the length of the left arm (from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger), the width of the arms extended, the length of the left middle finger and little finger , The length of the left foot, the length of the right ear, the diameter, length, width, sitting height and standing height of the head, eye color, physical characteristics (such as scars, moles, etc.), front and side portraits, plus the right hand The fingerprints and so on. Using the results of this measurement to identify the real murderer, it is said that the error rate is only one in 286 million.”
“Oh, this is a more professional question. Shall we ask Professor Kramer?”
Bud picked up the phone and dialed Professor Kramer’s number: “Hello professor, I am Bard’s lawyer. I’m sorry to disturb you again. We want to ask you some questions. Do you know Dr. Elko?”
“What’s wrong? Do you want him to appear in court as an expert witness?”
“No, he has been invited by the prosecutor.”
“Oh? Interesting, then I will be your expert witness!”
“Ah? Really? That’s great!” Bud almost jumped up with joy.
“Always can’t be free, you can come to my house tomorrow to talk.”
The meeting on the second day was spent in a relaxed and happy atmosphere. Professor Kramer told Bud that he could be asked in court about the DNA of single-egg twins. As for the expert witness of the prosecution, Dr. Elko, refuting his statement is nothing at all.
Bud and Nancy are both happy and doubtful. On the way home, Bud always felt that Pearl’s life experience had a problem.
“Nancy, I always think Pearl is hiding something, but I can’t be sure.”
“Oh? He dare to deceive us?”
In the interview room, Bud sat at the table, waiting for Pearl to remove the handcuffs as usual.
“are you OK?”
“It’s repeated here every day, it doesn’t matter what it is.” Perl answered.
“Look at this picture, who is he?”
Pearl stared at the photo for a long time, then handed it back to Bud: “I don’t know this person.”
“Really? I don’t know.”
“But looks exactly like you.”
“Whites look similar to blacks.”
“It’s possible that the person the two witnesses saw was not you, but this person.”
“Oh, but I don’t really know this person.”
“Okay. The trial will be held in two weeks. I’m desperately defending you, but you’re covering up.”
At 10 o’clock in the morning on October 3, the prosecution and the defense selected the jury members. Each has the right to challenge six times. Prosecutor Charles has used it twice.
“You see, we selected two African Americans, and he used the right to challenge them to remove them. It seems that he is looking for a pure white jury.” Bud said to Nancy.
“Well, but there are still seven black candidates, and he has four challenges left. This means that we can select at least three black candidates into the jury.”
“It makes sense. You have studied every candidate, which is good for us?”
“There are two. Doctor Benjamin Lamb and Teacher Teresa Harris.”
“Why are they?”
“The argument will definitely be fierce and requires professional knowledge. Lamb is a retired doctor and is familiar with DNA. Teresa is a biology teacher, and the two of them understand it. The expert witness must say something more profound.”
“It makes sense, what’s their number?”
“Theresa is number 7 and Lamb is number 33.”
“Okay, do you know number 15?”
“African American, porter, named Derek Johnson.”
At this time, Johnson took his seat. Bud walked to the jury and greeted: “Good morning, Mr. Johnson.”
“I want to thank you for coming here to fulfill your civic duty. Do you belong to any social or political group?”
“Member of Freemasonry.”
“I am also a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.”
“Thank you.” Bud walked back to his chair.
Next, prosecutor Charles asked, he directly rejected Derek Johnson.
By two o’clock in the afternoon, Charles had used up six challenges. Finally, he watched eagerly as Bud selected Teacher Theresa and Dr. Lamb into the jury, both of whom were African-American.
At three o’clock in the afternoon, the jury was formally established.
Prosecutor Charles first spoke to the jury: “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your hard work as citizens of this state. In the next trial, I will show some evidence and invite experts to express opinions and witnesses to testify in court. Later I will ask you to find the defendant guilty, first-degree murder, thank you.”
Bud got up from his chair and walked slowly to the jury table: “Ladies and gentlemen, I sincerely thank you for your dedication. Just now you heard the state attorney say how to produce evidence to prove the defendant’s guilt. At this moment, I ask you to recall the basic principles of the law. The defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty. I ask you to remember that according to the US Constitution and New Jersey law, my client will be regarded as an innocent person. Sitting in front of you, only you have the right to rule whether he is guilty. I believe you will fulfill your oath and rule objectively and impartially. Thank you.”
Judge Parson said: “Mr. Charles, you can call the first witness.”
“Thank you, Your Honor. My first witness is Officer George Benson.”
Officer Benson walked to the witness stand. The prosecutor stepped forward and asked: “Police officer, please tell the court your position and your working years.”
“Okay. I am a patrolman and have worked in the police station for three years.”
“On the morning of June 21, 2015, were you on duty?”
“Yes it is.”
“What special happened?”
“At ten ten, the command center issued an order for me to meet a reporter by the river. I went there immediately and soon met Mr. James. He said that when he was running on the trail, he suddenly wanted to urinate, so he looked for it. In a place with weeds and bushes, the body of the young woman was found.”
“Protect the crime scene.”
“No! The witness did not state or indicate that the crime has occurred, therefore,’the crime scene was improperly used.”
“The opposition is valid,” the judge said.
“What is the condition of the victim?” the prosecutor continued.
“The victim lay on her back with her eyes open. I think she is dead.”
“Protect the scene and report to the command center. When the criminal police arrived, I introduced James to them and walked back to the patrol car. There was a Chevrolet car not far away. I wrote down the license plate number and called the command center to check it. That car is registered under Wang Dan’s name.”
“Thank you, officer, I have no other questions,” the prosecutor said.
“Mr. Budd, you can ask questions,” the judge answered.
“Thank you. Officer Benson, please tell the court your educational background.” Bud asked.
“Graduated from high school, currently studying at a community college.”
“Have you received any medical education or training?”
“I only learned a little about first aid.”
“Oh, no medical training. Then how do you know the woman is dead?”
“I touched her pulse and found that there was no more beating.”
“Which part of the pulse did you feel?”
“I first found the pulse on her wrist and found that it didn’t beat, then I tried it on her neck, but I didn’t find the pulse beat.”
“In other words, you touched Wang Dan’s body.”
“On Sunday, June 21, 2015, you said that you were on duty that day. Excuse me, what are the specific working hours?”
“From seven in the morning to three in the afternoon.”
“Do you know Sally’s Restaurant?”
“Have you eaten there?”
“On that particular Sunday, did you eat at that restaurant or just strolled for a while? Is the restaurant’s condition normal?”
“I ate breakfast and everything is normal.”
“Okay, I have no more questions.” Bud returned to his seat.
The prosecutor stood up and said, “Please summon the discoverer James.”
James, in his thirties, stepped onto the witness stand.
“Mr. James, on the morning of June 21, 2015, were you running by the Mulika River?” the prosecutor asked.
“Please tell the court what happened that day.”
“I was running that day and suddenly wanted to urinate, so I found a bush and found a young woman lying on her back. I guessed she was dead, so I called the police.”
“I have no problem,” the prosecutor said.
“Mr. Bud, it’s your turn,” the judge answered.
“Thank you, your honor. Mr. James, please tell the court your occupation?” Bud asked.
“Have you received medical education or training?”
“Oh, I have no problem.” Bud said.
The prosecutor stood up again: “Please call witness Martin to the stage.”
Martin is in his early twenties, athletic, and a little nervous when he swears.
“Mr. Martin, please tell the court about your activities on June 21, 2015.” Martin is a witness on the prosecutor’s side, so he should ask first.
“My girlfriend and I were running along the Mulika River and saw someone sitting on a white plastic bucket fishing. The next day, we learned that someone had been murdered there, so we called the police and told them what we saw. Happening.”
“Oh, if you see that angler again, will you recognize it?”
“Is it in this court?”
“Yes, just sit in the dock.”
“I’m fine.” The prosecutor stepped back.
“Mr. Budd, you can ask questions,” the judge said.
“I don’t want to ask now. If necessary, we have the right to call him back to the witness box.”
“Well then, please call the eyewitness Alice to appear in court.” The prosecutor answered.
A tall young woman testified under oath. She appeared calm and confident.
“Miss Alice, on Sunday morning, June 21, 2015, were you running by the Mulika River?” the prosecutor asked.
“Are you alone?”
“No, with boyfriend Martin.”
“Please tell the court what you saw?”
“I saw a man sitting on a bucket fishing.”
“The next day I heard that there was a homicide in that place, so I quickly called the police.”
“If you see that person again, will you recognize it?”
“Are there in court?”
“Yes, just sit on the table in front of me.” Miss Alice said, pointing to Pearl.
“Thank you, I have no more questions.”
“Mr. Budd,” the judge called.
“Miss Alice, you said you saw someone sitting on a bucket fishing that morning, what else did you see?”
“What do you mean?”
“For example, does he smoke, eat a sandwich or drink coffee?”
“I can’t remember.”
“No problem, we reserve the right to recall witnesses again,” Bud said.
“Well, it’s late today. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, please don’t discuss everything you saw or heard in court. The court will continue at nine o’clock tomorrow morning.”
At nine o’clock in the morning the next day, the uniformed bailiff announced loudly: “All stand up!”
The judge knocked the gavel and everyone sat down.
“Now the court session, Mr. Charles, please continue.” said the judge.
“Thank you, Your Honor, please call Sergeant Lisa to the witness stand.”
A middle-aged female police officer walked to the witness stand and took an oath. She is of medium build, confident and calm, and she knows she has appeared in court many times to testify at a glance.
“Sergeant Lisa, how long have you been in the police station?” the prosecutor asked.
“What is your position?”
“Crime scene investigation mainly collects and saves traces of evidence related to crime.”
“Do you have anything to say about Sunday, June 21, 2015?”
“That day, the body was found on the trail by the Mulika River. I went to the scene to take photos and searched the area.”
“Did you find anything important?”
“There was no that day. The next day, Monday, witnesses said that someone was fishing by the river. We rushed to the fishing spot and found a Styrofoam cup and a white paper bag, and found the fisher’s DNA on it. On Wednesday, June 24, forensic doctors collected the murderer’s DNA from the throat and neck of the deceased. After comparison, it matched the fisher’s DNA.”
“Why check the throat and neck of the deceased?”
“Because the forensic doctor said that the cause of death of the victim was manual strangulation. We found the name of the restaurant’Sally’ on the white paper bag, and then we found the suspect Pearl.”
“I’m fine.” The prosecutor said.
“Mr. Budd,” the judge called.
Bud stood up and said, “Thank you, Honorable Judge. Officer Lisa, did Pearl voluntarily provide DNA samples?”
“Yes it is.”
“Have you taken a DNA sample from Patrol Benson?”
“No, I have no reason to do that.”
“No reason? Just now, Police Officer Benson said that in order to verify that the victim is alive, he touched the victim’s wrist and throat. You mentioned that DNA samples were taken from the victim’s throat and neck. I think Benson The police officer must have left DNA on the victim too, which destroys the sample you collected, right?”
“It’s possible.” Sergeant Lisa replied.
“I have no problems.”
“Please call forensic doctor Norman Pearson to appear in court,” the prosecutor said.
After taking the oath, Dr. Pearson sat in the witness box.
“Please tell the court your job and responsibilities.”
“I am the coroner in the county. I have been working for fifteen years.”
“Fifteen years, then, I can speculate that you have examined a lot of corpses?”
“Yes, a lot.”
“What do you think was the cause of Wang Dan’s death?”
“What does labor mean?”
“It means using hands, not ropes or other tools.”
“As a coroner and pathologist, did you see Sergeant Lisa taking a sample from the victim?”
“Yes it is.”
“Thank you, I’m fine.” The prosecutor said.
Bud got up and walked to the witness stand: “Doctor, you have examined the body of the deceased, have you ruled out the possibility of sexual assault?”
“Yes, I checked and ruled out sexual assault. There were no signs of bruises, scratches, cuts, etc. either.”
“Did you look for foreign objects, such as skin cells, in the nails of the deceased?”
“I concluded that the young woman was strangled to death. I also ruled out the possibility of sexual assault and assault. There is no reason to investigate those.”
“No reason? Maybe there is a good reason. If you check the nail gap, maybe the substance inside is not Pearl’s. I have no other questions.” Bud said.
“The prosecutor asked the court to allow Dr. Elko to testify in court.” The prosecutor stood up and said.
A short, fat man with a neat beard walked to the witness stand. He was wearing a black pinstripe suit, a white shirt, and a blue tie.
“The expert witness is indeed an intellectual style.” Nancy murmured.
“Dr. Elko, please tell the court your identity.” The prosecutor said.
“I have a PhD in chemistry, biology and genetics.”
“What achievements have you achieved in these areas?”
“I participated in the use of radiation to study the structure transfer of RNA, RNA can decode DNA, this is a groundbreaking research.”
“DNA knowledge is too professional. You are a well-known expert. Can you tell the court in plain and easy-to-understand terms what is DNA?”
“DNA is deoxyribonucleic acid. It is one of the four biological macromolecules in biological cells. It carries the genetic information necessary for the synthesis of RNA and protein. It is essential for the development and normal operation of organisms.”
“It’s still quite esoteric. How was the DNA identified?”
“Comparing an unknown source with a known source, the probability that any two people have the same DNA profile is one in a billion or more.”
“Oh, this way, I have no other questions.”
It’s Bud’s turn again to ask questions.
“Dr. Elko, you just mentioned that one of the achievements in the professional field is the use of radiation to study the structure transfer of RNA and the decoding of DNA, right?”
“Are you in partnership with someone else?”
“Yes it is.”
“Regina, does this name mean anything to you?”
“Please tell the court what is the relationship between you and Regina.”
“She is an undergraduate and works with me in RNA research.”
“Oh, I’ve read your paper on RNA research, but you never mentioned a partner, why?”
“To be honest, she didn’t make any contribution at all.”
“Oh, during this time, Regina is in a lawsuit with you. She said that you misappropriated her research results, research funding and salary. Is there such a thing?”
“Objection, objection, nothing to do with this case.” The prosecutor interrupted.
“The opposition is valid,” the judge said.
“Well, take back this question, I have nothing else to ask.” Bud walked back to his seat.
“Now the court is adjourned for lunch, and the court will return at one o’clock in the afternoon,” the judge said.
At lunch, Nancy took a bite of the egg salad sandwich, chewed it and swallowed it.
“Sir, where did you get the news about Elko and Regina’s lawsuit?”
“I heard it on the phone with Dr. Kramer.”
“The prosecutor tried his best to make him a famous expert, but you made him like a rascal.”
“What’s the next step?”
“It’s hard to say, the prosecutor should still have witnesses.”
“I have been observing the jurors and found that they have nothing to say at all.”
“I think the prosecutor will find a way to win the sympathy of the jury and invite the victim’s family to appear in court.”
“This trick is very powerful. If you question the testimony of the victim’s family, it will arouse the jury’s resentment.”
“That’s only for him to say.”
After the court resumed in the afternoon, the witnesses from the prosecutor’s side still appeared in court. It was Andrew, the victim’s father, who appeared in court this time.
“Sir, please tell the court about your daughter, especially the habit of running.”
“Wang Dan was interested in running when he was in high school, and he often ran by the Mulika River.”
“How is she going?”
“It turned out that I drove her. She got her driver’s license when she was seventeen.”
“When you drove her, did you go straight to the river?”
“No, she will either have a good breakfast at home or go to Sally’s restaurant to eat to increase energy.”
“Do you love your daughter?”
“…Wang Dan is everything to me, I have lost the joy of life… She has been admitted to Temple University… She wants to be a teacher…”
“Sorry…I have no more questions.”
“Mr. Budd.” The judge interrupted.
“I have no problem.”
“Mr. Bard, it’s the defense witness’s turn to appear in court,” the judge said.
“Thank you the judge, we invite the restaurant owner Sally to appear in court.”
After taking the oath, Sally sat in the witness stand waiting for questions.
“Good morning, Miss Sally, how long has Pearl worked in your restaurant?”
“Almost three years.”
“How’s your performance?”
“Very good. He is a fast-food chef. He is dedicated to his duties and has never had a problem.”
“He is African-American. Are there any other black employees in your store?”
“No, only Pearl.”
“I have no problem,” Bud said.
“Mr. Charles.” the judge called.
The prosecutor got up and went to the witness stand: “Miss Sally, can you tell the court the date of the murder?”
“I remember it was June 21, 2015.”
“What was Pearl doing that day?”
“It was Sunday, and Pearl was on vacation.”
“I’m fine.” Charles said.
“Please, Homer, the waiter,” Bud said.
Homer, like everyone else, took the oath.
“Mr. Homer, how old are you?”
“what kind of job do you do?”
“Interestingly, I used to be a dishwasher. When I was in college, I was washing dishes to earn living expenses. We have something in common. What kind of dishes do you usually wash?”
“Plates, wine glasses for customers, pots and pans for chefs, etc.”
“After washing the dishes, do you want to wipe them dry?”
“Yes it is.”
“Place these dishes on the rack next to the grill or on the cutting table next to the grill.”
“Why put it in those two places?”
“So the chef can pick up the plate at will and put the dishes in.”
“After loading the dishes, the chef turned around and put the plate on another shelf, and the waiter brought it to the customer.”
“How did the chef pass the plates?”
“Place your thumb on the edge of the plate, your fingers under the plate, that’s it.” Homer motioned for the chef to hand the plate.
“Thank you, Mr. Homer. I have no questions.”
“Mr. Charles?” the judge called.
“Your Honor, I have no questions.” Charles replied.
“Very well, Mr. Budd, please go on.”
“Ask the waiter Jane Squires to appear in court.”
Jane Squills was petite and charming, and she was very nervous when she appeared in court for the first time.
“Miss Squires, please tell the court where you work.”
“I’m a waiter at Sally’s restaurant.”
“On the morning of June 21, 2015, did you go to work?”
“Go to work.”
“Do you know George Benson?”
“Yes, he is a policeman and our regular customer.”
“Oh, in other words, does he come every day?”
“He always comes for breakfast during his day shift.”
“Did he come on the day of the accident?”
“When did you arrive?”
“Between 7:30 and 8:30.”
“Do you remember what he ordered?”
“Remember, he is the same every time, scrambled eggs, bacon, toast and coffee.”
“Are these all prepared in the kitchen?”
“Yes it is.”
“Did the chef ask you to serve it?”
“Yes. I walked into the kitchen, holding the food in my right hand and the bill in my left hand, and placed it in front of Officer Benson.”
“Oh, what did Officer Benson do?”
“He moved the plate closer.”
“Why would he do that?”
“I think it was to prevent food from spilling on his police uniform.”
“Thank you, Miss Squires. Your Honor, I have no questions.”
“Mr. Charles, do you have anything to ask?” the judge said.
“Well, Mr. Budd, summon the next witness.”
“Expert witness, Dr. Harvey Kramer.”
Dr. Kramer sat in the witness box after taking the oath.
“Doctor, please tell the court your identity.”
“I have a PhD in biology from Princeton University and a PhD in genetics from the University of Maryland.”
“Then what is your current occupation?”
“Where did you work before retirement?”
“Professor of Winslow College.”
“As far as I know, when you were at Winslow College, you wrote a paper on DNA testing errors. Right?”
“Yes it is.”
“Could you tell the court what this essay wrote?”
“Some criminal cases made mistakes after using DNA as evidence. The Federal Bureau of Investigation once claimed that it had found 170 DNA file errors. I think the federal government has admitted that there were errors. So, are the state and county laboratories? There have also been many mistakes caused by DNA convictions? So, I wrote a paper on this subject.”
“What impact did the paper have?”
“New York City’s forensic doctors admit that human error always exists.”
“What is the impact of errors in DNA analysis?”
“It will obscure the clues and mislead investigators to turn a blind eye to the crime scene and the real culprit.”
“Blinded the investigator’s eyes, it makes sense! In this case, many people came into contact with the dishes in the restaurant. The first was a dishwasher, the second was a cook, the third was a waitress, and the last was a patrol. The victim’s body was touched. My question is, what should the forensic doctor in the laboratory pay attention to?”
“They should look for more DNA, not just one person. In this case, the patrol may pass some or all of the DNA on the plate to the victim.”
“Thank you, Professor. Please stay in court because you will need to return to the witness stand later. Your Honor, I have no problems now.”
“Mr. Charles?” the judge asked.
“I have no problem.” The prosecutor replied.
“Well, the court will adjourn until one o’clock in the afternoon.”
“All stand up!” the bailiff shouted.
At lunch, Bud asked Nancy: “How has the jury members reacted so far?”
“I can’t tell, but Dr. Kramer is very useful.”
“Oh, I hope the effect will be better in the afternoon.”
The court resumed at one o’clock in the afternoon, and it was still Bard who summoned witnesses.
“Your Honor, I want to ask Martin, the witness of the prosecution, to appear in court again.”
Martin went to the witness stand again and took an oath.
“You told the court and the jury that you saw a black man fishing on the Mulika River, right?” Bud asked.
“Yes it is.”
“I’ll ask you again, who was the person you saw that day?”
“It’s the defendant in the court.”
“Are you sure?”
“Okay, please take a look at this photo now. Do you know him?” Bud showed a six-inch black and white photo.
Martin took the photo, looked at it carefully, and then returned it to Bud.
“Mr. Lawyer, this is a photo of the defendant.”
“are you sure?”
“Oh, is the person in the photo and the angler the same person?”
“Yes it is.”
“Objection! The defense did not mention in advance that the witness should identify the photo. According to the right of discovery, we have the right to receive a copy in advance.” The prosecutor stood up to protest.
“The objection is valid. Mr. Bard, can you explain why the prosecutor did not receive this copy?” the judge asked.
“Your Honor, a copy of the photo and related documents was sent to the prosecutor’s office by registered mail on September 30, 2016. There is a postal receipt here. If the prosecutor agrees, I can provide a copy now.”
“Prosecutor, do you need a copy now?” the judge asked.
“Need, let’s take a look at this copy first.”
“Okay, adjourn the court for an hour,” the judge said.
“All stand up!” the bailiff shouted.
One hour later, the court reopened. The judge took the lead: “Mr. Charles, is there anything wrong with the defense’s new evidence?”
“We took a look and there was no problem.”
“Okay, the defense can continue to call for witnesses.”
“Thank you the judge, and ask the prosecution to witness Alice’s appearance again in court.” Bud said.
Like other witnesses, she took an oath and took her seat.
“Miss Alice, you testified that you saw a black man fishing on the Mulika River, and you also testified that he was the defendant. Now, I want you to look at this photo to see if you know this person.”
Alice looked at the photo and said, “This person is the defendant.”
“Please take a look at this letter received by the New Jersey Police Department and read it aloud.”
Alice took the letter and read aloud: “At the request of a public law firm, we will send you the following documents: a copy of Tardis’s arrest warrant, a document sentenced to three years in prison for theft, at Trenton State Prison A copy of the prison sentence, the photo of the person concerned, and a copy of the fingerprint, please check.”
“Please tell the court, who is this picture?”
“The document seems to say that this photo is of a person named Tardis.”
“Thank you, I’m fine.”
“Mr. Charles?” the judge asked.
“No problem, Your Honor.”
“Okay, Mr. Budd, please go on.”
“Invite our expert witness Professor Harvey Kramer back to the witness stand.”
Professor Kramer took the oath again.
“Professor, I want to ask another question about DNA. If it is twins, will the DNA be the same?”
“Twins are divided into fraternal twins and identical twins, fraternal twins will have their own specific DNA profiles, and identical twins will have exactly the same DNA profiles.”
“This means that the DNA left on the victim’s skin may have been left by Tardis?”
“No! The lawyer is leading the witness.” The prosecutor interrupted.
“Your Honor, I just intend to let the witness further explain the DNA problem. DNA evidence is the only doubt that my client has.”
“The objection is invalid, please continue with the defense lawyer.” The judge said.
“Professor, please continue to answer.” Bud said.
“If Tardis were Pearl’s identical twins, the DNA left on the victim might belong to one of them.”
“Is there any controversy regarding the similarity of identical twins’ DNA?”
“Oh, let’s talk about the DNA detection error. Could you please introduce it in detail?”
“Yes. Due to the improper behavior of laboratory technicians, the New York Police Department had to review more than 800 rape cases, and the San Francisco Police Department also reviewed more than 1,400 cases. Such precedents have also occurred in South Africa and India. Many times.”
“In other words, the presence of the defendant’s DNA on the victim may also be a procedural error.”
“The DNA of the dishwasher, the waitress, and the police patrol may have appeared on the victim, but the site investigation did not collect it. Obviously, it was a serious mistake.”
“It makes sense.”
“In 2014, 316 people in the U.S. were acquitted because of errors in DNA testing.”
“Thank you so much, the information you provided is very important, I have no problem.” Bud said.
“Mr. Charles, is there a problem?” the judge asked.
“I have only one question. Professor, you have mentioned the mistakes in the DNA test many times and provided some data. Can you tell the court how many people have been successfully convicted through the DNA test?”
“I can’t.” Kramer replied.
“I’m fine.” Charles walked back to the table.
“Your Honor, the defense requests an adjournment.” Bud said.
“Agree. The court will be adjourned for one hour. Please prepare for the final statement.” The judge announced.
An hour later, the prosecutor Charles walked to the jury and was the first to speak.
“Ladies and gentlemen, first of all, thank you very much for fulfilling your civic duty and patiently listening to our debate. I am suing Pearl for the murder on behalf of the state government. A young girl was murdered while running by the river. The evidence left at the scene The DNA of the defendant was left, and the DNA of the defendant appeared on the waistband of the victim’s shorts! You also heard the testimony of the restaurant owner Sally. She said that the defendant was on vacation on the day of the crime. Ladies and gentlemen, where was he on vacation? Both witnesses discovered that he was fishing on the Mulika River. Now, I have to mention DNA. I will not repeat the scientific definition of DNA and tire you. I just want to remind that the probability of two people having the same DNA is ten. One in a billion. The defense said it was the defendant’s identical twins. This is really irresponsible. Where are the identical twins now? This is just a trick to confuse people. I believe you have listened and evaluated the evidence and After the testimony, the correct decision will be made, which is to find the defendant guilty of first-degree murder. Thank you.”
“Mr. Budd,” the judge called.
Bud slowly walked to the jury bench, smiled, and said: “Ladies and gentlemen, I have good news and bad news to tell you. The good news is that with your help, this trial is about to end; bad The news is that you must make a difficult ruling. Just now, the prosecutor accused me of confusing people. I just want to tell you how weak the prosecution’s accusation is. Their only basis of evidence is the defendant’s DNA. Appeared on the victim without other evidence to support it. I have shown to the court that the victim should have the DNA of many people including dishwashers, waitresses, and police officers. Has the investigator extracted it? No. Is it selective? Collect evidence? Let’s take a look at the so-called trick. There is a person named Tardis who looks exactly like the defendant. This is a photo provided by the New Jersey Police Department. In addition, according to the adoption record, Ms. Sonia Pearl was adopted. A newborn baby Tyrone Loveton, she changed the baby’s name to Ronald Pearl, which is the defendant. This baby and Tadis Loveton are identical twins, they were born in July 1986. Born on June 14th and July 15th, 1986, although the difference is one day apart, the difference is actually only one hour.
“Ladies and gentlemen, DNA evidence is not absolute and requires other corroboration. At this time, I want to thank you for your selfless contribution. I ask you to bring justice to the defendant and make a verdict of not guilty. Thank you.”
Bud walked back to the dock, sat between Nancy and Pearl, and said softly: “Now your fate is in the hands of the jury. We have done our best. If you tell me about Tadis, I can do it. better.”
“Man, I really don’t know any Tadis.” Pearl replied.
At this time, all the jurors got up and walked out of the court, and the judge also left the bench.
“This is a’waiting game. The longer the jury discusses, the better for us. You go back first, and the bailiff will bring you back later.” Bud said to Pearl.
After Pearl left, Nancy hurriedly packed the papers.
On the third day after the trial, Bud and Nancy came to the court again to wait for the jury’s verdict. The first two days were too controversial and the jury could not reach a conclusion.
The judge asked: “Has the jury made a verdict?”
“Not yet, Your Honor, the twelve of us are caught in a fruitless dispute.”
“This is the third day. Since you are unable to perform your duties, I declare that this trial is an invalid trial and the jury will be reorganized and retrialed at another date.”
People talked a lot and left the court one after another.
Bud sat quietly at the table, and prosecutor Charles came over.
“Young man, don’t be discouraged. You have done a very good job. The first time you debuted, you fought with me without losing or winning. It was beyond my expectation. The future is boundless! However, it is not over yet, I am ready to continue fighting. , Until complete victory. Now I don’t want any plea bargaining anymore, looking forward to the next trial we will become opponents again.” Charles extended his hand in a friendly manner.
“Thank you, Mr. Charles, you are a senior.” Bud got up and shook hands.
The two opponents have agreed to fight again next time and say goodbye.
Bud arranged the papers and was about to leave, when suddenly Nancy leaned over and handed a paper.
“Please look at this.”
“Huh? This guy! I want to see the defendant right away!”
Thirty minutes later, he paced back and forth in the reception room, waiting for Pearl to appear.
“Dear Bard lawyer, thank you for your wonderful debate.” Pearl looked very excited.
“I haven’t made a conclusion yet, why are you thanking?”
“Generally speaking, such pending cases will be judged as not guilty. Taking a step back, even if found guilty, the judge will give a lighter sentence.”
“When I saw you for the first time, I told you, don’t deceive me, I believe you did not commit the crime. But now, I am very angry, not at you, but at myself, because I am too easy to be fooled. I was deceived! I thought you were innocent to defend you. In fact, you killed someone!”
“Sir, why do you think so?”
“Wang Dan usually goes to Sally’s restaurant for breakfast on Sundays, and you are on vacation on Sunday, and the two have not met. The last time, with the exception of the last time, she also went to the restaurant for breakfast on Saturday, and you were at work. When the kitchen door opens, you see Wang Dan, who was sitting at one end of the counter, was immediately attracted by her, so he went to the bathroom as an excuse, carefully observed her, and made up his mind to get her. You ask the waiter to inquire about this girl with a hot water bottle, and the waiter tells you that she is a regular customer , Basically every Sunday morning you come to eat breakfast, and then go for a run by the Mulika River. The day of the crime is also Sunday, you take a regular vacation, and then wait for her on the trail. When you see her coming, you drag her to miscellaneous In the grass, she tried to take off her shorts and raped. But she struggled hard and scratched your hand. You became angry and choked her to death.
“You are very smart, leaving no evidence. The only omission is DNA. But you have already prepared it, because you know that you and your brother Tadis Loveton have the same DNA profile and are identical twins. Whenever you commit a crime, you use Tadis’s name. Even Tadis, who served three years in Trenton Prison, is actually you, but your own name Pearl is very clean. Smart, genius! However, the Dao is one foot high and the devil is high. You made a fatal mistake and gave me the exact date of birth, July 14, 1986. To prove your background and win the sympathy of the jury, my assistant I did a lot of work, not only found your place of adoption, but also subtly inferred the fact that they were twins the next day.
“In the past two days, the jury has had a fierce argument. I think Tadis has become the key, so I called an assistant to find his whereabouts. The result just came out. On November 17, 1996, he was caught by a car because of a traffic accident. The car crashed and died, he was ten years old that year, and you will play all the rest of him.”
“You are my defense lawyer.”
“No, there will be another public lawyer representing you, and the death of Tardis at the age of ten will also surface. I am your attorney, but I am also a lawyer of conscience. By the way, the prosecutor The guilty plea agreement has been cancelled, so prepare to spend the rest of your life in prison.”