Upon reading the Hinky Meter post explaining the details of why the testimony of the prosecution’s witness, Sgt. Kevin Stenger, that Casey Anthony visited a page on a website about chloroform 84 times was false, I was clueless.
When hearing of this discrepancy I and most others were left with the impression that CacheBack was wrong and NetAnalysis was correct. Furthermore, that the discrepancy came out at trial seemed to me to be a public-relations nightmare for the Cacheback product. As it turns out, both programs produced erroneous results. But worse, OCSO appears to have known about the discrepancy and did not follow-up with the authors of either CacheBack or NetAnalysis.
The developer of NetAnalysis posted a blog entry on July 11 describing the discrepancy and poked a finger in the eye of CacheBack (not mentioning the product by name) by essentially saying “our product works and their’s does not”. It is true that NetAnalysis v1.50 (released March 23, 2010) corrected problems the earlier version of the tool had with the Firefox 2 history file, but the version used on the Anthony case was older – v1.37.
Huh? I get that it’s wrong, but I’ve no idea why, or frankly, what they’re talking about. No doubt some of the nerds who stumble upon SJ will have a burning desire to explain this, but don’t bother. It doesn’t matter now.
What I did think was, “did anyone think to call Jose Baez and tell him?”
John Bradley, the designer of NetAnalysis, is in the news about how his review showed that Casey Anthony didn’t do what the Orange County Sheriff’s office says she did.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office had used the software to validate its finding that Ms. Anthony had searched for information about chloroform 84 times, a conclusion that Mr. Bradley says turned out to be wrong. Mr. Bradley said he immediately alerted a prosecutor, Linda Drane Burdick, and Sgt. Kevin Stenger of the Sheriff’s Office in late June through e-mail and by telephone to tell them of his new findings. Mr. Bradley said he conducted a second analysis after discovering discrepancies that were never brought to his attention by prosecutors or the police.
Mr. Bradley’s findings were not presented to the jury and the record was never corrected, he said. Prosecutors are required to reveal all information that is exculpatory to the defense.
“I gave the police everything they needed to present a new report,” Mr. Bradley said. “I did the work myself and copied out the entire database in a spreadsheet to make sure there was no issue of accessibility to the data.”
In the course of a prosecution, evidence that can appear one way to the uninitiated, yet completely differently to the sophisticated, finds it’s way to the jury. It happens large and small, from the assumptions that ordinary people have about how a physical item exists or a digital act happens, and the bunch of lawyers in the room don’t have the slightest clue that they are completely wrong.
In this case, Bradley gave the cops and prosector’s the heads-up. Had they now made the active choice to deprive the defense of this Brady/Giglio material, the defense might have known as well. But Brady is the joke of criminal law, and any lawyer who sits still waiting for the prosecution to honor its duty to disclose evidence that impeaches the testimony of its witnesses is a fool. That it came out at all, even after the acquittal, is a matter of some amazement.
No, the thought that came into my Luddite head wasn’t about which means of determining how many times Casey Anthony accessed this page of a website that was critically important to the prosecution. What hammered me was this:
Mr. Bradley said he immediately alerted a prosecutor, Linda Drane Burdick, and Sgt. Kevin Stenger of the Sheriff’s Office . . .
John Bradley made a decision. Jose Baez’s name was in all the papers. His phone number is right there on his website. He’s easy enough to find. Yet John Bradley made the choice of calling the prosecution but not the defense. That’s what first came to my mind.
No doubt the prosecution remains fair and honest, the protectors of truth and justice in our society and the people to whom fine, upstanding, honest citizens turn with their information about false testimony. The defense represents the bad, evil, horrible people. If you something to say that will clear up this falsity, call the good guys. Don’t call the bad guys. Don’t tell the people protecting the forces of evil in the world that the good guys are wrong, their testimony false.
And so now, after the verdict, John Bradley has publicly disclosed his revelation. Isn’t he wonderful? He’s the purveyor of truth. Except he decided not to tell Jose Baez at the point when something could have been done about it.