What happens when the prosecutors withhold information? The breaking news story involves a recently vilified accused who was released from jail, after serving her sentence last weekend.
From the New York Times:New York Times
The designer, John Bradley, said Ms. Anthony had visited what the prosecution said was a crucial Web site only once, not 84 times, as prosecutors had asserted. He came to that conclusion after redesigning his software, and immediately alerted prosecutors and the police about the mistake, he said.
The finding of 84 visits was used repeatedly during the trial to suggest that Ms. Anthony had planned to murder her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, who was found dead in 2008. Ms. Anthony, who could have faced the death penalty, was acquitted of the killing on July 5.
According to Mr. Bradley, chief software developer of CacheBack, used by the police to verify the computer searches, the term “chloroform” was searched once through Google. The Google search then led to a Web site,sci-spot.com, that was visited only once, Mr. Bradley added. The Web site offered information on the use of chloroform in the 1800s.
Assertions by the prosecution that Casey Anthony conducted extensive computer searches on the word “chloroform” were based on inaccurate data, a software designer who testified at the trial said Monday.
He found both reports were inaccurate (although NetAnalysis came up with the correct result), in part because it appears both types of software had failed to fully decode the entire file, due to its complexity. His more thorough analysis showed that the Web site sci-spot.com was visited only once — not 84 times.
Mr. Bradley, fearing that jurors were being given false information based on his data, contacted the police and the prosecution the weekend of June 25. He asked Sergeant Stenger about the discrepancy, and the sergeant said he was aware of it, Mr. Bradley said. He waited to see if prosecutors would correct the record. They did not.
“They needed to get that right,” Mr. Bradley said.
Here’s the gasp that comes from every defense attorney, we know human nature and we do worry about what if’s. Is it possible that the jury wouldn’t have returned a single guilty verdict if they knew that the prosecutor’s own witness was mistaken?