My2Cents let me know that Mr. Weinberg and Susan Matross (I've been spelling her name incorrectly) published an opinion piece in the LA Times.
Many of the statements made in this article are directly from Weinberg's closing argument. In fact, I would say the majority of them are. The statements about bias in crime labs the National Academy of Sciences (along with an image up on the screen) were presented as part of his closing argument. A hefty part of Weinberg's argument was accusing the LA County Sheriff's Crime Lab and the employees working on this case of bias. However, the image of the report Weinberg put up on the screen was objected to by the prosecution and the objection sustained by Judge Fidler because it was a report that was never admitted into evidence at the trial.
Some of the arguments Weinberg made in his closing are open to interpretation. For example, let's look at this statement:
"The sheriff's chief criminalist could not estimate how many hours or public dollars she had spent, because no one had required her to keep any records, but she proudly asserted that she had spent months just on the examination of every square inch of clothing seized as evidence."
Weinberg is referring to Dr. Lynne Herold here. Dr. Herold testified that no one in her department is required to log how many hours they spend on a particular case. (I believe she stated the only thing the LA County Crime Lab tracks is the number of hours that employees spend in court, testifying.) From what I remember of her testimony, I don't believe anyone in the crime lab has to keep these types of records. You also have to ask, for what purpose would they keep this type of record? Why would they need to? So what if they have to spend an inordinate amount of man hours on an investigation? Some investigations take longer than others. Some investigations are solved quickly because there is not a lot of evidence Some cases take longer because there is more evidence to examine. For Weinberg to characterize Dr. Herold's response as "proudly asserted," to me that's a very pro-defense slanted description of how she testified.
Let's look at this statement:
"The L.A. County coroner admitted that in addition to undertaking every conceivable test and analysis, his office held meetings involving doctors, criminalists, sheriff's crime lab personnel, sheriff's investigators and representatives of the Los Angeles County district attorney's office to determine whether the death of Lana Clarkson could be declared a homicide even though the medical evidence could not support that determination."
In this article (and in his closing argument) Weinberg omits the fact that the Chief Coroner, Dr. Lakshmanan also stated that it's not unusual for the medical examiner to be unable to determine the manner of death (MOD) from the autopsy. Many times they cannot determine MOD from the autopsy alone and have to turn to law enforcement investigation to give them that answer. From the way this statement is written, it sounds like what the coroner did was highly unusual. It's not.
"Nonetheless, in September 2004, more than 19 months after the death, Spector was indicted. At that point, for the first time, Spector and his representatives were given access to the prosecution's "scientific evidence."
And I would say, "Thank God!" This is the way it's supposed to be. It would be a breakdown in law enforcement's ability to effectively prosecute a case and keep the integrity of it's evidence secure for trial if they made the evidence in an active investigation available to any Tom, Dick or Harry who wanted to look at it before a suspect was even indicted for a crime.
I find it interesting that Weinberg felt the need to address the reporting in the LA Times about how much Spector paid for his defense experts. Couple that with the fact that Weinberg went to great lengths not to turn over the amounts his expert witnesses were paid to the prosecution. The prosecution had to subpoena those records in a special type of subpoena to Weinberg. The subpoena wasn't delivered until just before the witness was called. When these witnesses did take the stand, many of them did not have their billing records with them. We also found out that several times Weinberg did not even pass the subpoena onto his witness. It was Weinberg who provided the amount that Dr. Spitz had billed. Dr. Spitz didn't even know.
There is a reason Weinberg fought so hard to keep the true amount that Spector spent on his experts from getting in front of the jury. It was a large amount of money and in my opinion, the reason is, it did not look good for his client.
P.S. Weinberg conveniently left out the fact that as a courtesy, Dr. Baden was able to observe the autopsy of Lana Clarkson. After the criminalist's were finished collecting evidence at the scene, it was released back to the defendant and his team was able to view it. They would have been able to observe the areas in the home where Spector left a blood trail. Anything beyond that (such as letting them view collected evidence) would have compromised the investigation. Weinberg conveniently omits a fact that the defense had something the prosecution did not. Complete access to question the defendant as to "what happened" that night. I'm sure the defendant would have been able to supply them with what was "missing" from his home, but I don't believe he returned to it for over a week.
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