Monday, January 31, 2011

Former prosecutors played like a fiddle

On February 10, 2003, Conner's due date, Nancy Grace stood in for Larry King to cover the vigil being held by Laci's friends and co-workers and to discuss Scott's recent actions. The full transcript is here.

First very noticeable error on Nancy's part is her insistence that Scott tried to sell the house within the first week after Laci's disappearance, then narrowing it down to within 5 days.

GRACE: You know, a lot has been made just recently of the fact that it has come out that within the first week that Laci, his wife, his pregnant wife went missing, he spoke with a realtor about putting the house up for sale. Any explanation from him as to why he wanted the house sold?
GRACE: Mark, I'm OK with the vehicle. I'm OK with that. I'm asking you about why sell the house in the first -- try to sell the house the first five days she goes missing?

Nancy appears to believe every negative thing she hears about Scott, without bothering to try to verify sources or documentation. Or does she just cook this stuff up on her own?

This is the truth, Nancy.

DISTASO: Well, let me ask you this. I want to ask you about a conversation some time while the Volunteer Center was still in operation. Did you have a conversation with Mr. Peterson about selling his home?
WESTERN: Yes, I did.
DISTASO: And can you describe for the jury what that, just take them through whole thing. What happened?
JUDGE: Really, that calls for a narrative answer.
DISTASO: I mean what, let's just start at the beginning. What time of day was it that you had this conversation?
WESTERN: It would have been fairly early in the morning. I don't remember the exact time.
DISTASO: And what happened? Did you go to the Volunteer Center?
WESTERN: Yes, I did. As I did every morning. I was either the first one or one of the first that had arrived. And Scott was there that morning, and he was visibly upset. So I sat down next to him while he was going through the e-mails on the computer. And I said, "Scott," you know, "Are you okay?" And he said no. He goes, "I need to talk to you about selling the house. I can't have Laci come back here."
DISTASO: And what did you respond to him, if anything?
WESTERN: I responded with, "Well, Scott, I understand. However, now is not the time nor the place to discuss this."
DISTASO: And did he mention that to you again about selling the house?
WESTERN: No, he did not.
DISTASO: Okay. Do you remember what day that conversation took place?
WESTERN: You know, I'm almost certain it was on the 14th of January. I know it was somewhere in the second week of having the Volunteer Center open.
DISTASO: Let me just show you a report, see if that refreshes your memory about that. Just the date that this conversation occurred. Just read this one line to yourself.
GERAGOS: I'm sorry, what you are you showing her?
DISTASO: 1686.
GERAGOS: Thanks.
DISTASO: Does that refresh your memory about what day it was?
DISTASO: Okay. What date was that?
WESTERN: January 14th.

Laci disappeared on December 24, and the conversation with Terri Western occurred on January 14 -- that's not within 5 days, Nancy; that's not within the first week, Nancy. If the case against Scott was so strong, why all this need to exaggerate the truth and repeat outright lies?

The second thing I noticed is the idiotic exchange between Nancy and Wendy Murphy, another former prosecutor. Nancy has already mentioned that she understands selling the car, but Murphy doesn't. Murphy actually uses the fact that the police are keeping Scott's truck as evidence of Scott's state of mind. She further states that the police wouldn't still have his truck if there wasn't a need, in other words, some compelling evidence in it.

MURPHY: Mark, let's at least put the apology show off until we get the need to do that show. Look, you know, I'm so tired of hearing his excuse for why he needed to sell the car that he needed it for work, because what's really important about his state of mind is that if he's truly innocent, he waited a little bit, a while, while the truck was impounded so the police could do their tests and so on -- if he was truly innocent, he'd be expecting to get it back very soon. It's the fact that he had to go and get another one that tells us what his state of mind is. They're not letting that truck go for a reason.
MURPHY: If he were innocent, he would have his truck back by now. The fact that he doesn't is evidence against him.

Is Murphy really that ignorant? Has she no awareness that she's being played like a fiddle? Or is she a willing accomplice to their nasty art of convicting Scott before he's even been arrested? Are those tactics she used as a prosecutor to secure convictions?

We know from the testimony of lab technicians that there was no evidence incriminating for Soctt in that truck. None whatsoever. Keeping it was simply a ploy to create a financial hardship for Scott and coerce him into doing something that would look incriminating. Just one of the MPD's dirty tricks. The police continued to keep it long after what they were told that what they thought was evidence wasn't. In fact, they had to be ordered by the Court to release the truck back to Scott after the Preliminary hearing.

Nancy Grace and Wendy Murphy sound so much alike, we should just call them Nancy Murphy, or Wendy Grace. Since Nancy is the show's host, I'll go with Nancy Murphy.

Nancy Murphy then turns to the opinions of a forensic psychiatrist and of course, the renowned Mark Klaas who is the All-Knowing expert on everyone who has a family member missing. Klaas I can write off - he's just an ordinary citizen who went through a horrible experience and now thinks he knows it all. But the forensic psychiatrist is a professional who should know better than to evaluate someone without a personal interview with that person and relying on hearsay information. Here he is, Dr. Welner, taking everything that Nancy Murphy is saying to be the gospel truth, and using that rabidly biased and grossly incorrect information to make judgments about Scott. It should be considered malpractice.

Ted Rowlands corrected Nancy Murphy about the timeline for trying to sell the house, but Nancy Murphy wasn't interested in being corrected.

ROWLANDS: He told me that he checked into selling the house three weeks after Laci was reported missing. That's what he told me. And I've heard that there has been one week. But he said three weeks.

Let's see, there are 31 days in December and Laci disappeared on December 24, so that's one week in December, and the 2 weeks in January from January 1 to January 14 -- well, by golly, that is 3 weeks. 1 + 2 = 3.  Once again, the truth comes from Scott.

After being blasted by Mark Geragos, the other guest on the show, for convicting without evidence, Nancy Murphy interrupts him with this:

Let's get back to the facts.

And Ted Rowlands gave her some facts:

ROWLANDS: Well, you know if we knew that, that's what we would be talking about an this show, I'm sure. Modesto Police, the department has to have something else because from the beginning they have focused all of their attention on Scott Peterson.

If they don't have anything more than we know, then they have really been acting inappropriately in pursuing this case. Which, by the way is really what the Peterson family believes is the case, that they have been -- they had a one-tract mind, innappropriately and have ignored all other leads.

Nancy Murphy has no reply for Rowlands, she just redirects her attention to Dr. Welner, who so graciously gives Nancy Murphy what she desperately needs to reject Rowlands' wisdom and common sense and continue to convict Scott.

WELNER: Well, there's no violence. There's no history of violence here. There isn't an upset crime scene. And so, whatever happened to her, if it happened in the home, if he was involved, it happened cleanly. It happened in a calculated way. It happened in a premeditated way. So, in a forensic psychiatric investigation, if it was done in this case, the most meaningful piece of evidence is nothing that's been discussed to this point, but would be signs that he was already beginning his readjustment before she disappeared.

GRACE: Excellent point.

No comment for Rowlands' excellent and true observation, but gooing and gushing all over this malfeasant's utter nonsense.

Near the end of the show, Nancy Murphy made this statement to Mark Geragos:

Let me go to you, Mark Geragos. Before you launch into a defense of Scott Peterson who isn't indicted, who isn't accused, who is not a suspect, we all get that, what would your advice to be him at this point?

No you don't get it, Nancy Murphy. I don't think you are capable of getting it. You said, in both of your identities, that you will have a show to admit you are wrong if proven wrong:

GERAGOS: Well, either that, but there's going to be a lot of pundits, there is going to be a lot of pundits who are going to have to apologize for convicting this guy.


GRACE: I'll be the first one in line, Mark. I'll be the first one in line.


But what will you do to restore the losses experienced by Scott and his family, much of it your doing? You both publicly prosecuted Scott, and you carry much of the burden of his conviction. You eagerly believed every titillating lie you heard about Scott and not only passed them on, over and over, but often exaggerated them.

Your wrongful public conviction of Richard Ricci, absolutely innocent in Elisabeth Smart's kidnapping, taught you nothing.  No, you don't get it, and I don't think you ever will.