Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Yes, It Can Happen Here

"Nifong handed over 2,500 pages of raw, technical DNA data to the defense. Bannon bought a book on Amazon about forensic DNA and went to work. He discovered unidentified DNA for numerous men in and on Mangum and her clothing that hadn’t been reported. He found notes indicating lab director Brian Meehan’s DNA was also present.
“So a Ph.D doing everything he can not to contaminate the DNA leaves more DNA in this rape kit than the entire Duke lacrosse team put together,” Cooney said.
At a hearing nine months after the party, Nifong tried to take the defense by surprise, presenting Meehan as his DNA expert before they had prepared to cross-examine him. The defense team decided to have Bannon question him on the spot.
“It became fairly clear about 10-15 minutes into it that the expert realized that Brad [Bannon] knew what the hell he was talking about,” Cooney said.
The defense team confronted Meehan with whether he had agreed with Nifong to withhold some DNA results: “There’s only one answer to this question, and that answer being yes. Because we did not report the reference profiles of those specimens and we did talk about not reporting those,” Meehan said.
There was applause in the courtroom."

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