After allowing the most theatrical prosecution multi-media presentations and questionable forensics, Judge Perry decides to “strike” some of the testimony given by defense experts:
Today’s proceedings are moving along at a steady pace so far, a stark contrast to Monday’s session. Before calling Welch, Perry allowed the state’s request to strike a witness’ testimony on DNA recovery from decompositional fluids.
Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton said the testimony was based on anecdotal experience and not research.
The reason for this is not just that the testimony was damaging to the prosecution’s case; it was damaging to the prosecution’s credibility. They have staked so much on the “death smell” in the car that if the jury came to doubt that they might start asking: what else are they so sure about that just isn’t so?
This is such a dangerous question for the jury to ask, because it undercuts the presumption – the real presumption, not the fake one about the defendant’s innocence – that the government’s contentions are disinterested and reliable.
When defense counsel objected to portions of a jail house video because they might undercut his credibility with the jury, the objection was denied.
How trustworthy is the prosecution here? One interesting fact is that a death sentence for a previous Florida defendant was overturned because of prosecutorial misconduct: the prosecutor had concealed exculpatory evidence from the defense. The defendant’s name was John Huggins.
The prosecutor on the case was Jeff Ashton.
The Judge was Belvin Perry.