CSI DDS | Forensic Science Testimony. CSI bad science issues and their contribution to wrongful convictions.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Pedro Hernandez; New York; (Second Etan Patz murder trial); Bulletin: Daily News reports that Lawyers for Pedro Hernandez have motioned for his murder conviction to be tossed after confirming the jury from the second trial knew members of the jury from the first trial in the audience..."“The verdict must be vacated because the court officers improperly informed the jurors that the jurors from prior trial were present in the courtroom and seated with the Patz family,” Fontier argued. “In this highly emotional case, the presence of the prior jurors and their close obvious relationship with the Patz family conveyed the message that they believed in Mr. Hernandez’s guilt,” she added." Reporter Shayna Jacobs. March 15, 2017.
"Jurors in the second Etan Patz murder trial knew that members of the first jury were often in the audience and seated next to a murdered child’s father, lawyers for the killer have confirmed.
Their filing — a motion to toss Pedro Hernandez’s conviction for the murder and kidnapping of 6-year-old Etan in 1979 — says an alternate juror verified troubling information previously reported in press accounts of the Feb. 14 guilty verdict. Alternate juror Felix Nieves said, “the jurors were aware of the identities and presence of the jurors from the prior trial during the course of the trial,” according to an investigator’s account of the talk in a post-conviction motion filed Wednesday. The probe by Hernandez’s lawyers followed reports in Newsday and DNAinfo that said Juror No. 9, Michael Castellon, knew who the previous jurors were from court officers. “The statements made by Mr. Castellon to the media, and as confirmed by Mr. Nieves, raise serious issues of impropriety and of undue prejudicial influence that inevitably affected the deliberations and the outcome of the current trial,” Hernandez lawyer Alice Fontier wrote in the motion. Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Maxwell Wiley had ordered that all mentions of the first trial be excluded from the second one. Whenever the first trial was discussed in front of the second jury, the lawyers were supposed to refer to it as a “prior proceeding.” The first trial in the famous case ended with a mistrial by hung jury in May 2015 when a single juror refused to vote guilty because of what he described as a lack of proof. In 2012, Hernandez confessed to the longtime cold case, saying he choked little Etan lifeless and discarded his body in a SoHo alley near the bodega where he worked. Hernandez’s defense argued that he was too mentally ill to deliver reliable information and that he had delusions and difficulty parsing reality from fantasy. They also blamed another suspect. “The verdict must be vacated because the court officers improperly informed the jurors that the jurors from prior trial were present in the courtroom and seated with the Patz family,” Fontier argued. “In this highly emotional case, the presence of the prior jurors and their close obvious relationship with the Patz family conveyed the message that they believed in Mr. Hernandez’s guilt,” she added."