There are a couple of things in SPM’s latest Response that I want to draw your attention to, and we’ll probably spend the next couple of posts on it. A while back, we talked about things that affect the “weight” of the evidence, which means how trustworthy it is. If the jury sees a person as credible, that gives the person’s testimony weight.
In the Response, we saw that Coy’s defense found out that Jane Doe’s brothers had been caught by their mother, Mary Doe, trying to watch a porn. Mary Doe herself admitted that it had happened, but that she had no fucking clue whether her young daughter was in the room or not:
(Court Transcripts Volume 10 of 31 pg. 169)
DA: And do you know how long it had been on top of the entertainment center?
Mary Doe: I worked. So for awhile.
DA: And do you know where (Jane Doe) was when they were caught trying to put that in?
Mary Doe: I don’t recall?
DA: She wasn’t in the room was she?
Mary Doe: I don’t believe so.
Well, okay, she had an inkling that maybe she wasn’t there. She didn’t believe so. Think back for a moment to her testimony regarding where she and her very young daughter were when they saw the (R-rated) Scary Movie. That happened in Volume 15 of the transcript, quite a while after this excerpt from Volume 10. In Volume 15 Mary Doe recalled, outside of the presence of the jury, seeing the movie. She remembered renting the movie. She remembered which Blockbuster she rented it at. She remembers that she switched it off when it turned out to be too nasty. That she “didn’t really care for it.” These are specific memories that she claimed to have.
After seeing this neat little story completely shattered by the child’s assertion that she had, in fact, seen that whole movie, suddenly Mary Doe remembers that they actually saw it at the theater. Her memory of renting the movie? Incorrect. Her recollection of watching it at her home? Discarded. Her assertion that her daughter only watched the first five minutes? *poof*, it was gone.
Going off these pieces of the transcript that we have, the jury was never allowed to see that. They saw a mother stating that she watched the movie at the theater, no ifs, ands, or buts. They didn’t see her story change, they didn’t know that this woman could have clear memories about going to the store, getting a particular movie, watching it, and then completely discard each of those specific memories in a way that supported her daughter’s changing story.
So, assuming that she was telling God’s own truth, exactly what she remembered, when she said she couldn’t recall where her daughter was when the other kids were trying to watch porn…when she said she believed her daughter wasn’t in the room…her memory was shit. What purpose was served by hiding this from the jurors? Did it further the cause of justice to ensure that this woman, who was apparently remembering an event that never happened when she claimed to have watched the movie at home with her family, was seen as trustworthy and credible by the jury?