Games Lawyers Play: Tampering with Evidence and Manipulating Jurors. Moving Past Murder Episode 27
Lawyer Games: In this high-stakes game of cat and mouse, the outcome often lies in stark contrast to the public's expectation of justice.
Dep Kirkland is a former assistant prosecutor in one of the most notorious murder trials in Savannah, GA history. The murder of "grifter" Danny Hansford by well-known yet mercurial antique dealer Jim Williams shook up the sleepy Southern town, spawning a book turned feature film of the same name titled "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."
Dep joins the podcast waxing everything from the Williams case's multiple mistrials to OJ Simpson's acquittal, he explains how high-profile litigators push the boundaries of the law.
• Collier shares an Instagram message from a fan in Ukraine (@katrinbranch) . At age 11, Collier was forced from his home with only twenty minutes to pack, and he empathizes with the one million refugees displaced from their homes, families, and lives...
•Dep shares stories of how the defense manipulated photographs in order to secure multiple mistrials in the Williams case...
•Collier reflects on the multi-faceted American justice system...
YouTube link of this episode: https://youtu.be/s-0foAkEOwo
Links and Resources:
Dep's book "Lawyer Games: After Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" recollects his time as both a prosecutor and private defense lawyer: https://www.amazon.com/Lawyer-Games-After-Midnight-Garden/dp/1457539454
*** Bonus Episode March 9, 2022 ***
Join Collier and Dep for an hour-long conversation explaining in detail the case that influenced “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” Wednesday, March 9.
YouTube link to BONUS episode: https://youtu.be/DR-eAwHoWos
Games Lawyers Play: Tampering with Evidence, Manipulating Jurors and After Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil
[00:00:00] Dep Kirkland: There is a chair and there's a piece of a brass belt buckle next to a chair leg on the floor. And it has something to do with the trajectory and the ricochet of this bullet. It was, it was an important part of the case. The photo in exhibit 20 was taken before the photo exhibit 19 Sharky, but [00:00:20] by marking them in sequence as 19 to 20, they suggest to a jury that.
[00:00:24] They were taking secrets. They had flipped the sequence of the photographs and the diff the prosecution didn't catch it with a fracture aligned against you. You've got to do something. So the only way to do something is to change the facts. Somehow you have to [00:00:40] manipulate it somehow you have to create confusion.
[00:00:42] And that's what lawyer gamesis about.
[00:00:48] Testimony continued today in the most notorious criminal trial in Richland county history. Dr. John Boyle is accused of killing his wife, Marine and burying her body in the basement of his new home in Erie, Pennsylvania. The 12 [00:01:00] year
[00:01:00] Collier Landry: old son lively took the stand
[00:01:01] and I heard a scream. I heard this about this loud, the
[00:01:05] jury find the defendant.
[00:01:08] When I was 12 years old, my testimony sent my father to prison for murdering. This podcast serves as a type of therapy and reconciliation for myself. And it is my hope that it [00:01:20] helps anyone who has experienced deception, betrayal, and dark trial. I'm calling your Landry and this is moving. They movers.
[00:01:30] What's going on, I'm calling your Landry and this is moving past murder. I just want to say it's been really cool getting to know a lot of you during my Instagram lives, which I have every [00:01:40] Tuesday at 11:00 AM. Pacific 2:00 PM Eastern time on my Instagram channel, which is at @collierlandry which should be like right there.
[00:01:47] And I love just getting to know you guys and getting you guys ask me questions. You asked me questions about my story, about my life. I can ask you questions. And so I want to thank you guys for tuning in, and if you were watching this on YouTube, please [00:02:00] like, and subscribe. I really appreciate it. It helps with the algorithm.
[00:02:03] You guys know the drill. Thank you very much. Okay. So speaking of people who are contacting me, I want to just, you know, the world is. Uh, predicament. If we will put it nicely. As of today, there are 1 million Ukrainians who have [00:02:20] been displaced from their homes because of this. While I have not been involved in war in the sense of guns and fighting.
[00:02:27] I have been involved in a personal war and that was, uh, of my father murdering my mother. And I couldn't remember on the early morning hours of January 24th, 1990, when I was awoken by two total strangers [00:02:40] in my bed who literally told me, pack your bags. Do you got 20 minutes? Uh, little did I know that I would never be back to my house again.
[00:02:48] And, uh, I had to pack bag in to toys and clothes and they, you know, they said you're going to be gone for a couple of days, which was not true. They said I could come and get my dog and that never [00:03:00] happened. And so. I said goodbye to my dog. At that time, I was 11 years old and I had pretty much lost my world.
[00:03:06] And then that was just one more thing, you know, losing my mother, my father eventually, and my entire family, and then my way of life. So as someone who has been displaced by a tragedy, I am with you guys a [00:03:20] hundred percent. Um, I know what it's like to have that feeling of not knowing what is going on in your world.
[00:03:28] So, um, Look, my heart goes out to you. Um, I pray for you guys every day on that note, you know, I have started reading messages every week from listeners and fans that [00:03:40] that write in and this week is I have asked because I do have people from the Ukraine on my IG lives. And I do have people who respond on YouTube.
[00:03:49] Through Instagram. And my social media is Twitter. This is Katrin bench yesterday. I posted a video and I put the, uh, famous Tommy Hearns, John Carlos fist in the air [00:04:00] for equality, with the Ukrainian colors of yellow and blue. And she noticed that and she wanted to say, thank you. And she said, thanks from the Ukraine I live here.
[00:04:09] And the ring of hell shrinks around us. Um, Again, I have never been a victim of war. Thank God. Uh, but [00:04:20] I do know what is like to be literally uprooted from everything you've ever known in your way. And I'm with you. I know what it feels like, and my heart breaks for you guys, but I'm with you. So on that note, let's get into the episode.
[00:04:38] My guest today is a gentleman named [00:04:40] Deb Kirkland. Deb was the assistant Dean. One of the assistant DA's in a case, this case became to national prominence through a film that was directed by the amazing Clint Eastwood. It was called midnight in the garden of goodness. And for those of you who are Jude law fans, you will remember this was like his first like breakout [00:05:00] role.
[00:05:00] My conversation today with DEP delves into the American justice system, specifically how evidence can be manipulate. By both sides, but specifically when the defense and especially a defense that is backed by a prominent and wealthy individual, there were three mistrials, [00:05:20] I believe, in this case. Um, and then I think the fourth ended in a conviction there.
[00:05:25] Definitive differences to a level of standards that prosecutors and defense attorneys are held to in this country. It's pretty fascinating. And, um, again, with my case and my father being a doctor and having his own [00:05:40] little high powered. Team of lawyers, you know, I never knew what was going to happen if he was going to get convicted, if he was going to be, you know, released.
[00:05:48] And it was very scary for me because I took the step of testifying against him. And I'm the one that alerted the police and found the house. And anyways, I digress on that, but it's an interesting conversation with him, for sure. Now he [00:06:00] wrote a book called lawyer games and we were going to discuss all those games that lawyers play because I am fast.
[00:06:06] Having been in both sides with the criminal case against my father's civil cases that I had with legal people that were involved, um, after the trial, for those of you that have watched the documentary of murder of Mansfield, you know, that my mother really wanted me to be a lawyer. [00:06:20] And sometimes I consider maybe that might've been again, I don't know.
[00:06:25] Anyways, it's fascinating to listen to depth. Now he does go into further depth about the case and his role in it. And another episode that I'm releasing as a bonus next Wednesday, which is March 8th or ninth, I believe you will get to hear a [00:06:40] depth, explain the case and his role in it more. It'll be very raw and unedited, but you know, if you guys are curious, you can hear it here to discuss all the wonderful games that lawyers play is my guest, Deb Kirkland.
[00:06:52] So Deb, tell me. About lawyer games. I have a little bit of experience in this, in both the criminal and [00:07:00] civil arenas, but, uh, I would love to hear from someone such as yourself who has straddled both sides of the fence, you have been a trial lawyer for the defense of, uh, the accused and also on the other side of the, uh, working for the prosecutor's office, we would love to hear some of [00:07:20] these, uh, these stories that I'm sure you have.
[00:07:22] Dep Kirkland: Well, I have a few, um, I think, uh, to relate to the why the title, right? And so why the title of the book, because the subtitle is after midnight in the garden of good navel. So it's, it started off as an examination of this really renowned murder case [00:07:40] from Savannah called midnight is the William Jim Williams prosecution for murder of young Danny Hanford.
[00:07:46] Okay. Was made into a movie by clinics with whole thing, Eastern Spacey. So it started out as an examination of that remarkable case that went on for nine and a half years through former of trucks. What, what, what [00:08:00] happened with me in going back and reviewing all of that? I went back and I said, well, I'm going to do a review of this.
[00:08:06] Cause I was going after the first. Okay. And I pulled every piece of evidence. I looked at every scrap of evidence, whether he'd been admitted, whether it hadn't been admitted. I looked at every statement of every witness. I looked at every affidavit. I [00:08:20] read every transcript from beginning to end. I said, well, I'm going to have to look at well, what happened during the course of that?
[00:08:28] And I followed true crime to some extent, infamous cases, OJ Simpson, obviously Phil Spector, no side strange, or all of these types of. And I started to see a pattern [00:08:40] of behavior because I'm watching it. You know, it's interesting that after the fact, when you go back and look at somethings a lot easier than when you're in the, in the battle and you're in the middle of it and things are happening so fast, if you can go back and look at this, what started to look to are starting to pop out to me was, oh, I see what they did there.
[00:08:59] I see, [00:09:00] I see what this, I see what the defense attorney did, particularly in the Williams. Wait a minute. He's asking this witness, he's asking the prosecution's witness about blood splatter. He's asking about gunshot residue. He's asking about positions of this or that. And he leads right up to the edge of the conclusion, but he didn't [00:09:20] ask him that question.
[00:09:21] Why didn't he ask him that question? That's interesting. Well, let's start it. And then he continued to repeat itself. I, we wait a minute. There was an issue of, uh, uh, like, uh, expert testimony in, in, uh, the OJ Simpson case. And in the, [00:09:40] even a later indication in leaf of. Well, so Lisa told us the other guy's name.
[00:09:46] Um, the Amanda Knox case, y'all got a lot of blood evidence, DNA evidence, DNA evidence, and it
[00:09:54] Collier Landry: Amanda Knox acquitted, or cause there was a, there's a recent [00:10:00] documentary I believe about this. Correct. Or my okay. Which I have not.
[00:10:04] Dep Kirkland: Yeah. Oh, I have read every decision of the Italian courts. I looked at all the evidence in that case.
[00:10:09] I do get alone involved in this stuff because it didn't make any sense to me. And there was something that happened in that case. For example, that also happened in the Simpson case where they were talking [00:10:20] about the fact that DNA was found on the bra class that was cut off of Meredith Kertscher the night that she was killed.
[00:10:32] It belonged to Amanda Knox was boyfriend. They claimed they'd never, he was never there. None of that. [00:10:40] How did his DNA get on the broad class of the dead girl? And they, so I saw there was testimony from an expert forensic scientist in Italy, that there was a dirt found in the area ended. Apparently the collect [00:11:00] people who collected the oven.
[00:11:01] And allowed it to become contaminated. And if you recall, go back to OJ Simpson contamination, contamination of blood samples is the theme. Oh, the blood samples became contaminated the blood sample. Well, here's the thing. This is DNA evidence. No two people have the same DNA. Sure. [00:11:20] Putting dirt on a broad class can not put a human being's DNA on the broad class.
[00:11:26] That was never in context. So the blood. So I start to see these patterns in Williams case about how questions are asked and how, uh, there was an example, there were, there were crime scene photos, many of them taken in [00:11:40] the Williams case and the position of evidence positions of certain things were important.
[00:11:45] Because as I mentioned, there were only two people there. The defendant said it was self-defense and it's all about the physical evidence. Everything is about that physical evidence. So here. There were a hundred plus photos taken today, digital age, it probably would have been [00:12:00] 500, but there were a hundred plus photos taken.
[00:12:02] The ID. Officer began to photos photograph the scene. When she got there before anything was touched, right to memorialize the position and everything. At the beginning of the investigation, she continued to take photographs as they process the scene and the detectives showed up. She continued to [00:12:20] take photographs of that process.
[00:12:22] All right, we get to. And this was in the second trial. The third you get to the trial with the new lawyers, they go through these photographs and I'll give you one example. There is a chair and there's a piece of a brass belt buckle next [00:12:40] to a chair leg on the floor. And it has something to do with the trajectory and the ricochet of this bullet.
[00:12:44] It was, it was a Creole, it was an important part of the case. So they have a, uh, prostitution detective on the standard. Defense pulls out a, a photograph. They had it marked. And I'm going to give an example as defense exhibit 19. [00:13:00] Fine. What is this? I'll ask the chair. Here's the bolt ballgame. Okay, fine. I'm going to show to you now another photograph and they had it marked as defendant's exhibit 20.
[00:13:09] Well guess what? The chair has moved. It's in a different position. Somebody has moved the chair. Now here's the thing. [00:13:20] When the ID officer herself who took all these photographs was on the stand. She offered to take the proof sheets and put the photographs in order. And the defense counsel said that's not necessary.[00:13:40]
[00:13:40] Guess why it's not necessary. The photo in exhibit 20 was taken before the photo in exhibit 19. But by marking them in sequence as 19 and 20, they suggest to a jury, they would not, they would take that sequence. They had flipped the sequence of the photographs and the D the prosecution didn't. [00:14:00]
[00:14:00] Collier Landry: So, is that something that, so is that sorry to interrupt you, but just to clarify for our listeners, is that something that the defense can manipulate rather easily because obviously both sides are, or defense has allowed discovery.
[00:14:14] Right. Right. And in discovery, are they allowed to say, well, We need to sh we [00:14:20] should be able to change instead. This is picture 20 and picture 19, we should be able to flip these because I feel this is, you know, they, they purchased the judge and say, we want to label as exhibit 19 and 20 versus, you know, 2019 or whatever.
[00:14:31] Is that something that's common? Is that a way that they can, because I, I feel, again, lawyer games, there's a lot of gamesmanship involved, especially in the American [00:14:40] justice system, but perhaps throughout the world that allows people, especially. If you have enough juice to pay the lawyers, to, for them to really craft when a defendant is clearly guilty of something for them to decry, to craft another narrative that sort of runs alongside that becomes the main narrative [00:15:00] that they give to
[00:15:00] Dep Kirkland: a jury.
[00:15:03] Yeah, well, it is, as you've mentioned, when someone, when the facts are with the facts are aligned against. You've got to do something. So the only way of do something is to change the facts. Somehow you have to manipulate it somehow you have to create confusion. And that's what lawyer games is about. I actually do a presentation.
[00:15:19] I [00:15:20] created it's called, uh, the American criminal jury trial, a playground for legal delinquents. There's a certain species of lawyer. And I've talked to Brenda about this. It is what I call the lust for the w it's about winning. Sure. And there are some who will not [00:15:40] pat across that line. There are others that do it every day and are they allowed to do it?
[00:15:46] Well, for example, in the case of the photographs, those photographs, they assign those exhibit numbers because he said their exhibit. They're just like, I'm going to mark this a picture of whatever as exhibit the actual numbers of the [00:16:00] photographs on the proof sheet don't change. They just pulled two of them.
[00:16:05] And use them to put them in opposite directions. Now, what could happen if you're alert to that in the process, the prosecution didn't pick it up in this case. That's why I say, I say it's a lot easier after the fact he will sit and read a deposition or [00:16:20] read a transcript and say, wait a minute, let me go look at these photos.
[00:16:23] And that's what I did because that's what I do. I look at the photos. Is it. That chair was moved in the processing of the scene because the detective had to move it over so that he could take pick. She could take pictures of the debris on the desk. [00:16:40] That's why it was moved. It was moved in the normal course of business.
[00:16:43] If they had their job, doesn't the defense job is not to, uh, is not to, uh, solidify the normal course of business. It's natural. Repeat the prosecution's evidence is defined. There's one in the, in the Simpson case. It's very interesting [00:17:00] that, and this is what we do. This is what we, as defense lawyers do.
[00:17:03] When you're defending you don't have a case, you don't have a case. There's a quote that's attributed to, uh, Bobby Lee cook, who tried the first case of the defendant. The first. Famous murder defendant, uh, attorney not defendant attorney, [00:17:20] and he is quoted not in this case, but he was quoted earlier. And I think he stole it from me because I made this argument.
[00:17:25] And in the, in the case, in the first Williams case, if you have a criminal defendant who is charged with murder, you need to prove two things. You need to prove whether or not he killed the person who's accused of. [00:17:40] And then you need to prove whether or not the person needed killing. That's what they did.
[00:17:46] I know it's kind of a joke, but that's what they do with hands. They turned it into somebody that you didn't care about. You talked about his psychiatric exam. He's a crazy, erasion, he's a crazy guy. He's a kid who's out of control. He lost [00:18:00] control. He blew up, he attacked Williams and they painted this picture.
[00:18:03] Like you said, it's a narrative. They have to change that now. To support their position. Now, when you get the physical evidence gets in the way, then they do things. I call this debate and the switch there's the, uh, there's the expert witness will say anything who [00:18:20] flipped bodies, who were the three shots of the dead kid, Danny Hansford in this case, the three shots, the last shot, as I mentioned, goes through his back, directly into the floor.
[00:18:31] And yet William said he never rounded the desk. I think that was a coup de Gras. I think he rounded the desk and he finished him. Well, he can't have that be true because it shows [00:18:40] that that's what he did. So he says I was behind the desk the whole time. So, you know what they did the defense expert change the sequence of the bullets and actually claimed it, rotate the body to do that because he had to get the body facing before somehow to get that bullet.
[00:18:57] So they switched bullet holes. [00:19:00] He used the same bullet hole in the floor for two of the shots. I didn't find that until later I said, wait a minute, but it's when I'm reviewing things in the moment, you don't know what he's doing. So they do, they try to confuse people and they try to, and it's important.
[00:19:16] That's what they
[00:19:17] Collier Landry: do. And they often will make the victim [00:19:20] out to be the bad
[00:19:20] Dep Kirkland: guy. Absolutely. So they killed him and that he needed killing. So
[00:19:25] Collier Landry: now in your opinion,
[00:19:29] Dep Kirkland: In your
[00:19:30] Collier Landry: opinion, is this very characteristic of specifically American justice system, or is this characteristic of any justice system? This is sort of modus [00:19:40] operandi for a defense team?
[00:19:44] Dep Kirkland: I think it's, I think it's this, I think it is a symptom of any system where winning becomes important and as every system now here's the difference. United States is the only modern nation. In the world [00:20:00] that does not allow the prosecution to appeal the verdict in a criminal case. So really here's what happens.
[00:20:08] And the reasons you asked
[00:20:09] Collier Landry: is allowed that,
[00:20:10] Dep Kirkland: that they all do this. You asked about Amanda Knox. So the reason that case became so complicated was that it went up on appeal several times. The first time. Well, because it had [00:20:20] been, were complaints about the processing of the case by the prosecution about the judge handling the case.
[00:20:26] So what happens in the United States,
[00:20:29] Collier Landry: retry cases all the time back there sort of time, or is that they're sort of a way of appealing,
[00:20:36] Dep Kirkland: but here's the thing. If, if a defendant [00:20:40] they can't appeal, they can't appeal a conviction. I'm sorry. They cannot appeal a verdict of not guilty. So what happens in the American justice system is that you do as a defense counsel, anything you can do because you will never be called to task for it.[00:21:00]
[00:21:00] I don't know of any criminal defense attorney who has ever been sanctioned by a bar association for conduct during the trial of a criminal case. If they can get away with it, the defendant can walk out the front door and confess, and there's nothing you can do about. So what it does is it encouraged to me?[00:21:20]
[00:21:20] I think it encourages that behavior because you know that if you can get a not guilty verdict, no matter what you had to do, Then you're done and there's, you're never going to see that case again, it's double jeopardy. You cannot retry the case. And that's why that's been said in cases here in the United States, people have claimed [00:21:40] about certain famous cases.
[00:21:41] Let's double jeopardy.
[00:21:43] Collier Landry: That's the sixth amendment, correct? Double jeopardy that protects the double jeopardy. So they
[00:21:48] Dep Kirkland: complained about Amanda Knox. For that reason, people said, wait a minute, this is double jeopardy. She has been tried already. It's not double jeopardy on Italy because the verdict isn't.
[00:21:56] And totally it is going through the appellate process and everyone has had a [00:22:00] chance because the goal is supposed to be to get it right. Not about winning. It's about getting it right. We have a different system. So I'm not saying that everybody is evil. They're not all defense attorneys are not. I was telling Brenda, there is a case involving a Phil Spector case, right?
[00:22:18] The full spectrum case. [00:22:20] There became, there was an allegation made in that case that Dr. Henry Lee, the famous forensic scientist from Boston, he came in for the defense. There was testimony. There was a complaint from a detective who was on the defense team, actually that he had thought he had seen Dr. Lee at the scene when he came later to, to view the same [00:22:40] that he thought he had seen Dr.
[00:22:41] Lee picked something up from the scene and take it with him. And it hadn't ever been. You hadn't seen that at whatever it was. Nobody ever saw it again. So you didn't know what it was. So he makes us allegation. He says, I don't know what it was, but I swear you. I saw him lean over and pick something up.
[00:22:58] Now in that case, [00:23:00] specter had shot Laura. I forget her last name on story. Um, that he had met at the house of blues that going home, it was the middle of the night. You know, you call him that she had committed suicide suddenly with his gun. Well, all right. She had acrylic finger. One of the tips of one of her acrylic fingernails had been, was missing.
[00:23:19] Okay. [00:23:20] Now, so there was some suggestion. Well, I wonder if that was part of her fingernail, because if it's a fingernail, it shows that her hands were up in a defensive posture when she was shocked and that she was not committing suicide on brown. Okay. Well, it's a little, it's a little murky because nobody knows.[00:23:40]
[00:23:40] The only reason is judge Fiddler room yelling superior court. It heard this complaint about really the only reason that it was resolved was that a member of the defense team, a female whose name? I don't remember. I wish I did. She should have a statue put up somewhere. She stood up in court and said, [00:24:00] I cannot go along with this.
[00:24:03] I saw him do it. He picked it up in a handkerchief and he took it with him and he got. Wow. And really should never be on a stand again. No, it doesn't come up because it, you know what, it doesn't come up because there's no point in it. [00:24:20] So it was the tip of her acrylic finger him now. So I guess my point is, all of the systems are the same and the, you know, the lust for winning is something that doesn't just happen in criminal cases.
[00:24:33] It happens in sports too. You can have two people see the exact same. [00:24:40] And once a Giant's Fran and one's, uh, an Eagles fan and they can be sitting next to each other and they will swear to you. They saw something completely different. Right. And there are people who may be in a case, particularly say basketball never touched him.
[00:24:58] Well, yeah, [00:25:00] maybe you did. And maybe a shoved a little bit. Maybe you did a little something because you want to win so badly that sometimes maybe you even take steroids, maybe you leave.
[00:25:09] Collier Landry: That calls into question, the officiating and the, because legit, Ron James always gets his hand hands put on him. Like no other player.
[00:25:17] It doesn't get the calls. I just want to say that for the [00:25:20] record.
[00:25:20] Dep Kirkland: Yeah, it is about that. It's this gloss to win. It's about what will you do? Uh, I was talking to a friend of mine today about this because he follows all of this very big, true crime. And I told him I was going to do this thing with you guys.
[00:25:31] He's so excited about it. He's read the book 40 times. I mean, he's that kind of guy, right? And he's like, He said, I really believe that people who will cut [00:25:40] corners in life, if you make them into a lawyer, they become that kind of lawyer. And it is not very clear. It is not unique to the defense bar. There are prosecutors who do the same thing.
[00:25:53] It's just that you never read. And what happens is people will appeal and you'll have a record. [00:26:00] Right. And so you can read about the case where the prosecutor was found to have planted evidence or who have done this or whatever. Right. You don't see those cases involving what defense attorneys do, because there is no appeal if they are not convicted.
[00:26:14] So there's no record and there's no appellate decision and there's no, there aren't any of those cases. [00:26:20] So it's interesting how we don't see those, but both sides will do it. Anybody that wants to cheat to win will
[00:26:25] Collier Landry: cheat to win. So they, so would you say that defense attorneys are held to a different set of standards and then prosecutors that
[00:26:32] Dep Kirkland: work for the state?
[00:26:33] Absolutely because their behavior is never reviewed. It's like coming as a kid with like a kid who knows that they're never going to [00:26:40] get caught doing whatever it is they want to do. I mean, it's just, it's human nature. There's nothing you can do about it. In many cases, prosecutors get to decide what they take.
[00:26:49] If you walk into a court with a case, you better know your case and you better be there for a reason and you better have a pretty good grasp of it. Defense lawyers don't get that opportunity. I guess somebody who comes to them to defend them, they get handed a [00:27:00] case so they can end up in a courtroom with a case that is so good for their client.
[00:27:05] So how do you, what do you end up doing? You end up trying to find some way to get a jury so confused and these people, again, don't do this everyday. There is a review. I have some people read this book and give me some feedback on it. [00:27:20] One of them is somebody named Aphrodite Jones. Aphrodite Jones used to do true crime with Aphrodite Jones.
[00:27:25] I think it was Missy. And she want me to, for years he had this show and I know her and she read the book and she had a comment about it, which I think is on the back of the book or somewhere she said, anyone who reads this book will never again [00:27:40] look the same way at a criminal. Here's a bit taking the facade off to show you what's really going on.
[00:27:46] When a role, you're ask a question a certain way, why they asked that witness and they didn't ask this witness, why they follow it up with their witnesses? They didn't use the prosecution witness that they already had right up to the edge of the case. The thing about will they swap photographs yes.[00:28:00]
[00:28:00] Related or strongly evidence? I hope not, but that is the kind of thing that a jury. Unless you're on a jury, let's ask your job is to be on juries and it's not, you come off the street and you don't know what's going on. You don't know what they're doing at that time. You don't know what they're talking about.
[00:28:17] And then the judge says, I'll come up here and go, [00:28:20] we'll take the jury out. The jury goes out. And they don't like that. I like now that talking about stuff, we don't even get to here. This is all a game. We don't know what they're doing. And you know, and they try to trust people. They want to believe that what people are telling them is true.
[00:28:33] And if somebody stands up, here's something that I have said. Do people say, you know what? And I tried a [00:28:40] case once defense as a defense attorney. And I had, I said, here's the thing, defense attorneys. Don't like it, it happens all the time. You're standing up and you're making an argument or you're cross examining a witness in your client is sitting next to you and they start tugging on your pants leg, or they what they do and start scribbling on.
[00:28:59] And [00:29:00] shoving it over so you can see it. And it says, I am making this up, you know, because it does happen, but they don't say this. They'll say the son of a bitch is lying. They're lying. I see. Yeah. Well, that's kind of how it works. Oh, I supposed to just tell I'm supposed to make an announcement to the court.
[00:29:16] They're lying to, here's the thing. You take [00:29:20] an oath as a witness to tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth. So help you, whatever you wanna say. Unfortunately lawyers up to
[00:29:30] Collier Landry: the same tag. That's why I was just thinking, I was like, they don't, they don't, they don't take it out. Yeah. Right. It just, oh
[00:29:39] Dep Kirkland: [00:29:40] no, they don't.
[00:29:40] But if a witness, if that oath meant anything and it means something to some people, it doesn't mean something to a lot of people. Now people still lie. Oh, guess what? They lie. They take an oath and they lie. People lie all the time. And it, isn't easy to find out what they're lying about. And here's the thing about D about what [00:30:00] happens on the defense side.
[00:30:00] It, because of the American system, this is very interesting to me. I did not know that by the way about appeals. I am, I knew it. I just had never thought about it. Somebody who writes for, for, uh, uh, legal write for Bloomberg, I think, or somebody on legal matters. And she mentioned this to me. Did you realize there's no appeal by the prosecution in the United States?
[00:30:18] I said, well, I knew [00:30:20] that I just never thought about what it. But what it does does to the behavior on the other side. So there was this situation in the Simpson case where Barry Scheck, another one of those guys, he argues to the jury, that evidence in a criminal case is like a chain. And if any link of the chain is broken, the case collapses, [00:30:40] well, that's not the way it works.
[00:30:43] It NAS, not the law, but that's the approach is they'll go after every. And try to create doubt somewhere. Some part of the case, the truth is it doesn't matter if you have a video, this legitimate of the killing, then the fact that the [00:31:00] person had bad eyes or that it was dark, or it doesn't matter. It's an accumulation of evidence.
[00:31:06] And I talked about Vincent, Bugliosi talking about evidence as a rope or a cord, and if you remove one piece of it, it doesn't go away. It becomes perhaps. Less [00:31:20] thick and less strong. It doesn't go away. It's not a chain. And in the end of the Simpson case, this is fascinating to me after the OJ Simpson verdict that in the criminal case, the chairperson of the jury was interviewed.
[00:31:36] And she was asked specifically about the blood [00:31:40] at the crime scene. There were drops of blood at the scene that were never questioned. There was never any testimony by anybody that they were anything other than OJ Simpson's blood, the contamination was about other blood. It was not about that blood. And I don't remember if it was three blocks, three drops, two jobs, four drops of blood at the scene of the [00:32:00] killing.
[00:32:01] That was, it was his blood. No doubt about it. And they asked her about, well, what about the blood at the crime scene? And her answer was astounding. She said it didn't really, we didn't think that much about that because that was [00:32:20] not the reasonable doubt that we found what we went out and we found some reasonable doubt somewhere else.
[00:32:31] So we just ignored the blood of data at the current scene at the end of the case, in the Williams case to get back to about Williams and crime. And a lawyer [00:32:40] games, the assistant da, in that case named guiding David Locke, terrific lawyer. He was, he was stunned when he came back with a not guilty verdict sure.
[00:32:51] To a member of the jury, a woman who was on the jury, he went to her and he said, do you mind if I ask you a question? Oh no, you guys were great. You guys were great. So I'm [00:33:00] not really, it's not valid that he says I don't. I just, I, if you could just tell them. What about the physical evidence in her answer was, well, what did that have to do with
[00:33:15] Collier Landry: it?
[00:33:16] What about the physical evidence?
[00:33:18] Dep Kirkland: What he says, what about the physical [00:33:20] evidence and her response was, what did that have to do with it? What did that have to do with it? It's a physical evidence case. That's what the case is. How did a member of the jury get to a point the end of that case of thinking it was about something else.
[00:33:36] Wow. They thought they were watching a play. I don't, I [00:33:40] don't know what he'll get became. Say I wasn't there for four and there's no transcript cause it wasn't appeal. But I talked to people who were there and I guess it's this, they, uh, to, to call yours note about this, they weave a, they weave a story and apparently they had manipulated and well and massage that story.
[00:33:58] That a jury bought it [00:34:00] Hansford was crazy. And his fruit was out of control and food was as a punk. And this is why I mentioned, I think before that I was contacted by Danny Ginsburg ni a nice, I think, yes, he was her uncle and she had heard about my book and she said, I don't know whether or not to read your book.[00:34:20]
[00:34:20] And I want you to tell me because I've seen what was done. To my uncle and not about the killing, but about the characterization and friend. Right. She said, so I don't know if I [00:34:40] want to read another one or if I want to see it again. So just tell me what you think. And I said, I think it, I saw, I'll tell you this, your uncle was not a member of the choir at St.
[00:34:54] Jude's church. He. All right. He lived in the street. He had a lot of problems. You [00:35:00] probably know that. Cause you grew up around him. Yes. He had a lot of problems in his life. He had a tough, tough childhood. His mother. Oh my goodness. I don't know how the kid ended up as it is as okay. Sure, but it didn't, he didn't deserve to be killed because of [00:35:20] that.
[00:35:21] So you can read the book if you like, because I think I do a pretty good job of defending him from the slander, his treatment that he got. But you're going to read some things that might not make you real happy to read. And I, it didn't say it on, uh, your, your [00:35:40] podcast, but there was a gripping piece of testimony and I'm happy to say it because it's in the record of the case from a D from a de hinge, with his best friend who knew him, knew his girlfriend, the whole thing, he knew the whole scheme.
[00:35:53] He's the one who testified that Danny used to pick on Williams and how that worked out with the thing with the car, with the necklace and this and that. And, [00:36:00] you know, I asked him. What he was doing with Williams, like, why are you doing this, this and that? You said, so this guy living in his house and you're doing, you know, when you're having sex with him, even though you're not.
[00:36:12] And he said, and Danny's answer was, you know what, uh, the guy's rich. If he wants to pay me to [00:36:20] suck my whatever, then I'll take the money. So you can't really say Danny Hansford was exactly the kid. You really want your daughter to grow up in area. That doesn't and that's what they, that doesn't make him
[00:36:33] Collier Landry: didn't deserve to die or be, or be slandered, you know, and having [00:36:40] the narrative manipulated that's, you know, this is all very interesting and I think it, you know, then that, and I think, you know, this case was what, over 20 years ago, now you have a whole.
[00:36:53] You die, you throw things like Twitter and Facebook and YouTube and social [00:37:00] media at all into the mix. And now you have a more convoluted narrative that we've seen, you know, recently play out over the last couple of years in our justice system right now. And it becomes so convoluted. You don't even know which way is up and you don't even have tell the truth,
[00:37:18] Dep Kirkland: know what you don't know, which [00:37:20] way is up.
[00:37:20] However, To your point, but everybody knows. He knows the answer within 12 hours. Everybody knows. Well, they really don't know, but they've seen the video. They've seen the toy. No, they see the cell phone and they, it, oh, well, you know what happened? You know, this happened, no, you don't. And then they always, and they will question the [00:37:40] jury.
[00:37:40] I said, do you even sit through the trial? If you're not in the courtroom and you don't hear all the testimony, just shut up, get off of social media and stop slinging, just junk around about each other, because what it does to your point, is it. It eats at the confidence we have in the system. If we have some, right.[00:38:00]
[00:38:00] Um, everybody has an opinion. Everybody knows, everybody knows, and it's all a well, and if any, if it's something that you don't agree with, then it's because it was fixed. Well, it had to be fixed if I don't like what happened. Oh yeah. Yeah. Well, you know what, you know how lawyers are, you know, how they, you know, none of this stuff, but it is, uh, it's hard to have confidence in this system, but the truth is.[00:38:20]
[00:38:21] It's what we got. And we like to say, you know, this is another point we like to say, you know what? It may not be perfect, but we have the best system criminal justice system in the world. Well, you know, we don't necessarily, there are countries where the other side can appeal. Regardless. There are countries where you have a panel of judges that hear these [00:38:40] cases where you don't rely on people that are pulled off the street, who can get bamboozled so easily.
[00:38:46] Um, there are other systems that do a pretty good job. They also have problems. Sure. But we didn't, we don't, we don't look outside of ourselves. We all think, well, it's the U S we must be great. And we like to say that a lot, what's the best system. And [00:39:00] even though we, you know, what most of these people don't even know, it's like the folks who said you can't retry Amanda Knox because it's double jeopardy.
[00:39:07] And this was somebody on television, on network news who is illegal animal. And I wrote into them, my comment,
[00:39:14] Collier Landry: we won't go there. We won't go there to the,
[00:39:16] Dep Kirkland: they obviously don't study international law. Those
[00:39:18] Collier Landry: experts [00:39:20] anyway. Well, Deb, thank you so much for your time in 30 seconds or less. What are you up to now?
[00:39:27] Dep Kirkland: Uh, five films in a row. First one in Georgia, which is why I'm here and another seven or eight after. TV shows I'm in the entertainment business. Now I quit. I gave up the law, but I know I [00:39:40] walked away from it. I never, should've been a lawyer. My mother should have been a lawyer. I suggest that I go to law school and I said, well, I'm not doing anything else.
[00:39:47] Fine. I'll go.
[00:39:52] Collier Landry: That was a really interesting conversation with Dep. One of the reasons why I wanted to have him on the program is not only because I really enjoy that movie midnight in the garden of good and [00:40:00] evil. I remember seeing it in the theaters long time ago, but also, uh, you know, he seen a side of the law that not many of us get to.
[00:40:08] We see these sort of dramas play out on television, I suppose, or in our own fantasy worlds on a true crime podcast. Maybe. I don't know. But for the most part, you know, he has an insider's look [00:40:20] and it's tough because it has me again, questioning our justice system in a way that I really hadn't done before, because ultimately, if you look at it, my father was convicted of the murder of my mother.
[00:40:32] He did have a high powered team of lawyers and he ultimately lost. Mostly because of the impact of his 12 year old [00:40:40] son, but nonetheless, um, however, it does make me feel and think about the people who I've interviewed on this program. Like Melissa McInnes, for example, who was in a couple of episodes ago, who's still looking for justice for her son Danye Deon Jones, right.
[00:40:56] And evidence being destroyed and things of that nature. It's, [00:41:00] it's heartbreaking. So as much as I. As much as I have respect for the justice system and that I feel it served me. It doesn't serve everyone in the same way. And that's unfortunate. And hopefully with conversations like these, [00:41:20] we can begin to change that narrative in this country and around the world.
[00:41:23] Um, I mean, look, life is not. It's sometimes it really sucks if life were fair. Ultimately my mother would still be here. She wouldn't have been murdered, but that's what it is. I mean, [00:41:40] it's tough. It's tough. But, um, again, I want to hear from you guys, my listeners, uh, thank you so much for tuning in. I'm calling your Landry and this is moving past.
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