Are You Guys Following This Circus Sideshow? (Hernandez)
Amusing quotes from the linked article
"Before he departed, Collins said, he noted that the battery was out of the phone and the back that held the battery in place had been removed from the phone. He said Jones, Hernandez’s attorney, assured him that the phone was operational."
– Seems like the lawyers did the prosecutors a favor by having the battery out no remote wipe possible.
"During the extensive cross-examination of Fee Wednesday, there were many times that the exchange was anything but cordial.
At one point, when McCauley was questioning what Fee’s actions were leading up to the handover of the cellphone, the prosecutor asked, 'Do you consider yourself a competent lawyer?'
Fee paused for a few seconds and then fired back. 'Let me think about that,' he said in a coldly angry voice. 'Yes, I do.’"
– LOL, too funny. I would have replied, "I suppose I'm not, because I presumed that prosecutors/police were honorable/reputable and did not act outside the scope of warrants."
"Earlier today, State Police Sergeant Paul Baker testified he ordered Collins, once he obtained the cellphone, to wrap it in aluminum foil because he feared someone would remotely wipe the data off of it.
While investigators searched Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough, Baker contacted Collins in Boston, who went to the lawyers’ offices and collected the phone. While the trooper was on his way, Baker testified, he told Collins to protect the cellphone.
'I had been advised that people can remotely clean out the phone through a computer,' Baker testified. 'So I just wanted to make sure that he could put it into something that would prevent it from happening, that would interrupt the signal.'"
– He wrapped the phone (which had no battery in it) in tinfoil?!? Not even a Faraday bag, lol? And this is a murder case! Anyway, if Hernandez and his attorneys had any inkling how to properly protect one's rights the BlackBerry would have been password locked and encrypted (battery removed a bonus but not necessary) when they handed it over to the government. Then instead of splitting hairs on whether the phone was in Hernandez's control/custody while in possession of his attorney(s) and subject to that particular search warrant they could be cordially discussing finer constitutional points – whether an accused can be compelled/conscripted to help the police/government execute warrants and gather evidence against him** – while the phone is in the hands of competent forensic experts working diligently on chipoff/decryption. (Were it my password locked and encrypted BlackBerry Q10, it's unlikely such efforts would be successful.)
**No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Addendum I disagree with the MA SJC's recent sophistry where it ruled that providing the police with one's password is not witnessing. The accused has the right to remain silent. Lawyers in black dresses whose rulings are in violation of state and federal constitutions are not lawmakers, they are guilty of sedition. A ruling like that cannot lawfully stand. It's likely the government had a lot of leverage against that accused making it in his interest not to fight very hard.
Interesting (though somewhat predictable) excerpts
"Garsh said Hernandez’s lawyers had simply turned the Blackberry phone over voluntarily.
'The Commonwealth did not deliberately induce Hernandez’s lawyer to turn over his cellphone based upon a false claim of legal authority,' she wrote in a ruling released Friday afternoon.
'The turning over of the phone was a voluntary act. It was not the result of force, threat, trickery, duress, or coercion,' she wrote."
I suppose the phone was handed over voluntarily because the police didn't forcefully seize it while ripping apart the lawyers' office. Good "out" for this judge – she doesn't have to rule on the validity of the warrant, lol. (Note to self never cooperate by voluntarily handing something over. Instead, wait for the police to take, by force, what they claim they are authorized to take.)
"In a separate ruling, Garsh also rejected a contention by Hernandez’s defense that he was in custody when police searched his North Attleborough home the next day and had not received a Miranda warning before he told investigators that his phone was at his lawyers’ offices and told an investigator the phone’s password.
" … Garsh also noted that a prosecutor learned independently, from one of Hernandez’s lawyers, that the phone was at the lawyers’ offices, and that a state trooper who eventually examined the phone found it was not password-protected, after all."
He told them the phone was at his lawyers' offices, supplied the investigator a password, and it turned out the phone didn't even have a password. Again, all of this (hearing, arguments, ruling) would have been avoided if the phone was password locked and encrypted (assuming the accused is smart enough not to give up the password). From what I've read in other articles it was a BlackBerry Z10. Unlikely anyone would be cracking that.
As someone about to graduate and work in this field, this is an interesting read. I've followed many of these stories, but haven't seen this one yet. Thanks.
I've been following this trial, watching the live feed whenever possible and archived feeds if I missed a day's proceedings. This site has the live feed and the archived clips
Most interesting has been the Day 17 Part 1 & 2 proceedings on which the Sprint custodian of records testified about call/cell site records. Of particular interest to me was that he stated that the content of text messages is not retained by Sprint because the data would be too voluminous.
In my opinion, things aren't looking good for the accused. So far his defense seems to be built on alleging sloppy police work which till now has been looking thorough/meticulous.
"Yet another snowstorm hitting New England is expected to dump several inches in the area, prompting the court to delay Monday's start until 1015 a.m. … A Sprint employee is expected back on the stand when court resumes Monday."
I'll miss the live feed today, but I'll catch up with the archived version tonight. Let's see what else the Sprint employee has to say.
Court just adjourned for the day (half day session), and I was able to catch the entire live stream. I've also been able to catch up on the past few days' archived sessions which I had missed live.
Among other witnesses, during the past few days there testified another Sprint rep (the defendant and some others involved had Sprint phones) and a T-Mobile corporate rep (the victim had a T-Mobile phone) whose testimony and records (exhibits) were used to match calls (durations, times, etc.) and text messages placed to various towers on what is alleged to be the route the defendant, his accomplices, and the victim took as they traveled by car together on the night and early morning hours of the murder to where the victim's body was found. [Hernandez (defendant) had a BlackBerry and Lloyd (victim) had an htc1.]
A good portion of today's session consisted of testimony by a T-Mobile engineer who explained that smart phones transmit and receive data on their own without interface by users. For example, emails come in, and facebook, twitter, and other apps routinely update in the background. The prosecution had the T-Mobile engineer corroborate the path the victim's phone traveled from the Dorchester/Roxbury area of Boston, to I90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike), to I95 at the Weston tolls, and from there along I95 to the murder site in North Attleboro, approximately 38 miles southwest of Boston. Especially chilling was how when right before court adjourned for the day the engineer, using the records, testified how at the last tower (near the industrial park where the victim's body was found) the phone (which was found on the victim's person) continued to handle data transmissions multiple times from the same tower, never moving on to a different location. This seemed to indicate victim dead, phone still alive on victim for many hours from time of death to discovery of the body.
Court is in session again tomorrow morning starting at 900 (barring any more snow emergencies). I would expect the T-Mobile witness to continue testifying. I'm not exactly sure if the prosecution is finished with him, but I am sure the defense has not had a chance to cross examine him yet.