Thursday, February 7, 2008

Chain of custody and other questions

Been trying my best to capture the legal perspective on this Clemens/McNamee ugliness. I'm not a lawyer and don't pretend to be one, but I'm trying to understand the angles being played here. It's been well-documented that McNamee has dirty gauze pads and syringes. The most important thing I learned since yesterday is a handy little term called "chain of custody". To define:

"Chain of custody" refers to the document or paper trail showing the seizure, custody, control, transfer, analysis, and disposition of physical and electronic evidence. Because evidence can be used in court to convict persons of crimes, it must be handled in a scrupulously careful manner to avoid later allegations of tampering or misconduct which can compromise the case of the prosecution toward acquittal or to overturning a guilty verdict upon appeal.


If I was on Clemens' defense team, I'd be hammering that point until I was blue in the face. Other questions I'd want answered:
  1. Where was this evidence during the Mitchell Investigation?
  2. Why is this just coming available to the public now?
  3. Was this offered to Sen. Mitchell?
  4. If not offered, why not?
  5. If offered, why did Mitchell not include or at least reference in his report?
  6. What other evidence was kept?
  7. Any evidence on other athletes?
  8. If not, why?
  9. Where were these syringes/gauze pads stored?
  10. How do we know they were not tainted intentionally, after the fact? Was this evidence actually manufactured? Pretty serious charge by Clemens' attorney Lanny Breuer: “apparently has manufactured evidence
  11. Will it even be considered admissable due to the lack of a chain of custody? (Does it matter for the court of public opinion?)

Related posts, from here:

Clemens, Pettitte and McNamee (Knoblauch, too?) all appear before Congress next Wednesday. Pitchers and catchers report in ONE WEEK, on Thursday. I can't wait until we can focus on the on-field stuff. PFP (pitcher's fielding practice) was never so welcomed!

1 comment:

jintman1 said...

My first thought was why was McNamee storing these syringes for all these years. What was his reasoning. Curious if he was looking to protect himself down the line but then again why not come out with this in the Mitchell Report.