The Staircase (2004) s01e09 Episode Script

Reopening the Case

1 [Peterson] I didn't do anything.
I am innocent.
I was wrongly convicted.
I didn't harm Kathleen, and I didn't believe until the jury clerk read the sentence that I would be convicted.
My immediate reaction was "Let's end it.
" And I told David that I didn't want an appeal.
I wanted to just end it right now.
Forget it.
Enough was enough.
We had all suffered enough.
And that that wonderful, awful line from Romeo and Juliet [stammers] that that "All are punishéd.
" I don't know what we were being punished for.
I don't why my children had to suffer what they did.
Why they were being punished.
But I did feel that, let this end right now.
I have been here almost 3,000 days.
Over eight years.
When I first got here, I thought, "Well, I'll be out in a couple of years.
" We appealed.
And we kept appealing, and every one of them failed.
And after eight years, I'm still here.
And I began to think, "I may die in here.
" It's been almost ten years since Kathleen died.
But Well, there's this wonderful photograph in my locker of of her.
Every time I open it, I see it.
And, uh, it's of Kathleen in the Imperial Gardens in Tokyo.
And she's looking for Japanese because there aren't any, uh, in downtown Tokyo, because it's not cherry blossom time.
And that's how it always was with her.
We were always joking and we were always laughing.
So Even though it's been ten years, it's just like yesterday.
She's just as alive to me, and I love her as much today as I did ten years ago.
[Rudolf] One of the most awful things that could ever befall somebody is to think to yourself, "The only way I'm ever going to get out of here is in a coffin.
" And that thought, I won't say it occurred to me often, but every so often it would flip flit across my mind.
Uh, and I would think to myself "Boy, uh, he's there until he dies.
" And it was only when all this uh, publicity started coming out about Deaver that I started feeling like maybe, maybe there was a chance.
[judge] The decision.
[clerk] Judge Calvin E.
Murphy rules Gregory F.
Taylor has proved - by clear and convincing evidence - [cries] that Gregory F.
Taylor is innocent of the charge of first-degree murder of Jacquetta Thomas on September 26, 1991.
[phone beeping] [TV reporter] A Wake County man who spent 17 years in prison has been exonerated by the North Carolina Innocence Commission in Raleigh.
Greg Taylor, who had been condemned to life in prison in 1993, is now a free man.
The commission's three-judge panel centered around the testimony of one SBI agent, Duane Deaver.
Deaver admits to having misrepresented blood test results in the Taylor case.
The SBI has announced plans for an internal investigation.
[Neff] "Deaver is a major character in the emerging story of the SBI's troubles.
At the bureau's crime labs, where Deaver had been a key agent and trainer, analysts charged with using science to solve crimes have hidden test results or concocted bizarre experiments to shore up a prosecutor's case.
" I interviewed Tonya Rogers, who was one of jurors in the Michael Peterson trial.
And she said that Deaver's testimony was the most important evidence presented at the trial.
Rogers said that during the jury's deliberations, they started off split, uh, 6-6 or 8-4, but as they talked, the most powerful evidence that moved the jury to come 12-0 for a conviction was that bloodstain on the inside of Michael Peterson's shorts.
The jury was convinced by Deaver's testimony that the only way the bloodstain could have arrived there was through an assault.
[Rudolf] When I heard what Deaver had done in the Greg Taylor case, it became clear to me that I might be able to finally prove that what he had done in Michael's case was the same sort of thing.
In other words, ignore the facts, ignore the science, and do what you need to do to get a conviction.
Ten years ago next Friday, Kathleen Peterson was found dead at the bottom of a staircase in their home.
Almost two years after that, her husband, Mike Peterson, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
Now, Mike Peterson hopes a hearing that could begin next week will give him a new chance at freedom.
[narrator] The District Attorney's Office has seen turnover since Peterson's murder trial in 2003.
The original DA, Jim Hardin, is now a superior court judge.
Freda Black, the assistant DA at the time is no longer with the District Attorney's Office.
Tracey Cline, who is Durham's current DA will represent the State.
But some of the key players have remained the same.
Orlando Hudson, Durham County's Superior Court Judge, and David Rudolf, who is taking on the case pro bono, are back on the case.
[Margaret] Oh, wow! - Hi! - [Rudolf] It's Ron Guerette! [Margaret] Martha, Ron Guerette just walked in.
- [laughs] Oh, my God.
Hi! - Hey, girl.
I'm gonna get up and hug you.
[Margaret] I'm on the phone with Martha, with my sister.
- You're not a kid anymore.
- [Margaret] I know! What have you been up to? [Guerette] Just working in this crazy world.
Yeah, I know what you mean.
[laughs] [Rudolf] He's trying to come back from his near-bankruptcy in 2003 as a result of working on your father's case.
[all laugh] - Still working on it.
- Wow, it's been eight years.
- I can't believe it.
- [Guerette] Can't believe it.
- You've gone from a kid to a young lady.
- Little kid? I was like 20! - [laughs] - [Guerette] You're still a kid.
Yeah, I'm turning 30 on Saturday.
- [Rudolf] Is that right? - Yeah, it's been ten years.
- [Rudolf] Wow.
- Yeah.
Yeah, because Mom died on the 9th and I turned 20 on the 10th and [Rudolf] Oh, that's right! - Whew.
- [Margaret] Crazy.
- That is crazy.
- [Margaret] Yeah, I'm married now.
- Are you? Well, congratulations.
- [Margaret] Yeah.
Well, one thing about Radisch, Deaver and Butts is they have been in this very courtroom before.
They have.
They've testified in front of people like you.
Agent Deaver, Dr.
Radisch, they are tried and true.
Tried and true.
Because they work for us.
Now to hear them tell it, that scene was altered.
Well, if you believe that, then you just got to believe that Duane Deaver is a liar! - [Rudolf] Pleasant memories? - [Black] He has no reason to lie to you.
- Yeah.
Wow, that one where - Oh, my God! Where she says Where she says they'll be back, that one gave me chills.
And you have to believe that Deaver's a liar? Guess what? [Margaret] And he tried to get himself vindicated by blaming it on the SBI in general, and that got him fired.
[Margaret] After editing stuff for you for the Deaver clips, my husband watched it, too, and he goes, - "This guy's an idiot.
" - Yeah.
Just argh.
- [Guerette] Greg Taylor was let out.
- [Margaret] How long was he in prison? [Guerette] Seventeen years.
- [Rudolf] He was in there for a while.
- Oh, my God.
That's terrible.
Like it's just a little lie that put someone away for 17 years.
That's devastating.
[Taylor] Greg Taylor.
I live in Durham, North Carolina.
Forty-nine years old.
When I was 29 years old, I was arrested for first-degree murder and tried and convicted, uh, April 1993.
Um, I was 31 years old at the time, and I was married.
Uh, had a nine-year-old daughter, and, um, after that, uh, things just kind of fell apart.
[camera shutter clicks] [camera shutter clicks] [Taylor] In the beginning, you think that the next appeal you'll be free, or the next motion filed in court.
And then when those things let you down, you come to realize that, you know, if you've been let down so many times so far, there's nothing to stop you from being let down in the future.
And it just went on interminably and, um Until finally, I had when I had exhausted all my appeals and, uh, you know, I realized that the chances were very good that I was gonna die in prison, and I had to learn how to deal with that.
[woman talking on walkie-talkie] [Peterson] I don't have faith in the system like I used to have, but I still believe, I hope, that justice will finally prevail after eight years.
And I'll get out of here.
I want people to see what Duane Deaver did.
I want all of it to come out.
I want people to see what that man did not just to me, but to other people.
He'd say these ridiculous things and I just would not pay any attention I mean, I wouldn't even listen anymore, thinking that nobody could believe this nonsense of hitting, you know, Kathleen 42 times or whatever it was.
This this reenactment that he did, it was just all a lie.
So, at the time, I just thought, "Well, this is this is just stupid, nobody's going to believe this.
" But they did.
[Rudolf] I do think that it's Michael's last chance.
Uh, it's been eight years.
He is now 68 years old, and all of his appeals have been denied.
And this is really the best opportunity that we're gonna have to prove that he should never have been convicted.
Thirteen, please.
[guard] All right.
They're saying they took your clothes over yesterday.
They're having them prepared.
I guess this is for the car.
Come on with me, please.
[Peterson] I remember just a couple nights ago, I dreamed I was there, an old man, lying on a gurney at the end of a corridor.
You go to central prison and you die.
And you die alone.
No family, no one.
And you die on a gurney.
And I remember having that dream and waking up.
Thinking, "No!" But it was a pretty scary dream.
[door opens] [door closes] Mike, is this going to be Is this gonna be good enough for you today, what you want to wear? - Yes.
- Okay.
That sports coat? That shirt? Belt? Okay.
[murmurs] Take a left.
[sniffs] It's gruesome twosome.
- Sorry.
- [laughs] [Cline] Judge, Ms.
Zamperini wants to be heard.
And she is a victim, Judge, because I believe Mr.
Peterson was convicted of first-degree murder.
Her sister was murdered according to a jury.
Zamperini would like to be heard if the court is inclined to give her a few minutes.
- [judge] All right.
- Thank you.
Yes, sir.
[Zamperini] Good morning.
Um, Judge Orlando, I think you're aware that I am Kathleen's sister.
In this court, that is very rarely heard.
Kathleen is a victim of murder.
We have rights in this state.
That is why there's a judge in this courtroom to make sure victims' rights are heard.
That is, in my opinion, the judge's sole responsibility to make sure that there is clear, fair, quality representation for the victim, dead or alive.
My sister has lied in her grave for ten years.
This Friday, ten years, she was murdered.
Ten years, I have been without my sister.
Ten years, her daughter hasn't had her.
Ten years the rest of us have been alive and had our freedom.
But not Kathleen.
Not Kathleen.
She wanted to live, and she deserves and should get the best, best legal representation.
And there is no way I feel, sir, that you can have this district attorney represent my sister's rights and feel you are doing the best job by the citizens of this state in having her represent and not the Attorney General's Office step in.
She is not prepared.
It is clear she is not prepared.
The office is not prepared.
Thank you very much, sir.
[judge] All right.
The Court in its discretion will deny a motion to continue.
The Court is ready to proceed.
[Rudolf] Your Honor, the key issue during Mr.
Peterson's trial was what happened in the stairway.
There was only one witness called by the state who claimed to be able to say what happened in the stairway.
And that was SBI agent Duane Deaver.
He testified that the bloodstain patterns in the stairway proved that there had been a beating.
He testified that the bloodstains on Michael Peterson's shorts and in particular, there was a stain inside the shorts and on his shoes proved that he inflicted this alleged beating because he claimed he could tell that the wearer of those items was in close proximity to Kathleen Peterson when her head was impacted.
But we don't have to take my word for whether Deaver was a critical witness.
We can listen to District Attorney Jim Hardin.
[Hardin on recording] What does Deaver find? This is the first area that he contends is the first point of impact.
This is above the 15th step.
It's off the wall, it's off the riser and it's out in space.
Impact spatter in the crotch area of these pants and the back side of this right leg Duane Deaver said the only way that can happen is if he's standing over her with his leg above her striking her.
Now, why do we know there was a second assault? Because Duane Deaver sees, and this is absolutely critical, Duane Deaver sees blood spatter on top of the clean-up.
There's only one way that can happen, if there's a second assault.
He assaulted her, she went down, he continued to assault her, and that's when the premeditation formulated.
And, of course, the only thing Mr.
Peterson was charged with was first-degree, so without premeditation, the state's case failed.
And the state relied upon Duane Deaver during the trial.
[Black on recording] There's no evidence that anything that was done to that scene altered the walls Nobody was walking on the walls.
There's been no evidence, no credible evidence that anybody did anything to the stairwell.
Well, if you believe that, then you're just got to believe that Duane Deaver is just a liar.
He has no reason in the world to come here and lie.
Agent Deaver and Dr.
Radisch, they are tried and true.
Tried and true, because they work for us.
What we didn't know then about Duane Deaver, but we do know now, is that Duane Deaver had a pattern and practice of preparing misleading expert reports, of doing shoddy and scientifically invalid work, of presenting misleading testimony under oath.
He did it in 2010 at Innocence Commission Hearing, State v.
Greg Taylor.
We never asked for a perfect trial.
We hoped to get a fair trial, and I know that this court did its best - [alarm blares] - to give us a fair trial.
Thank you very much.
I think that's my cue.
- It's Candace.
She's smoking you out.
- I'm sure that's right.
[alarm continues] [woman over radio] Called to the basement.
[indistinct chattering] [policeman] Everybody, move back.
- Back to the line.
Back to the line.
- Move back! [policeman] Let's move.
Let's go, ma'am.
- Oh, it's a bomb threat.
- Are you serious? It's a bomb threat.
- It's a bomb threat? - Yeah.
- [scoffs] - Oh, my God.
[Martha] It was surprising to see that 40 percent of Hardin's closing statement was about Duane Deaver.
It was about his research, his testimony, and [Margaret] That was shocking.
I don't think they had anything else that made it first-degree, - and that was all Deaver.
- [Jack] That was it.
- Made me feel sick to my stomach.
- [Jack] I know.
- Ten years a-wasted, nine years a-wasted.
- Yeah.
- [guard] Mike, here you go.
- Okay.
Thank you very much.
Don't drop the plate.
You have it? - All right, I got it.
Thank you.
- [guard] All right.
My God, I'm wearing this ten-pound boot on my foot.
[laughs] I can barely move.
What was so nice was to see everybody and my children there.
I can't really talk to them.
That's not allowed.
I certainly can't touch them or interact with them.
So that's very hard, but it's wonderful to know that they were there.
- Dad, we're here! We're here! Oh, my God! - [Peterson] I know! [Margaret] Dad, we love you! - Oh, my God.
- Oh, my God! I have never been so tired in my life.
- Oh.
- [Bill] I can relate! [laughs] Oh, God.
- Everything's okay? - [Margaret] Yeah.
- You like LA? - [Margaret] Yeah, I love LA.
- Okay.
And do you love Boulder? - [Martha] I don't love it, but it's good.
- Well, you look great.
- Thank you.
[Peterson] You look just - Margaret's helping me with fashion tips.
- [laughter] So, what do you think of Candace? - [Martha] How is that? - [Margaret] Dad, are you safe? I'm afraid she's gonna hunt you down! [Peterson] I told you from the beginning.
Don't hate.
Don't get caught up in that.
- And you could see that in her face.
- [Martha] Yeah.
- And her eyes.
- [Margaret] And her hands.
- Consumed by hatred.
- [Margaret] Yeah.
And yes, you know, I understand it.
You know, she But she can't be the only victim.
You see, you guys are victims.
I'm a victim.
Um You don't have to be there all day, every day.
I want to.
It's fascinating! I'm so angry at Deaver! I just wanna see all the crap that's talked about him.
[laughs] I wonder, sometimes I wonder, "Where was I during some of that trial?" [Martha] I know! I don't remember that stuff - where he was gross.
- [Margaret] He was so boring! - [Martha] He was gross.
- [Margaret] Boring and gross.
Supercilious and know-it-all - and just awful.
- [women] Yeah.
- [Peterson] Really a screwy character.
- [Margaret] Yikes.
I hated him so much.
Oh, God! Lord! Okay.
No more crying.
Whatever! That's gonna make us cry more.
[laughs] [Margaret] We'll see you tomorrow! - [Margaret] I love you, Dad! Bye.
- [Martha] Bye, Dad.
- [Peterson groaning] - [Bill] He does look very tired.
- [Margaret] I know.
- [Martha] Yeah.
The thing that makes me so sad is that Dad was our The only continuity we've had in our lives for parents, um.
[sighs] And so I feel like that's why we have such a strong bond with him, um, and with each other.
Uh, but also Mom, Kathleen.
It's She really was the first person who took us in and combed our hair.
You know, we don't know really what happened, and so we have to live with the mystery of her death, and trust that our dad didn't kill her at the same time.
So it's kind of a hard position to be in.
I think Or it's a position that would, you know, bring up a lot of stuff, so.
Um, so I've never doubted my dad's innocence, but it's just just kind of, I don't know, a hard place to be.
Um I started to have doubts.
I mean, how can you not when you're hearing all these rumors going around and things like that? It was the physical evidence that allowed me to go back and look at the situation as a whole.
Because, you know, reading the autopsy report, was the point at which I was convinced that my mother had been murdered.
Obviously, the horrific intensity of the wounds and the fact that I just, to me, could not physically come up with the way that you could get seven deep lacerations on the back of your head by falling down the stairs.
I think that there's so many elements to Michael Peterson that I can't possibly understand.
I think that from what I've learned in the last couple of years, he clearly did not hold himself out to myself and my family as the same person that I had grown up thinking that he was.
I think that there is a very deep level of misunderstanding on my part of his character or possibly an element of multiple characters, multiple personalities to the extent that I can't necessarily say that I will ever know what exactly happened.
You know, weeks later, we find out that he's bisexual.
That, to me, is something that he did not hold himself out to be unfaithful on any level to my mother.
And to think that he had this secret life going on is just it's baffling.
It makes me think there are many things that I didn't know about him and it's it cancels out all trust I had in him.
And that's very scary.
I did consider Martha and Margaret my sisters.
And, you know, my mother considered them her daughters.
But my goal, my strength in life, is completely opposite.
It's in seeking justice for my mother.
That's what I'm here for.
[door banging] - [door closes] - [guard speaking indistinctly] [continues speaking indistinctly] [guard] Right through that door is your place.
[Cline] So, what do you have? You have two women murdered on or pushed down, whatever, two staircases in two different countries, and one man present with them each time.
Both ruled a homicide.
The second thing is the blood wiping on the walls.
The medical examiner testified, that I read last night, that Kathleen Peterson laid there and was bleeding for a time cert She couldn't say how long, for a period of time before she died.
But it's clear evidence that somebody was wiping the blood off the walls.
And then, how do you get past the blood spatter on his shoes? And then, the bloody footprint on the back of her leg.
And, Judge, I went back and looked at the photographs in this case.
I don't know how high that ceiling is in that home, but anybody with common sense would know that the blood on that ceiling and on the wall did not come from falling down the steps.
I grew up in a house that had steps.
I've fallen down steps.
My mother has fallen down the steps.
Separate and apart from anything Mr.
Deaver did, Mr.
Labor and Mr.
Epstein indicate in their report that this was clearly not a fall down the steps.
And furthermore, Judge Hudson, they indicated from wearing the pants of Michael Peterson that the spatter inside of those pants came in an upward direction, and found that, in their opinion, - Peterson was standing over the body - Not true.
- of this lady when that spatter was - That's just not true.
inside his pants.
[Rudolf] Your Honor, defendant will call Mike Klinkosum to the stand.
In 1991, Greg, um, and his acquaintance, Johnny Beck, had been out in Raleigh that evening and had been seeking drugs and drinking.
They had gotten together because Johnny knew where to get drugs and Greg had the money, and so they were doing drugs together.
And they ended up driving down into a cul-de-sac on Blunt Street here in Raleigh.
And they sat there for a while and smoked some more crack.
At one point, when they were getting ready to leave, Greg decided, because he had a four-wheel-drive vehicle, that he would go down this dirt path out into this field.
And when he did, he got his car stuck in a ravine out in the field.
So, as they walked back into the cul-de-sac and out Blunt Street, they noticed and this was in the early morning hours.
They noticed, um, what Greg at first thought was a rolled-up carpet lying in the road in the cul-de-sac, and it was really Johnny who determined that it was a body.
And because they had been out using drugs and Greg still had some marijuana on him and didn't have a driver's license, they just decided to leave it be.
And later that morning, he went back to the cul-de-sac.
He walked up to the police and told them that that was his truck in the field.
And they asked him to come down to be questioned and he agreed to do that, and at that point, things started rolling against him.
[Klinkosum] They had found stains on the fender and the fender liner that law enforcement thought might be blood.
So they sent these stains to the SBI lab for testing in the serology section.
The report that was generated and signed by Agent Deaver from the SBI lab said that there were chemical indications for the presence of blood.
That's what was written in the lab report.
But what was not turned over or disclosed was the fact that Agent Deaver had gotten a negative result on the Takayama test, which indicated that he could not confirm that those two stains were in fact blood.
And the lab report that was given to defense counsel, given to the prosecutor, and introduced into evidence, Duane Deaver's lab report, did it say anything about the fact that an additional test had been done? No.
What was the result? Um, Mr.
Taylor was convicted of first-degree murder.
- [Rudolf] And what was his sentence? - Uh, he was life in prison.
Did you see in the report where Agent Deaver stated, in his opinion, "there is nothing scientifically wrong with what they reported, and they did not hurt anybody by not reporting negative results.
" Did you see that? Uh, Greg Taylor is the prime example.
He spent 17 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit.
And if the results of the confirmatory test, the Takayama test, had been turned over, I think that would have made a large impact on the jury, because at his trial, the prosecutor, um, in his closing argument several times referred to the blood on the truck.
I think even later some jurors gave their opinion that the blood on the truck was a major factor, um, in their decision.
[Mumma] It never occurred to anybody.
We thought they hadn't done all the testing they should have done.
Uh, we thought the testing was probably not accurate, but it never occurred to anybody that they had done the testing and just hidden the results.
Um They're scientists, and scientists are supposed to be about the facts.
They're not supposed to take sides.
They're supposed to reveal everything they find and not have bias.
Uh, but the fact that they held back these confirmatory tests was absolutely biased, uh, in favor of the prosecution in the way they conducted they prepared that final report.
Uh, so I was shocked, really.
Uh, we were all shocked.
How could a lab do that? You don't expect You'd expect it from a prosecutor or a policeman or an attorney, maybe a judge or whatever, but from a lab? You know? You know, where's the sense of fairness? Why do they feel like they have to do something like that? Um, you know, and I think about all the years that I lost because of this, what I missed of my daughter growing up.
I missed her tenth birthday.
I missed her high school graduation.
I missed her college graduation.
I missed her getting married.
I missed the birth of my grandson.
She was 26 years old when I was released.
And I missed all that.
I look at her today like she's a stranger, 'cause I don't know how she came to be about herself.
- [Becky speaking indistinctly] - [Clayton] Uh-huh.
[grunts] [Becky] Say hi? - How are you doing? - [Becky] Say hi.
Hi, Grandpa! [Peterson and Becky chuckle] [groans] Hi.
How you doing? [Peterson] His first visit to jail.
[Clayton] But he's been to prison twice already! - [Dorian coos] - [Clayton] He's seen you twice at Nash.
- In prison! That's right.
- [Clayton] Right.
His first time to jail, though.
[Becky] It's the first through-the-glass conversation! All those little memories that you write down in the baby scrapbook.
- In his baby book! - [Becky chuckling] Oh, for God's sake.
- Oh, it's good to see you.
- [Clayton] You too, Dad.
[chuckles] Oh, Christ.
I hear your career's going beautifully.
Yeah, everything's great.
Work's going well.
All this is good.
[Peterson] He's a darling.
You know, down here with family.
It's stressful, but, you know, - it's nice to see everybody.
- [Peterson] Oh, yeah! So, do you know think he looks like anyone yet? - [Becky] No! - His ears are like mine.
- [Becky] They are! So you - I said [Dorian babbles] I said that to Margaret the other day.
'Cause we were looking at you in court from the back, and I look at him from the back.
Your ears look the same.
I had gorgeous, small ears when I was young.
- Is he going to have hair or not? - [Clayton] One of these days - [Becky] Someday! Someday! - [chuckling] When you see Margaret, would you please wish her a happy birthday? - Yeah.
- That poor child.
- [Becky] I know.
- [Dorian giggles] You know, I wrote about this day with her.
I was there when she was born.
Well, I wasn't in the room, but I took her to the hospital in 1981, drove her through a snowstorm to go to, you know, Wiesbaden Hospital.
And then I was there every birthday after that.
Every single birthday she ever had, I was there until, I guess it was about the 18th birthday.
- Then she went to college.
- Yeah.
- And then there was the 20th birthday.
- [Becky] Yeah, that one kind of sucked.
- Kind of sucked? - [all chuckle] Yeah.
Yeah, you remember that? Watching the grid search of the house.
- And then here it is, her 30th birthday.
- 30th birthday.
- Oh, my God.
- Yeah.
So maybe this is the last I'm going to see of Dorian until you bring him down for our ice cream and tattoo outing.
[Becky chuckles] Well, we'll see.
So I'll see you Tuesday morning.
- Yeah.
No, no.
- Yes.
You're going to watch me hobble down the stairs, okay? - [Becky] Yeah.
- Oh, God Almighty.
Oh, Christ.
Don't let them film me going down the stairs.
- [Clayton, Becky laugh] - Jesus.
- No filming going down the stairs! - [all chuckling] - [kisses] I love you.
- [Clayton] Love you.
[Becky kisses] We love you, Pa! - Bye-bye.
Come on, wave.
- [Becky kisses] - Bye-bye.
- [Clayton] Bye-bye.
- Bye-bye.
- [Clayton] Bye, Dad.
Love you.
- [Peterson] Oh, shit.
- [Becky chuckles] - [indistinct chatter] - [Becky] Bye-bye.
Happy birthday to you Happy birthday to you Happy birthday, dear Margaret Happy birthday to you [applause, cheering] [applause, cheering] It was snowing, gently falling everywhere, and after many, many hours of intensive labor, I was at your birth mother's side.
Margaret, at long last, emerged.
- She was exquisitely beautiful - [laughter] and she looked exactly the same.
Lovely red strawberry-blonde hair.
To Margaret, much love.
May the future bring you much happiness and continued fulfillment.
- We love you, Margaret.
- Thank you.
- Cheers.
- [woman] Thank you.
[guests cheer] [Margaret] I love you, guys.
Thanks for coming, guys.
[chuckles] [Becky] I hope your 30s are freaking awesome.
[cheering, applause] Yay! I love you! My 20th birthday sucked so hardcore and my 30th birthday is so much better, so thank you guys for coming.
It's gonna just be a lot better from now on.
I hope.
- [Patty] For our loving, dear Margaret.
- Yeah! Okay, so to all of you guys and to Dad, too.
- [Patty] Yes.
- Yeah.
[chuckles] [clerk] Place your left hand on the Bible, raise your right.
You solemnly swear the testimony you're about to give and the jury, in the case now being heard, to be the truth and nothing but the truth - so help you God? - [Swecker] I do.
[clerk] Please be seated.
Did there come a time when you were asked to conduct a review of the SBI laboratory? Yes, in, uh early March of 2010, we agreed to conduct a review of all serology files with similar reporting sequences as had appeared in the Taylor case.
The purpose of the report was to see if there had been any cases of injustice.
Did you find that there were at least a number of agents, not just Agent Deaver, who were producing lab reports that didn't have all of the tests that they had actually run? We identified 230 cases where not all the tests were reported in the final report that was issued by the lab.
You would see a presumptive positive, a negative Takayama in the notes, and you'd see a final report that simply reported the presumptive positive.
And, of the five cases that were categorized by you all as the most serious of all the cases you looked at, who was the agent on each of those cases? Special Agent Deaver.
Were those the only instances where you found that Agent Deaver had failed to put down what his lab notes reflected? [Swecker] No.
I believe the final total was 34.
- Thirty-four cases? - That's correct.
Thank you very much.
Please answer whatever questions the DA may have.
I appreciate it.
Hey, Tim.
These guys work late, too, huh? [Rudolf] We all work late.
[Rudolf] What I knew at the time of the trial was that what Deaver was saying was not valid science.
He's trying to put it out in space, you know, and you just can't - It's an area, it's not a point.
- [Palmbach] That's absolutely right.
- He worked from the end result backwards.
- Right.
- He wanted to recreate something.
- He looked at the pictures.
So his goal was, "I need this end product, what do I have to do to get there?" That's dead polar opposite to good science.
Good science says, "We don't care what the end product is.
" [Rudolf] It was clear to me that Deaver was not playing by the rules.
My experts were playing by the rules, but Deaver would simply deny what was in all of the treatises, and so there was no way really to impeach him at that point uh, and the jury was asked to believe what he said, because after all, he was their expert.
Now of course, I have a lot more ammunition that I can present to Judge Hudson, uh, to hopefully convince him that what I said back then, which was that Deaver should not be permitted to testify, that he was a self-proclaimed expert, and that what he was saying was not scientifically valid, was in fact the truth.
[Rudolf] Have you published any manuals with regard to bloodstain pattern analysis? I have, uh, co-authored three textbooks.
The first, second, and third edition of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis.
Is that recognized as a learned treatise in the field of bloodstain pattern analysis? It is, yes, sir.
I'm gonna show you at this point some clips of Agent Deaver's testimony at Mr.
Peterson's trial.
[Rudolf on recording] The precision of the math should not be construed to mean a similar precision in the definition of the angle.
- Do you agree with that? - No, I do not.
[Rudolf] Would that statement have been well-accepted in the field of bloodstain pattern analysis back in 2003? Back then as well as today.
[Rudolf on recording] For the analyst to state that an event occurred at a precise point in space is almost ludicrous.
- Do you agree with that? - No.
- Is it in fact ludicrous? - [Bevel] In my opinion, it is.
Anybody who's ever done it would agree with the statement that's being made.
I think "ever done it accurately" needs to be inserted there.
[Deaver on recording] On the night that I was at this scene, I gave Detective Holland a minimum of four blows that occurred to the victim.
The reason for that was that I found three points of origin from impact.
That means that the source of blood, the back of the head, was struck three times.
I add one to that, because there needs to be at least one blow that occurs to start bleeding.
[Hardin on recording] Do you have any question in your mind whatsoever that Ms.
Peterson's head was out in space when those patterns were created to cause those three points of origin? I have no doubt that a source of blood was out there and that it was impacted creating those and that they are not on a surface.
Was it acceptable for a bloodstain pattern analyst to testify back in 2003 that it was inconsistent with a fall, simply by calculating what he called to be "points of impact"? You can't identify points of impact.
You can only come to an area.
In the smallest area, such as a gunshot, you're generally talking about something about the size of a tennis ball.
When you start getting to blunt trauma, you're talking about an area approximately of 12 inches in a spherical shape.
And in this case, for example, some of those "points" that he identified were as close as two inches to a wall? Correct? That's correct.
[Rudolf] So you can't just, based on his points of impact analysis, rule out the wall as an area of origin? No.
It is misleading to the jury, correct? - [Cline] Objection.
- [judge] Overruled.
In my opinion, it would be, yes.
Is this the testimony of someone who, within the field of bloodstain pattern analysis, knows what they're talking about? - [Cline] Objection.
- [judge] Overruled.
In my opinion, no.
[gallery murmuring] [clerk] Court is in recess until 9:30 tomorrow morning.
[Martha] I thought I was prepared.
I thought that I was going to be strong enough to go in there and see these photos and hear them talk about, you know, the death of our mother, and Dad has been in prison for so long and, um I just saw such a vulnerability in him being up there kind of having to see these things again.
Being subjected to being talked about and not being able to have his voice directly heard.
Every time he'd come into the courtroom, he couldn't really talk to us, and I think it's some direction that he can't do.
He was in chains the first time, um [sighs] Whatever it was, him talking to me.
And that being the first time, just kind of softened everything that was in there and just allowed me to cry and to let my grief show.
[knocking on door] [indistinct chattering] [Jack] He looks He's in pain.
[grunting] [panting] Why, Jack? [chuckles] [Jack] Let me tell you how great you look.
[laughs] I have never, ever been in such pain like this.
I can't move my neck.
Okay? I can't, I can't lift my Sorry, can't lift my foot.
I have lower back pain.
I can't move.
I can't move! [groans] [Jack] Have they told you they've contacted a doctor? - Are they going to bring one for you? - Huh! No.
[chuckles] No.
I can't goddamn believe it.
- [Jack] Me, either.
- That for once you look better than I do.
[both chuckling] Oh, God! It's not just once, it's always been that way.
- No, no, no.
- You're just coming to the realization.
- No.
- [chuckles] - You doing good? - Ah! You know, I'm all right.
I'm all right.
Especially compared.
- Compared? - [chuckling] [Peterson] You'll see.
I'm canceling my appeal tomorrow.
I don't care.
No, but I mean, I have a high pain threshold.
- Yes, I know.
- I do.
And this would I mean, I've just been lying there, laying back [mock moaning] I try to get up and uh! Jesus.
[clears throat] I was telling Clay about your threshold.
I said, I remember, it was either late '70 or early '71, I can't remember which, when Bill and I took you out of Bethesda Naval Hospital.
[clears throat] Oh, my God, I remember that.
- Oh, shit, we went and saw a movie.
- We did, yeah.
Ken Russell's movie on Oh, God.
Do you remember the scene in which she's at the bottom of the cross, she's the nun, and she's masturbating with the crucifix? - [laughing] - And I [laughing] And you were there, sweet, good little Catholic boy! [laughs] - [Jack] "Don't tell Mama!" - [Peterson] "Don't tell Mother I'm here!" He needs some meds pretty badly.
And not just an ibuprofen.
Yeah, he's in pretty much pain.
I got this group of French people who are following me around with a camera.
I know they're here, but what are you doing? They want to film inside.
I don't know if - If that's all right with you - [Rudolf] It's okay with me.
[Peterson] Oh, you've come to share lunch with me! - [Rudolf] No! - [Peterson] You were going to bring yours.
[Rudolf] No, I'm not sharing anything with you.
Why are you hobbling around like you're 80 years old? Jeez, 80? - Ninety.
- How about 200? - Ask them what I looked like yesterday.
- Why? What's going on? Well, I'm hardly the "Princess and the Pea" here.
- You know "Princess and the Pea"? - Yes.
I've been in prison for eight years.
We don't have Sealy Posturepedic mattresses or anything.
- They don't have the foam? - No, no, no.
No, it's pretty terrible.
I'm so used to prison luxury conditions, you see, that coming to the jail, sleeping on cold concrete, maybe that's it.
- Maybe that's it.
- It's sort of like going from the Westin with their Heavenly Beds to Motel 6.
All right.
All right.
So, she is not calling Deaver.
She is not calling any experts.
Uh She's going to call a couple of witnesses.
I think she's going to try to get into evidence that Deborah Radisch thought it was a homicide, but neither of those things has any bearing on it.
As you say, that's for a retrial.
Right, right.
I don't want to get too far out ahead of ourselves here, but if we get a new trial, then the question becomes, can they even retry you, given the fact that Deaver was all over that scene? I mean, all over the scene.
- And, remember the photo glitches? - Oh, yeah.
- You know, and him smelling the wine and - Yes, he's the one that did that! - All of it.
He did all of it! - Such bullshit.
He did all of it.
Get a good close-up of him.
- I don't think it's a good idea.
- [laughter] Oh, another close-up right there.
How the man got away with it, for as long as he did, that's really a crime, because you wonder how many other cases there are, not high-profile cases, but other cases in which the man probably testified.
And he made the difference of sending them either to prison or getting them much more time.
And, uh I just cannot even imagine that anybody would do that.
But he's done it for, oh, gosh, over 20 years.