Defense Strategy: Gough

15 November 2021

The State today called a witness from the State Crime Lab who testified to finding tee shirt fibers on the truck of William Bryan.  When the state asked about the ease with which fibers can be transferred from one surface to the other, Defense attorney Gough objected. 

Gough, in his usual, “let’s try to make a big deal out of nothing” strategy (to legal argument as well as life, it seems) tried to say that there was a “casym” of difference between what she testified to and what she wrote in her report.

She wrote in her report that she couldn’t exclude the possibility that the fibers were from Arbery’s tee shirt.  She said in court that could not definitely say that these fibers were from Ahmaud Arbery’s tee shirt.

When Gough implied that he had uncovered the “Perry Mason” discrepancy in testimony, the technician replied that the two statements were not mutually exclusive.  I really hope the jury is not hopelessly stupid.

When this witness took the stand, I started wondering how hard a person with a tee shirt on needed to come in contact with a truck door to leave fibers.  Gough, evidently saw this as a problem as well since he objected when the State asked about different surfaces and the ease with which fibers can be transferred.

Gough also once again used the hopelessly inadequate investigation by the Glynn County Police (GCPD) to plant doubt in the minds of the jurors.  He asked the technician if she had collected fibers from the grill of the truck, the front of the truck, the back of the truck.  There was no objection about the relevance of this questioning.

The investigation by the GCPD has been a repeated theme for all the defense attorneys, but especially for Gough.  They are using the fact that the GCPD virtually accepted every word said on the scene of the murder by the white defendants and didn’t investigate to create doubt.  And there is a lot of room to maneuver here.  GCPD did not separate the defendants; they did not search the defendants.  They did not include the trucks in the crime scene and allowed at least Greg McMichaels to drive his own truck to the police station.

Again and again, the defense has used this against the state.  This evidence wasn’t collected, this part of the crime scene wasn’t preserved.  For example, Gough asked if the entire path of Arbery’s run was checked for evidence.  He was implying that Arbery had a weapon that was not recovered.  The defense attorneys are trying to encourage the jury to have doubt of guilt because the police failed to do an adequate investigation.  It’s the O.J. Simpson defense. 

Also, the defense attorneys have used the fact that the GCPD didn’t make any arrests as an indication that the men weren’t guilty.  The argument is that they weren’t arrested at the time, so there was no reason to arrest them.  I suppose, the extension of that thinking is that since “the media” has transformed this into a case about race, the men were only arrested because of inappropriate pressure by “civil rights activists.” (And we have Jesse Jackson sitting in the courtroom).

Jurors were questioned and some eliminated because they had supported the “social justice movement” (an ill defined term) in any way. 

There are people on Twitter who believe that there is a chance of getting a guilty verdict in this case even with eleven white jurors.  I am not that optimistic.  Gough was a public defender in this county for decades.  If nothing else, he knows his jurors and he is clearly laying a map for racist thinking in this case, providing pegs for the jury to put their racist Col. Sanders hats on.

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