http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/oswald.htmWas the Evidence Against Oswald "Inadmissible"
Conspiracy books attack the evidence against Oswald by claiming that the "chain of custody" was broken for most of it, and that only marking evidence is sufficient to establish a "chain of custody" for legal purposes. This legal brief submitted by the plaintiffs in the O. J. Simpson civil trial shows this claim to be untrue. All the key pieces of evidence (the rifle, the hulls in the Depository, the hulls at 10th and Patton, materials from Oswald's rooming house and from the Paines' house in Irving) would have been legally admissible.
The above has a link to a motion in limine filed by the prosecutor in the OJ Simpson case to have the chain of custody regarding evidence accepted under the hearsay exceptions rule.
There are some problems with applying this to the DPD/FBI efforts in the Kennedy case, including:
The reason why the motion was granted. It was granted in the example given because:
To establish a proper chain of custody for the physical evidence at issue, rendering that evidence (and the various tests thereon) admissible, Goldman need only "show to the satisfaction of the trial court that, taking all the circumstances into account including the ease or difficulty with which the particular evidence could have been altered, it is reasonably
certain that there was no alteration." And the reason the prosecution was able to demonstrate that it could be reasonably certain there had been no evidence tampering? By producing expert witnesses to testify that all physical evidence chain of custody records were created by a public employee at or very close to the time of "of the act" and invoking the Official Records Exception rule allowing summary reports to replace thousands of individual original reports.
The real kicker is that the evidence in question in the Simpson case was blood, hair and fiber evidence.
So when McAdams made the following remark, he was acting in his capacity as a propagandist because you can hardly mark blood, hair and fiber with your initials.
Conspiracy people like to complain about the "chain of custody" for various objects that incriminated Oswald. They imply that only marking evidence can suffice to establish a "chain of custody" admissible in court.
The following document, brought to my attention by Joel Grant, shows that to be untrue. All the key pieces of evidence (the rifle, the hulls in the TSBD, the hulls at 10th and Patton, materials from Oswald's rooming house and from the Paine's house in Irving) would have been legally admissible.
The problem with the markings (unmentioned by McAdams) is that in some cases, officers claimed to have marked them, but later, no such markings can be found.
But let's assume for the sake of argument that Oswald's prosecutor can get the same deal as Simpson's did. Is that the end of the story? Not by a longshot.
In the footnotes to the Simpson motion, we find:
Where there is only "the barest speculation that there was tampering, it is proper to admit the evidence and let what doubt remains go to its weight." Id. at 581; accord People v. Lozano, 57 Cal. App. 3d 490, 493-96 (1976).
In other words, the defense was still free to dispute various claims regarding any chain of custody presented. Much of it (in any fair court) would have been tossed out.
But it's all academic. Oswald was never going to make it to trial to have any of this shoddy/manufactured evidence tested.
Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise.
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
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