Urick is ok with obstructing both truth and justice. He lied to Asia, and he lied under oath during the post conviction appeal hearing.
I learned that a couple of months ago, when Asia McClain, having heard “Serial”, stepped up and contacted Adnan’s lawyer, Justin Brown. Yes I’ve known about this, as have other key folks, but of course it was kept under wraps until Justin took it to court. And for the record, it was Asia who came forward, none of us ever contacted her. I have not seen or spoken or reached out to her in 15 years. It was the sheer power of Sarah’s work and the podcast that made her realize what happened, and I am again and again thankful to Sarah for that.
Asia never told Urick that she wrote her letters or the affidavit she gave to me under duress, he lied about it. She called him after our private investigator reached out to her a couple of years ago – she was confused and wanted to know what was going on in the case. Urick assured her that Adnan had been convicted with overwhelming evidence (which he actually repeated in the Intercept interview – maybe he does not understand what the word ‘overwhelming’ actually means), and literally told her NOT TO TESTIFY at the hearing.
I remember feeling hit in the gut during the post-conviction hearing when Urick testified that Asia was pressured into writing her letters and the affidavit she gave me. I knew it wasn’t true, and I couldn’t believe my ears. But Asia also had refused to testify, so I thought, perhaps she did tell Urick that in order to completely prevent us from ever being able to use her, even in a future trial. It didn’t feel good to to have the internet buzz with the idea that I or Adnan’s parents put her under duress, and I tried to explain numerous times that had not happened..but you know, sometimes people have a hard time believing people who uh have a track record of not actually ever lying. Anyhow, vindication is sweet. So is having Asia back, God bless her.
So, to recap, Urick stopped Asia from testifying, then he lied to the court about what she said. It should be clear to you now that the actual truth is not really important to Urick, only winning a conviction is. The only reason Urick would stop Asia from testifying, and do everything in his power to make sure even her documents are not considered worthy in court, is because it would help prove Adnan did not kill Hae. Basically, he doesn’t care if Adnan did or didn’t kill Hae. He just cares about his conviction. How does someone sleep at night knowing that they squashed potentially exculpatory evidence against an innocent man? I don’t know, but I hope he loses sleep for years to come in the light of today’s public, and well deserved, humiliation.
Of course, I never liked Urick even before all this. Not even all the way back in 2000, when I first saw him in action. And it wasn’t only about the fact that he was trying to convict Adnan, someone I cared about like a brother, for murder. It was largely about how he was trying to do it.
I knew, sitting in that trial, that Urick was no knight in shining armor. No defender of the truth and the Constitution, as his Intercept interview would have us laughably believe:
“At some point in the trial, Jay made a comment that I had gotten in touch with Anne Benaroya. Like I said, Cristina was very quick on her feet. She heard that. She immediately formulated this argument that I had procured an attorney for Jay, and she ran with it.
I give her credit. It’s something you don’t hear. It was new; it was innovative. I found the whole experience surreal. At the trial level, generally what happens is when defense attorneys want to put the state on trial, they try to make a case that you violated someone’s constitutional rights. And you therefore have engaged in misconduct. Here, someone is making a case where I acted to honor constitutional rights and tried to make that seem like misconduct.” (pretty sure I gagged when I read that)
Let me make a list of the reasons Urick is a slap in the face to the justice system. Lists are so handy.
- Framed the crime as an Islamically motivated honor killing 15 years ago, today calls it a run of the mill domestic violence case (which by the way, it also was NOT because if you believe Adnan killed Hae, it’s considered dating violence, not domestic violence). The South Asian Bar Association, which includes South Asian attorneys from Canada to the US, was so appalled at the ethnic and religious bias in the case, they reached out to me months ago. With trial transcripts in hand, they determined the words “Muslim”, “Islam”, or “Pakistani” were mentioned around 270 times in the second trial. Many of those mentions were by Gutierrez, who was apparently trying hard, but very badly, to respond to the prosecution on this issue. But it was the prosecution who crafted and planted that idea in the jury’s head, that Adnan’s religion and culture had something to do with Hae’s death. Apparently, Urick was so concerned about Jay’s constitutional rights, he got him a lawyer (unheard of), but didn’t care too much about Adnan’s constitutional rights, so used his religion against him.
- He is kind of an evil mastermind – not only did he deliberately try to prejudice the jury against Adnan for being Muslim, he actually pitted three ethnic communities against each other and literally played them like fiddles. He knew exactly what strings to pull to get a majority black jury to look at a young, black male witness and not see his lies, but his vulnerabilities. He knew that on the racial-discrimination-totem-pole, Muslims come in last. Hae came from an immigrant background, but it was one in which her family came here for a good life. Adnan’s immigrant background meant he was predisposed to hurting women. Standing at the center, Urick was the white ringmaster who filled the courtroom with ethnic and religious biases and then masterfully orchestrated them.
- He not only used the testimony of a proven liar to put away a kid for life, he accommodated it. He assisted it. Even today, as Jay recants everything he said under oath, Urick stands by the bullshit assertion that Jay’s testimony at trial was corroborated by the cell phone records. Apparently Urick did not read Jay’s Intercept interview. Or he did, and it DOESN’T MATTER because when Jay’s story changes over and over, to Urick it means he’s actually telling the truth. The “spine” of the story is what Urick called it. I really want to know at this point why he thinks a fucking “spine” is enough. Would it have held up in court for Jay to testify “Adnan killed Hae, told me he killed her, popped a trunk somewhere in the area, and I helped bury her, now don’t go asking for details”? No, it wouldn’t. Because no one cares about a fucking spine. Courts, juries, NORMAL GODDAM PEOPLE care about details. You do not convict a person without details. You do not convict a person based on a bare bones “spine”. Urick knew that, but he didn’t care. And he still doesn’t. Why should he? He got away with it.
- Urick will not little things like the truth get in the way of securing a conviction. He deliberately stopped Nisha from testifying that the only time she spoke to Jay was most definitely not on the 13th, he leaned on Don to get him to make Adnan seem shady, he did everything in his power to get Jay to testify the way he needed him to, and now we know he lied to Asia, and he committed perjury before the post-conviction court. I have to stress that this is not just a case of a prosecutor playing fast and dirty, which may be common. This is a case of a prosecutor taking an oath and lying to the very court of which he is an officer.
In today’s filing, which is an amendment to the existing petition, Justin is essentially asking the court for one thing – give a chance for Asia’s testimony to be heard in a court of law. Until now, it was first prevented by Gutierrez who failed to contact her, and then by Urick who stopped her from coming to court. The entire integrity of the post-conviction hearing was undermined by Urick’s perjury, even impacting the second issue, the plea deal, which I discuss in this piece.
Here is deal now: Jay admits committing perjury during the trial. What Urick did amounts to witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and perjury during the post-conviction process. Gutierrez lied about both contacting Asia and contacting the state for a plea deal.
So many people did so many shady, horrible things. But the only one that paid the price was Adnan. Adnan deserves another appeal, and another trial. Urick deserves to be sanctioned.
Here is the supplement to Adnan’s petition that was filed in court today based on Asia’s new statement.
Here is Urick’s testimony at the post-conviction hearing.