by Mallory E. Horne



Tape Evidence Errors


Another year arrived, and it was time to begin our serious preparation for the trial that was scheduled to being on March 10, 1985. This phase took us to Houston, Texas, and an introduction to Sam Guiberson and his fascinating concept of trial management. My reaction to this lawyer, surrounded by the very finest of sound reproduction equipment interfaced with state of the art computers, was absolute awe.

Guiberson ... began to try federal criminal cases as the FBI began to move more and more into this undercover sting, taped operation. He quickly realized that with their sophisticated electronic work, there was no way to compete. They could and often did spin any kind of story before a jury that they wished...

With these tapes, the Guiberson staff carefully transcribed and computerized every word, coded somehow to a mass of other related data. Each document that had any relevancy at all was, with the transcripts, arranged in chronological order and indexed in elaborate form for easy access.

Guiberson reminded us that days and days of tedious work remained. The fascinating array of equipment was useless without careful preparation... Every place where each finite topic was mentioned, whether tape or document, was cross-referenced. Every variation within each topic was analyzed as to consequence to us and put into the computer for immediate recall.