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The twists and turns of the case show how difficult it is to figure out who is lying — and when.If Jones testified truthfully in 1993 but lied on the stand five years ago, she risked a perjury charge.t was a giant step for Deirdre Jones to take the witness stand that day in 2012.She had returned to a Philadelphia courtroom to testify about a 1991 murder near Rittenhouse Square.If her more recent testimony was true, then David Baker, the former Philadelphia detective who interviewed her after the murder, lied in 2012 when, under oath, he flatly denied her accusations.Untangling who is lying in criminal cases can be “absolutely daunting,” said lawyer Richard L.
That is especially problematic in prosecutions built on the testimony of witnesses. The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office declined to discuss Hollman’s case.His current appeals lawyer, Alan Tauber, said he plans to ask prosecutors for a new review.Jennifer Creed Selber, former chief of the office’s homicide unit, acknowledged witness recantations are a “pervasive” problem.Jones wasn’t the first witness to claim to have lied at the trial.A decade before she came forward, Andre Dawkins — the only other person to place Hollman at the murder scene — swore police also had pressured him to falsely implicate Hollman.She believes witnesses usually recant because they fear retaliation from defendants.“If we attempted to prosecute every witness that perjures themselves,” said Selber, “it would be a completely unworkable and impossible situation.” If the verdict in the Hollman case is accurate, one participant has been lying consistently since 1991: Hollman has never stopped saying he is innocent.Helping to lock him up, she said, stoked years of depression.“I just thought it was time for me to come out and to tell the truth,” Jones, then a 40-year-old hospital worker, testified in January 2012.She did not believe Jones’ new testimony and denied Hollman’s motion to reopen his case. Bright followed a long line of judges who reject witness recantations as unreliable.She did not believe Deirdre Jones’ 2012 testimony and denied Chester Hollman’s motion to reopen his case.