- From the Center for Public Integrity, a look at the Sheri Sangji case from a worker safety perspective. As Patrick Harran is expected to be arraigned tomorrow, it will be interesting to see how coverage of the case evolves. Their article is here and the video is embedded above.
- The Los Angeles Times reports the Harran defense has come up with a fascinating tactic: digging up the past of the lead Cal/OSHA investigator in the case, Brian Baudendistel:
Criminal proceedings against UCLA chemistry professor Patrick Harran took a bizarre turn Thursday when the defense alleged in court papers that the state's chief investigator in the accidental death of a lab worker committed murder as a teenager in 1985.
The investigator, Brian Baudendistel, denied it.
"It's not true," he told The Times earlier this week. "Look, it's not me."
Baudendistel, a senior special investigator for the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, was instrumental in building the criminal case against Harran and UCLA with a 95-page report that blamed both in the death of 23-year-old Sheharbano "Sheri" Sangji. She suffered fatal burns when a experiment burst into flames in December 2008.Read the Los Angeles Times article to note how the defense is trying to use this to invalidate Professor Harran's arrest warrant. Also, it's completely baffling to me whether or not Mr. Baudendistel was actually involved. (Does it matter? From a moral/ethical perspective, I can't imagine that it does. From a legal perspective, I have no idea.)
What does it say about Professor Harran's defense team that they're playing this card at this relatively late time? I speculate that plea negotiations may be going poorly and this is a long shot, but I dunno.