"Whatever evidence convinced two juries to convict the five animals, it was not DNA evidence."
--Ann Coulter, "New York Times Goes Wilding on Central Park Jogger," 10/17/02
"Contrary to arguments made by a prosecutor at two trials in 1990, four strands of hair were never 'matched' to any of the Harlem teenagers accused of beating and raping a jogger in Central Park, a former police scientist said this week....
"Nicholas Petraco, a detective who examined the hairs when he worked in the Police Department's criminalistics division and testified at the trials, said the technique for hair examination in 1990 was not powerful enough to tie anyone to the crime with certainty....
At most, Mr. Petraco said, the hairs could be described as 'consistent with and similar to' those of the defendants and the victim....
"While Mr. Petraco avoided making an absolute link between the hairs and any person during his testimony, the lead prosecutor, Elizabeth Lederer, showed no such reticence. In her closing arguments, she used emphatic language to assert that hair found on a defendant, Kevin Richardson, had been "matched" and vouched for the reliability of the vigorously contested confessions.
"' He found on Kevin Richardson's underpants a hair that matched the head hair of' the victim, Ms. Lederer told the jurors. 'And there was a second hair on the T-shirt that matched' the victim's pubic hair...."
--Jim Dwyer with Susan Saulny, "Hair Evidence in Jogger Case Is Discredited," New York Times, 10/25/02
Yes, in context Coulter is referring to DNA evidence taken from semen that now conclusively links Matias Reyes to the rape, rather than hair evidence. Nevertheless, she doesn't make that distinction. She makes a blanket statement about the value of DNA evidence to the case.
And that blanket statement is not supported by the facts.