Marana Rotary Round-Up for August 20
After being called to order and the Pledge, President Benner got right down to the business of announcements, which included: 1) Sept. 21 is the District Leadership Retreat (no registration fee) at the Habitat for Humanity offices on Mountain Avenue; 2) November 9 is the Foundation Training event (also free), followed by a Country Western “Extravaganza!” that evening at The Playground in downtown Tucson; and 3) April 25, 2020 is service project work day.
Top “happy bucks” for:
  • Harold’s wife, who has been home for three weeks. She mentioned to him the other day that she’s finally got cleaned up everything that Harold messed up while she was convalescing.
  • Peter’s fluency in “Fortran 66”.
  • Everyone who expressed ranges of happiness from “just happy” to “thrilled to be here” to “really happy.”
Denise won the raffle – no joke. Really, there was no joke off because Lynne was absent.
Our guest speaker Jonathan Mosher, chief criminal deputy prosecutor for the Pima County Attorney’s Office, returned to present, “How Not To Get Away With Murder.” Mr. Mosher’s presentation centered on a relatively recent case, State v. James Lapan, which was also featured on “Dateline.” The case was particularly interesting to members because it happened in Marana. Mr. Mosher explained the theory the county attorney’s office pursued, including Lapan’s likely motive, and used multiple slides showing where detectives had collected forensic evidence, including lots of DNA evidence from blood on Lapan’s jeans and matched shell casings, from both the victim’s house and Lapan’s residence.
Mr. Mosher explained that it has become important tool for the County Attorney’s Office to use visual presentations at the trial for the jury because of the complexity of prosecuting murders. For example, it is easier to show a visual representation of the probability (or improbability) of a DNA match because folks generally have difficulty grasping really big numbers, such as a trillion (1,000,000,000,000) versus a septillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000). [Peter will you verify, please?]
The sheer amount of DNA and forensic evidence and a strong theory about Lapan’s motive made this case a pretty clear example of how not to get away with murder, Mosher concluded.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 a.m.
-- Submitted by Laura Clymer, secretary