Things that were hidden from the public.
1) As mentioned before, a central part of the state strategy was to prevent Esar Met from testifying
If he were to testify, the various cover ups would start to crumble. The defense was clearly on board and the lead defense counsel mentioned several times on the record that he was trying to get his client to not testify.
As the trial drew to a close the prosecution wrapped up its case. Esar Met had been provided with a female translator to help the various lawyers maneuver him. The defense told him that everything looked okay, and again they told him he should not testify.
While the jury was removed the defense told the judge they would not call any witnesses and that he was sure Esar Met would not speak.
2) Although the prosecutor is criticized for his dishonesty and sleaziness, he did something amazing which other lawyers will have difficulty surpassing
During a part of the prosecution's final summary, in one 28 second long stretch the prosecutor lied three times to the jury, about the testimony they had just heard during the trial.
That's one lie every 9.3 seconds.
Is that even legal?
a) He says Hser Ner Moo's friend testified that two people always rode on his back, and thus a bloodstain could not have come from that, but that's not true.
b) Says she bled in "four different places" on the back of his jacket, but the forensic tech testified that the dubious stains, which nobody had noticed until he got the jacket, were deposited together, in the same place on the jacket, at one time, and that's why he initially only tested one stain.
c) Says nobody ever noticed she had a cut or bled recently, but several people testified she had cuts and the medical examiner said she had three playground type cuts on her fingers.
Testimony by the Burmese family of the victim is generally not reliable, because both defense and prosecution were overtly pressuring them, asking tasteless unnecessary questions which the witnesses would deflect by trying to answer a different question or by starting on a separate issue.
For example the parents were asked if their dead child had trouble urinating the morning she disappeared, whether she bathed and washed her hands, and similar questions.
The first of the following clips involves the father of the victim deflecting in this way, the second clip involves the brother of the victim trying to answer the prosecutor who has been abusive to his family. Their specific testimony here happens to be true, in this example, but it was solicited in a way so as to minimize its reliability.
Is there a reason the prosecutor lied so much about the testimony during his closing arguments?
Incredibly, incentivizing lies at the end of testimony is part of the game in Utah.
3) The comments from the translator are even stranger if you look at both translations
It's already been mentioned that in the more professional of the two interview transcripts the person translating for the police has knowledge about the body being kicked.
See line 374 https://pastebin.com/qZcK69HH
But two transcripts were done for this website. That 'better English' transcript, above, was done by a well educated Burmese woman who worked as a translator, but was from a different ethnic group than those involved.
The second transcript https://pastebin.com/rQHFW5rq is in rougher English but it is by a person who understood better the dialect and was able to hear things the more professional transcript translator might not have heard or understood in the specific cultural context of Esar Met's language background.
In this second transcript, the police translator mentions the kick, first, at the very beginning of the interview
line 123 "The body of the child with the footprint of your leg and blooded blood from you kick was found in your bath room",
then again on line 483 "They knew a black mark on the child body from leg kick. Not with leg heel but Mark of exact arch of foot kick. It has been already examined with doctor",
then again on line 520 "Did you kick down again on her?",
then again on line 653 "Then, you kicked her head hit to the wall."
One of the oddities at trial involved the testimony by the medical examiner about injuries which caused blood, there were only a few specific injuries which led to blood loss, the other injuries involved internal organ damage.
There is a very clear photograph of two blood spatter stains on the wall, near ground level.
For some reason, all sides at trial refrained from commenting on how specifically those injuries occurred, but clearly they appear to have been from kicks.
This utterly contradicts the false confession, of course.
So if either the defense or prosecution had mentioned that at trial, and then if Esar Met had a change of heart and disobeyed his lawyer and demanded to speak, as he had done with his 'outburst' at a previous hearing, then it would have been misconduct by the lawyers to not have raised the issue of the translator mysteriously making all these references to the body having been kicked.
The judge tried to wiggle around future judicial misconduct possibilities by further narrowing the scope of how the interview could be used, but clearly all parties were greatly relieved that the defense counsel kept Esar Met from testifying.
4) The defense raised an important broader issue in their closing argument, which is not the place to raise broader issues.
For whatever reason, the legal infrastructure in Utah saw this case as about educating the public rather than assigning accurate accountability for a death. There is nothing wrong with educating the public, but somebody should do their job properly first, then educate.
The lead defense lawyer makes a point of communicating the various standards of legal proof, ranging from 'a preponderance of evidence' to '100% certainty'.
His speech would be useful and important if his audience were receptive, but he himself participated in making sure the jury would be immune to intellectual tactics. His goal may have been to make some general point about the weakness of the jury system, or he may have had some other objective, but he himself was so directly involved in throwing the case that it cannot be argued that his goal was a fair trial by virtue of an educated, or educatable, jury..
Does a jury system work to educate the public?
Why should it? It's like sharpening a knife on somebody's bones, it's stupid and has no use aside from its entertainment value.
When you take your car to the mechanic, does he withhold your fixed car until you understand how a carburetor works? Imagine if nobody could get their car worked on until they could fix it, nobody could fly a plane unless they were able to build and repair one, same with computers, electrical supply, etc.
An argument could be made that the charade sacrificed the accused for a noble goal i.e., to educate the public, except that nobody was actually educated about standards of proof. And worse, a person is in prison because those authorities bent on 'educating' refuse to admit their own incompetence and mistakes. And that lesson, that some people are made to be sacrificed, is already taught in a million ways.
In fact the defense did do an adequate job summarizing the evidence.
And most people would probably agree that a jury consisting of normal people with at least a high school degree or equivalent should have acquitted him.
What exactly went wrong?
5) Did a group of rogue law enforcement agents commit that murder, and several others, then carefully stage the crime scenes?
Does a small group within law enforcement even have the capability to arrange that, to surveil all the parties involved for days, perhaps weeks, then swoop in, kidnap and kill a child, and frame somebody?