The story continues of US judicial ignorance of scientific advances and what is “innocence.” Judges continue to adopt prosecutorial advocacy themes of “guilt regardless.” At the appellate level, erroneous forensic testimony from over-reaching experts , once presented as “scientifically certain” at trial, become “harmless error” or “merely opinion,” when the scientific truth comes out years later.
Alissa Bjerkhoel is a staff attorney at the California Innocence Project and her presentation at the 2013 American Academy of Forensic Sciences about William Richards’ decades long litigation is the focus of this blog. Dentists involved in Richards’ conviction and his attempts for exoneration were present in the audience. Multiple cases of exonerations after mistaken bitemark assisted convictions are also presented. Beware: Actual crime science photos are within.