I have a brief editorial and then this week’s lineup of news links.
For most of us, a defendant’s “right to a fair trial” is a sacrosanct right “arising” from the US Constitution’s 6th Amendment (i.e. the Bill of Rights). It has been modified from the original Framers’ version to include such things as legal representation in criminal matters (Gideon v. Wainwright), discovery of material evidence to be used in any judicial proceedings, Brady, etc. These principles also extends to administrative proceedings using a “fair process” determination. What about this “fair trial” concept when outmoded and improperly tested forensic “science” is used to prosecute which leads to a conviction?” Another way to put it, “Is there a Constitutional right for a defendant to be protected from unvalidated forensics at trial?”
Barry Scheck of the New York Innocence Project speaks on much the same audit topic regarding Prosecutors. How about forensic science? One problem. The American Academy of Forensic Sciences still considers bitemark identification a science. An AAFS audit of the American Board of Forensic Odontology’s casework tragedies would surely cause them trepidation. Here’s another trepidation they are experiencing. ===================================
Delaware Medical Examiner fired after mishandled evidence.
“Registry of Prosecutorial Misconduct” project is launched. In response to courts lack of disciplinary oversight.
Excellent blog from the California Innocence Project . Cases explain why the “Registry of Prosecutorial Misconduct” was created. One case has a miscreant DA being found protected from censure because “a conviction would have ended her career.” The defendant had been in prison for 13 years.
Inside the judicial cloakroom. Prolific and outspoken 7th Circuit judge Richard Posner talks about judging.
In one study, judges allowed DA experts 95% of the time, but allowed defense experts 7.8% of the time. Bias much?
UK: Mobile forensic science units prevents botched crime scene collection. Lowers pendings from 75,000 to 13,000
Discussion on dishonest prosecutions, factual innocence and capital punishment.