Forensics Case of the “Time Traveling Medical Examiner” plus the “Forensic Avoidance Syndrome”

I will lead off with the “peripatetic in time” Mississippi non-forensic pathologist Steven Hayne’s continuing mis-steps in finding ways to express himself in an academic manner. Which nevertheless, always seems to lead to a conviction for murder. A new friend of mine, Ken Melson of the AAFS, I’m sure would call his testimony “vague and inarticulate.” Here is Radley Balko’s latest piece on Hayne.

This is my small contribution to the psychology literature associated with some forensic sciences. I am calling it the “Forensic Science Avoidance Syndrome.” FSAS is a form of cognitive disablement leading to coma when some AAFS recognized  groups (and the AAFS itself) are confronted with proofs that some “science” within their midst is “not science.” The coma phase may dissipate when someone really important calls them out about it. Then speech returns to rather robust CYA topics. It is notable that this can be infectious to the larger population. The final stage requires palliative treatment. The AAFS/ABFO members on the hot seat may be invited to join and/or form various committees which talk into the night. This one group has merit but possesses no enforcement function. Here’s a real  example of FSAS: 

Two false convictions  get no $$ relief from the 3rd Circuit. Judges trying to save government budget and taxpayers saying there is no cause of action for a miscarriage of justice. Something about good faith “juries” thrown in for good measure in the opine. The system protects itself once again.

Calif Innocence Project (at San Diego Cal Western Law)  in action. Video of Tim Atkins’ exoneration.

Bertillon for the 21st C: Facial-recognition tech catches suspect based on similarity to relatives. h/t @elizabeth_joh via @jmnookin.

Child to child bitemarks leads to caregiver’s felony plea bargain. Bites “life-threatening.” I have never heard of anyone being hospitalized for a human bite. Outpatient care, yes.

More on DA integrity units. Brooklyn ‘ground central’ for wrongful conviction claims. One of my most favorite DAs offices. Right next to Forrest Allgood’s in Mississippi. He is the capital punishment icon in that region.

About csidds

Dr. Michael Bowers is a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems.
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