The Washington Post’s ongoing series about forensic experts’ decades of conniving within the state of Mississippi’s death investigation industry should be considered for a collective Pulitzer Prize. For the past ten years, we’ve seen the misuse of such forensic subjects as ballistics, blood pattern, hair, bite marks, forensic pathology, police”sciences” and prosecutorial misconduct. All in public view. What to do? Time will tell. Strangely, in our society, it can take a ridiculously long time. At the bottom we have other chronic hoaxes to consider. The above pic is from the 1997.
Here’s the latest: Fear and loathing of bitemark expert Michael West
The players in MS are all connected by a particularly casual nonchalance about putting people to death who are society’s least capable of mounting much of defense against being wrongfully convicted. Plus the players all work for MS state law enforcement agencies which make them bullet-proof from any personal liability.
Then, take a look about what other science “flim-flams” seem to have as a half-life (decay rate). Even in the relatively benign and non-adversarial ( I won’t mention these) world of physical anthropology. Here’s the “Archive of Hoaxes” for more reading enjoyment. The Piltdown Chicken (above pic) is under the Scientific Category. This is a hoax that bagged The National Geographic Society in 1999.
Study reveals culprit behind Piltdown Man, one of science’s most famous hoaxes
In this case, its only one perp. From 1912. This Forensic Magazine article now says the case is closed (2017-1912=105 years). That’s history for you.
The big-brained, ape-jawed Piltdown Man was hailed as a major missing link in human evolution when he was discovered in a gravel pit outside a small U.K. village in 1912. The find set the pace for evolutionary research for decades and established the United Kingdom as an important site in human evolution. The only problem? Piltdown Man turned out to be one of the most famous frauds in scientific history—a human cranium paired with an orangutan’s jaw and teeth. Now, scientists think they’ve figured out once and for all that a single hoaxer was responsible, not a duplicitous cabal.