Here’s what’s going on in Orange County courts. It’s interesting that Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange homicide cops, DAs and crime lab folks just can’t stay outa the negative light of the media.
Excerpt: “At issue are divergent, sworn statements Senior Forensic Scientist Mary Hong made in People v. Lynn Dean Johnson in 2008 and People v. Wendell Patrick Lemond the following year, according to records filed Sept. 23 in Orange County Superior Court.”
In the body of the news article, you will read the expert waffling non sequiturs on her reasons ( without a fair limiting explanation) surrounding an area of DNA “ageing” that really is just guessing. She explains limitations, but absolutely ignores their obvious influence on the low confidence level that should directly result. Mum. These partial and incomplete posits is what is “called expert exaggeration” in the media and in the PCAST report linked below.
At closing arguments, the DAs generally firm up the favorable part of the expert’s opinions and the jury is ignorant on how these “changes” not uncommonly (sorry, a double negative) are from influence on the examiner via pressure by her LEO employer. “Re-tested” evidence is a clue to this happening unless analytics (as in “touch” DNA ) have advanced.
In this era of “pattern-matching-features” expertise taking hits from the President’s Council of Advisors, the public is learning that “re-testing” can be nothing more that using an eyeball [aka “imaging” ] to look at evidence “features” that have not been researched out for supportive or contradictory data on how often they occur. Its a daily thing for courtroom experts to testify to how often things/objects/molecules/nucleics occur in the “world” we live in.