Bad forensic testing and testimony is no problem for this DA

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A successful re-trial motion for a convicted murderer is getting a W.Va. DA to use his right of appeal. Making no inroads in the prosecutorial pantheon of notable literature, the DA says the original conviction was “finalized” in 1988. Full article from the Herald-Dispatch

Sidebar about W.Va.: http://www.theintelligencer.net/opinion/editorials/2016/09/reduce-rape-kit-testing-backlog/ ( the article covers hundreds of rape kits being untested by law enforcement authorities in the state.)

This West Virginia DA is using a popular metaphor we can translate as: “once convicted always guilty” despite the judge agreeing that flawed forensics brought by a long-discredited expert created an unfair result to the original trial. California’s Attorney General and the aspiring-to-Attorney-General DA Michael Ramos (campaigning pic above) used some similar legal boilerplate in appealing Bill Richard’s exoneration in 2009. His appeal questioned  and argued against the Superior Court’s “jurisdiction” disallowing it to preside and rule on Richards’ habeas corpus motion. Ramos’ appeal brought a trip to the CA Supreme Court in 2012 where its ruling in favor of Ramos was considered “the worst opinion of the year.’

On to 2014 where the creation of a California forensic science “junk’ statute eventually brought Richards his freedom early this year. In 2016,  a reconstituted SC agreed that a “grandfather of bitemark experts” recanting statement at the ’09 exoneration hearing was more than sufficient to vacate/reverse the 1997 conviction.

Through all this overriding Ramos’ manuevering, he continued sniping and public assertions of more vigorous prosecuting adventures against Richards.  

The state of W.Va is using the same playbook as Ramos.

Full article from the Herald-Dispatch

About csidds

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