- Exoneree Clarence Harrison makes music with his new album “Life Sentence.”
- Pennsylvania Innocence Project client Han Tak Lee walks free in Pennsylvania on Friday after his arson conviction is thrown out by a federal judge
- After long battle, California Innocence Project client Timothy Atkins declared factually innocent and to receive state compensation for his wrongful conviction
- Steve Drizin writes about the joint effort of Northwestern U and U Michigan to exonerate Jamie Lee Peterson
- Mississippi Innocence Project writes about the potentially false testimony in a number of cases by medical examiner Steven Hayne
- Original detectives back bid by Michigan Innocence Clinic to get new trial for Jeff Titus
- Wisconsin Innocence Project seeks DNA testing in 1982 murder case
- The Exonerated (the play) in ebook format
- From the AP: The Texas state fire marshal has volunteered to turn over more than a decade of his office’s casework to advocates so they can examine them for wrongful convictions. Fire Marshal Chris Connealy has been working with the Innocence Project of Texas for more than a year to review old cases. But now he’s sent 24 cases from 2002 to 2004 to the Innocence Project so the Lubbock-based group can vet his office’s work, with a pledge to turn over all of his more recent case files. He says it’s an important step for the public “to have confidence in the criminal justice system.” Several high-profile arson cases have come under scrutiny in Texas, including that of Cameron Todd Willingham, executed for the fire deaths of his three daughters.
- Oscar nominated director to direct The Brian Banks Story
- Two new books about wrongful conviction by Morrison Bonpasse
- Summary of Amanda Knox appeal
- The latest from the Innocence Project of Singapore
The Innocence Project has asked the State Bar of Texas to investigate former Navarro County prosecutor John Jackson relating to the arson case of Todd Willingham. Convicted of setting a fire on Dec. 23, 1991, that resulted in the death of his three young children — Amber, 2, and twins Karmon and Kameron, 1 — Willingham was executed on February 17, 2004.
Expert forensic testimony provided at the Willingham trial that equated burn patterns to the use of accelerants has been debunked by contemporary forensic science. Now, an article by Maurice Possley for The Marshall Project published in The Washington Post, details new evidence that undermines the second significant evidence that supported the conviction of Willingham, testimony from a jailhouse informant. Continue reading
Here at the WCB, we’ve posted many, many articles dealing with the highly questionable scientific validity of most all forensic disciplines. I’m very happy to report that there is now a blog dedicated to that issue.
Dr. Michael Bowers is a practicing dentist and forensic odontologist in Ventura, CA, and a long time forensic consultant in the US and international court systems. His newest book, “Forensic Testimony, Science, Law and Expert Evidence” with Elsevier/Academic Press is available on Amazon.
Dr. Bowers has some refreshing and insightful views on the validity of forensics, and maintains a blog addressing the “junk science” that so many in the justice system refer to as “forensic science.” Please visit that blog here: Forensics in Focus.
[Editor's note: I, personally, refuse to call them forensic sciences. They are not sciences. Technologies? Disciplines? Perhaps, but they're not sciences.]
PS: I have reviewed Dr. Bowers’ new book Forensic Testimony – Science, Law, and Expert Evidence, and you can read that review here. I highly recommend it.
The FBI’s massive review of criminal convictions with FBI forensic hair and fiber testimony, initiated in 2012, stalled in the face of widespread errors spanning two decades, but the review has resumed this month on order of the Justice Department. As reported by Spencer S. Hsu, an investigative reporter for the Washington Post, “Nearly every criminal case reviewed by the FBI and the Justice Department as part of a massive investigation started in 2012 of problems at the FBI lab has included flawed forensic testimony from the agency, government officials said.”
Read Hsu’s comprehensive article here. Highlights directly from the article: Continue reading
Sue Luttner, editor of the blog OnSBS, has posted an article that points out the parallels between “old” and discredited arson science and the situation with child abuse experts who are stuck in a paradigm paralysis regarding shaken baby syndrome (SBS).
‘Hats off’ to Sue, because the parallels had never struck me before, but they are incredibly close.
Please see Sue’s article here.
The Washington Post has reported that Kevin Martin’s conviction of the 1982 murder of Ursula C. Brown was vacated on Monday. Brown had been abducted, sexually assaulted, and murdered after her car was struck from behind during a rash of similar crimes that authorities had dubbed the “bump-and-rob” assaults in Washington, D.C. Martin had long contended his innocence in the killing.
Martin is the fifth person to have his conviction overturned as a result of a recognition of inaccurate FBI hair analysis. The FBI and Justice Department review of all convictions involving FBI hair matches in the 1980s and 1990s continues. Two comprehensive reports linked here provide an indication of the bumpy road to truth years and even decades after miscarriages were prompted by an unjustifiable trust in unreliable science presented by a highly credible source.
Highlights directly from the Washington Post: Continue reading