"THE OHIO PAROLE BOARD LAST WEEK RECOMMENDED CLEMENCY FOR RICHARD NEILDS, BASED IN PART ON SHRODE’S FAULTY TESTIMONY AT HIS 1997 MURDER TRIAL, THE EL PASO TIMES REPORTED. PERRY’S ATTORNEYS SHOULD BE FILING EITHER A WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS OR A FEDERAL CIVIL LAWSUIT, SAID GERALD TREECE, DEAN OF THE SOUTH TEXAS COLLEGE OF LAW IN HOUSTON. “I CAN GUARANTEE YOU HIS ATTORNEYS ARE WORKING ON IT,” TREECE SAID. HOWEVER, THEY WOULD NEED TO SHOW A CAUSAL CONNECTION BETWEEN SHRODE’S TESIMONY AND PERRY’S CONVICTION OR SENTENCING, HE SAID. “A LOT OF IT DEPENDS ON HOW IMPORTANT THIS MEDICAL EXAMINER’S TESTIMONY WAS IN (PERRY’S TRIAL,” TREECE SAID. “HOW DID THE MEDICAL EXAMINER’S OPINION AFFECT GUILT OR INNOCENCE OR HIS GETTING THE DEATH PENALTY?”"
REPORTER NANCY FLAKE: THE COURIER OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY;
"The firing of the El Paso County medical examiner Monday for falsifying his resume could impact the appeal for a Montgomery County man scheduled to die by lethal injection July 1," the Courier's May 24, 2010 story by reporter Nancy Flake begins, under the heading, "El Paso ME’s firing could impact Perry execution."
"El Paso County commissioners fired Dr. Paul Shrode in a 3-1 vote during their regular meeting Monday, a county official said. Shrode, who has been the medical examiner there since 2005, testified in the 2003 capital murder trial for Michael James “Romeo” Perry." the story continues.
"Perry was convicted for the October 2001 shooting death of Sandra Stotler, 50, a nurse at Conroe Regional Medical Center. Jason Burkett, an accomplice who was convicted in the murder of Stotler, her 16-year-old son Adam Stotler and his friend, Jeremy Richardson, received a life sentence.
Shrode has been under fire in El Paso because of inaccurate claims on his resume, according to the El Paso Times newspaper. He listed a law degree on at least two resumes, but does not hold that degree.
David Fisher, a watchdog in Bastrop County who has investigated several medical examiners throughout the state, filed a complaint against Shrode in November of last year.
“I ran Shrode out of Houston in 2003 over his credentials,” Fisher said. “When Shrode was hired in Harris County in 1997, he retired his license, which means his license wasn’t active. why did he do it? Because it was cheaper.”
Fisher said he pulled Shrode’s curriculum vitae when El Paso County hired Shrode.
“(Shrode) never was a legal medical examiner,” Fisher said.
Shrode never received certification in anatomic and forensic pathology from the American Board of Pathology, and his eligibility to become board certified lapsed at the end of 2008 because he either failed the test or did not take it in a timely fashion, according to the El Paso Times.
He would not comment to the newspaper on his firing Monday, and said he did not remember the Perry case, the El Paso Times reported.
The American Board of Pathology sent a letter to El Paso County stating Shrode was no longer eligible for board certification, according to the El Paso Times.
Officials with the ABP could not be reached Monday for comment.
Fisher said the Texas Medical Board has not yet taken any action on the complaint he filed against Shrode, and Leigh Hopper, TMB spokeswoman, could not find any information as to a resolution.
“That’s not to say he has not been complained about,” she said.
It is possible the TMB could open its own complaint against Shrode, now that he has been fired by El Paso County.
“It’s certainly in the realm of possibility,” Hopper said. “One source is media reports and arrests.”
Attorneys for Perry did not return calls seeking comment Monday afternoon, but have previously told The Courier they are “examining options” for an appeal.
An Ohio inmate may be removed from that state’s death row and instead be given a life sentence because of unscientific testimony given in his trial by Shrode, the El Paso Times reported.
The Ohio Parole Board last week recommended clemency for Richard Neilds, based in part on Shrode’s faulty testimony at his 1997 murder trial, the El Paso Times reported.
Perry’s attorneys should be filing either a writ of habeas corpus or a federal civil lawsuit, said Gerald Treece, dean of the South Texas College of Law in Houston.
“I can guarantee you his attorneys are working on it,” Treece said.
However, they would need to show a causal connection between Shrode’s tesimony and Perry’s conviction or sentencing, he said.
“A lot of it depends on how important this medical examiner’s testimony was in (Perry’s trial,” Treece said. “How did the medical examiner’s opinion affect guilt or innocence or his getting the death penalty?”"
The story can be found at:
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