Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bulletin: Li Hangbin: New York. Closing arguments. Fatal injury sustained during chaotic revival process - or violent shaking causing death? New York Times.



STORY: "Closing arguments given in shaken-baby murder case," by reporter Corey Kilgannon, published in the New York Times on January 31, 2013.

GIST: "And so the proceeding in State Supreme Court, in Queens, became a showdown between two lawyers specializing in so-called shaken-baby cases, dueling it out in a closely watched trial. Each skimmed from days of tedious medical testimony — including hospital records, autopsy reports and varying doctors’ opinions — to sway the jury in two separate directions......... Mr. Li watched both summations intently, a court official at his elbow translating the proceedings into his ear. If convicted, Mr. Li would face a maximum sentence of 25 years to life. Mr. Ashley (defence lawyer)  maintains that Annie, whose health was already fragile because of a genetic condition, was bumped against a night table during a chaotic revival process after her heart attack. All of these factors contributed to her falling unconscious and eventually dying, Mr. Ashley (prosecutor)  said. Ms. Bishop mocked this as “a perfect storm for a number of rare medical conditions” and “a preposterous chain of events.”
The entire story can be found at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/01/nyregion/closing-arguments-given-in-shaken-baby-murder-case.html?_r=1&

 PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;

Bulletin: Dr. Aubrey Levin: Former forensic psychiatrist jailed 5 years for sex assaults on court-ordered former patients; CBC News;


STORY: "Calgary psychiatrist gets 5 years for sexual assault: Aubrey Levin sentenced for sexual assault on former patients," published by CBC News on January 31, 2013.

GIST:  "A Calgary judge has sentenced psychiatrist Dr. Aubrey Levin to five years in jail for sexually assaulting three of his patients. "They came to you for help with their problems, instead you added to their problems," Justice Donna Shelley said Thursday. Levin, 74, has worked in the past as a court-appointed psychiatrist. All three victims were referred to Dr. Levin by the court.  Crown prosecutor Dallas Sopko had requested a prison term of six to eight years, citing Levin's position of trust, the vulnerability of victims, and the length and repetitive nature of the assaults as aggravating factors. Defence lawyer Chris Archer told the judge his client is guilty of "minor sexual assaults," and asked for an intermittent sentence of 90 days — a jail term only served on weekends."

The entire story can be found at:

http://www.cbc.ca/m/touch/news/story/2013/01/31/calgary-levin-sentenced.html

Canadian Press story: (Reporter Bill Graveland);  "Levin, who had remained out on bail since the verdict Monday night, was taken into custody after the sentence was read. He didn't bat an eye."

 http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Calgary+judge+sentence+psychiatrist+molested/7897567/story.html

Calgary Herald story:  "(Co-defence lawyer) Molle said she expects an appeal to be filed within two weeks and the lawyers will seek Levin’s interim bail pending an appeal. She expects him to be in a medical unit in custody in the meantime......... Crown prosecutor Dallas Sopko, who had sought a sentence of six to eight years, said he and co-counsel Bill Wister were glad the case has come to some finality and were satisfied with the outcome, given all the circumstances in the case that originally was scheduled for about four weeks and took four months.........Sopko said he will go back to his office, reevaluate and decide whether or not to pursue the four counts that resulted in a hung jury."

 http://www.canada.com/news/alberta/Convicted+offender+Aubrey+Levin+exploited+patients+predatory/7901036/story.html

PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;

Bulletin: New Zealand. David Bain seeks judicial review of compensation. Alleges Justice Minister Judith Collins has acted in bad faith. Fairfax New Zealand News.


STORY: "Bain seeks judicial review," published  by Fairfax New Zealand News on January 30, 2013.

GIST: "David Bain has filed a claim in the Auckland High Court seeking a judicial review of Justice Minister Judith Collins' handling of his compensation case. A statement issued by Bain supporter Joe Karam said he was seeking a judicial review of the actions taken by Collins since she received Justice Binnie's report in late August 2012, including the "secret process" which culminated in the subsequent report by Judge Robert Fisher. "The claim includes allegations that the Minister has breached David's rights to natural justice, breached his rights under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 199,  acted in bad faith, abused her power, and acted in a biased, unreasonable and predetermined manner," Mr Karam said. "Declarations are sought from the Court to this effect, along with any necessary further directions." The claim also requested the Crown defer any further action in relation to Bain's claim pending the outcome of the judicial review. "David Bain has particularly requested that I make it known that he anguished over the prospect of returning to Court, and only did so with great reluctance," spokesman Joe Karam said. "The application is necessary because the Minister has continued her policy of refusing to constructively communicate with his advisers, and because he no longer has any confidence that his claim is being assessed in a fair manner. "

The entire story can be found at:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/8242038/Bain-seeks-judicial-review
  PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bulletin: Dr. Aubrey Levin: Former forensic psychiatrist faces sentencing hearing on sexual assault convictions. His lawyer seeks 60-90 days to be served on weekends Crown seeks 6-8 years in penitentiary. Judge to pass sentence Thursday morning. CP.


STORY: "Aubrey Levin trial: Calgary psychatrist to face sentencing," by  Canadian Press reporter Bill Graveland, published in the Huffington Post on January 30, 2013.

GIST:  "A psychiatrist convicted of sex assaulting his court-appointed patients was depicted Wednesday as both a frail senior who would suffer in prison and a predatory offender who must be punished. Dr. Aubrey Levin's defence lawyer said his 74-year-old client would be at high risk in jail because he is frail and in ill health. Chris Archer told a sentencing hearing that Levin should serve a sentence of between 60 and 90 days on weekends. Levin was found guilty on Monday of sexually assaulting three patients who had been ordered to see him by the courts. Archer read a letter from Levin's rabbi that said Levin is respected and loved and a jail term would be a death sentence. The letter also said that all the good the psychiatrist has done in his life has not been erased by the bad. The defence characterized the sex assaults as minor and suggested Levin's greatest crime is a breach of trust. But that broken trust is what aggravates the severity of the offences, said prosecutor Dallas Sopko, who called for six to eight years behind bars. The judge will pass sentence Thursday morning.cSopko pointed out that more than 20 assaults occurred. He argued there are no mitigating factors. One of the victims, who is still in custody, sat shackled in the prisoner's docket after receiving permission to watch the entire hearing."

The entire story can be found at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/01/30/aubrey-levin-sentencing_n_2579539.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-alberta
PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.

Bulletin: Larry Swearingen: Major development; Judge withdraws execution date in college slaying - clearing the way for DNA testing; AP.



"A state district judge Wednesday withdrew next month's execution date for a 41-year-old convicted killer who now has avoided the Texas death chamber four times. Judge Kelly Case ordered that Larry Swearingen's Feb. 27 lethal injection be put off indefinitely, clearing the way for DNA testing in his case. Swearingen is on death row for the 1998 abduction, rape and strangling of Melissa Trotter, a 19-year-old Montgomery County community college student. His attorneys, who include lawyers from the New York-based Innocence Project, contend he didn't kill Trotter and say evidence that was never tested for DNA would support their contention. Montgomery County prosecutors argued the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in 2010 ruled that no additional testing should be done in the case and said they were disappointed with the decision Wednesday. "Mr. Swearingen is probably the most guilty person in Montgomery County when it comes to the death penalty," prosecutor Warren Diepraam said. "These defense attorneys are the kings of stalling, and that's what they're doing." James Rytting, one of Swearingen's lawyers, called the decision "just." "The judge recognized the need to have the testing pursuant to the statute, pursuant to the law" Rytting said."

The entire story can be found at:

http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/01/30/4587253/judge-withdraws-execution-date.html

 PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.


Bulletin: David Harold Eastman: (Australia); inquiry to begin in March. Independent scientific testing of fresh gun residue evidence to be conducted. ABC News.


STORY: "Eastman inquiry to begin in March," by reporter Elizabeth Byrne, published by ABC NEWS on January 29, 2013.

GIST: "A new inquiry into the murder conviction of David Harold Eastman will formally begin in March. Eastman is serving a life sentence for the 1989 murder of Australian Federal Police assistant commissioner Colin Winchester. A fresh inquiry into his conviction was ordered last year after Eastman's lawyers cited new evidence............Two key areas of the inquiry will be Eastman's fitness to plead at the time of his original trial as well as claims gun residue found in his car may have come from a firearm used by a friend for rabbit shooting.........The hearing was also told scientific analysis related to the gun residue may take some time with an independent expert still to begin testing. The inquiry is expected to begin on March 4 with the fitness to plead issue."
The entire story can be found at:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-30/eastman-inquiry-to-begin-in-march/4491144?section=act

 PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Douglas Prade: (Ohio). Convicted police captain exonerated. (Columbus Sispatch). Prosecutor vows to appeal. Police howl in rage; Publisher's view: "So what else is new?"


STORY: "Convicted police captain exonerated," by reporter Mike Wagner, published in the Columbus Dispatch on Tuesday January 29, 2013.

PUBLISHER'S VIEW:  (Very concise!)  Prosecutor vows to appeal; Police howl in rage. So what else is new? Harold Levy. Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;

GIST: "A Summit County judge’s ruling exonerating a former Akron police captain in the murder of his former wife is drawing criticism from those who investigated and prosecuted him in 1998.
Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said she plans to appeal the ruling issued this morning. “This is a gross misapplication of the law, and we will be appealing,” a written statement from Bevan Walsh said. “The DNA evidence presented by the Ohio Innocence Project on behalf of Prade is contaminated and unreliable. It does not prove innocence.” Akron Police Chief James Nice also believes the judge came to the wrong conclusion. “All of the evidence clearly points to Prade as Dr. Margo Prade’s killer. He was proven guilty in front a jury using a substantial amount of other evidence.” Douglas Prade, 66, has been serving a life sentence for the murder of Margo Prade, a physician who was gunned down near her office. After years of declaring his innocence, Prade finally won DNA testing of the lab coat his former wife was wearing when killed and of a bite mark the killer left. In her 25-page ruling issued today, Common Pleas Judge Judy L. Hunter wrote that she fully supports Prade's position that the DNA testing proves he wasn't the killer and granted his request to be released from prison. “The court concludes . . . that defendant is actually innocent of aggravated murder,” Hunter wrote. “The testing is not unsympathetic to the family members, friends, and community who want to see justice for Dr. Prade."
The entire story can be found at:
 
http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/01/29/prade.html 

PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.

Bulletin: Dougas Prade: (Bite mark case). Judge overturns former Akron police captain's conviction for murdering his wife, declares him innocent, releases him and directs a new trial; Cleveland Plain Dealer: (Full ruling provided on the newspaper site.)


STORY: "Judge grants former Akron police captain Douglas Prade to be released, receive new trial," published in the Plain Dealer on January 29, 2013.

GIST: "Former Akron police captain Douglas Prade, convicted of the 1997 murder of his ex-wife, will be released from prison and granted a new trial by Summit County Judge Judy Hunter. "Based on the review of the conclusive Y-STR DNA test results and the evidence from the 1998 trial, the Court is firmly convinced that no reasonable juror would convict the Defendant for the crime of aggravated murder with a firearm," Hunter said in the ruling (read the full ruling in the document reader below). "The court concludes as a matter of law that the Defendant is actually innocent of aggravated murder. As such, the Court overturns the Defendant's convictions for aggravated murder with a firearms specification, and he shall be discharged from prison forthwith."

The entire story can be found at:

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2013/01/judge_grants_former_akron_poli.html

WKYC story: "The conviction came despite a lack of witnesses, fingerprints or a murder weapon, but was based largely on a bite mark found on Margo Prade's body. One forensic dentist testified the mark matched Prade's teeth.   Prade always maintained he was innocent. With an attorney from the Ohio Innocence Project, Prade argued that new DNA test results would prove he did not kill his ex-wife."

 http://www.wkyc.com/news/article/280610/33/Akron-Judge-overturns-murder-conviction-of-Doug-Prade

 PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.

Dr. Aubrey Levin: Following convictions for sexually assaulting male patients CP publishes details of his South African past - including allegations of using electrical shocks in bid to change sexuality of gay men.


STORY: "Aubrey Levin guilty on three counts of sexual assault," by Canadian Press reporter Bill Graveland, published in the Huffington Post on January 28, 2013.

GIST: "Dr. Aubrey Levin stood quietly and without outward emotion as he was found not guilty on two counts and a mistrial was declared on four other counts. Court will reconvene on those matters on March 15 to set a date for a new trial......... Levin, who immigrated to Canada from South Africa, was frequently used by the courts to assess people and provide expert opinions at hearings. He served briefly as regional director for the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon and was licensed in 1998 to practise psychiatry in Alberta. Levin is no stranger to controversy over his work as a psychiatrist. He faced heated accusations about his time as a military psychiatrist during apartheid in South Africa, where he earned his degree in 1963. In the 1970s he was a psychiatrist at a military hospital where aversion therapy through electric shocks was allegedly used in an attempt to change the sexuality of gay soldiers. Levin is mentioned in a report entitled the aVersion Project that aimed to shed light on abuses of gays and lesbians in the military by health workers. Media coverage of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission said Levin was named in a human rights submission as a key figure in the abuse of gay men in the military. It acknowledged the submission was based on anecdotal reports. Levin has denied abusing any patients under his care and has argued that the submission was based on a distortion of facts, according to an article in the South African Medical Journal."

The entire story can be found at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/01/28/aubrey-levin-sex-assault-trial-jury-verdict_n_2567369.html
 
PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.

Sent from my iPad

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bulletin: Aubrey Levin: Jury finds former forensic psychiatrist guilty on three counts of sexually assaulting patients; Not guilty on two others. Deadlocked on rest of charges. Calgary Herald.

  
STORY: "Dr. Levin guilty on three counts of sexually assaulting patients: Jury says not guilty on two charges; deadlocked on four others," by reporter Daryl Slade, published by the Calgary Herald on January 28, 2013.

GIST: "The jury in the Dr. Aubrey Levin trial has found the forensic psychiatrist guilty on three counts of sexually assaulting patients. They found him not guilty on two charges but were deadlocked on four others. Earlier this evening, they sent a note to the judge saying they had reached a verdict on five charges and were at an impasse on the rest. The jury came back to the courthouse at 6:15 p.m. after giving deliberations another try. They had told the judge Sunday night that they were hopelessly deadlocked, but Justice Donna Shelley exhorted them this morning to give it another go. For more than an hour, the jurors remained in the jury room at the courthouse this evening while the judge and lawyers discussed what to do. The defence was seeking a mistrial. The Crown was asking the judge to accept five verdicts and order a mistrial on other four charges."

The entire story can be found at:

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/calgary/Aubrey+Levin+jury+reaches+verdict+five+nine+counts/7882733/story.html


PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.

Bulletin: Deborah Madden: Closing arguments heard in retrial for San Francisco crime lab scandal. ABC News.


STORY:  "Closing arguments heard in retrial for San Francisco crime lab scandal," published  by ABC  NEWS on January 28, 2002.

Closing arguments are set to start Monday in the retrial of a former San Francisco police crime laboratory technician accused of taking small amounts of cocaine from the facility. Deborah Madden's first trial in the federal court of U.S. District Judge Susan Ilston in San Francisco ended in a mistrial in October when jurors could not agree on a verdict on the federal charge of obtaining a controlled drug by means of fraud, deception or subterfuge. Madden, a 29-year civilian employee of the laboratory, admitted in a police interview in 2010 that she took trace amounts of cocaine, but said she took only what was spilled during weighing. In the federal case, her defense lawyers contend there is no proof of the deception needed for conviction under the U.S. law. The law is sometimes used to prosecute doctors or pharmacists who fraudulently obtain prescription drugs not needed by their patients. Madden's actions contributed to the Police Department's closure of the lab's narcotics analysis unit in 2010 and the San Francisco district attorney's dismissal of hundreds of criminal cases that depended on evidence from the lab."

The entire story can be found at:

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/san_francisco&id=8971147

 PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.

Bulletin: Dr. Aubrey Levin: Mistrial possible with jury deadlocked in former forensic psychiatrist's sexual assault trial. Calgary Herald.


STORY: "Mistrial possible with jury deadlocked in Levin case: Judge sends jurors back to hotel to sleep on it," by reporter Daryl Slade, published in the Calgary Herald on January 28, 2013.

GIST: The jury in the Dr. Aubrey Levin sexual assault trial appears to be deadlocked and a mistrial looms. In a note to Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Donna Shelley on Sunday night, after three full days of deliberations, the jury said it was at an impasse. “Despite vigorous and lengthy deliberations, we are unable to reach a verdict on any of the nine counts. We do not believe further deliberations will change this,” the note said. Without the jury present, the judge held discussions with defence lawyers Chris Archer and Karen Molle and Crown prosecutors Bill Wister and Dallas Sopko. Then she brought the seven men and four women jurors back the courtroom and told them to go to the hotel and get a good night’s sleep. She said their position would be dealt with in the morning."

The entire story can  be found at:

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Mistrial+possible+with+jury+deadlocked+Levin+case/7880398/story.html

PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.

Sent from my iPad

Annie Dookhan and Sonja Farak: Daily Hampshire Gazette looks at "The drug lab mess" and rejects "rogue chemist" theory. Wants "system" examined.


EDITORIAL: "The drug lab mess" published in January, 2013. (Reader may have to register under "free access" to view this editorial.

GIST: "In July, the state police assumed oversight of both the Amherst and Jamaica Plain labs from the state Department of Public Health. The state police were already running 10 labs around the state. Now they run all but one, at the UMass Medical School in Worcester, which is supervised by the Worcester County district attorney. The goal in having state police take over the DPH labs was to improve efficiency and set uniform standards. The labs under DPH supervision lacked the resources to meet national accreditation standards that the state police lab system had achieved. In the wake of the Amherst case, an independent review of all the state’s labs is warranted to ensure they are meeting accreditation standards. The state public health director, who resigned over the Jamaica Plain scandal, blamed it on the actions of a “rogue chemist.” In our opinion, the state must examine its system of accounting for materials processed and look also at how staff are trained, monitored and reviewed."

The entire editorial can be found at:

http://www.gazettenet.com/home/3993142-95/state-lab-police-amherst

PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dr. Aubrey Levin: Former forensic psychiatrist's sexual assault trial goes a third day. The Canadian Press.


STORY: "Aubrey Levin's sex assault trial's jury goes a third day," by the Canadian Press, published on January 27, 2013.

GIST: "For a third straight day a seven man-four woman jury will seek to determine the fate of a prominent Calgary psychiatrist accused of molesting several of his court-appointed patients. Dr. Aubrey Levin, 74, is accused of sexually assaulting nine of his male patients, all of whom were assigned to him through the courts between 1999 and 2010. The case was handed to the jury on Friday but it failed to reach a verdict for a second straight day Saturday.........The case took a strange twist after it was sent to the jury. A juror who was dismissed a couple of weeks ago told the court she`d been approached near the court house and offered an envelope full of cash to find Levin not guilty. The psychiatrist's wife, Erica Levin, 69, has been under house arrest for contempt of court and is expected to be charged with obstruction of justice over the next few days."

The entire story can be found at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/01/27/aubrey-levin-calgary-psychiatrist-jury-goes-third-day_n_2560657.html

PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.  

Larry Swearingen: DA Says his DNA Motion is a stall tactic (meant to delay his execution): Offer for expedited testing is rejected on basis that testing required is complex and time-consuming. Reporter Jordan Smith. The Austin Chronicle.


STORY: "DA says Swearingen DNA motion is a  stall tactic: Offer for expedited testing is rejected," by reporter Jordan Smith, published in the Austin Chronicle on January 25, 2013.

GIST: "Lawmakers in 2011 updated the Texas post-conviction DNA testing statute, in part to broaden the definition of biological material – thus, directly addressing the issue that had blocked Swearingen from testing the pantyhose ligature along with other items, including articles of Trotter's clothing and scrapings from under the fingernails of one of her hands. (Previous testing on scrapings taken from one of her hands revealed an unknown DNA profile; whether that profile has been compared to DNA in a national database is unclear.) As such, Swearingen's attorneys – which includes Houston's James Rytting  and now Bryce Benjet  and the New York Innocence Project  – last week filed a motion to secure DNA testing of the as-yet untested materials. Although  (DA) Ligon initially scoffed at the idea, he has changed course, this week offering to expedite transfer of the items to the lab of the defense's choosing, and to pay for the DNA testing out of the county's pocket. Swearingen's attorneys have declined the request. That prompted Ligon to issue a press release Friday, lambasting the defense for stalling what Ligon sees as the inevitable execution of Swearingen. "It is obvious that Swearingen's attorneys desire additional testing only if it will result in another delay of the execution," reads the press release. "The district attorney remains willing to facilitate the DNA testing requested by the defense, but will oppose any further stay of execution." While Swearingen's attorneys are "relieved" to hear that Ligon has finally agreed to DNA testing, they think that a rush to get it done within a month is unreasonable. "Due to the nature of the evidence in this case, the testing required is complicated and could require several different types of analysis," said Barry Scheck co-director of the Innocence Project. "The careful forensic work required will simply take more time than we have under the execution date that was set by the state." In other words, the defense wants to make sure the DNA analysts are looking closely at the evidence and not at the clock. Moreover, Scheck said that conducting the testing pursuant to an agreement with Ligon outside the provisions of the statute "that was amended in direct response to this case would severely compromise Mr. Swearingen's ability to get the reliable testing that can prove his innocence."
The entire story can be found at:

http://www.austinchronicle.com/blogs/news/2013-01-25/da-says-swearingen-dna-motion-is-stall-tactic/

 PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.  

http://www.austinchronicle.com/blogs/news/2013-01-25/da-says-swearingen-dna-motion-is-stall-tactic/


Sent from my iPad

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Aarushi Talwar case: India; A fascinating brilliantly written look at one of India’s most notorious murder trials - and the brutal harm caused to the innocent by outdated forensic and investigative techniques: Shree Paradkar tells her cousins's story. Toronto Star. Must Read.


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Kudo's to Shree Paradkar and the Toronto Star for putting the spotlight on  this troubling, on-going  trial which has all the makings of a miscarriage of justice and a perversion of forensic pathology and sound police investigation.  The Star has accompanied the story with an array of  valuable links. I do not use the words "Must Read" lightly:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.

STORY: "Aarushi Talwar murder: A look at one of India's most notorious trials," by Shree Paradkar, published by the Toronto Star on January 26, 2013.

GIST: "When I tell my cousins’ story to non-Indians, the reaction is usually shock and puzzlement. How can a country have democracy and anarchy in equal measure? How can an IT powerhouse accept outdated forensics and investigative techniques? The answer is simple. There are many Indias. I grew up in one of them. I lived in the same cocoon as Nupur, Rajesh and about 350 million middle-class Indians — a third of the country. Members of that group enjoy varying degrees of luxury; we had maids, cooks and drivers. Human rights, sciences and the arts are discussed within this cocoon. The police operate outside of it. I knew they were not like Law & Order SVU. I did not expect yellow tape around a crime scene. I did expect police to protect it by at least shutting doors. It came as a shock an investigative system could fail so badly."

The entire story can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1320111--aarushi-talwar-murder-a-look-at-one-of-india-s-most-notorious-trials

PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.   

Houston Crime Lab: From ignominy to role model: How Houston surged ahead of the curve in forensic science. David A. Harris. Houston Chronicle.


COMMENTARY: "Houston ahead of curve in forensic science,"by David A. Harris, published in the Chronicle on January 18, 2013. (David Harris, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of law, is the author of "Failed Evidence: Why Law Enforcement Resists Science.")

GIST: "In the crucial area of forensic science, Houston is ahead of the curve. A look at the rest of the country on the intersection of law enforcement and science shows that while most police and prosecution agencies generally resist science as it applies to what they do, Houston has taken some rare steps forward.........The National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) has been the most vocal critic of the idea of independence for forensic labs. In an official resolution in 2010, the NDAA announced that it would oppose any effort to make laboratories independent of law enforcement. The idea that the people in any organization will attempt to please those in charge - a thoroughly researched form of a standard cognitive bias that can be countered by making labs independent - does not concern the NDAA. And the NDAA's position is not the least bit unusual. The premier crime laboratory in the nation is the FBI's own laboratory, and three years after the Academy report, the FBI has made no move to make the lab independent. Unfortunately, the NDAA's effort to resist recommendations for improving law enforcement investigation based upon scientific work is the norm in most jurisdictions in the country. There are now years of solid, peer-reviewed and published scientific work on the basics of what police do: eyewitness identification, interrogating suspects and using basic forensic science such as fingerprint identification, ballistics and analysis of hair and fibers. Some of this work has been around for decades. It has pinpointed the sources of many errors with these common methods and it has also proposed ways to improve police work in these areas, at relatively low cost. And yet most of law enforcement refuses to change their methods in order to avoid costly errors and wrongful convictions. They ignore the science, saying that they know best and will not be dictated to by a bunch of laboratory eggheads - even in the face of 300 proven wrongful convictions. Thankfully, the leadership in Houston has taken another path with regard to the independence of the crime lab. They have not spent time and energy denying the science that shows, without question, an increased possibility of bias and error when labs are not independent. Instead, they've made a break with the past and will be moving forward into an era of better forensic work. Houston can serve as an example of what kind of progress is possible."

The entire story can be found at:

http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Houston-ahead-of-curve-in-forensic-science-4206722.php

PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Dr. Aubrey Levin: Bizarre development. Former forensic psychiatrist's wife has been arrested for allegedly trying to bribe a juror. Jury is now sequestered pending its verdict. Reporter Daryl Slade. Calgary Herald.


STORY: "Aubrey Levin's wife arrested for allegedly trying to bribe juror," by reporter Daryl Slade, published in the Calgary Herald on January 25, 2013.
The entire story can be found at:

Huffington Post entry:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/01/25/aubrey-levins-wife-charged-bribe-juror_n_2552573.html

PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog. 

Ed Graf: Texas. A better approach needed to allow courts to deal with convictions based on junk arson science: Grits for Breakfast.


POST: "Judge recommends habeas relief in conviction based on junk arson science," published by "Grits for Breakfast" on January 25, 2013.

GIST: "Graf's case will be the first time the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals will consider whether a defendant convicted based on junk arson science may be entitled to habeas relief, or at least the first since the whole controversy over the Todd Willingham case brought international attention to the subject. But precedents at the high court are all over the map regarding whether such convictions can be overturned when the science changes or improves, and several judges on the CCA think it shouldn't be allowed. The Texas Legislature this spring will consider a bill (expected to be filed next week) to close that gap in state habeas law to clarify that new, potentially exonerating scientific evidence can provide a basis for post-conviction relief. The measure is one of two recommendations from the Timothy Cole Advisory Panel on Wrongful Convictions that the Legislature has not yet acted upon (the other is to require police to record custodial interrogations). For Graf's sake, and others similarly situated, I hope it passes this time around.........This morning Grits is headed to the Forensic Science Commission meeting where they'll hear a presentation on the status of the arson review being conducted by the state fire marshal and my employers at the Innocence Project of Texas."

The entire post can be found at:

http://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.ca/2013/01/judge-recommends-habeas-relief-in.html

PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog. 

Cathy Lynn Henderson. Texas Court of Criminal Appeals grants her a new trial; Medical examiner reverses opinion on 3-month-old child's head injury. Now says it could have been an accident. Cites changing science. Reporter Jordan Smith. Austin Chronicle.


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: In her story on Fran Keller's bid for freedom and vindication in the Oak Hill Daycare 'ritual abuse' case, Austin Chronicle reporter "Jordan Smith" reported that, "The Court of Criminal Appeals has recently decided at least two cases that hinge on evolved medical opinions. In one, the court ruled that a mere change of heart by a medical professional was not enough to trigger appellate relief. But in the Cathy Lynn Henderson case, also from Travis County, the court has granted Henderson a new trial, based on the idea that "new" science demonstrated that the head injury suffered by a three-month-old left in her care could easily have been an accident." Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for  developments on both cases - and related cases (including the shaken-baby prosecutions) where prevailing medical  and scientific knowledge has come under attack.

Harold Levy. Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog.



STORY:  "Henderson granted new trial;  CCA gives Travis County defendant a second chance," by reporter Jordan Smith, published in the Houston Chronicle on December 5, 20

GIST: "In an opinion delivered this morning, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals says  Cathy Lynn Henderson should be granted a new trial in the 1994 Travis County murder of three-month-old Brandon Baugh. Henderson was convicted and sentenced to die for Baugh's murder. Henderson was babysitting Baugh at her Pflugerville-area home when the baby died. Instead of calling for help, Henderson took off with Baugh's body and buried him in a field in Bell County before fleeing to her native Missouri. Her April 2007 execution was postponed by Judge John Wisser  in order to give her defense a chance to prepare an appeal arguing that "new" science demonstrated that the head injury suffered by Baugh could easily have been an accident. Indeed, at an evidentiary hearing former Travis County Medical Examiner Roberto Bayardo  testified that the science had changed and that although he had previously testified, at Henderson's trial, that Baugh's injury could not have been the result of an accident there was now no way to say with any medical certainty that was the case. At the close of the hearing Wisser recommended that Henderson be granted a new trial. Now the CCA has agreed, deferring to Wisser's determination that the new scientific evidence was exculpatory in nature. "Although we need not accept the trial court's conclusions concerning actual innocence, we accept the court's recommendation to grant relieve and remand for a new trial," the court wrote.

The entire story can be found at:
 http://www.austinchronicle.com/blogs/news/2012-12-05/henderson-granted-new-trial

Dear reader: Stay tune for future posts; The Charles Smith Blog is following this case.

 PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.    
 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bulletin; Ed Graf: Judge recommends new trial; Almost 25 years in prison on arson conviction experts now say was based on junk science. Reporter Dave Mann; The Texas Observer.


STORY: "The arson files: Judge recommends new trial for Ed Graf," by reporter Dave Mann, published in the Texas Observer, on January 24, 2014.

GIST: "A state district judge in Waco on Thursday recommended a new trial for Ed Graf who has spent nearly 25 years in prison on an arson conviction that forensic experts now say was based on junk science. Retired Waco Judge George Allen recommended throwing out Graf’s conviction and convening a new trial after a brief hearing this morning to review the well-documented flaws in the forensic evidence. The case now goes before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Graf was convicted in 1988 for allegedly starting the fire that killed his 8- and 9-year-old stepsons in the shed behind the family’s home in a Waco suburb. Graf always claimed he was innocent, and the physical evidence seems to confirm that he’s served a quarter century in prison for an arson that never happened.........(Graf's lawyer Walter) Reaves said he hopes that when the Court of Criminal Appeals does address Graf’s case, it issues a written opinion that would help Texans wrongly convicted of arson win new trials. Graf’s is the first flawed arson case to go before the Court of Criminal Appeals since the Cameron Todd Willingham controversy. (Willingham was convicted on similarly flawed arson evidence and executed in 2004.) Since the uproar over the blatant mistakes made in the Willingham case, Texas authorities have begun a thorough review of arson convictions in the state. Perhaps dozens of wrongly convicted Texans remain in prison on arson convictions based on evidence that has since been debunked. “This is the first case that’s made it up through the system,” Reaves said. “It’s very significant.”

The entire story can be found at:

http://www.texasobserver.org/the-arson-files-judge-recommends-new-trial-for-ed-graf/

 PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog. 

Fran Keller: (Oak Hill Daycare 'ritual abuse' case); Extraordinary retraction by ER physician set out in document filed by her lawyers: Dr. Michael Mouw, the only physician to provide 1st hand testimony supporting the existence of physical abuse now says his opinion was not scientifically or medically valid; "Memorandum" published by "The Statesman."


PUBLISHER'S NOTE:  An extraordinary document has been filed by lawyers for Fran Keller who are seeking to have her found innocent on the sexual assault conviction in 1992 and led to her sentence to 48 years' imprisonment in an atmosphere of satanic ritual abuse hysteria -in spite of her consistent denials. It is the "Memorandum" which has been filed on the petition of "habeas corpus" which is aimed at securing her release and vindication. The essence of the application is set out in a brief " preliminary statement" which reads:  "Applicant Fran Keller was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child in 1992 and sentenced to 48 years’ imprisonment. She is innocent. Fran Keller was convicted of the brutal sexual abuse of a 3-year-old child on the following evidence: an outcry repeatedly retracted, medical observations now repudiated, a recanting witness’ false confession, child fantasies, a quack “expert” in imaginary satanic ritual abuse, false evidence from the police regarding nefarious cemetery-related events, the suppression of exculpatory evidence, and an investigation virtually certain to result in false allegations of abuse by children. Only this Court can recommend Fran Keller be granted relief."  The lengthy document - a fascinating, but disturbing read - has been posted on-line by the Statesman. I have chosen to focus on the startling revelation, that Dr. Michael Mouw, the hospital physician who later testified that "Christy" had suffered  recent injuries consistent with sexual assault, has retracted his testimony. In a brief section entitled "medical proof," the Memorandum indicates that: "Brackenridge Hospital physician Dr. Michael Mouw physically examined Christy on August 15th. Christy was alert, pleasant, cooperative, well nourished, clean, in no acute distress, and very cooperative with the exam. He noticed that while the opening to the vagina was normal, her hymen and labia minora were reddened. Mouw also observed a tear at the opening to the vagina “and what appeared to be lacerations of the hymen at 3:00 and 9:00.” The lacerations were no more than 24 hours old, in his opinion. He concluded Christy had suffered trauma to her hymen, consistent with sexual abuse. Pediatrician Beth Nauert examined Christy about two weeks later, but testified that the tear to the hymen noted by Dr. Mouw had healed. From Mouw’s report, it appeared to Nauert the injuries were fairly acute, meaning they probably had occurred within hours or days prior to Mouw’s exam. Nauert concluded Christy’s injury was most definitely consistent with sexual abuse, in part because there were three identified injuries around her vagina, according to Dr. Mouw’s report."  Kudo's to  the Statesman for making access to this extremely readable document on line - and for helping draw attention to this outstanding miscarriage of justice which cries out for rectification - not just for Fran Keller, but also for others in the U.S.A. and elsewhere in the world who were victimized by waves of irrationality which flooded the justice systems that were supposed to protect them. I have omitted page numbers and legal references. They, of course, can be found in the  complete version of the "Memorandum, which can be accessed at the link below.

Harold Levy. Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog.

Dr. Mouw's retraction in a section of the Memorandum which bears the heading: "Claim for relief one: Mistaken expert testimony deprived applicant of her rights to due process and due course of law through the introduction of inadvertantly false evidence." The section reads as follows:

"Dr. Mouw now confirms his trial testimony was incorrect. (Affidavit of Dr. Mouw, attached). His mistaken perception of lacerations was not only the basis for pediatrician Beth Nauert’s testimony but was the only physical corroborating evidence for ritual-abuse “expert” Randy Noblitt’s testimony. For any juror wondering if anything at all had actually happened, medical confirmation of savage sexual abuse must have been persuasive. The other experts – Noblitt and Nauert – utilized Mouw’s report, amplifying and compounding the error.

The prosecution deftly highlighted this medical testimony in final argument, reminding jurors that the severity of Christy’s presumed injuries proved they had to have been the product of abuse: “What did Dr. Nauert say [based on Dr. Mouw’s exam]? Dr. Nauert said this type of injury to the child, where there are these two little lacerations that Dr. Mouw drew, there is a little tear in the introitus,” which no child could self-inflict. Christy’s claims about pens repeatedly inserted into her vagina and anus, and Perry’s description of the penetration of Christy’s vagina by Dan and Raul, appeared more plausible in the collective light of these expert determinations.

Today, Dr. Mouw could not be more clear: “I now realize my conclusion [that there was physical evidence of sexual abuse] is not scientifically or medically valid, and [] I was mistaken.” He had “minimal specific training in the are of pediatric sexual abuse,” which included a strong bias in favor of identifying variants in children’s vaginas as physical evidence of sexual abuse. He also noted he failed to use a culposcope during his examination, the failure of which can lead to “mistak[ing] normal variants in hymens of children for child sexual abuse,” as happened in this case.

Dr. Mouw soon after trial realized he was mistaken to conclude that his examination revealed lacerations consistent with sexual abuse. While his testimony is hardly perjury, its negative impact can be just as severe to the truth-seeking function of trial. The error he originated was all too human, as were the assumptions, affirmations, conclusions and the rest of the investigation that led an innocent woman to prison. The Court of Criminal Appeals has recognized that the unintentional use of evidence subsequently shown to be false is a cognizeable claim under Article 11.07 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Dr. Mouw provided the only first-hand medical testimony supporting the existence of physical abuse. Nauert observed no lacerations, and based her more extensive testimony Page 33 purely on Mouw’s mistaken report. His report was employed by ritual abuse “expert” Noblitt as a foundation for his more ornate “professional” opinion.

Dr. Mouw is not a lawyer and could not have anticipated his testimony would be the spigot for other expert and, as will be demonstrated supra, not-so-expert testimony (Noblitt). Nauert widened and deepened the impact of his mistake, while Noblitt capitalized upon it by giving false but professional-sounding context to Perry’s salacious rendition of an orgy that never happened. While Dr. Mouw could not have known his pivotal role in the conviction of Fran Keller, his report nevertheless spawned the greater portion of the case against her.

 Dr. Mouw’s mistake negates the reliability of his identification of physical abuse. The error of mistaken perception can be likened somewhat to mistaken identification. The considerations for misidentification are suggestibility and likelihood of error via the process of eyewitness identification.  If a mere deficiency in reliability defines a due process violation under methodology known to be merely suggestive under an objective view, a professional’s own admitted crucial mistake ought to be accorded even greater weight in determining a due process violation.

 This Court should recommend to the Court of Criminal Appeals to grant relief under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and independently under Article I §19 of the Texas Constitution. It does not matter that Dr. Mouw’s testimony was not perjurious. Nor does it matter that the prosecution was unaware of the unintentional falsity of his testimony. The only issue is its materiality. Dr. Mouw’s recent acknowledgment that he was wrong about the existence of physical evidence of sexual abuse is not only material, but self-evidently exculpatory. Under every legal standard, materiality has been met. Fran Keller’s conviction is an unjust result from a trial that, as detailed further in this Memorandum, was also fundamentally unfair."

The entire"Memorandum" can be found at:

http://www.statesman.com/documents/2013/jan/14/fran-kellers-appeal/

See also: "Appeal filed for Fran Keller: The Oak Hill Daycare 'ritual abuse' fiasco," by reporter Jordan Smith, published by the Austin Chronicle on January 14, 2013.

"Mouw told us in 2009 that he was wrong, and that he learned later that what he saw was likely not an injury. In an affidavit filed with Keller's writ, Mouw elaborates on why he believed then that Christy had been abused, and why he does not now believe that she was. "Years after the trial, I attended a medical seminar which included a slide presentation of hymens with normal variants," Mouw wrote. "One slide of a normal hymen was so similar to what I had observed when I examined Christy, I realized I had mistakenly identified normal discontinuity at those locations as lacerations. This was new information to me. While my testimony was based on my good-faith belief at that time, I now realize my conclusion is not scientifically or medically valid, and that I was mistaken." 

Mouw's about-face, based on medical advancements, is key to Keller's appeal. The Court of Criminal Appeals has recently decided at least two cases that hinge on evolved medical opinions. In one, the court ruled that a mere change of heart by a medical professional was not enough to trigger appellate relief. But in the Cathy Lynn Henderson case, also from Travis County, the court has granted Henderson a new trial, based on the idea that "new" science demonstrated that the head injury suffered by a three-month-old left in her care could easily have been an accident. 

Mouw's revelations are not the only potential game-changers in Keller’s appeal. Indeed, Hampton argues that Austin Police failed to reveal not only to Keller’s defense counsel, but also to prosecutors, that "evidence" they had that graves had been disturbed at a small private cemetery near the Kellers' home – where police took the children to see if they could "remember" anything that might have happened there – was false."

 http://www.austinchronicle.com/blogs/news/2013-01-14/appeal-filed-for-fran-keller-the-oak-
hill-daycare-ritual-abuse-fiasco/

Wikipedia account:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oak_Hill_satanic_ritual_abuse_trial

 PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.    

Sonja Farak and Annie Dookhan: "Crime lab rogues." Jim Fisher. True Crime.

 

STORY: "Sonja Farak and Annie Dookhan: "Crime lab rogues." Jim Fisher. True crime.

GIST: "Last August, authorities in Massachusetts shut down the state crime lab in Jamaica Plain. A month later, state police officers arrested Annie Dookhan on charges related to the forensic chemist's deliberate mishandling of drug evidence, and her failure to follow lab testing protocols. During her tenure at the Jamaica Plain lab, Dookhan had handled more than 50,000 drug samples involving some 34,000 defendants. Now all of these cases are in jeopardy. On January 20, 2013, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced that state police officers had arrested forensic chemist Sonja Farak. The 35-year-old had been a drug analyst at the state lab in Amherst. The officers arrested Farak at her home in Northhampton on charges she had stolen cocaine and heroin from evidence she had certified. The forensic chemist had replaced the stolen contraband with counterfeit substances. Farak, a state chemist since 2002, was held on $75,000 bail pending her arraignment.........The crime lab scandals in Massachusetts illustrate how much damage a couple of rogue forensic practitioners can inflict on a criminal justice system overwhelmed by the government's massive war on drugs." 

The entire post can be found at:

 http://jimfishertruecrime.blogspot.ca/2013/01/sonja-farak-and-annie-dookhan-crime-lab.html

 PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.     

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bulletin: David Bain: (New Zealand). "Second review planned into David Bain's compo bid." One News.


STORY: "Second review planned into David Bain's compo bid," published on January 23, 2013, by ONE News.

GIST: "Prime Minister John Key has confirmed a second peer review into David Bain's application for compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment will "most probably" happen. The cabinet has been updated on possible options for settling David Bain's claim but a final recommendation is not expected until the Cabinet meets in February. Key said another report is likely to happen after an initial report commissioned by a Canadian judge was heavily criticised by the Government last year. The report was supposed to remain confidential until Cabinet had made a final decision into the compensation claim, but it was released to the public......... He (Bain)  was convicted in 1995 of murdering five members of his family in Dunedin. In 2007, the Privy Council quashed his convictions on the grounds of a substantial miscarriage of justice and ordered a retrial. A jury acquitted him in June 2009 after almost 13 years in prison."

The entire story can be found at:

http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/second-review-planned-into-david-bain-s-compo-bid-5324606

PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.     
 

Annie Dookhan; Sonya (Sonja) Farak: (Massachussets): Question of the day: "How many Annie Dookhans are out there?" Myfoxboston.com.


COMMENTARY: "How many more Annie Dookhans are out there?," published by myfoxboston.com on January 22, 2103.

GIST:  "One of the first concepts law students learn is called the fruit of the poison tree. In simple terms, it means that evidence obtained from an illegal arrest, unreasonable search, or coercive interrogation must be excluded from trial. The fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine is also intended to deter police from using illegal means to  obtain evidence. It is one of the pillars of our legal system. If you apply this principle to the ever expanding state drug lab scandal, we just took two big bites out of two bad apples. What makes this worse is that chemists Annie Dookhan and Sonya (Sonja) Farak were part of the system that's intended to test the veracity of evidence. Yet, these two women are charged with poisoning the tree. I hate to say I told you so, but… Actually, I now wish I had never said, "How many more Annie Dookhans are out there?"......... Dookhan and Farak are part of a long chain that is the prosecutorial arm of the state's criminal justice system. This same system isnow investigating itself. It's time to bring in an outside arborist, the feds, before this tree bears more poison fruit."

http://www.myfoxboston.com/story/20642513/2013/01/21/how-many-more-annie-dookhans-are-out-there

 PUBLISHER'S NOTE

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.