Monday, June 2, 2014

David Harold Eastman: (Aftermath 5; Inquiry report); Robert Collin Barnes: A criminal justice system's nightmare - Australia's Charles Smith; Judge Martin says "He (Barnes) behaved in a manner totally inconsistent with the independence of a forensic expert," and that "He identified himself with the prosecution and plainly demonstrated his bias in favour of the prosecution." Publisher's view:

COMMENTARY: How an expert witnesses' bias towards the prosecution - and  concealment of this fact from the defence - draws us into the heart of darkness of the Eastman prosecution.

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;

As part of his mandate at the Eastman Inquiry, Acting Judge Brian Martin had to determine whether  the prosecution neglected to disclose to the defence, either before or during the the applicant’s trial, information casting doubt on the veracity and reliability of a key forensic witness, Robert Collins Barnes.

Barnes' flawed gun shot residue analysis was one of the major contributions to Judge Martin's ruling that David Eastman had suffered a  substantial miscarriage of justice.

One of the specific allegations of bias toward the police and prosecutors related to a recorded conversation between Barnes and a police investigator (McQuillen), which Martin concludes reflects Barne's "true attitude."

Barnes: And look please don’t be harassed because as we’ve discussed I’m going to work , you know, I’m working with you. As far as I’m  as I’m concerned I’m a Crown witness, a Police witness.

McQ: Yeap;

Barnes. I’m not going to let the brief suffer.

McQ: No.

Barnes: “If we don’t put  a brake on these turkeys (other experts consulted by the prosecution HL) )  I mean, we don’t want these bastards putting that sort of stuff in writing. They’ve got to be told, you don’t say I do not agree. You ask questions alright.

McQ: Yeap, yeap.

Barnes set out his side of the story in an affidavit, in which he stated that: “The Board ought to conclude that while ego, stubbornness, rudeness and intemperate language were occasionally evident in Mr. Barne’s behaviour, hardly phenomena which are unparalleled amongst forensic experts, conclusions about bias are unfounded."

But Judge Martin remained "utterly unconvinced" as he ruled that, “There can be no doubt that ‘ego, stubbornness, rudeness and intemperate language ‘ existed, but the totality of the material demonstrates conclusively that the problems with Mr. Barnes’ attitude  extended beyond those features of his personality" - and that the conversation should have been shared with the defence."

Judge Martin then takes us right to the heart of darkness of this forensic disaster as he rules:

"As Mr. Barnes said in his affidavit, he worked ‘very closely’ with police investigators. Regrettably, it appears that he got to close. Frustrated by the fact that his work was being reviewed and by the views of other experts which he knew would become public through disclosure by the DPP, in a few unguarded moments of conversation with a police investigator to whom Mr. Barnes was close, Mr. Barnes disclosed his true attitude. He behaved in a manner totally inconsistent with the independence of a forensic expert. He identified himself with the prosecution and plainly demonstrated his bias in favour of the prosecution. Mr. Barnes also gave vent to his desire that experts who disagreed with him should be told they could not say so in writing."

Similarly,  Judge Stephen  Goudge found that the former doctor Charles Smith, (the namesake of this blog) who is responsible for far too  many miscarriages of justice in Ontario, "failed to understand that his role as an expert witness was not to support the Crown." 

"The pathologist's role does not include advocacy," Goudge wrote in his report. " Although the Crown, not the defence, called Dr. Smith as a witness at the preliminary hearing, at no point was he supposed to be an expert witness advocating for the Crown. He was an expert witness, period."


Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.
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:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:
I look forward to hearing from readers at:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.