Sunday, April 26, 2015

Ray Krone: Peter Neufeld, co-founder and co-director of the Innocence Project, places Krone's wrongful conviction based on so-called "bite mark' evidence, at the heart of a commentary on why you "can't fix the system's use of forensic science without changing the science. New York Times: (Must Read. HL);

COMMENTARY: "Can't fix the system's use of forensic science without changing the science," by Peter Neufeld, published by the New York Times on March 30, 2015.  Peter Neufeld is co-founder and co-director of the Innocence Project.

GIST: "Ray Krone was convicted of murder in Phoenix, Ariz., and sentenced to death. The key evidence used to convict him was the testimony of a certified forensic dentist who concluded that a bite mark on the deceased came from Krone. Ten years later (fortunately before he was executed), D.N.A. testing proved the dentist was wrong, cleared Krone and identified the real perpetrator, who was in prison for a subsequent sexual assault.Twenty-four men who were indicted or convicted based largely on bite mark evidence have been exonerated by D.N.A testing. For years, despite lacking a proper scientific foundation, many forensic practitioners have offered either unvalidated evidence or grossly exaggerated the value of the evidence, particularly in forensic disciplines that examined pattern, impression and trace evidence, e.g comparison of bite marks, shoe prints, bullets and hair. The National Academy of Science acknowledged this problem in 2009, concluding that “with the exception of D.N.A., no forensic method has been rigorously shown to have the capacity to consistently, and with a high degree of certainty, demonstrate a connection between evidence and a specific individual or source.” .........The problem, however, will not be cured by reliance on D.N.A. testing for most cases, there is no biology to test. But the other forensic disciplines never underwent the extensive basic and applied research, voluminous peer review and Food and Drug Administration approval because, unlike D.N.A., they never had a clinical application. They were primarily developed by law enforcement solely for criminal investigation. The National Commission on Forensic Science is a good start but far too modest. The commission, and national technical standards setting body, the Organization of Scientific Area Committees, may be able to render forensics more transparent – the commission could for example improve pre-trial discovery rules and judges could demand more from forensic practitioners, prosecutors and defense counsel. Technical standards can be set to professionalize the practitioners. But since more than 95 percent of cases end in plea bargains or dismissals and do not go to trial, we must make forensics more dependable upstream, before the cases come to court, through hard research like we had with D.N.A. Once, and only once these practices have been scientifically validated and found to be reliable with appropriate limitations, then we need to set uniform technical and measurement standards and require accreditation. The latter can’t happen before the research, validation and reliability are completed as is currently contemplated. If defendants, victims and the public are to have confidence in the quality of forensic evidence – in the quality of justice – then nothing less will do."

 The entire commentary can be found at:

  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;