Friday, July 31, 2015

Rajesh and Nupur Talwar: Aarushi-Hemraj Murder: thequint.com, a popular Internet media site, focuses on the media's blatant role in these wrongful convictions - as it shows how the couple "fight on from jail." (Must Read. HL);


STORY:  "Aarushi-Hemraj Murder: Nupur and Rajesh Talwar Fight on From Jail," by Rishika Baruah, published by Quint on July 31, 2015.

GIST: "16 May, 2008, changed the lives of the Talwar family forever. Their only daughter, 13 year old Aarushi was murdered. Two days later their servant, 45 year old Hermraj, who they believed had killed Aarushi, was also found dead on the terrace. In a house where there were four people, the court ruled that since there was no evidence of outside intrusion, the two dead were killed by the two alive, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar. From May 2008 till November 2013, the Talwars’ every move, mood, expression and statement was closely watched, dissected and talked about by the entire nation. The Aarushi-Hemraj murder became the most sensational crime to be covered by a 24/7 media. It has been 18 months since the Talwars started serving their life sentence in the Dasna Jail, on the outskirts of Delhi. Rajesh now runs a fully organised dental clinic inside the jail, where Nupur also works occasionally.........The media played a crucial role in the Aarushi-Hemraj murder highlighting and recreating every aspect of the crime and ‘revelations’ from the investigation. There were theories and morbid reconstructions of what may have happened in the bedroom of a 14-year-old girl that night coupled with assumptions and allegations that the Talwars were one big unscrupulous, even ‘immoral’ family. "We lost the perception battle. The verdict was based not on evidence but on the image that had been created. The police and the media fed the world a salacious story that would sell and people lapped it up. It is easy to sit at home and judge, but those people will never know what a father is going through."........."We were na├»ve, too trusting of a system that betrayed us. In the initial days, the Noida Police warned against talking to the media. We listened to them. The next day they were giving sound bites that we were the prime suspects in the murder of our own daughter. They even propounded a theory that Aarushi was our adopted daughter. They assassinated the character of my dead daughter who will never live to defend herself. I live now only to defend the dignity of my daughter."

The entire story can be found at:

http://www.thequint.com/india/2015/07/31/aarushi-hemraj-murder-nupur-and-rajesh-talwar-fight-on-from-jail

PUBLISHER'S NOTE:
 
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:

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

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:
 
http://smithforensic.blogspot.ca/2013/12/the-charles-smith-award-presented-to_28.html
 
I look forward to hearing from readers at:

hlevy15@gmail.com.
 
Harold Levy; Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;

Radley Balko: This keen observer of America's criminal justice system takes on the law of qualified immunity which protects state employees, including police, from lawsuits alleging violations of constitutional rights, using two cases: Case One: Henry Davis (Missouri) - after being beaten by officers, he gets charged with "property damage" for bleeding on the officer's uniforms - and the case of "Benny Starks ( a bite mark case); (Must Read. HL);


POST: "People wronged by the criminal justice system face a long road to compensation," by Radley Balko, published by the Washington Post on July 30, 2015; (Radley Balko blogs about criminal justice, the drug war and civil liberties for The Washington Post. He is the author of the book "Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces.")

GIST:  A couple weeks ago, Nathan Burney drew up a cartoon for The Watch that explained the concept of qualified immunity. This is the protection given to state employees, including police, from lawsuits alleging violations of constitutional rights. Before even getting in front of a jury, a plaintiff must not only show that his rights were violated, but that a reasonable person in the public employee’s position should have known that the actions in question were in violation of the Constitution. It’s a tough hurdle to overcome. And even then, the plaintiff could still fail to persuade a jury. A couple recent appeals court decisions demonstrate just how difficult it can be for a victim to win compensation. The first comes from Ferguson, Mo., where Henry Davis sued three police officers for allegedly beating him in a jail cell while he was compliant and subdued. While the evidence suggests that Davis was initially uncooperative, the appeals court ruling notes that testimony supports the contention that this wasn’t the case when the officers began beating him. Davis was then charged with “property damage” for bleeding on the officers’ uniforms.........The other case involves Benny Starks, about whom I wrote in my series on bite mark evidence. Starks spent 20 years in prison after he was convicted of the rape and assault of a 69-year-old woman in 1986. He was convicted primarily due to testimony from bite mark analysts Russell Schneider and Carl Hagstrom, testimony from blood serologist Sharon Thomas-Boyd, and an identification by the victim. (The victim initially described her assailant as clean-shaven and 18-19 years old. Starks at the time was 26, and had a mustache and beard.) Schneider and Hagstrom claimed to have found a bite mark on the victim that matched Starks’s teeth “to a reasonable medical certainty."...The criminal justice system is pretty aggressive about holding people accountable for their actions. Sometimes it holds people accountable for actions they didn’t commit. But it’s probably best at protecting its own from any accountability at all."

The entire post can be found at:

 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2015/07/30/people-wronged-by-the-criminal-justice-system-face-a-long-road-to-compensation/

PUBLISHER'S NOTE:
 
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:

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

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:
 
http://smithforensic.blogspot.ca/2013/12/the-charles-smith-award-presented-to_28.html
 
I look forward to hearing from readers at:

hlevy15@gmail.com.
 
Harold Levy; Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;

Reid Technique of taking confessions under increasing attack in the courts; Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) taking "new approach." Incisive National Post story: "Less Kojak and more Dr. Phil': How the law is forcing police interrogations to get kinder and gentler." (Must Read. HL);


STORY:"Less Kojak and more Dr. Phil': How the law is forcing police interrogations to get kinder and gentler," by reporter Douglas Quan, published by the National Post on July 29, 2015.

GIST: "Canada’s national police force is taking a gentler, less accusatory approach to suspect interrogations amid growing criticism that certain interview tactics used widely by law enforcement agencies can lead to false confessions. Under the RCMP’s new approach, quietly adopted in December, investigators are encouraged to keep an open mind, resist presuming guilt, and focus more on gathering information than on getting a confession, Sgt. Darren Carr, who led the development of the new interview model, told the National Post. “When I’m training people, I always say, ‘Less Kojak and more Dr. Phil,’” he said, comparing the gruff 1970s fictional TV detective to the more easygoing style of the popular TV host/psychologist. Like most North American police agencies, the RCMP’s traditional interviewing methods were heavily shaped by the Reid Technique. Pioneered in the U.S. in the 1950s, and named after Chicago polygraph expert John E. Reid, the technique consists of two parts. The first component is a non-accusatory interview that involves asking “behaviour-provoking” questions and assessing a suspect’s body language to determine if that person is lying. If investigators believe the suspect is lying, they move on to the interrogation, which is more accusatory. Investigators will tell the suspect that the investigation clearly establishes his or her role in the crime. They might offer a moral justification for the crime, telling a robbery suspect, “I think you acted out of desperation because of your financial situation.” Investigators might also present two choices for what happened — both incriminating. “Have you done this many times before or was this just the first time?” they might ask.
If the suspect continues to deny involvement, investigators are trained to swat away the denials and re-state their confidence in the suspect’s guilt. These tactics have come under increasing fire in academic papers and in court decisions for being overly coercive..........Joseph Buckley, president of John E. Reid and Associates, said in an email that the core of his company’s training is to “treat the subject with dignity and respect, and during the interrogation phase maintain a sympathetic and understanding approach.” Buckley said his company teaches police about false confessions and how to prevent them. He has previously said it is not the technique that causes false confessions but detectives who apply the technique improperly. But Tim Moore, a psychology professor at York University, maintains the Reid Technique is psychologically manipulative and its principles were “never based on research.” While he is encouraged police are moving away from use of the technique, it doesn’t mean detectives will stop using it, he said. “Thousands have been trained in it, and will probably continue to use it.”"

The entire story can be found at:

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/less-kojak-and-more-dr-phil-how-the-law-is-forcing-police-investigations-to-get-kinder-and-gentler

PUBLISHER'S NOTE:
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:

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

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:
 
http://smithforensic.blogspot.ca/2013/12/the-charles-smith-award-presented-to_28.html
 
I look forward to hearing from readers at:

hlevy15@gmail.com.
 
Harold Levy; Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bulletin: Jeffrey Havard: Mississippi; Another report on his request from death row for a new trial; "Death row inmate Jeffrey Havard is arguing in a motion for a new trial that evidence of Shaken Baby Syndrome used to convict him of capital murder is now distrusted by the scientific and medical communities."..." In the years since, medical belief that these symptoms provided iron-clad proof of homicide has begun to crumble with several studies raising doubts. In 2009, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended the syndrome diagnosis be replaced with "abusive head trauma." Havard argued to the Supreme Court that he didn't know anything about such arguments or he would have had his attorney investigate. State prosecutors said the information was readily available if Havard had only looked. Kentucky.com.

"Death row inmate Jeffrey Havard is arguing in a motion for a new trial that evidence of Shaken Baby Syndrome used to convict him of capital murder is now distrusted by the scientific and medical communities. Havard filed the motion in Alcorn County Circuit Court in June. Prosecutors have until Aug. 31 to respond. In April, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled Havard could seek a new trial on the issue of Shaken Baby Syndrome. An Adams County judge will determine if Havard's argument has any validity.........For decades, Shaken Baby Syndrome was widely accepted, diagnosed through a triad of symptoms: subdural bleeding (blood collecting between the brain and the skull), retinal bleeding (bleeding in the back of the eye) and brain swelling. In the years since, medical belief that these symptoms provided iron-clad proof of homicide has begun to crumble with several studies raising doubts. In 2009, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended the syndrome diagnosis be replaced with "abusive head trauma." Havard argued to the Supreme Court that he didn't know anything about such arguments or he would have had his attorney investigate.
State prosecutors said the information was readily available if Havard had only looked."



Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2015/07/30/3966922_death-row-inmate-asks-for-new.html?rh=1#storylink=cpyhttp://www.kentucky.com/2015/07/30/3966922/death-row-inmate-asks-for-new.html

Bulletin: Aisling Brady McCarthy; (Dubbed the 'Irish Nanny' case): Medical examiner asks for more time to review findings in death of 1-year-old: "The move (for the examination) came amid growing doubts about the underlying science in abusive head trauma diagnoses, and followed a revised ruling last summer in the death of a 6-month-old boy in Malden. In that case, the medical examiner’s office initially ruled that the infant died from shaking injuries to the head, but after receiving more information about the family’s medical history ruled the manner of death could not be determined. A number of outside medical specialists concluded that the infant had died of natural causes. In light of the change, Middlesex prosecutors dropped murder charges against the child’s father." Boston Globe;

"In a brief hearing Thursday, a lawyer for the state medical examiner’s office said it had not completed its review of the medical evidence in the 2013 death of a Cambridge infant, and wanted the chief medical examiner to review the case as well. “There’s been no final conclusion,’’ Jacqueline Faherty, general counsel for the state agency, said in Middlesex Superior Court. She estimated the review would be completed in two to four weeks. The review began in April, but Faherty said the medical examiner’s office did not receive all the evidence until June. The office requested a few additional items Wednesday, which were not specified. Rehma Sabir’s nanny, Aisling Brady McCarthy, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of the 1-year-old girl based in part on the pathologist’s conclusion that the child died from traumatic head injuries. Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan’s office has alleged McCarthy caused those injuries while she was caring for the child in the family’s Cambridge home. But defense attorneys have cited a range of specialists who question the pathologist’s conclusions.........The move came amid growing doubts about the underlying science in abusive head trauma diagnoses, and followed a revised ruling last summer in the death of a 6-month-old boy in Malden. In that case, the medical examiner’s office initially ruled that the infant died from shaking injuries to the head, but after receiving more information about the family’s medical history ruled the manner of death could not be determined. A number of outside medical specialists concluded that the infant had died of natural causes. In light of the change, Middlesex prosecutors dropped murder charges against the child’s father. Under the law, the medical examiner must identify the cause of death as a homicide in order for a murder prosecution to take place. Prosecutors allege that Sabir was in McCarthy’s sole care when she suffered massive brain injuries, which included extensive bleeding in her brain and the back of her eyes. Specialists said she was subjected to violent force and that the injuries not have been inflicted before that day. But McCarthy’s lawyers have maintained her innocence, citing medical opinions that the child sustained bone and compression fractures several weeks before her death, when she was traveling abroad with her family without McCarthy. The next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 28. The trial is slated to begin in October and last about six weeks."
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/07/30/medical-examiner-office-needs-more-time-review-findings-death-year-old/vx8EnlWDvIMVFPuH82BwZN/story.html

Bulletin: Aisling Brady McCarthy; Massachusett's; (Dubbed the 'Irish Nanny' case); Lawyer for Medical examiner’s office due in court today to explain delay in re-review of medical evidence; (The legitimacy of shaken baby syndrome plays a central role in the case. HL); Northern Sound;

"The attorney for the Medical examiner’s office in the Aisling Brady McCarthy case is due in court in Massachussets today to explain the delay in the re-review of medical evidence.  Judge Maureen Hogan ordered the State’s Medical Examiner to appear before her court to explain about the delayed review of the medical evidence at the last hearing earlier this month. 36-year-old Aisling Brady McCarthy from Lavey in Cavan is accused of murdering a baby in her care in January 2013. She denies the charge."
 http://www.northernsound.ie/news/aisling-brady-mccarthy-case-attorney-for-medical-examiners-office-due-in-court-today-to-explain-delay-in-re-review-of-medical-evidence/

Bulletin: Jeffery Havard: Mississippi; Death Row inmate has officially asked for a new trial, on basis that, "Newly discovered evidence of advances in scientific and medical fields since Havard’s trial demonstrates that the testimony presented at the trial concerning Shaken Baby Syndrome is ill-founded and no longer supported by scientific and medical communities. The Natchez Democrat;

"The Adams County man on death row for the 2002 death of a 6-month-old baby has officially asked the court for a new trial………In the filing with the Adam’s County Circuit Court, Havard contends,  “Newly discovered evidence of advances in scientific and medical fields since Havard’s trial demonstrates that the testimony presented at the trial concerning Shaken Baby Syndrome is ill-founded and no longer supported  by scientific and medical communities…At Havard’s trial, pathologist Steven Hayne – who performed Britt’s autopsy – testified that the baby’s injuries were consistent with Shaken Baby Syndrome. In a 2013 affidavit, however, Hayne said the recent advances in medicine demonstrate “that shaking alone could not produce enough force to produce the injuries that caused the death of Chloe Britt. The current state of the art would classify those injuries as shaken baby syndrome with impact or blunt force trauma.” A second pathologist who has reviewed the case, Dr. Michael Baden, has also concluded that Britt’s death were (sic)  consistent consistent with “a short accidental fall.” Baden’s review also noted Britt did not have other injuries  - such as to the neck, chest, spine and ribs – that are often associated with abusive shaking.”
http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/2015/07/30/havard-asks-for-new-trial/

Bulletin: David Gavitt: Michigan; No compensation for victim of discredited arson 'science' - who spent 27 years in prison before being exonerated; No compensation for any victim of junk science in Michigan - or any other wrongly convicted person in Michigan. "Michigan is one of 20 states that offer no help or compensation to wrongfully convicted people — not even a night in a motel." (This rank injustice must surely be rectified by the legislature. HL); Lansing City Pulse;

Michigan is one of 20 states that offer no help or compensation to wrongfully convicted people — not even a night in a motel. In Michigan, 55 people have been wrongfully convicted and exonerated since the mid-1980s, and about 1,600 nationwide, according to the University of Michigan Innocence Clinic. In 1985, David Gavitt´s house in Ionia caught fire. His wife and two children died and he was seriously injured. Gavitt was convicted of arson and murder, even though the house was not insured, and prosecutors did not find a motive. In 2012, the case was re-opened by the University of Michigan Innocence Clinic, the only clinic in the state that handles non-DNA cases. Modern fire investigators, working with the Ionia County Prosecutor´s Office, found that the signs of arson used to convict Gavitt in 1985 have been discredited since then. A new investigation found no evidence of gasoline or accelerant. Gavitt was released June 26, 2012, after serving 27 years in prison for a crime he didn´t commit.........On May 7, Gavitt, Davis and four other wrongfully convicted people gathered at the State Capitol for a hearing on the compensation bill. One of the six was Julie Baumer, convicted of first-degree child abuse and thrown into prison for more than four years until her conviction was overturned in 2009. Scans of the baby´s brain revealed that a stroke, not shaking, was the cause of death.........The latest success for Cooley´s Innocence Project is a classic tug of war between DNA testing and junk science. On May 22, after hundreds of hours of work by the Cooley Innocence Project team, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the Court of Appeals must consider a request by a man convicted in 1989 of murder, Gilbert Lee Poole Jr., for DNA testing in the Oakland County Circuit Court. Poole has been in prison 26 years. The Court of Appeals or dered the DNA testing July 6. A controversial Michigan forensic dentist, Allan Warnick, testified that Poole´s bite marks were on the victim.
"[Warnick] has been associated with three or four cases in Michigan where he´s been 100 percent someone´s teeth marks are on a victim´s body," Mitchell-Chicon said. "There´s no scientific support for that whatsoever, and yet Gilbert Poole is still in prison because that was used against him." But the evidence in the Poole case is not in the best condition. The case hangs, literally, on a thread. "The blood on the bloody stones and grass was lifted with a piece of thread and blood typed," Mitchell-Cichon said. Blood typing uses up a lot of evidence. "Hopefully we have the threads and hopefully we have some visible blood on there." Cooley´s Innocence Project team didn´t take much time to celebrate the recent progress in the Poole case. DNA testing "gets better as we speak," Mitchell-Cichon said, but it´s not a magic bullet. "I´d love to be put out of business," she said."

http://www.lansingcitypulse.com/lansing/article-11636-raw-deal.html

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bulletin: Kelli Jacobsen; Washington State. Nanny convicted of manslaughter - but acquitted of the more serious charge of first-degree manslaughter in the 2011 death of Ryder Morrison. It was her second trial on the charges after her first ended in a hung jury two years ago. (Sentencing hearing set for September 4. HL);Tri-City Herald.

"Richland nanny Kelli Jacobsen was found guilty Wednesday of second-degree manslaughter. The jury of eight men and four women acquitted her of the more serious charge of first-degree manslaughter in the 2011 death of Ryder Morrison. It was her second trial on the charges after her first ended in a hung jury two years ago.........Doctors have said Ryder’s death on June 22, 2011, happened minutes or possibly up to 24 hours before he was rushed to the hospital. His mother, Tawney Johnson, stopped home during her half-hour lunch break but was back at work when she got the call her son was going to Kadlec. He died on the operating table a day after his first birthday. Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller had argued to jurors that Jacobsen gave different stories after Ryder was injured. She has claimed he fell a short distance while playing on a toy. Her attorney Shane Silverthorn told the jury said she was in shock and panicked, so her stories may have sounded slightly different. And he suggested that someone else who had access to Ryder in the hours before he died abused the boy."
 http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2015/07/29/3671965/richland-nanny-found-guilty-of.html

Bulletin: Rajesh and Nupur Talwar: India; Major development: World premiere of Meghna Gulzar's 'Guilty' - "a fact-based investigation into their controversial murder convictions - to be featured as a "special presentation" at Toronto's up-coming International Film Festival. (TIFF); "'Another TIFF-bound film sure to attract attention dramatizes a tragedy back in the Indian homeland that made worldwide headlines...A controversial guilty verdict sent the teen’s parents to prison, but a best-selling new book and now this film have reawakened public interest and debate." (Toronto Star);

"Another TIFF-bound film sure to attract attention dramatizes a tragedy back in the Indian homeland that made worldwide headlines. Meghna Gulzar’s Guilty, which will world premiere as a special presentation, is a fact-based investigation into the 2008 deaths of Aarushi Talwar, 14, who was a cousin of the Toronto Star’s Shree Paradkar, and 45-year-old Hemraj Banjade, a domestic worker employed by Aarushi’s family in Noida. A controversial guilty verdict sent the teen’s parents to prison, but a best-selling new book and now this film have reawakened public interest and debate." (TIFF describes 'special presentations' as "high-profile premieres and the world's leading filmmakers."
 http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/movies/2015/07/28/tiff-2015-reaches-for-the-stars.html
See TIFF web-page devoted to this film:
 http://tiff.net/festivals/festival15/specialpresentations/guilty

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bulletin: Kelli Jacobsen; Washington State; keprtv reports that, "The fate of a former Richland nanny is now in the hands of a jury. Attorneys made their closing arguments Tuesday in the aggravated manslaughter trial."

"The fate of a former Richland nanny is now in the hands of a jury. Attorneys made their closing arguments Tuesday in the aggravated manslaughter trial of Kelli Jacobsen.  Jacobsen is accused of killing one-year old Ryder Morrison four years ago. The child was in her care in the hours before he died of massive head trauma. The prosecution set out to prove that only Jacobsen could have been responsible for injury. The defense argues that someone else could have been responsible. In his closing statement, defense attorney Shane Silverthorn said one witness testified that Ryder's mother, Tawny Johnson, was irritated with Ryder the night before. Doctors said Ryder's injury could have been caused by violent shaking, the question is by whom......... But the prosecutor argues Tawny Johnson was consistent in her story after Ryder's death. But, Kelli Jacobsen changed her story no less that six times..........Doctors testified the child had previous broken bones and 22 bruises when he arrived at the hospital. This is Jacobsen's second trial. Her first trial in 2013 ended in a hung jury. The jury continues deliberating tomorrow."
http://www.keprtv.com/Jury-begins-deliberating-in-Richland-nanny-trial-319040881.html
See NBC report: "This is the second time both Ryder's family and Jacobsen's have had to sit through a trial. The first time, two years ago, the jury couldn't reach a unanimous decision. Now, that long road is finally nearing its end. "Kelli's telling the ER, I was in the kitchen, I was preparing something, I heard a thud and came out and Ryder was on the ground and he was  unresponsive," said (defence lawyer Shane) Silverthorne. "There's no allegation that the defendant wanted Ryder to die. There's no allegation either that the defendant even wanted to hurt Ryder," said (prosecutor Andy) Miller. The jury is out and they will now have to decide whether Jacobsen is guilty of somehow causing a severe head injury that led to the little boy's death."
 http://www.nbcrightnow.com/story/29654477/jury-is-out-in-second-manslaughter-trial-for-kelli-jacobsen-in-the-death-of-ryder-morrison

Commentary; Evan Kohlman: "Doogie Huckster expert: "A Terrorism expert’s secret relationship with the FBI;" Writer Trevor Aaronson asks how expert - and how independent - the U.S. government’s go-to expert witness in terrorism prosecutions really is? 'The Intercept.


COMMENTARY: "Doogie huckster expert: A Terrorism expert’s secret relationship with the FBI," by Trevor Aaronson, published by The Intercept on July 27, 2015.  (Trevor Aaronson is a contributing writer at The Intercept and executive director of the nonprofit Florida Center for Investigative Reporting. Previously, he was a reporter with Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit and a fellow at the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California-Berkeley. He has also been an editor and reporter at newspapers in Florida and Tennessee.);

GIST: "Evan  Kohlman is  the U.S. government’s go-to expert witness in terrorism prosecutions. Since 2004, Kohlmann has been asked to testify as an expert about terrorist organizations, radicalization and homegrown threats in more than 30 trials. It’s well-paying work — as much as $400 per hour. In all, the U.S. government has paid Kohlmann and his company at least $1.4 million for testifying in trials around the country, assisting with FBI investigations and consulting with agencies ranging from the Defense Department to the Internal Revenue Service.  He has also received another benefit, Uncle Sam’s mark of credibility, which has allowed him to work for NBC News and its cable sibling, MSNBC, for more than a decade as an on-air “terrorism analyst.” Kohlmann’s claimed expertise is his ability to explore the dark corners of the Internet — the so-called deep web, which isn’t indexed by commercial search engines — and monitor what the Islamic State, al Qaeda and their sympathizers are saying, as well as network the relationships among these various actors. Kohlmann doesn’t speak Arabic, however, and aside from a few days each in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Dubai and Qatar, has hardly any experience in the Arab world. Kohlmann’s research is gleaned primarily from the Internet. Indeed, Kohlmann is not a traditional expert. Much of his research is not peer-reviewed. Kohlmann’s key theory, to which he has testified several times on the witness stand, involves a series of indicators that he claims determine whether someone is likely a homegrown terrorist. Yet he has never tested the theory against a randomly selected control group to account for bias or coincidence. For these and other reasons, Kohlmann’s critics describe him as a huckster.........In a court filing, Marc Sageman, a forensic psychiatrist and former CIA officer who has been called to the witness stand several times to discredit Kohlmann’s claims, described his testimony and reports as “so biased, one-sided and contextually inaccurate that they do not provide a fair and balanced context for the specific evidence to be presented at a legal hearing.” In recent months, however, the small cohort of defense lawyers nationwide who battle the government in terrorism prosecutions have been asking themselves another question: What’s in the government’s mysteriously classified materials about Kohlmann?.........With his book and stint with the Investigative Project on Terrorism as credentials, Kohlmann became an expert witness for the Justice Department and a consultant for the FBI. An FBI agent described the baby-faced expert as “the Doogie Howser of Terrorism,” and a George Washington University law professor described Kohlmann to New York magazine as having been “grown hydroponically in the basement of the Bush Justice Department.”.........Sageman also alleged in the same report that Kohlmann views his expert testimony not as well-researched and settled science to be discussed honestly at trial, but as a kind of information clay to be molded for the prosecution’s benefit. Referring to a conversation he had with Kohlmann over lunch, Sageman wrote: “He selects what is most supportive for the side that retains him. Indeed, he told me so at one time when I challenged him about his testimony in the [Hammad] Khurshid case in Copenhagen, because he had neglected to mention important facts under oath. He justified his one-sidedness by saying that it was an adversarial process and it was up to the defense attorneys to cross examine him.”........ The primary criticism  of Kohlmann’s work is that his knowledge about terrorist groups and purported expertise are based primarily on Internet research. The other concern is a question of impartiality, and how much information from the deep web Kohlmann may be giving the FBI for investigations. Yet the U.S. Department of Justice continues to employ Kohlmann as an expert witness. Most recently, he was proposed as an expert in the prosecution of Agron Hasbajrami, an Albanian citizen who pleaded guilty on June 26 in New York to attempting and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, before Kohlmann could testify in his trial. In other cases, Kohlmann has testified to the fact that he has assisted the FBI with investigations — but it’s unclear how far Kohlmann’s work crosses the line from independent expert and consultant to paid criminal investigator for the FBI. That’s why, among defense lawyers in terrorism cases, there’s a lot of interest in what the government is hiding in classified materials about Kohlmann.........Jeffrey Aaron, who represented Kabir, asked the judge to force the government to provide the classified materials on Kohlmann. “We felt that he didn’t seem like a legitimate academic expert to us,” Aaron said. “He seemed like an advocate, and it seemed to us that he was a witness who would always find a way to support the government’s case. We suspect that the material under top-secret protection probably dealt with him cooperating with the FBI or being a quasi-government agent. And honestly, we thought that was very disturbing.”

The entire commentary can be found at:

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/07/27/doogie-huckster-terrorism-experts-secret-relationship-fbi/

PUBLISHER'S NOTE:

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:

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

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:
 
http://smithforensic.blogspot.ca/2013/12/the-charles-smith-award-presented-to_28.html
 
I look forward to hearing from readers at:

hlevy15@gmail.com.
 
Harold Levy; Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;

Monday, July 27, 2015

Bulletin: Rajesh and Nupur Talwar: India; Extraordinary revelations from investigative reporter Avirook Sen's book on the 'Aarushi' case: The judge's son was helping him write his judgment on the case (a bizarre, almost unthinkable happening in a judicial system based on the rule of law - which by itself makes the case cry out for appeal and the immediate release of the couple from prison (HL) - and the shocking, unthinkable revelation that they (this father/son team) were writing the judgment (convicting the Talwars of murder) - even before the defence team's closing arguments had begun. (Yet another reason for promptly ending this disgraceful parody of justice - apart from their innocence. HL): (Must, Must Read. HL); Shree Paradkar: Toronto Star;

"I’ve written about this case in the Star before, laying out the reasons my family believes these are wrongful convictions. Chiefly, I cited lack of credible evidence, lack of an established motive and the absence of murder weapons. The case had been investigated by the powerful Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is like India’s FBI. My cousins had fought a trial where the prosecutors argued in court that the defence not be allowed to call any witnesses at all. Experts gave testimonies substantially different from their original statements to the police (which were on record). Investigators had brushed off evidence that pointed to someone else’s involvement in the murders as “typographical error.” Now comes a book that tells us that the judge and his son were writing the judgment even before the defence team’s closing arguments had begun. Witnesses speak of being pressured to change their statements. The prosecutors’ forensic expert tells the author that his testimony that the parents discovered Aarushi with the cook in her bedroom at night, and murdered both, was just an opinion. “The court took it as fact.” When the author confronts the judge about inventing evidence in the judgment, he is told to “let bygones be bygones.”.........The Aarushi-Hemraj murder judgment was the judge’s last; he retired five days after delivering it. He lives in the northern Indian city of Allahabad, and is setting up a practice with his son Ashutosh Yadav, who is a criminal lawyer. The judged had shunned all media after the trial — until he spoke to Sen. “I travelled to Allahabad, walked into his chamber and wouldn’t go away till he agreed he would grant me an interview,” Sen says. “I had no idea he would open up the way he did, and then there was the unexpected event of his son joining the conversation.” “I just went quiet,” Sen tells me. “I took in the importance of what he had said. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. And when I composed myself, I understood that I was on to something.” The judgment was 210 pages, and although much of it was cut and pasted off other judgments, I was interested in how long it took to write. Ashutosh Yadav, who was extremely happy to have made his own contributions to the document, unwittingly let a secret out: ‘It took more than one month,’ he said. ‘So you had gone to Ghaziabad more than a month before to help out . . . ?’ ‘Yes, I was there,’ said Ashutosh. I took this information in, and did my best to appear deadpan. Because the facts were these: Judge Shyam Lal pronounced his judgment on 25 November 2013. Tanveer Ahmed Mir, counsel for the defence, began his final arguments on 24 October. Over the next two weeks he would argue on a total of 24 circumstances that he felt should lead to acquittal. Seven of these were major points. As Judge Shyam Lal and his son sat down to write the judgment, Mir had not even begun. A critical component of the case against my cousin was the allegation that Hemraj and Aarushi were in her bedroom that night. Investigators felt proving this would establish the motive for murder by the parents. The problem was there was no evidence Hemraj was in her room. His body was discovered a day after Aarushi’s — on the rooftop terrace. There was no evidence of sexual activity on Aarushi’s body. Hemraj’s blood was not in her room, although Aarushi’s was splattered all over the wall and the bed. His hair was not found in her room, nor was his DNA detected there. Then a forensic scientist testified during the trial that Hemraj’s pillow cover had been seized from her room, suggesting his presence there. When the defence team challenged this and when, over loud objections from prosecutors, the pillow cover was unsealed in court, the tag on it read that it had been seized from Hemraj’s own room. Sen was there when this happened. It’s also in the court records. Yet, Shyam Lal’s judgment puts Hemraj in Aarushi’s room by saying, “it becomes abundantly clear that Hemraj’s DNA has been found on the pillow cover which was recovered from the room of Aarushi.” The book details a cringe-inducing interaction between journalist and judge on this discrepancy. Here, the judge switches between Hindi and English. As I sat across him in his Allahabad home, I asked Shyam Lal whether he remembered the day in court when the CBI had to admit they had lied about Hemraj’s pillowcase being found in Aarushi’s room. ‘Yes, yes . . ..‘But in the judgment you returned a finding that the pillow cover was recovered from Aarushi’s room . . .’ Shyam Lal stiffened up slightly: ‘Dekhiye (Look), I cannot remember . . . har ek chhoti cheez aise . . .’ (every small thing). ‘But it was a very major thing,’ I went on. ‘Nahin (No), but what is the point of some controversy? I cannot remember . . . iss time pe . . .’ (at this time) ‘Sir, I find it very hard to believe that . . .’ ‘I cannot remember, I will not give you some hypothetical answer . . . Dekhiye, let bygones be bygones . . .’

Bulletin: Kelli Jacobsen; Washington State; Prosecution rests in Jacobsen trial: Emergency room nurse testifies: "He had said to her that things weren't adding up and it seemed like there was more to the story cause of the severity of his injuries then at that time I heard her say to him "does this mean I'm gonna be in trouble."I heard her say "I can't believe I did this." Defense began calling witnesses today, beginning with Jacobsen's best friend who has known her for 15 years." kepr.tv;

"The prosecution wrapped up it's case today against former Richland nanny Kelli Jacobsen, and the defense began calling witnesses to the stand. 31-year-old Jacobsen is charged with aggravated manslaughter in the death of one year old Ryder Morrison back in 2011. He died from major head trauma shortly after being in Jacobsen's care. Monday a Kadlec emergency room nurse testified for the prosecution, telling the jury about comments she heard Jacobsen make as the child was being examined. "He had said to her that things weren't adding up and it seemed like there was more to the story cause of the severity of his injuries then at that time I heard her say to him "does this mean I'm gonna be in trouble."I heard her say "I can't believe I did this," testifed nurse Shelley Goldstein. The defense began calling witnesses today, beginning with Jacobsen's best friend who has known her for 15 years."
http://www.keprtv.com/Prosecution-rests-in-Jacobsen-trail-318681811.html

Sue Neill-Fraser; Australia; Writer Susan Horsburgh notes that we trust that the justice system gets it right - and raises the disturbing possibility that with the Sue Neill-Fraser case history shows otherwise; Women's Weekly;


STORY: "We trust that the justice system gets it right but history shows otherwise,"

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Dr. Thomas Bennett: Shaken baby syndrome; Montana's "problematic doctor" who was allowed to continue to perform infant autopsies in spite of his history of botching them. The Missoulian; (Publishers Note: "The National Registry of Exonerations note referring to Bennett - who was permitted to perform autopsies on infants in spite of his predeliction for the dubious shaken baby syndrome and his history of errors in assessing infant's deaths - is instructive - and nightmarish." HL);


STORY: "Montana Crime Lab: Bullock allowed problematic doctor to perform infant autopsies,"  by reporter  , published by the Missoulian on July 26, 2015.

GIST: "Gov. Steve Bullock did not enforce a mandate that a forensic pathologist with a problematic record refrain from conducting infant autopsies when Bullock was the state's top law enforcement officer. Bullock served as Montana's attorney general from 2009 through early 2013. Dr. Thomas Bennett, associate medical examiner, had problems with infant autopsies before he came to Montana, records show. Over the course of more than a decade, head medical examiner Gary Dale at the State Crime Lab in Missoula repeatedly ordered Bennett, whom he had appointed as an associate in Billings, to refrain from performing autopsies on infants......... Bennett, however, arrived in Montana with a history of errors in his work on babies. For instance, when the doctor was the medical examiner in Iowa, he declared one child's death a homicide due to violent shaking; the parents were sent to prison in 1997, and exonerated and released in 1998, according to the University of Michigan National Registry of Exonerations. Numerous authorities in Iowa had called into question Bennett's conclusions that infant deaths were caused by shaken baby syndrome, and the doctor moved to Montana. In 1998, Dale appointed Bennett to do autopsies for coroners in eastern Montana. However, he told the doctor not to handle infant autopsies."

The entire story can be found at:

 http://missoulian.com/news/local/montana-crime-lab-bullock-allowed-problematic-doctor-to-perform-infant/article_24bb100b-a2c4-55ef-bb41-735bdffcc04f.html

PUBLISHER'S NOTE:  The National Registry of Exonerations  note referring to Bennett  - who was permitted to perform autopsies on infants in spite of his  predeliction for shaken baby syndrome and his history of errors in assessing infant's deaths-  is instructive - and nightmarish: "On the evening of April 4, 1997, Teresa Engberg-Lehmer fed her three-month-old son, Jonathan, and put him to sleep on a blanket around 7:30 p.m. in a back bedroom of their home in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Teresa, 24, and her husband, Joel Lehmer, 32, then went to bed until 11:15 p.m. when she got up to make coffee for Joel. Joel arose and went to work, delivering bundles of newspapers. After he left, Teresa went to check on Jonathan and found him cold and unresponsive. Emergency personnel were summoned and the baby was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at 12:28 a.m. on Saturday, April 5. On Sunday, April 6, Dr. Thomas Bennett, the Iowa State Medical Examiner, performed an autopsy and declared the child’s death a homicide. The cause, Bennett said, was Shaken Baby Syndrome.  Jonathan, he concluded, had been violently shaken to death by one or both of his parents. In July 1997, the couple, who insisted they never shook the baby, were both charged with first-degree murder. Faced with the medical evidence and the potential of long prison terms if convicted of first-degree murder, they pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter on October 2, 1997, although they continued to deny that they had done anything wrong. They each were sentenced to 15 years in prison. On November 14, 1997, Teresa wrote a letter to attorney Stephen Brennecke asking him to examine the case. Brennecke had successfully defended another Shaken Baby Syndrome case in March of that year.  The defendant in that case, Mary Weaver, was accused of killing Melissa Mathes, an 11-month-old girl for whom she was babysitting. She was acquitted at her third trial (the first ended in a hung jury and the second ended in a conviction that was reversed) when Brennecke uncovered medical evidence that the child died of a skull fracture inflicted days before her death. The Shaken Baby Syndrome diagnosis in that case had also been made by Bennett. Brennecke sent the case file to Dr. Peter Stephens, an Iowa City pathologist, who studied the records and concluded there was no evidence of shaken baby syndrome. The child had died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Stephens concluded. Stephens’ report was given to Pottawattamie County Attorney Rick Crowl, who then sent the file to Dr. Jerry Jones, an Omaha forensic pathologist. Jones agreed with Stephens—there was no evidence the baby had been shaken. On the evening of September 24, 1998, hours after receiving Jones’ report, Crowl called Iowa District Court Judge Timothy O’Grady and requested a hearing the following day. Attorneys for Joel and Teresa were summoned, although Brennecke was out of the country. Crowl did not want to wait. At the hearing, Jones testified to his findings and the judge was informed that Stephens concurred. Crowl then made a motion to vacate the convictions and to dismiss the charges.  O’Grady granted the motion after a 63-minute hearing. Teresa and Joel were released from prison on September 28, 1998. Bennett resigned as medical examiner two weeks after the couple pled guilty in October 1997 amid an investigation of the administration of his office. Meanwhile, at least two other Shaken Baby Syndrome diagnoses made by Bennett had come under fire. In one case, the prosecution, faced with contradictory evidence, declined to bring charges. In the other, the prosecution dismissed the case almost immediately after the trial began." 

The note can be found at:

https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/casedetail.aspx?caseid=3953

PUBLISHER'S NOTE:
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:

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

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:
 
http://smithforensic.blogspot.ca/2013/12/the-charles-smith-award-presented-to_28.html
 
I look forward to hearing from readers at:

hlevy15@gmail.com.
 
Harold Levy; Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;

Bulletin: 'Aarushi.' Reviewed by Gargi Gupta. DNA: "Journalist Avirook Sen's book on the double murders of schoolgirl Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj is a chilling expose of the systematic subversion of investigative and legal procedure in order to frame the innocent," writes Gupta;'...To describe what Sen exposes in Aarushi as miscarriage of justice is understatement. It is far more heinous - a systematic subversion of investigative and legal procedure in order to frame the innocent.' DNA;

"Journalist Avirook Sen's book on the double murders of schoolgirl Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj is a chilling expose of the systematic subversion of investigative and legal procedure in order to frame the innocent", says Gargi Gupta:  Many elements of the Aarushi Talwar murder investigations have strained belief. Journalist Avirook Sen's book (published by Penguin. HL) adds one more to the list. Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, Sen contends, are innocent; that they are in jail today for murdering their daughter and household help Hemraj is because the Ghaziabad district court judge chose to believe the CBI, which deliberately played up and fabricated evidence to prove them guilty, and suppressed those that would have proved otherwise.  Sounds incredible, but Sen makes a very convincing case, basing his narrative on what he saw and heard in court over the two-and-a-half year long trial, and on conversations with nearly everyone involved – he even sussed out the family that employed Hemraj before he came to work for the Talwars. To describe what Sen exposes in Aarushi as miscarriage of justice is understatement. It is far more heinous - a systematic subversion of investigative and legal procedure in order to frame the innocent. Truth, as they say, is stranger than fiction.........Take the case of the purple pillow cover, which was seized from the room of Krishna, dentist Rajesh Talwar's compounder, on June 14, 2008, after a narco analysis test on him and his friends, Rajkumar and Vijay Mondol, indicated they were in the apartment the night of the murders. Aarushi was found with her throat slit in her room in the Delhi suburb of Noida on May 16, 2008, while Hemraj's body was discovered the next day. The pillow cover was sent to the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), Hyderabad, which found Hemraj's DNA on it - fairly incriminating evidence. But far from playing it up, the information remained buried in CBI papers until it was discovered, quite by chance, by Dinesh Talwar, Rajesh's older brother, in 2011. But when the Talwars filed an affidavit in the Allahabad High Court, amazingly, the CBI lawyers' response was that there had been a typographical error by the CDFD, and the pillow cover with Hemraj's DNA was actually Hemraj's own, recovered from his room, while the one found in Krishna's room was a white one. The pillow cases, like all evidence, were photographed and packed in sealed covers, which could only be opened on court orders. But, as Sen shows, the two pillow cases had been taken out of their sealed envelopes, captioned with handwritten scraps of paper and photographed again - in absolute violation of the due process. Incredibly, neither the Allahabad High Court nor the Ghaziabad district court judges heeded the grave impropriety, even after the Talwar's lead defence lawyer Tanveer Ahmed Mir, cornered CBI investigating officer A.G.L. Kaul on the issue. Sen highlights several such improbabilities of the CBI's case against the Talwar couple - how their guilt was presumed by their not being found to grieve much; how a golf club suddenly became the murder weapon though there just wasn't space in the room to swing it that much; that a dentist's scalpel could never have made the deep cuts on the neck that caused the deaths, and so on.........Aarushi is a book that will go down as an incisive and chilling analysis of the ills of modern India's legal justice system."

Bulletin: Wrongful Convictions Blog's Phil Locke asks "why so many confessions in shaken baby syndrome cases?" (Must Read HL);

"In suspected SBS cases, the child abuse pediatricians (CAP’s) and the police are perfectly willing to coerce a confession out of you, and they have circumstances on their side, because you are at your most vulnerable. You are terribly concerned about the condition of your child, or worse yet, your child has just died. (See our previous post on child abuse pediatricians here: The Child Abuse Pediatrician (CAP) – Just Another Term for Medical “Cop”) We’ve posted about SBS “confessions” before. See Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) – A CBS Report: Blaming Melissa for the coerced “confession” of Melissa Calusinski. See Scenes of a Crime – A Documentary of a False Confession and Blatantly Coerced Confession Results in Conviction Reversal for the coerced “confession” of Adrian Thomas.
Washtenaw Watchdogs (Washtenaw County, MI) have just published an investigative report article on their website dealing with this very issue. It’s very powerful. See it HERE."
http://wrongfulconvictionsblog.org/2015/07/24/why-so-many-confessions-in-shaken-baby-syndrome-cases/

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Bulletin: California; Convicted killer Kevin Cooper to be featured on CNN’s ‘Death Row Stories’ Sunday: 10:00 PM; "Cooper is represented by attorneys at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe on a pro bono basis. “We hope this documentary will shed light on Kevin Cooper’s case and help prevent the State of California from executing an innocent man,” said Norman Hile, senior litigation counsel at Orrick, in a written statement."..."Cooper’s claims that he was denied his human rights during his trial and on appeal are currently pending before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The commission is expected to rule on Cooper’s claims this week." San Bernardino Sun.

"More than 30 years after the slaughter of a family and a young friend in what is now Chino Hills, the case of death row inmate Kevin Cooper will be the subject of an hour-long episode of CNN’s “Death Row Stories,” Sunday. Since his arrest following the June 1983 slayings of Douglas and Peggy Ryen, their 10-year-old daughter, Jessica, and her friend, Christopher Hughes, 11, Cooper has maintained his innocence, claiming he was framed by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s Office. Cooper is represented by attorneys at Orrick, Herrington and  Sutcliffe on a pro bono basis. “We hope this documentary will shed light on Kevin Cooper’s case and help prevent the State of California from executing an innocent man,” said Norman Hile, senior litigation counsel at Orrick, in a written statement.........Cooper’s claims that he was denied his human rights during his trial and on appeal are currently pending before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The commission is expected to rule on Cooper’s claims this week. “We are asking that the evidence in Kevin Cooper’s case be retested and we expect this ruling will show that the IACHR agrees he did not receive a fair trial,” said Hile. Hours before he was to be put to death in San Quentin in 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals gave Cooper a stay, allowing the defense to file more motions and eventually conduct new DNA results. Those tests found his DNA on several key pieces of evidence, supporting his guilt, officials said. However, Hiles still argues there is a large amount of evidence pointing to Cooper’s innocence. Cooper’s supporters point to witnesses, including Josh Ryen, stating the now 57-year-old Cooper was not the attacker but possibly “three white men.”
http://www.sbsun.com/general-news/20150723/convicted-killer-kevin-cooper-to-be-featured-on-cnns-death-row-stories
See Wikipedia report: " In a dissenting opinion, Judge William A. Fletcher argued that the police may have tampered with the evidence and that the Ninth Circuit should have reheard the case en banc and should have "ordered the district judge to give Cooper the fair hearing he has never had."[3]
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Cooper_%28inmate%29

Friday, July 24, 2015

Bulletin: Kelli Jacobsen; Washington State; Detective wraps up first week of witnesses for the state in manslaughter trial of a Richland nanny accused of killing a child in her care. Testimony begins again Monday; keprtv.

Testimony begins again Monday in the manslaughter trial of a Richland nanny accused of killing a child in her care. A Richland detective wrapped up the first week of witnesses for the state. He talked about what he found at the home of Ryder Morrison after being called in to investigate the child's death. Morrison died from brain trauma a day after his first birthday back in 2011. The state believes no one other than Kelli Jacobsen could have caused his injuries. The defense intends to show other people could have been to blame for that trauma.
http://www.keprtv.com/home/video/Lead-detective-testifies-in-Kelli-Jacobsen-case-318504111.html

Kendrick Johnson: Georgia; Freak accident or foul play? CBS 48 Hours Crimesider doggedly pursues the story as government agents search homes in "gym mat death" investigation; An autopsy conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation agreed (with the police'freak accident' theory), citing asphyxiation as the cause of death.........Johnson's family, however, insisted there was foul play involved and had their son's body exhumed for a second autopsy. It was then that a private pathologist concluded the teen died of blunt force trauma to the neck. Since then, Johnson's family and their attorneys have zeroed in on Brian and Branden Bell, ages 18 and 20, who are sons of FBI agent Rick Bell. Now, it seems government agents may be investigating the Johnsons' allegations.


STORY: "Gov't agents search homes in Ga. "gym mat death" investigation," by reporter Stephanie Slifer, published by CBS Atlanta, on July 23, 2015.

GIST: "Government agents this week executed search warrants at the home of two brothers accused in a civil suit of killing Kendrick Johnson, the Georgia teen found dead inside a rolled-up gym mat in his high school more than two years ago. A $100 million wrongful death suit filed by Johnson's family earlier this year alleges the brothers - who were schoolmates of Johnson - were encouraged by their FBI agent father to "violently assault" Johnson, leading to his death. No charges have been filed in the 17-year-old Johnson's January 10, 2013 death, however a federal investigation initiated in October 2013 by U.S. Attorney Michael Moore is ongoing. The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office - the initial investigative agency on the case - ruled the teen's death a freak accident, saying he fell head-first into an upright mat in the gymnasium at Lowndes High School in Valdosta while trying to retrieve a shoe, and became trapped. An autopsy conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation agreed, citing asphyxiation as the cause of death.........Johnson's family, however, insisted there was foul play involved and had their son's body exhumed for a second autopsy. It was then that a private pathologist concluded the teen died of blunt force trauma to the neck.Since then, Johnson's family and their attorneys have zeroed in on Brian and Branden Bell, ages 18 and 20, who are sons of FBI agent Rick Bell. Now, it seems government agents may be investigating the Johnsons' allegations. Paul Threlkeld, an attorney representing the Bell family, as well as the family of 18-year-old Taylor Eakin - Brian Bell's girlfriend - told 48 Hours' Crimesider on Thursday that warrants were executed early Tuesday morning at the Bell and Eakin homes, as well as Brian Bell's college dorm room........."The Bell and Eakin families will take every legal step available to protect their constitutional rights and their ability to work and pursue litigation necessary to restore their good names," Threlkeld said. 48 Hours' Crimesider has also learned that the U.S. Attorney's Office this week sought access to Lowndes County Sheriff's Office e-mails regarding the Kendrick Johnson investigation.......The Lowndes County Sheriff's Department has stood by its finding that Johnson's death was accidental and maintains at least one of the Bell brothers - Branden - was not on campus when Johnson was last seen alive, and the other was in another part of the building. Johnson's family and their attorneys, however, contend both Bell brothers were on campus when Johnson was last seen alive. Furthermore, they say the brothers had motive to harm Johnson since one of the brothers - Brian - had previously been in a fight with him on a school bus about a year before Johnson's death. The Johnson family alleges local officials conspired to cover up the crime. The Bell family earlier this year filed a countersuit in response to the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Johnson family. The countersuit alleges defamation and denies allegations the Bell brothers and their father were involved in Johnson's death in any way."

The entire story can be found at:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/goverment-agents-search-homes-in-georgia-gym-mat-death-investigation/

PUBLISHER'S NOTE:

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:

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

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:
 
http://smithforensic.blogspot.ca/2013/12/the-charles-smith-award-presented-to_28.html
 
I look forward to hearing from readers at:

hlevy15@gmail.com.
 
Harold Levy; Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog