"Jurors were given "misleading" information in 1994 about a gun tied to Patrick Pursley in the shooting death of a Rockford man, one of Pursley's lawyers said in closing arguments in a Winnebago County court today. As a result, Pursley should be given a new trial, Robert Stauffer of Jenner & Block told 17th Circuit Judge Joseph McGraw. During Pursley's original trial, experts said that a gun connected to him was the only one in the world that could have been used to kill Andy Ascher. That was "misleading," Stauffer said. Experts no longer say that gun tests absolutely prove a certain gun was used in any crime. Stauffer, whose firm was contacted to represent Pursley by the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University, also said new tests show bullets and shell casings were not matched to the Taurus gun to which Pursley was linked. Stauffer said ballistics testing was the "centerpiece" of Pursley's conviction. "Evidence increasing (shows) he has been in prison for a crime he did not commit," Stauffer said of Pursley, who is serving a life sentence at Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet. But Steve Biagi, assistant state's attorney for Winnebago County, said tests conducted by state experts show the shell casings matched the gun. And that's the case, he said, even though experts now are not sure if the bullets recovered from the scene are a match. "We believe the fact that shell casings have consistently been identified as a match by the state would be enough for a guilty verdict" if a new trial is granted, Biagi said. McGraw said he will issue a ruling in the case on Feb. 13."
CSI DDS | Forensic Science Testimony. CSI bad science issues and their contribution to wrongful convictions.
Speakers before House Judiciary on Forensic Sciences
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