Friday, September 18, 2020

Police and Prosecutor misconduct: (Part 1): New U.S. National Registry of Exonerations report finds police and prosecutor misconduct contributed to over half offalse conviction case, The ABA Journal, Reporter Debra Cassens Weiss, reports..."Police and prosecutor misconduct that distorted evidence or undercut innocence contributed to 54% of false convictions that later resulted in exonerations, according to a report released Tuesday. The study, by the National Registry of Exonerations, is based on information in its database of wrongful convictions from the first 2,400 exonerations. Misconduct included witness tampering, in which a witness is tricked or persuaded to give false testimony or make an identification; violence, lying and coercive conduct in interrogations; fabricated evidence, including planted drugs and forensic fraud; concealed exculpatory evidence; and misconduct at trial, including perjury by policy and lying by prosecutors.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Another problem according to David Thomas, a professor of justice studies at the Florida Gulf Coast University, is the politicization of work by police and prosecutors. “Those are positions that should never be politicized,” Thomas told Courthouse News Service. “And yet their very existence and success or failure is based on public opinion.” The report recommended several changes to prevent misconduct. They include requirements for the recording of interrogations and lineups, the use of independent crime labs that are not run by police departments, and the creation of conviction integrity units in prosecution offices. Gross told the Detroit News that most of the rules had to prevent misconduct are already in place. “We need enforcement but also adequate resources to do a good job, supervision and especially leadership,” he said. “We need to change entrenched work cultures.”

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STORY: "Police and prosecutor misconduct  contributed to over half of false conviction cases, new study finds," by reporter Debra Cassens Weiss, published by the ABA Journal on September 15, 2020.

GIST: Police and prosecutor misconduct that distorted evidence or undercut innocence contributed to 54% of false convictions that later resulted in exonerations, according to a report released Tuesday.

The study, by the National Registry of Exonerations, is based on information in its database of wrongful convictions from the first 2,400 exonerations.

Misconduct included witness tampering, in which a witness is tricked or persuaded to give false testimony or make an identification; violence, lying and coercive conduct in interrogations; fabricated evidence, including planted drugs and forensic fraud; concealed exculpatory evidence; and misconduct at trial, including perjury by policy and lying by prosecutors.

The report warned that the findings are a measure of misconduct in exoneration cases—not a measure of the frequency of misconduct in all cases.

“What we can say,” the report said, “is that official misconduct is a major cause of convictions of innocent defendants.”

The study defined an exoneration as a person being convicted and then declared factually innocent by a government official or agency, based at least in part on evidence of innocence. The declaration can be in the form of a complete pardon, an acquittal in a retrial, or a dismissal of all charges by a court or a prosecutor.

The study found several major patterns:

• Misconduct was committed by police officers in 35% of cases, by prosecutors in 30% of the cases, by forensic analysts in 3% of cases, and by child welfare workers in 2% of cases.

• In general, the rate of misconduct is higher in more severe crimes. The rate of misconduct was 72% in murder cases, compared to 32% for most nonviolent crimes.

• Black exonerees were slightly more likely than whites to have been victims of misconduct (57% to 52%), but the gap is much larger among exonerations for murder (78% to 64%) and for cases with death sentences (87% to 68%). The misconduct gap between Black and white exonerees also occurred in drug cases (47% to 22%).

• Prosecutors and police officers committed misconduct at about the same rate in state court cases that resulted in exonerations. But prosecutors in federal exonerations committed misconduct more than twice as often as police and committed misconduct seven times as often as police in exonerations for white-collar crimes.

• The most common type of misconduct was concealing exculpatory evidence, which occurred in 44% of exonerations.

The New York TimesCourthouse News Service, the Detroit News and USA Today are among the publications that covered the report.

Courthouse News Service spoke with Samuel Gross, the senior editor of the report and a law professor emeritus at the University of Michigan. He said there are many causes for misconduct, “including just trying to deal with cases quickly and cheaply.”

Another problem according to David Thomas, a professor of justice studies at the Florida Gulf Coast University, is the politicization of work by police and prosecutors.

“Those are positions that should never be politicized,” Thomas told Courthouse News Service. “And yet their very existence and success or failure is based on public opinion.”

The report recommended several changes to prevent misconduct. They include requirements for the recording of interrogations and lineups, the use of independent crime labs that are not run by police departments, and the creation of conviction integrity units in prosecution offices.

Gross told the Detroit News that most of the rules had to prevent misconduct are already in place.

“We need enforcement but also adequate resources to do a good job, supervision and especially leadership,” he said. “We need to change entrenched work cultures.”

The entire report can be read at:

police-and-prosecutor-misconduct-contributed-to-over-half-of-false-conviction-cases-study-finds

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. 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;
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FINAL WORD:  (Applicable to all of our wrongful conviction cases):  "Whenever there is a wrongful conviction, it exposes errors in our criminal legal system, and we hope that this case — and lessons from it — can prevent future injustices."
Lawyer Radha Natarajan:
Executive Director: New England Innocence Project;
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FINAL, FINAL WORD (FOR NOW!): "Since its inception, the Innocence Project has pushed the criminal legal system to confront and correct the laws and policies that cause and contribute to wrongful convictions.   They never shied away from the hard cases — the ones involving eyewitness identifications, confessions, and bite marks. Instead, in the course of presenting scientific evidence of innocence, they’ve exposed the unreliability of evidence that was, for centuries, deemed untouchable." So true!
Christina Swarns: Executive Director: The Innocence Project;
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Thursday, September 17, 2020

Kathleen Folbigg: Shifting science: Daily Mail Australia (Reporters Alana Mazzoni and Charlie Coe) reports:.."Australia's worst female serial killer Kathleen Folbigg makes bid for freedom after evidence emerged which scientist's say proves she's innocent - 17 years after being jailed for the death of her four kids: Australia's worst female serial killer Kathleen Folbigg has launched another bid for freedom, arguing a former judge who reviewed her case did not 'come to grips' with evidence that she claims proves her innocence - 17 years after being jailed for the death of her four kids."

PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "Last month a group of 27 scientists released findings which show at least two of her children may have died of natural causes. Folbigg has since launched legal proceedings against the inquiry's chief, former NSW District Court Judge Reginald Oliver Blanch QC AM. The 53-year-old alleges he acted with 'apprehended bias' against her, while making mistakes in his findings. The NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday heard Folbigg would argue Mr Blanch failed to properly accept the information collected by medical experts since she was sentenced, The Daily Telegraph reported. 'I apprehend that underlying (Folbigg's) stated grounds there is a proposition the judicial officer did not, in some way, come to grips with new medical - immunological and genetic - evidence post trial,' Justice John Basten said. Folbigg's lawyers are preparing to prove a 'significant shift in the scientific material' took place, and are aiming to have Mr Blanche's report be declared legally flawed'. "

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STORY: Australia's worst female serial killer Kathleen Folbigg makes bid for freedom after evidence emerged  which scientist's say proves she's innocent - 17 years after being jailed for the death of her four kids," by reporters Alana Mazzoni and Charlie Coe, published by Daily Mail Australia,  on September 15, 2020.

PHOTO CAPTION: "Kathleen Folbigg has made a bid for freedom, arguing a former judge who reviewed her case did not 'come to grips' with the latest scientific evidence that she claims proves her innocence."

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  • SUMMARY: Kathleen Folbigg jailed in 2003 for at least 25 years for killing her four children 
  • The girls had a genetic mutation which had likely been deadly, scientists said
  • Scientists said boys also had mutated genes which caused fatal epilepsy in mice
  • Folbigg launched legal action against the inquiry's chief  Reginald Oliver Blanch 
  • She alleged he acted with 'apprehended bias' against her, while making errors
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Folbigg was jailed in 2003 for at least 25 years for murdering her children Patrick, Sarah and Laura - aged from eight months to 19 months - between 1991 and 1999. 

She was also found guilty of the manslaughter of her first-born child, Caleb, who was just 19 days old when he died in Newcastle in 1989. The 53-year-old has always maintained her innocence. 

Last month a group of 27 scientists released findings which show at least two of her children may have died of natural causes.

Folbigg has since launched legal proceedings against the inquiry's chief, former NSW District Court Judge Reginald Oliver Blanch QC AM.

The 53-year-old alleges he acted with 'apprehended bias' against her, while making mistakes in his findings.

The NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday heard Folbigg would argue Mr Blanch failed to properly accept the information collected by medical experts since she was sentenced, The Daily Telegraph reported.

'I apprehend that underlying (Folbigg's) stated grounds there is a proposition the judicial officer did not, in some way, come to grips with new medical - immunological and genetic - evidence post trial,' Justice John Basten said.

Folbigg's lawyers are preparing to prove a 'significant shift in the scientific material' took place, and are aiming to have Mr Blanche's report be declared legally flawed'. 

The Attorney-General denied the accusations against Mr Blanch.

The matter was adjourned until February 2021. 

In a peer-reviewed study published on in August, researchers in Australia, Canada, the United States, France, Italy and Denmark said a never-seen-before genetic mutation in the two girls' DNA had likely been deadly.

The Danish scientists said the mutation, called CALM2 G114R, had been inherited from Folbigg.

They said Caleb and Patrick had another genetic mutation which too could have led to their deaths.

The CALM2 mutation causes a condition called 'Calmodulinopathy' which can cause sudden cardiac death in very young children, the paper's lead scientist said. 

They said the boys' mutated genes had two different copies which caused lethal epilepsy in mice in cases where they were faulty. 

Professor of Immunology at the Australian National University Carola Vinuesa - who revealed the results to a scientists' symposium - was last year tasked with analysing the DNA of Folbigg and the four deceased children. 

Scientists had analysed the infants' genome using only the blood from their heel-prick cards at birth.

The report by Mr Blanch said 'the only conclusion reasonably open is that somebody intentionally caused harm to the children, and smothering was the obvious method'.

'The evidence pointed to no person other than Ms Folbigg,' the report said.

Folbigg's evidence and listening device transcripts - which weren't before the jury at trial - showed she had been untruthful, unbelievable and 'made deliberate attempts to obscure the fact that she had committed the offences', it said.

The inquiry was announced by NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman in 2018 after Folbigg's lawyers lodged a petition casting doubt on some evidence that led to her conviction.

At the time, the attorney-general said he'd formed the view it was necessary 'to ensure public confidence in the administration of justice'.

The results of the inquiry left Folbigg 'heartbroken and perplexed', friend Tracey Chapman told 7 News.  

She said despite the findings, they would continue to fight to prove her innocence.

'I can assure you, it's not over. Not until this gross injustice is recognised, the convictions overturned and this broken, arrogant, biased system apologises for its treatment of Kath.

'We have truth on our side and a growing number of supporters who are becoming very frustrated. I told her to try and find some comfort in these facts.'"

The entire story can  be read at:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8734403/Australias-worst-female-serial-killer-Kathleen-Folbigg-makes-bid-freedom.html

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. 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;
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FINAL WORD:  (Applicable to all of our wrongful conviction cases):  "Whenever there is a wrongful conviction, it exposes errors in our criminal legal system, and we hope that this case — and lessons from it — can prevent future injustices."
Lawyer Radha Natarajan:
Executive Director: New England Innocence Project;
—————————————————————————————————
FINAL, FINAL WORD (FOR NOW!): "Since its inception, the Innocence Project has pushed the criminal legal system to confront and correct the laws and policies that cause and contribute to wrongful convictions.   They never shied away from the hard cases — the ones involving eyewitness identifications, confessions, and bite marks. Instead, in the course of presenting scientific evidence of innocence, they’ve exposed the unreliability of evidence that was, for centuries, deemed untouchable." So true!
Christina Swarns: Executive Director: The Innocence Project;
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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Pervis Payne: Tennessee: Major (Very Welcome) Development: Bulletin......Judge orders DNA testing, Innocence Project announces...."The court’s thoughtful and reasoned decision to order DNA testing in Pervis Payne’s case is just and in line with Tennessee’s clear DNA testing law. When DNA evidence exists in a death penalty case, as it does here, it should always be tested to avoid the irreversible act of executing an innocent man.........We have been clear from the beginning that DNA testing can be completed within 60 days. DNA testing is an important piece of the puzzle in this case which has been racially-charged from the start.”man."...Links to order, video of delivery and petition provided.)


RELEASE:  Innocence Project. September 16, 2020.

GIST:  "Today, the Shelby County Criminal Court ordered DNA testing of crime scene evidence that has never been tested in Pervis Payne’s case. Mr. Payne, a Black man with intellectual disability, is scheduled for execution on December 3, 2020. Vanessa Potkin, Director of Post-Conviction Litigation at The Innocence Project and a member of Mr. Payne’s legal team, which includes Milbank LLP and Nashville attorney Kelley Henry, made the following statement:

“The court’s thoughtful and reasoned decision to order DNA testing in Pervis Payne’s case is just and in line with Tennessee’s clear DNA testing law. When DNA evidence exists in a death penalty case, as it does here, it should always be tested to avoid the irreversible act of executing an innocent man. Mr. Payne never should have been put on death row because he has an intellectual disability. The U.S. Supreme Court has banned the execution of people with intellectual disability, making the State’s pursuit of Mr. Payne’s execution all the more appalling. We have been clear from the beginning that DNA testing can be completed within 60 days. DNA testing is an important piece of the puzzle in this case which has been racially-charged from the start.”

-- Vanessa Potkin, Director of Post-Conviction Litigation at The Innocence Project and a member of Pervis Payne’s legal team
-- September 16, 2020

 

Judge Paula Skahan’s Order Granting DNA Testing can be accessed here: https://tinyurl.com/yxvalz8g

 

Video of Judge Skahan granting DNA testing can be viewed here: https://twitter.com/AmiciaRamsey/status/1306244434997190656

Mr. Payne’s Petition for Post-Conviction DNA Analysis, which was filed on July 22, 2020, can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/y3gbrobk

 

Overview of Pervis Payne’s Innocence Case
 
Pervis Payne is a Black man living with intellectual disability on Tennessee’s death row. Mr. Payne had no prior criminal history before being convicted of a capital crime and has maintained his innocence for more than 30 years. When he was 20 years old, Mr. Payne was visiting his girlfriend when he heard noises across the hall and went to try to help. Because Mr. Payne was at the crime scene, police zeroed in on him and did not investigate other suspects, including another man Mr. Payne saw fleeing the scene and the victim’s violent ex-husband, according to the Innocence Project’s petition on his behalf. Mr. Payne is scheduled for execution on December 3, 2020.

On August 31, 2020, a powerful coalition -- spearheaded by the Ben F. Jones Chapter of the National Bar Association and consisting of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators, Memphis Chapter of the NAACP, the Memphis Bar Association, 100 Black Men of Memphis, Inc., National Council of Negro Women (Memphis Chapter), Stand for Children Tennessee, Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope (MICAH), Church of God in Christ (COGIC) National General Board Member Bishop Brandon Porter, COGIC Bishop Linwood Dillard, Jr. and COGIC Bishop David Hall, Sr., Hope Fellowship Church Pastor Dr. Timothy Jackson, Jr., Carlos Moore, President-elect of the National Chapter of the National Bar Association, and Just City -- called on Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich to join the request to test the DNA evidence in Mr. Payne’s case. The groups further urged D.A. Weirich, who is opposing the DNA testing of evidence, to correct this three decades-old injustice.
 
The crime scene evidence indicated that the crime could have been a crime of rage by someone close to the victim, but police focused exclusively on Mr. Payne, who found the victims’ bodies. Nothing in Mr. Payne’s background or behavior suggests that he is capable of such a crime. There was no evidence that Mr. Payne used drugs and he had no criminal history as a juvenile or adult. (Petition at pp. 6, 12-13.)
 
However, at trial, the prosecution relied on racial stereotypes and fears, arguing that Mr. Payne, a Black man, had taken drugs and was looking for sex, and attacked and killed Charisse Christopher, a white woman, her two-year-old daughter, and non-fatally stabbed her four-year-old son. (Petition at pp. 1, 12, 15.) To make up for a lack of motive, the prosecution argued that Ms. Christopher had been sexually assaulted, a claim that was inconsistent with the crime scene, where she was discovered fully clothed. As Mr. Payne sat at the defense table, the prosecution reminded the jury of Ms. Christopher’s “white skin.” (Petition at pp. 14-15.)
 
Numerous pieces of evidence from the crime scene have never been tested for DNA, including a knife, a tampon, and bloodstained items. (Petition at pp. 10-11.) DNA testing, which was unavailable at the time of Mr. Payne’s trial and has not been performed any time since, could provide scientific proof of the assailant’s identity and exonerate him.
  
Mr. Payne’s petition describes three cases similar to his, where bystanders were convicted after coming upon a murder scene and later had their convictions overturned as a result of DNA testing. (Petition at pp. 41-43.)
 
Mr. Payne was only 20 years old at the time of the crime and intellectually disabled, although that fact was not recognized at the time of the trial. He has an IQ of 72 and other evidence of intellectual disability. One of the main reasons the U.S. Supreme Court barred the execution of people with intellectual disability in Atkins v. Virginia (2002) is that they present a special risk of wrongful conviction. Mr. Payne was convicted, in part, because he was unable to assist his attorneys in making his defense and he made a poor witness on his own behalf. (Petition at pp. 9-10.)"
 

The entire release can be read at:

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/FMfcgxwJXxmJtvZVvKDdTbJFXCCPHHxC

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. 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;
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FINAL WORD:  (Applicable to all of our wrongful conviction cases):  "Whenever there is a wrongful conviction, it exposes errors in our criminal legal system, and we hope that this case — and lessons from it — can prevent future injustices."
Lawyer Radha Natarajan:
Executive Director: New England Innocence Project;
—————————————————————————————————
FINAL, FINAL WORD (FOR NOW!): "Since its inception, the Innocence Project has pushed the criminal legal system to confront and correct the laws and policies that cause and contribute to wrongful convictions.   They never shied away from the hard cases — the ones involving eyewitness identifications, confessions, and bite marks. Instead, in the course of presenting scientific evidence of innocence, they’ve exposed the unreliability of evidence that was, for centuries, deemed untouchable." So true!
Christina Swarns: Executive Director: The Innocence Project;
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Pervis Payne: Death Row Tennessee: (Execution set for December 3): Timely story by Washington Post Reporter Colleen Long on report showing that U.S. death penalty show a history of racial disparity - as Pervis Payne awaits a court decision today on whether he should be permitted to undertake the DNA testing his lawyers believe may show that he is innocent..."Black people have been overrepresented on death rows across the United States and killers of Black people are less likely to face the death penalty than people who kill white people, a new report found. The report from the Death Penalty Information Center is a history lesson in how lynchings and executions have been used in America and how discrimination bleeds into the entire criminal justice system."

WORDS TO HEED: FROM OUR POST ON KEVIN COOPER'S  APPLICATION FOR POST-CONVICTION DNA TESTING; CALIFORNIA: (Applicable wherever a state, as in the Pervis Payne (Tennessee case) resists DNA testing): "Blogger/extraordinaire Jeff Gamso's blunt, unequivocal, unforgettable message to the powers that be in California: "JUST TEST THE FUCKING DNA." (Oh yes, Gamso raises, as he does in many of his posts, an important philosophical question: This post is headed: "What is truth, said jesting Pilate."...Says Gamso: "So what's the harm? What, exactly, are they scared of? Don't we want the truth?" 
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PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "The report also details several case studies in which race may be playing a role today, including a man named Pervis Payne, accused of the 1987 stabbing deaths of Charisse Christopher and her 2-year-old daughter, Lacie Jo. Payne told police he was at Christopher’s apartment building in Millington, Tennessee, to meet his girlfriend when he saw a man in bloody clothes run past him. Payne, who is African American, has said he found and tried to help the victims, who were white, but panicked when he saw a white policeman and ran away. Payne is sentenced to die Dec. 3, but he has asked a judge to order DNA testing. At the time of his trial, DNA testing of evidence was unavailable, and no testing has ever been done in his case. A request for DNA testing, in 2006, was refused based on a Tennessee Supreme Court ruling that has since been overturned. His recent petition said police focused almost exclusively on him as a suspect, although nothing in his history suggested he would commit such a crime. He was a minister’s son who never caused problems either as a child or a teenager. But prosecutors alleged Payne was high on cocaine and looking for sex when he killed Christopher and her daughter in a “drug-induced frenzy.” The town of Millington is in Shelby County, which has the most death sentences and lynchings of any county in the state."

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STORY: "Report: Death penalty cases show history of  racial disparity," by Reporter Colleen Long, published by The Washington Post on September 15, 2020. 

PHOTO CAPTION: "This undated photo provided by the Tennessee Department of Correction shows Pervis Payne. A new report by a think tank examining executions in the United States says death penalty cases show a long history of racial disparity, from who is executed to where and for what crimes. The report also details several case studies in which race may be playing a role today, including Payne, accused of the 1987 stabbing deaths of Charisse Christopher and her 2-year-old daughter, Lacie Jo. 

GIST: "Black people have been overrepresented on death rows across the United States and killers of Black people are less likely to face the death penalty than people who kill white people, a new report found. The report from the Death Penalty Information Center is a history lesson in how lynchings and executions have been used in America and how discrimination bleeds into the entire criminal justice system. It traces a line from lynchings of old — killings outside the law — where Black people were killed in an effort to assert social control during slavery and Jim Crow, and how that eventually translated into state-ordered executions. It comes as the U.S. grapples with criminal justice and police reform following George Floyd’s death and the deaths of other Black people at the hands of police and in the wake of mass protest. Across the country, 30 states have the death penalty but executions occur mostly in Southern states. 

And the federal government this year began carrying out executions again after a 17-year hiatus despite waning public support for the death penalty. The center, a think tank that studies both state and federal capital cases, wrote that capital punishment must be included in the discussion of the past. “I think what the data tells us and what history tells us is that they’re all part of the same phenomenon. The death penalty is inextricably linked to our history of slavery, of lynching, and Jim Crow segregation, and we wanted to put what is happening today in its appropriate context,” said Robert Dunham, who leads the Death Penalty Information Center. The report found that throughout the modern era, people of color have been overrepresented on death row — in 2019, 52% of the death row inmates were Black, but that number has dropped to 42% this year, when approximately 60% of the population is white. But it also showed that the killers of white people were more likely than the killers of Black people to face the death penalty, and cases with white victims were more likely to be investigated.

Since the death penalty resumed in 1977, 295 Black defendants were executed for killing a white victim, but only 21 white defendants were executed for the killing of a Black victim even though Black people are disproportionately the victims of crime. “If you’re thinking about Black victims of crime, they are more likely to be the victims of homicide, but we’ve created this system where Black victims of crime are less likely to get the services they need, the clearance rate for those crimes is much lower,” said Ngozi Ndulue, author of the study. “Instead what we have is what is seen as the ‘worst of the worst’ being executed, and that means in many cases the person killed was white.” The report also details several case studies in which race may be playing a role today, including a man named Pervis Payne, accused of the 1987 stabbing deaths of Charisse Christopher and her 2-year-old daughter, Lacie Jo. Payne told police he was at Christopher’s apartment building in Millington, Tennessee, to meet his girlfriend when he saw a man in bloody clothes run past him. Payne, who is African American, has said he found and tried to help the victims, who were white, but panicked when he saw a white policeman and ran away. 

Payne is sentenced to die Dec. 3, but he has asked a judge to order DNA testing. At the time of his trial, DNA testing of evidence was unavailable, and no testing has ever been done in his case. A request for DNA testing, in 2006, was refused based on a Tennessee Supreme Court ruling that has since been overturned. His recent petition said police focused almost exclusively on him as a suspect, although nothing in his history suggested he would commit such a crime. He was a minister’s son who never caused problems either as a child or a teenager. But prosecutors alleged Payne was high on cocaine and looking for sex when he killed Christopher and her daughter in a “drug-induced frenzy.” The town of Millington is in Shelby County, which has the most death sentences and lynchings of any county in the state. 

The report also takes aim at the federal government’s scheduling of executions. The first set were all white men, a move critics argue was a political calculation to avoid uproar. The federal death penalty suffers the same racial bias, according to the report. Of the 57 people on federal death row, 34 are people of color, including 26 Black men, some convicted by all-white juries, the report found. Christopher Vialva, the first Black inmate on federal death row set to die this year, is scheduled to be executed next week."

The entire story can be read at:

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. 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;
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FINAL WORD:  (Applicable to all of our wrongful conviction cases):  "Whenever there is a wrongful conviction, it exposes errors in our criminal legal system, and we hope that this case — and lessons from it — can prevent future injustices."
Lawyer Radha Natarajan:
Executive Director: New England Innocence Project;
—————————————————————————————————
FINAL, FINAL WORD (FOR NOW!): "Since its inception, the Innocence Project has pushed the criminal legal system to confront and correct the laws and policies that cause and contribute to wrongful convictions.   They never shied away from the hard cases — the ones involving eyewitness identifications, confessions, and bite marks. Instead, in the course of presenting scientific evidence of innocence, they’ve exposed the unreliability of evidence that was, for centuries, deemed untouchable." So true!
Christina Swarns: Executive Director: The Innocence Project;
----------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Pervis Payne: Tennessee: Innocence Project announces new filing aimed at stopping his execution - set for December 3) until Tennessee - as required by the U.S. Supreme Court - provides a procedure to hear his intellectual disability claim...Stay tuned!..."On September 16, 2020, at 9 a.m. CST, the Shelby County Criminal Court will issue a decision on Mr. Payne’s request to have crime scene evidence tested for DNA. DNA testing, which was unavailable at the time of Mr. Payne’s trial and has not been performed any time since, could provide scientific proof of the assailant’s identity and exonerate him. Numerous pieces of evidence have never been tested for DNA, including a knife, a tampon, and bloodstained items."


PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "Mr. Payne was 20 years old and waiting for his girlfriend to come home when he heard noises across the hall and went to help. He came upon a crime scene where a woman and her daughter had been fatally stabbed and her son had been stabbed, but survived. Because Mr. Payne was at the scene, the police zeroed in on him and failed to investigate other suspects, including another man Mr. Payne saw fleeing the building and the victim’s violent ex-husband, according to the Innocence Project’s petition on Mr. Payne’s behalf."


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Mr. Payne had never been arrested before, as either a juvenile or an adult, and nothing in his background suggested that he could have committed this crime. He was convicted after the prosecution played upon racial fears and stereotypes about Black men taking drugs and looking for white women to sexually assault, going so far as to refer to his dark hand and the victim’s “white skin.”

RELEASE: "Pervis Payne seeks to stop execution until Tennessee provides a procedure to hear his  intellectual disability claim," released by The Innocence Project on September 14, 2020.


SUB-HEADING: " U.S. Supreme Court banned the execution of people with intellectual disability; Tennessee has, so far, failed to create a process for showing his diagnosis.


GIST: "Attorneys for Pervis Payne today filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee to prevent Tennessee from carrying out his execution on December 3, 2020 until the State creates a procedure to adjudicate his claim that, as a person with intellectual disability, his execution would be unconstitutional. Mr. Payne had no prior criminal history before being convicted of a capital crime and has maintained his innocence for more than 30 years. The State of Tennessee has never disputed that Mr. Payne has an intellectual disability.

 

Read Mr. Payne’s Complaint here: https://tinyurl.com/y24qwo6a. He is represented by attorney Kelley Henry.

 

As Mr. Payne’s complaint details, the Tennessee Supreme Court held in 2016, in Mr. Payne’s own case, that Tennessee has no interest in executing people with intellectual disability and urged the Legislature to provide a process for people with intellectual disability to present their claims in court and determine their eligibility for execution. To date, neither the Tennessee Supreme Court nor the General Assembly has created a procedure for Mr. Payne and others like him. 

 

Rep. G. A. Hardaway, the Chair of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators, recently announced that the Caucus will file a bill to enable Mr. Payne and others to present their claims in state court on “day one” of the next legislative session. The first day of the next session is after December 3, 2020, Mr. Payne’s scheduled execution date. (Complaint at pp. 1, 3.) 

 

“The U.S. Supreme Court banned all executions of people with intellectual disability. The Court recognized that people with intellectual disability present ‘a special risk of wrongful execution’ because they have trouble assisting their attorneys and make poor witnesses on their own behalf. This is precisely what happened to Pervis Payne, leading to his wrongful conviction,” said Katie Powers, a past president of the Tennessee Disability Coalition. “Tennessee must not execute Mr. Payne without giving him a process for presenting the overwhelming evidence of his intellectual disability in court.”

 

Mr. Payne’s complaint states: “Despite twice decreeing, ‘Tennessee has no business executing persons who are intellectually disabled,’ the Tennessee Supreme Court has shut the door to every attempt by Mr. Payne to adjudicate his claim. Mr. Payne filed motions to reopen, a petition for writ of error coram nobis, and a petition for declaratory judgement. Each attempt has been denied for procedural reasons.” (Complaint at p. 2.)

 

In 2019, Dr. Daniel Martell, a prominent forensic psychologist, conducted the most comprehensive testing and examination of Mr. Payne to date. Dr. Martell concluded that Mr. Payne has an intellectual disability and that he meets all of the criteria for intellectual disability under Atkins v. Virginia, the 2002 U.S. Supreme Court decision that bars the execution of people with this diagnosis. Dr. Martell was the expert for the State of Virginia in Atkins and both the defense and the government have relied on Dr. Martell’s expert opinion in hundreds of cases. In fact, the State of Tennessee retained and relied on Dr. Martell’s diagnosis in two other capital cases. (Dr. Martell’s report is attached as Exhibit A to Mr. Payne’s complaint. Dr. Daniel Reschly’s report, which also concluded that Mr. Payne had intellectual disability in 2010, is attached as Exhibit B.)

 

As Dr. Martell’s report details, Mr. Payne received an IQ score of 72 and a lower score of 68.4 when corrected for outdated testing norms. His reading skills are in the bottom 5th percentile for his age, his math skills are below the bottom 0.1 percentile, and his memory skills are in the bottom 1st percentile. Dr. Martell also found his language functioning was significantly impaired, with an inability to find words for things, an inability to pronounce words correctly, and neurodevelopmental stuttering. Dr. Martell found additional evidence of intellectual disability and made his conclusion based on standards set by the American Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the American Psychiatric Association, and Tennessee law. (Complaint at pp. 2, 7, 8, 9.)

 

From an early age, family, friends, teachers and fellow students recognized that Mr. Payne had intellectual disability. He had trouble learning to read, do math, and follow instructions and was unable to finish high school, although he worked hard and never presented any disciplinary problems. At home, he was not able to perform chores like ironing his clothes or helping younger siblings with their homework. Mr. Payne’s next door neighbor recalled that he could not feed himself until he was five. (Complaint at pp. 10-12.)

 

Mr. Payne was 20 years old and waiting for his girlfriend to come home when he heard noises across the hall and went to help. He came upon a crime scene where a woman and her daughter had been fatally stabbed and her son had been stabbed, but survived. Because Mr. Payne was at the scene, the police zeroed in on him and failed to investigate other suspects, including another man Mr. Payne saw fleeing the building and the victim’s violent ex-husband, according to the Innocence Project’s petition on Mr. Payne’s behalf. 

Mr. Payne had never been arrested before, as either a juvenile or an adult, and nothing in his background suggested that he could have committed this crime. He was convicted after the prosecution played upon racial fears and stereotypes about Black men taking drugs and looking for white women to sexually assault, going so far as to refer to his dark hand and the victim’s “white skin.” (Innocence Project Petition at pp. 14-15.) 

On September 16, 2020, at 9 a.m. CST, the Shelby County Criminal Court will issue a decision on Mr. Payne’s request to have crime scene evidence tested for DNA. DNA testing, which was unavailable at the time of Mr. Payne’s trial and has not been performed any time since, could provide scientific proof of the assailant’s identity and exonerate him. Numerous pieces of evidence have never been tested for DNA, including a knife, a tampon, and bloodstained items. 

The racial stereotyping at Mr. Payne’s trial and his strong innocence claim has led a large coalition of legal, legislative, faith, and community groups to call for DNA testing. The Ben F. Jones Chapter of the National Bar Association is spearheading this coalition, which includes the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators, Memphis Chapter of the NAACP, the Memphis Bar Association, 100 Black Men of Memphis, Inc., National Council of Negro Women (Memphis Chapter), Stand for Children Tennessee, Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope (MICAH), Church of God in Christ (COGIC) National General Board Member Bishop Brandon Porter, COGIC Bishop Linwood Dillard, Jr. and COGIC Bishop David Hall, Sr., Hope Fellowship Church Pastor Dr. Timothy Jackson, Jr., Carlos Moore, President-elect of the National Chapter of the National Bar Association, and Just City."


The entire post can be  read at:

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/FMfcgxwJXpVTzSCMfXwkhftRGLRksrpj

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. 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;
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FINAL WORD:  (Applicable to all of our wrongful conviction cases):  "Whenever there is a wrongful conviction, it exposes errors in our criminal legal system, and we hope that this case — and lessons from it — can prevent future injustices."
Lawyer Radha Natarajan:
Executive Director: New England Innocence Project;
—————————————————————————————————
FINAL, FINAL WORD (FOR NOW!): "Since its inception, the Innocence Project has pushed the criminal legal system to confront and correct the laws and policies that cause and contribute to wrongful convictions.   They never shied away from the hard cases — the ones involving eyewitness identifications, confessions, and bite marks. Instead, in the course of presenting scientific evidence of innocence, they’ve exposed the unreliability of evidence that was, for centuries, deemed untouchable." So true!
Christina Swarns: Executive Director: The Innocence Project;
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Monday, September 14, 2020

Robert DuBoise: Florida: Major (Welcome) Development: It's official: Arrested in October 1983 for the rape and murder of a 19-year-old woman in Tampa, Florida - and convicted solely on the pseudo-science of bite mark evidence and an unreliable jailhouse informant’s testimony (he spent three years on death row) - he was exonerated earlier today, the Innocence Project has announced...."Last month, Robert was released after new DNA testing of crime scene evidence that was thought to have been destroyed excluded him as the assailant and identified another individual."


PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "In light of the clear injustice in Robert’s case and the discreditation of bite mark analysis, Tampa’s Conviction Review Unit (CRU) announced today that it will collaborate with the Innocence Project to review Hillsborough County cases in which bite mark evidence was used to secure a conviction. This will be the first investigation of its kind initiated by a prosecutor’s office."

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RELEASE: "Its official, Robert DuBoise  was just exonerated," released by the Innocence Project earlier today.

GIST: "Last month, Robert DuBoise was released after spending nearly 37 years in prison for a crime he did not commit - and today Robert DuBoise was exonerated on all charges.

He was arrested in October 1983 for the rape and murder of a 19-year-old woman in Tampa, Florida. He was convicted based solely on the pseudo-science of bite mark evidence and an unreliable jailhouse informant’s testimony, and he spent three years on death row.

Last month, Robert was released after new DNA testing of crime scene evidence that was thought to have been destroyed excluded him as the assailant and identified another individual. 

In light of the clear injustice in Robert’s case and the discreditation of bite mark analysis, Tampa’s Conviction Review Unit (CRU) announced today that it will collaborate with the Innocence Project to review Hillsborough County cases in which bite mark evidence was used to secure a conviction. This will be the first investigation of its kind initiated by a prosecutor’s office.

“I hope that my story helps others to keep fighting to prove their innocence,” Robert said. “I can’t get back the decades that I lost, but I’m going to try to rebuild my life with my family. It won't be easy. I am just so grateful that my voice was heard and the truth is out there.”

Read more about Robert’s story and then share the news of his exoneration with your friends and family, because everyone needs to hear about it.

Thanks — The Innocence Project Team.
The entire release can be read at:
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#search/bite+mark/FMfcgxwJXpVVRxdsGplbDMLvZRwGPmXr

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. 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;
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FINAL WORD:  (Applicable to all of our wrongful conviction cases):  "Whenever there is a wrongful conviction, it exposes errors in our criminal legal system, and we hope that this case — and lessons from it — can prevent future injustices."
Lawyer Radha Natarajan:
Executive Director: New England Innocence Project;
—————————————————————————————————
FINAL, FINAL WORD (FOR NOW!): "Since its inception, the Innocence Project has pushed the criminal legal system to confront and correct the laws and policies that cause and contribute to wrongful convictions.   They never shied away from the hard cases — the ones involving eyewitness identifications, confessions, and bite marks. Instead, in the course of presenting scientific evidence of innocence, they’ve exposed the unreliability of evidence that was, for centuries, deemed untouchable." So true!
Christina Swarns: Executive Director: The Innocence Project;
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False confessions: Reid technique (and the aggressive accusatorial style of interrogation it represents) once again comes under attack, as The Crime Report reports, in an insightful story headed, "True Lies: How to End Abuses of Police interrogation."..."The essayists overwhelmingly concluded that most police departments in the U.S. ignored the insights and evidence of recent scientific research showing that “accusatorial” forms of interrogation produced flawed results, including false confessions, that are not only liable to be overturned by appeals courts, but serve to fuel hostility and lack of confidence in the rule of law."


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: This Blog is interested in false confessions because of the disturbing number of exonerations in the USA, Canada and multiple other jurisdictions throughout the world, where, in the absence of incriminating forensic evidence the conviction is based on self-incrimination – and because of the growing body of  scientific research showing how vulnerable suspects are to widely used interrogation methods  such as  the notorious ‘Reid Technique.’ As  all too many of this Blog's post have shown, I also recognize that pressure for false confessions can take many forms, up to and including physical violence, even physical and mental torture.

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog:

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PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "It is highly disconcerting that scientists and practitioners have spent much of their lives studying interrogation practices, but that their research—which is often well-established and accepted by the scientific community—does not appear to be incorporated, as widely as one would expect, into the thinking and decision-making of those that matter (i.e., law enforcement, lawyers, judges),” the journal editors wrote."

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STORY: "True Lies: How to End Abuses of Police Interrogation," published by The Crime Report on September 3, 2020. 

GIST: "As the nation focuses on police reform, law enforcement agencies are under increasing pressure to weed out recruits who show signs of potential violent or unstable behavior, and to correct the kind of over-aggressive policing that results in the deaths of unarmed civilians.


But they need to spend as much energy and time in changing abusive or coercive interrogation practices that lead to the conviction of innocent individuals and undermine community confidence in the justice system, according to a former Washington, D.C. detective.


“Law enforcement’s response to the consequences of accusatorial interrogations has been far different from their response to inappropriate use-of-force lawsuits,” wrote James L. Trainum in a special issue of the Legal and Criminological Psychology journal, published by the British Psychological Society.


Trainum cited a study showing that approximately $450 million have been awarded by U.S. states to exonerees in false confession cases, not including payouts from civil lawsuits.

But “instead of leading to meaningful modifications to training and practices to prevent future occurrences, the problems uncovered through these lawsuits appear to have gone largely unaddressed,” he wrote.


Trainum was one of ten researchers and former practitioners invited by the journal to contribute assessments of current interrogation practices in the U.S. and Canada, and offer recommendations for improvement.


The essayists overwhelmingly concluded that most police departments in the U.S. ignored the insights and evidence of recent scientific research showing that “accusatorial” forms of interrogation produced flawed results, including false confessions, that are not only liable to be overturned by appeals courts, but serve to fuel hostility and lack of confidence in the rule of law.


“It is highly disconcerting that scientists and practitioners have spent much of their lives studying interrogation practices, but that their research—which is often well-established and accepted by the scientific community—does not appear to be incorporated, as widely as one would expect, into the thinking and decision-making of those that matter (i.e., law enforcement, lawyers, judges),” the journal editors wrote.


The problem starts with the newest policing recruits, who are rarely vetted for communications skills—or the lack of them, according to Todd Barron and Laura Fallon, of the Department of Psychology at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland.


“In the zest to meet their recruitment targets, are police agencies overlooking the core skills required to be both effective and efficient to the benefit of the police and the public?” Barron and Fallon asked.


“Do police selection processes aim to identify those with an aptitude for good communication or are they more focused on weeding out those with undesirable attributes?”


Good interviewing skills are crucial both to the process of eliciting information about crimes from witnesses and victims, and in the interrogation of suspects, they observed.


“The ability to extract accurate and complete information from suspects is one of the most important and most frequently used skill sets of an investigator, especially when compared to the use of their firearm throughout their career,” noted Trainum.


Most police agencies follow what’s called the “Reid Technique” developed by the firm of John Reid and Associates for interviewing suspects, which uses an aggressive, accusatorial strategy that is believed to throw suspects off guard and get them to admit their crimes.


But taken to its extreme, the technique includes psychological pressure and deception that can result in individuals confessing to crimes they never committed.


“Believing they can divine truth and deception, enabling them to distinguish between perpetrators and innocent suspects, these interrogators commence a guilt-presumptive process by making accusations, refusing to accept denials, and confronting suspects with evidence of their guilt, whether or not such evidence exists,” wrote Saul M. Kassin of the Department of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.


“In most of the world, police are not permitted to deceive suspects in this way.

The most notorious modern example was the case of the Central Park Five in New York, when five teenagers confessed to the 1989 rape and beating of a jogger.


But Kassin also cites a case depicted in the 2016 Netflix documentary, Shadow of Truth, in which a Russian émigré suspected of the murder of an Israeli girl was told during an interrogation that the victim’s blood was found on his toolbox and clothing.


The émigré responded it was impossible, but when he asked a cellmate later, in a conversation recorded by jail video, whether police make up evidence, the response was, “This isn’t Russia!”

The cellmate, it turned out, was an undercover detective.


Lorca Mordello, a lawyer with the Legal Aid Society in New York, called for police officers to be trained in the less-confrontational PEACE model, now widely used outside the U.S., which focuses on gathering reliable information from the suspect while avoiding coercion and deception.


“I can never get used to the way courts ignore coercive interrogation tactics”


“Even though I have been doing criminal defense appeals in New York for over 20 years, I can never get used to the way courts almost invariably ignore coercive interrogation tactics,” Mordello wrote.


“In practice, courts seldom find a confession involuntary. Not even when the suspect was sleep-deprived, in pain, intoxicated, mentally disabled or subjected to hours of relentless questioning. Not even when the police used lies and tricks to get it…


“As long as the suspect is given Miranda warnings and a Coke, almost nothing short of waterboarding is enough to render a confession involuntary.”


Steven Kleinman, a retired investigator with the U.S. Air Force, argued that both recruits and professional interrogators can be taught that empathy is a much better way of eliciting information than browbeating a suspect.


“A principle of highly effective interrogators might be ‘seek first to understand, then to be understood,” he wrote, quoting one researcher.


“Operating from an exploratory mindset – an open-minded sense of intellectual exploration and the continuous refinement of mental models – can transform the interrogation process from one of relentless questioning into a search for verifiable truth.""


The entire story can be read at:

https://thecrimereport.org/2020/09/03/true-lies-how-to-end-abuses-of-police-interrogation/

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. 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;
-----------------------------------------------------------------
FINAL WORD:  (Applicable to all of our wrongful conviction cases):  "Whenever there is a wrongful conviction, it exposes errors in our criminal legal system, and we hope that this case — and lessons from it — can prevent future injustices."
Lawyer Radha Natarajan:
Executive Director: New England Innocence Project;
—————————————————————————————————
FINAL, FINAL WORD (FOR NOW!): "Since its inception, the Innocence Project has pushed the criminal legal system to confront and correct the laws and policies that cause and contribute to wrongful convictions.   They never shied away from the hard cases — the ones involving eyewitness identifications, confessions, and bite marks. Instead, in the course of presenting scientific evidence of innocence, they’ve exposed the unreliability of evidence that was, for centuries, deemed untouchable." So true! HL.
Christina Swarns: Executive Director: The Innocence Project;
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