Saturday, February 9, 2008

Part Three: Smith Testifies In Death Penalty Case; Did Smith Level With The Court?

One paragraph in the decision of the Ohio 12th District Court of Appeal turning down Christopher Fuller's appeal makes me wonder how forthcoming Dr. Charles Smith was with the trial judge about his expertese.

That paragraph reads: "In addition, Dr. Charles Smith, a forensic pediatric pathologist, noted that Randi "had a urinary tract infection in the days or weeks before she died." However, he stated that wasn't necessarily indicative of sexual contact because there are "lots of different causes of urinary tract infection."

First I wonder how Dr. Smith was qualified to give expert evidence in the area of urology - a very specific medical speciality.

I certainly don't recall any mention of a urology degree in his curriculum vitae.

(This would parallel the numerous Ontario cases where Dr. Smith over-stepped his bounds by wading into areas such as bio-mechanics where he lacked expertese).

Secondly, I wonder how much weight the appeal court, as well as the trial judge, paid to the suggestion (which we know is untrue) that Dr. Smith is a qualified forensic pediatric pathologist.

This is the same Dr. Charles Smith who recently told the Goudge Inquiry, "my ignorance of the judicial system is great", and "I now recognize how profoundly ignorant I was."

It is instructive to contrast Smith's own words to the Inquiry with the description of the manner in which Smith delivered his testimony provided by John Nethers, the lead investigator in the Fuller case, to my Toronto Star colleagues Theresa Bowlby and Isabel Teotonio, in today's paper:

"He was great in front of the jury," recalled Nethers, who was stunned to learn yesterday that Smith is now the subject of an inquiry,"...when Dr. Smith was on the stand, everybody in the courtroom seemed interested in what he was saying and was paying attention."

I for one, would love to know how Dr. Smith described himself when being qualified to give expert evidence in the Ohio court.

Next: Part Four: Smith testifies in death penalty case; The Mullins-Johnson factor;