Sunday, May 22, 2011


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am pleased to present the award to Canadian journalist Julian Sher for his recent TV documentaries "A Mother's Ordeal", which shed important new light on the wrongful prosecution of Brenda Waudby made possible by Charles Smith's flawed autopsy report - and "Execution Under Fire," a fascinating, maddening account of the wrongful execution of Cameron Todd Willingham at the hands of the unapologetic State of Justice. Global TV is to be complemented for presenting these two brilliant documentaries which share the common theme of innocent persons prosecuted for allegedly murdering their children. I hope that "Execution Under Fire," will be picked up by an American National network and brought into every American home. (That would be a powerful assault on the death penalty). “What can be more crushing than the nightmare of losing your child,” asks Sher. “And then the nightmare gets unimaginably worse when the police accuse you of the murder and you know you’re innocent? These were compelling human dramas and trials that grabbed the headlines. We tried to look at the toll these cases took not only on the accused but also on their families—their loved ones, the other children. It’s also about how communities turn against the guilty suspect in our midst – how we are all guilty of jumping to conclusions.” Julian Sher is also the author of "Until You are Dead," a book which helped Steven Truscott clear his name almost fifty years after he was nearly hanged as a boy for a murder he did not commit. (It is arguably Canada's most famous murder case); He becomes the first Canadian journalist to be presented with the Charles Smith Blog award.



Previous honourees are:

0: Kevin Morgan (AUSTRALIA): author of "Gun Alley: Murder, Lies and Failure of Justice, who single-handedly fought for and obtained the forensic materials which led to Colin Ross's pardon almost ninety years after he was executed.

0: Michael Hall (U.S.A.): For his excellent work in Texas Monthly exposing the miscarriages of justice that have occurred as a result of scent-lineups and the "experts" who conduct them, and

0: Sun-Sentinel reporter Paula McMahon (U.S.A.) for her ground-breaking reporting over a nine year period which led to the freeing and exoneration of Anthony Caravella.

O: Journalist Stewart Cockburn (AUSTRALIA) for his ground-breaking work in "The Advertiser" which exposed the miscarriage of justice suffered by Ted Splatt and triggered the Royal Commission which led to Splatt's exoneration.

0: Australian scientist Tom Mann (AUSTRALIA) for his sterling efforts to publicize the injustice perpetrated on Ted Splatt in the courts including the publication of "Flawed Forensics: The Ted Splatt case and Stewart Cockburn," a monumental book which demonstrates the tragic consequences which can unfold when science gets twisted out of proportion in the courts and those entrusted with the task of protecting our criminal justice system abdicate their responsibilities.

0: New Yorker staff writer David Grann (U.S.A.)for his awesome exposee of the faulty arson "science" that resulted in the wrongful conviction and execution in Texas of Cameron Todd Willingham. (Photo: David Grann);

0: Pamela Colloff (U.S.A) for her Texas Monthly stories which resulted in the freeing of Anthony Graves within 30 days of the appearance of her first story. Anthony Graves was convicted and sentenced to die in 1994 for six horrific murders in the Central Texas town of Somerville.

I welcome suggestions as to other authors who deserve to be nominated for this award for their work in exposing miscarriages of justice flawed pathology, flawed pathologists, or a combination of both at;


BACKGROUND; This award emanated from The Charles Smith Blog which I created on 2006 to expose the havoc wreaked by Dr. Charles Randal Smith - a pediatric pathologist (since struck from the Registry of the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons) who purported to be a forensic pathologist and perceived his role to be that of an advocate for the prosecution team - and in the process he destroyed many lives. (Dr. Smith was a pediatric pathologist); Although much of its attention has been focused on an independent public inquiry into many of Smith's cases, now that the Inquiry has completed its work, I am also focusing on ongoing cases anywhere in the world which involve miscarriages of justice caused by flawed forensic pathology, flawed pathologists, junk science, pseudo-experts or a combination of any of the above. Some of the cases considered by the Blog have only come to public attention because of the magnificent efforts of journalists (and occasionally people from other walks of life) be they in the print or electronic media. I myself was a reporter for many years at the Toronto Star. I launched the Charles Smith Blog Award in 2009 as a forum in which I could honour these journalists by drawing attention to their work on stories which, in my personal view, represent what journalism at its best is all about - the exposure of miscarriages of justice.

EXPOSURE: The Charles Smith Blog has attracted more than 150,000 hits from all over the world since its inception and is currently listed in several lists of the top forensic science and criminology blogs.

CRITERIA: The award is presented for excellence in exposing miscarriages of justice caused anywhere in the world by flawed pathology, flawed pathologists, junk science, pseudo-experts or a combination of any of the above.

UNUSUAL NATURE: This award is entirely virtual. There is no no ceremony; There is no prize; There is no certificate. It is a pure and unadulterated honour bestowed by myself as publisher in recognition of contributions by others to this important area of journalism.


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 accessed at:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;;