Saturday, December 31, 2011

Beyond DNA. Part 2: Grits for Breakfast sees innocence focus in Dallas shifting to non-DNA cases.

STORY: "Beyond DNA: Innocence focus in Dallas shifting to non-DNA cases, published in Grits for Breakfast on December 29, 2011.

GIST: Besides so-called "Brady violations," though, the concern was expressed by others, IMO accurately, that "DNA evidence may have raised the bar to a level too often unattainable by cases without it." Certainly there are still categories of non-DNA cases to mine for valid innocence claims. An examination of arson cases by my employers at the Innocence Project of Texas and the state fire marshal, initiated at the recommendation of the Forensic Science Commission, could discover false convictions based on flawed forensics testimony. Nobody has thoroughly vetted (nor to my knowledge, even identified) the 2,000 or so cases where former Fort Bend Sheriff's Deputy Keith Pikett claimed to have used his dogs in "scent lineups." And there are other similarly discrete categories of cases to explore.


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: 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:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;;