Monday, June 18, 2012

Lindy Chamberlain: Aftermath of Inquest: The human cost of unreliable forensic science; Joanna Kyriakakis; The Conversation.

STORY: Lessons from the Chamberlain case: The human cost of wrongful conviction," by Joanna Kyriakakis, lecturer in law at Monash University,' published in The Conversation on June 19, 2012.

GIST; "The Azaria Chamberlain case is a reminder that the criminal justice system does get it wrong, with each error bearing its own human cost........The Chamberlain-Creighton conviction was based largely on the use of unreliable or improper forensic science during the trial. But the Chamberlain case is only one example of wrongful conviction following a flawed criminal trial. Many have been sent to jail or even executed on the basis of faulty evidence despite their innocence.........The Innocence Project in the United States is dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through the use of modern DNA testing. They report that in US history there have been 292 post-conviction DNA exonerations. From their experience, the seven most common causes of wrongful convictions are eyewitness misidentification, improper forensic science, false confessions, government misconduct, reliance on informants, and plain old bad lawyering – including defence counsel sleeping during trial. Unreliable or improper forensic science was found to be present in 52% of the first 225 exoneration cases the Innocence Project have dealt with. A lack of scientific standards for assessing the results of forensic testing methods was a key finding by Justice Morling in the Royal Commission Inquiry into the Chamberlain case. This unreliable evidence, along with unverified assumptions by experts, were presented as scientific evidence to the court."

The entire story can be found at:


I am monitoring this case. 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:

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

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.