Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bulletin: Jeffrey Havard; Death Row case to be featured tomorrow - Wednesday July 18, 2012 - on Blog Talk Radio at 6.00 PM. Details at link below;

STORY: Jeffrey Havard Case to be subject of a Blog Radio broadcaset scheduled for tomorrow, July 18, 2012, at 6.00 PM.

GIST: This blog is following the Havard case. Public interest has been mounting. He is on death row and has lost his appeals in spite of the compelling expert evidence pointing to his innocence. Details at the following link:


BACKGROUND: From Charles Smith Blog; March 16, 2012: "Bulletin: Jeffrey Havard. One step closer to execution even though key witness changed her account and [athologist his opinion; Clarion-Ledger."

STORY: "Death row appeal rejected. Jeffrey Havard convicted of capital murder in baby's death," by reporter Jerry Mitchell, published on March 13, 2012, in the Clarion-Ledger.

GIST: "Justices last week rejected the 33-year-old inmate's appeal, writing, 'There is no merit to Havard's claim that newly discovered evidence exists that supports his innocence. This issue is procedurally barred by time'.........In looking through the records of the case, Havard's attorneys on appeal noticed a reference to a videotaped statement by Rebecca Britt. After repeated requests, they finally obtained the tape and believed her initial statement to authorities differed in tone and substance from the testimony she gave at trial. In her initial statement, she told authorities Havard "loved Chloe," that Havard changed her diapers and gave her bottles, and didn't seem surprised Havard gave her daughter a bath. But during the trial, she testified Havard never changed Chloe's diapers and never bathed the child. Havard's attorneys allege his trial counsel was ineffective because they failed to use the statement to challenge Rebecca's credibility.........At trial, pathologist Dr. Steven Hayne, who performed the autopsy, testified the death was a homicide, consistent with shaken baby syndrome, and that an anal contusion was "consistent with penetration of the rectum with an object. But Hayne has since acknowledged to Havard's attorneys the contusion was found in an area easily injured and a rectal thermometer like the one used in the emergency room to check Chloe's temperature could cause such a contusion but that he did not think it was likely. Hayne also said he could not exclude that possibility. Hayne found no anal tearing and said dilated anal sphincters also may be seen on people without significant brain function and that the contusion was not sufficient to determine a sexual assault occurred. A rape kit conducted at the time found no evidence of semen. At The Clarion-Ledger's request, world-renowned pathologist Dr. Michael Baden examined Hayne's autopsy report and photographs and concluded there was no evidence of sexual abuse - or even of a homicide. The injuries described at autopsy were consistent with "the baby being accidentally dropped and striking her head on the toilet tank as the father described," Baden said. The anal abrasion described in the autopsy can be the result of common causes, such as constipation, diarrhea, toilet paper or even rubbing against a diaper, he said."

PUBLISHER'S VIEW: I am following developments in this case as closely as I can because, as reporter Jerry Mitchell notes, "The state Supreme Court has unanimously denied an appeal from death row inmate Jeffrey Havard, moving him one step closer to execution." It is troubling that the Supreme Court seems more concerned about limitation periods than justice; It is troubling that the deceased baby's mother has drastically changed the evidence she gave in a pre-trial statement to make him appear guilty - and that this was only discovered by Mr. Havard's lawyers on appeal, in this shaken-baby syndrome case. It is troubling that Dr. Steven Hayne, the prosecution's pathologist, has repudiated his original opinion. Moreover, Dr. Michael Baden, who examined the case at the request of the Clarion Ledger has found neither sexual assault or homicide. This is a highly troubling case that has originated in a state which has experienced notorious miscarriages of justice in its criminal justice system. Fortunately there are other appeal possibilities before the irreparable sanction is carried out. Fortunately indeed.

Harold Levy; Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.


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: hlevy15@gmail.com.

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;