Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Faulty dog sniff drug search evidence: Grits for Breakfast blasts poor training, low-quality certification and high error rates;

POST: "Poor training, low quality certification, and high error rates dog police canine units," posted on Grits For Breakfast on July 4, 2012.

GIST: A couple of recent stories from out of state have brought drug sniffing dogs back into the news, as the US Supreme Court prepares to consider their use at people's homes without probable cause this fall. Dog-sniff evidence is problematic because dogs can't be cross examined. There's wide variation in their accuracy, not to mention the quality and quantity of their training. And dogs naturally pay careful attention to cues from their handlers, creating a significant risk of false positives. Since no attorney will ever get a dog on the witness stand, the other elements (accuracy, training, and methods to avoid cues from the handler) have been critical to the creation of probable cause in previous court decisions. Unfortunately, the bar on all those measures is lowering rapidly.

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: hlevy15@gmail.com

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.

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