Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bulletin: Jeffrey Havard: Shaken baby syndrome death row case comes under attack. Link to new petition. Bruce Fischer. Ground Report.

STORY: "New petition asks US District Judge to grant death row inmate Jeffrey Havard a new trial," by Bruce Fischer, published on Ground Report on August 14, 2012.

GIST: "A new petition was recently started asking United States District Judge Keith Starrett to grant Jeffrey Havard a new trial. Jeffrey was wrongfully convicted in 2002 of murder by shaken baby syndrome and sexual molestation of six-month old Chloe Britt. He was sentenced to death by the State of Mississippi.........Jeffrey’s conviction was based on the testimony of an un-certified pathologist named Dr. Steven Hayne and the sexual molestation speculation of emergency room staff that testified the infant's dilated anus indicated sexual abuse. Jeffrey was denied independent experts to counter their claims and was found guilty in a trial that took less than two days. Since the time of Jeffrey’s trial, Dr. Hayne has been discredited for submitting faulty work on multiple cases and is now banned from performing autopsies in the State of Mississippi. Dr. Hayne later re-examined the case and has now stated in a signed declaration that evidence was not sufficient to conclude that a sexual assault occurred. Key points: 1. Anal dilation has given rise to suspicion of sexual abuse in other cases, and a clinical study was done to clarify the subject. Researchers found that anal dilation is a common artifact in accidental deaths involving severe brain injury. 2. Two forensic pathologists (Dr. Michael Baden as well as Alabama state medical examiner Dr. James Lauridson) have looked at the medical report and have concluded the infant's death was accidental. 3. Dr. Hayne has a bad reputation. He is discussed in a recent PBS Frontline episode about problems with forensic evidence and testimony: 4. Earlier this year, the Mississippi Supreme Court denied Jeffrey's motion for post-conviction relief. The ruling was based on procedure, not facts. His next step is a federal appeal. If he loses that, he faces execution."

Click here for Jeffrey Havard's  petition.

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.