Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dr. Michael West. (5): Publisher's View: Mississippi should order a thorough review of convictions based on "science" even he rejects.

PUBLISHER'S VIEW: (Editorial); Investigative journalist Radley Balko must feel vindicated by the recent admission of bite mark "specialist" Michael West that, "I no longer believe in bite mark analysis. This after the carnage West has wreaked in Mississippi's courts which, as Balko notes, "has put dozens of people in prison with bite mark testimony, including several on death row." (Eddie Lee Howard in Mississippi and Jimmie Duncan in Louisiana are still awaiting execution). Balko also notes that: "The office of Mississippi Attorney Jim Hood so far has so far refused to go back and reopen all the old cases in which West has testified. Hood should have done that a long time ago. For that matter, the same goes for Hood’s predecessors. And the Mississippi Supreme Court. We’ve known for nearly 20 years now that this guy was a fraud. Hell, we’ve had video evidence. Lots of it. No much cared. Because, as one former Mississippi prosecutor told me, “Nobody wants to be the one to unravel that ball of yarn.”" That was all before West's candid admission that he no longer believes in bite mark analysis. Given that admission, it is imperative that Mississippi, and other states that have used West to obtain convictions conduct a thorough review, with the cooperation of innocence organizations, similar to the review of arson cases based on old and outdated arson "science" which is currently being conducted in Texas. If there is no political will to take this necessary step the federal government should step in.

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:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.