Thursday, August 23, 2012

'The Skeptical Juror." David Protess' take on J. Bennett Allen - scientist turned blogger: "An unlikely watchdog over the criminal justice system."

STORY: "The skeptical juror and the Texas condemned man," by David Protess, published in the Huffington Post on August 14, 2012.

GIST: "He is an unlikely watchdog over the criminal justice system, a 64-year-old former aerospace engineer from Southern California with no formal legal training. Yet his blog, The Skeptical Juror, has rapidly become must-reading for journalists, lawyers and lay persons interested in wrongful conviction cases that otherwise might escape attention. Meet the man behind the blog, J. Bennett Allen, who stopped an injustice in its tracks as a juror in a 2007 child molestation trial. Allen, the foreperson, came to believe the defendant was innocent. The 11 other jurors thought otherwise. Using his training as an engineer, Allen skeptically questioned each piece of evidence until -- in a scene that reprised Henry Fonda's 12 Angry Men -- he converted all but two of the jurors. The judge declared a mistrial, the defendant was eventually freed and Allen morphed from a skeptical juror to The Skeptical Juror."

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: For several years I have been admiring and occasionally reporting on J. Bennett Allen's application of his razer-sharp scientific mind to exposing flaws in criminal cases through his many books and his blog. It is a pleasure to see that David Protess, President of the Chicago Innocence Project, is also fascinated by this eclectic "unlikely watchdog over the justice system. Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog.

The entire story can be found at:

Connect with "The Skeptical Juror" at:


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.