Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Forecasting wrongful convictions; Insightful commentary decries "the belated entrance of scientific rigor into forensics."

COMMENTARY: Red flags: Early warnings of wrongful convictions," by Sue Russell, published by Pacific Standard (formerly Miller-McCune magazine) on September 6, 2012. "Sue Russell is an award-winning California-based journalist and author. She has had over 1,500 articles published, is a former magazine editor, and a longtime contributor to many top British and U.S. publications."

GIST: "Dror finds that expert witnesses are vulnerable to over-confidence—and jurors are impressed by experts who draw firm conclusions. “So,” says Dror, “if I am willing to say, ‘Yes, that is 100 percent match on the fingerprint’…my conviction in that statement means more to the jury than my resume, which actually would tell them I’m not even a fingerprint examiner.” Jurors need to make a definite decision to render a verdict, “And an authoritative-sounding expert helps them. That is very convincing psychologically. It gives them what they need.”

The entire commentary can be found at:


I am monitoring these issues.  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.