Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Willie Manning: Radley Balko dissects Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Michael Randolph's "remarkably political dissent." (Must Read. HL)

POST: "Mississippi Supreme Court Justice writes a remarkably political 'dissent' to Willie Manning's stay of execution," by Radley Balko, published by  the Agitator, on May 8, 2013;

GIST: "If you've followed the case, you know that the state is attempting to execute Manning without testing available crime scene DNA. The state's main argument is that even if the DNA tests come back as a match to someone other than Manning, it doesn't necessarily mean that person committed the murders, and that the other evidence pointing to Manning overwhelmingly points to his guilt. Part of that other evidence, however, is testimony from an eyewitness and testimony from a jailhouse snitch, which have both since unraveled. Another portion of the remaining evidence is testimony from an FBI hair fiber analyst who claimed it was statistically likely that hair fiber found at the crime scene came from a black person. That's hardly damning, even if the testimony was accurate. The problem there is that on May 3, the Justice Department sent letters to Manning's lawyers stating that the testimony from its own FBI agent "exceeded the limits of science and was, therefore, invalid." DOJ then sent another letter declaring that the testimony of its own ballistics expert at Manning's trial was also invalid. This is all part of a broader scandal in which federal expert witnesses were found to have overstated the significance of forensic evidence in thousands of cases -- and to have trained who knows how many crime lab technicians at the state level in the same flawed methods of analysis. This isn't some last-minute scheme cooked up by Manning's lawyers and liberal Obama DOJ appointees to fend off executions. In fact, Attorney General Holder's DOJ had to be publicly shamed into finally admitting the breadth and scope of the scandal, and into making an effort to bother to notify the people who were convicted based on the flawed testimony. But that isn't how Justice Randolph sees it."

The entire post can be found at:


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