Thursday, October 3, 2013

David Camm; Trial; Thursday October 3, 2013; Courier-Journal reports forensic biologist Robert Shaler's testimony that the analysis of whether blood stains on Camm's T-shirt was caused by splatter or contact has a 50% error rate; Reporter Grace Schneider;

 STORY: "Expert testifies in David Camm murder trial that blood splatter analysis has 50% error rate," by reporter Grace Schneider, published by the Courier-Journal on October 3, 2013. (Keep an eye on the link below for  further coverage of today's proceedings);

GIST: "Forensic biologist Robert Shaler testified in David Camm’s murder trial Thursday that the analysis of whether blood stains on Camm’s T-shirt was caused by spatter or contact has a 50 percent error rate. He said that rate is not fair. Shaler also testified about a lack of scientific rigor applied in blood-stain pattern analysis. Other witnesses Thursday morning included brothers Jeff and Mark Dickey, who were among the basketball players at Georgetown Community Church on the night of the murders. Camm has said he was at the gym, playing pickup basketball as well. They testified that they didn't recall Camm leaving the gym that night."

The entire story can be found at:

 See WAVE 3 News story: "A renowned forensic scientist testified Thursday that investigators' own expectations and biases about blood evidence in the David Camm case likely affected their work and helped twice convict Camm of murder. "I'm not saying the nonscientists in their case don't believe what they're testifying to," Dr. Robert Charles Shaler said. "I'm seeing no evidence of fraud here. But scientific knowledge is critical to understanding bloodstain pattern analysis. You really should understand the principles behind it. After Camm's first two convictions for killing his wife and two kids in their Georgetown garage was overturned, Camm is on trial a third time for the killings in Boone County. Shaler's experience includes overseeing several sections of the New York City Medical Examiner's office, including the division which identified victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He helped develop the forensic science program for Penn State University, writing the textbook for it. He also served as an author and member of the peer review committee for a scathing report from the National Academy of Science decrying what it considered a lack of scientific research and procedures in crime scene investigations. "The problem [in the Camm case] is that the number of blood stains is minimal," he said, referring to several blood dots on Camm's t-shirt that prosecutors maintain is gunshot spatter from the head wound of Camm's 5-year-old daughter Jill. "Most looked at only three stains of the eight. And ambiguity allows people to opine as they feel." Had all investigators employed true scientific methods, they would have conducted experiments designed to disprove their initial theories, Shaler told jurors."


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