Thursday, August 21, 2014

Jeffrey Havard: Mississippi; He has spent more than a decade on Death Row for a crime the state's pathologist - Dr. Steven Hayne - doesn't believe took place, reports the Clarion-Ledger;

PUBLISHER'S NOTE:  See Radley Balko's recent Washington Post post   on developments in the Christopher Brandon case -  a shaken baby syndrome case in which the defence has successfully attacked  the opinion of  Mississippi pathologist Steven Hayne. By contrast, Hayne's opinion in the Jeffrey Havard Death Row  case, the subject of this post,  is one of the pillars of the defence.

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;

STORY: "Pathologist: No evidence death row inmate abused child," by reporter Jerry Mitchell, published by the Clarion-Ledger on August 21, 2014.

SUB-HEADING: Jeffrey Havard has spent more than a decade on Death Row for a crime the state's pathologist doesn't believe  took place." GIST:  "Jeffrey Havard has spent more than a decade on death Row for a crime the state's pathologist doesn't believe took place. His lawyers told the state Supreme Court that Havard deserves a court hearing because pathologist Dr. Steven Hayne made statements, first to The Clarion-Ledger and then to the defense, that he told prosecutors before Havard's 2002 trial he found no evidence of sexual abuse of 6-month-old Chloe Britt. The alleged sexual abuse, the underlying felony, qualified the case for the death penalty. "I didn't think there was a sexual assault," Hayne told The Clarion-Ledger. "I didn't see any evidence of sexual assault." But jurors never heard that, and they convicted Havard of capital murder, sentencing him to death. "The prosecution hid this exculpatory evidence," wrote his lawyer, Graham Carner of Jackson. "Whether (defense) trial counsel sought it or not is of no consequence." District Attorney Ronnie Harper told The Clarion-Ledger that Hayne was probably the weakest witness the prosecution had with regard to the sexual assault allegation. But that didn't stop prosecutors from telling jurors in 2002 that Hayne would "come and testify for you about his findings and about how he confirmed the nurses' and doctors' worst fears this child had been abused and the child had been penetrated.".........Havard's claims are too late, wrote lawyers for the attorney general's office. They pointed to the fact the defense had Hayne's autopsy report before the 2002 trial and could have questioned him then about his findings. "Havard's claims are unsupported by facts," they wrote. "Havard is entitled to no relief." Carner responded that time doesn't bar this claim because this is new evidence. "The state cannot fail to disclose evidence and then claim Havard is barred from presenting the claim because he was not aware of the information the state concealed," he wrote. He is seeking an evidentiary hearing — something a three-judge panel for the state Supreme Court granted last week to Christopher Brandon, convicted in 2009 under shaken baby testimony."

The entire story can be found at:

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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:

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Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;