Thursday, September 11, 2014

Megan Winfrey: Texas; Federal Law suit calls dog scent lineups "contrived" and "the worst of junk science." Fort Bend Herald.

COUNTDOWN: 21 days to Wrongful Conviction Day: (Thursday October 2, 2014);

GIST: "The lawsuit filed by a San Jacinto County woman against a Fort Bend County sheriff’s deputy is in a “holding pattern” in federal court, according to Fort Bend County Assistant County Attorney Randall Morse. Morse said Monday that U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Hughes has charged defense and plaintiffs with producing experts that each side will call. “So we did that and it took about a month to go through that process,” said Morse. “Now we are waiting on the judge. We may have depositions of those experts. It is up to the judge.” Megan Winfrey filed the suit in February against Keith Pikett, former county sheriff’s deputy, and no fewer than three San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office officials. ........After no physical evidence could be linked to the Winfreys, investigators called in Pikett, a self-trained dog handler who, at the time, worked for Fort Bend County. According to records, Pikett claimed that his bloodhounds could help police link suspects to unsolved crimes through scent lineups.
Pikett’s dogs smelled samples of Burr’s clothing and then smelled samples from the clothing of Richard Jr. and Megan and “alerted,” meaning, according to Pikett, that the scent profiles of the two younger Winfreys were on Burr’s clothes.........The prosecution in three cases used the same evidence from Pikett’s dogs whose names are listed in the original complaint — Quincy, James Bond and Clue. Megan Winfrey’s suit calls the dog scent lineups “contrived” and “the worst of junk science.”"

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