Sunday, February 1, 2015

Exonerations due to false or misleading forensic evidence; Much appreciated information provided to this Blog by National Registry of Exoneration's Editor: Professor Samuel R. Gross, in response to a query on trends.


The National Registry of Exonerations, a  project of the University  of Michigan Law School, has deservedly become the "Holy Grail"  of exonerations in America since it was founded in 2012,  in conjunction with the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law. The Registry provides detailed information about every known exoneration in the United States since 1989—cases in which a person was wrongly convicted of a crime and later cleared of all the charges based on new evidence of innocence. I contacted The Registry recently after it released its recent report,  dated January 27, 2015. The report  noted that there were 125 exonerations in 2014, bringing the  total number of exonerations  as of  January 20, 2015 to 1,535.  (The  number of exonerations had increased to 1,537 by January 31, 2105; HL); My questions were directed to a chart, at the link below, setting out graphically five  contributing factors to wrongful convictions: (Mistaken witness identification; perjury or false accusation;  false confessions, faulty or misleading forensic evidence, and official misconduct);  In my letter, I asked the  Registry essentially  if    false  or  misleading forensic evidence remains a major contributing factor to the false convictions that produce the exonerations we know about. I am very grateful to Professor  Samuel R. Gross, Thomas and Mabel Long Professor of Law, at the University of Michigan, the Editor of the  Registry for his response, for which I am very grateful.

The  graphic description of contributing factors to wrongful convictions  referred to by Professor Gross can be found at:

 Access the Registry's site at:

Harold Levy; Publisher; The Charles Smith blog.


 "Faulty forensic evidence remains a major contributing factor to the false convictions that produce the exonerations we know about. The overall proportion is 23%; for 2013 it was 25% (23/91). For 2014 it was 34%  (43/125) - an increase that was driven by a large batch of cases from Harris County TX (Houston) in which faulty field tests for drugs led to arrests and guilty pleas. But note - these field tests were not used in any trials,and the lab tests that followed (belatedly) appear to have been accurate."  See (the) report at:


Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.
I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

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:
I look forward to hearing from readers at:
Harold Levy; Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;