Thursday, July 16, 2015

Byron Halsey; New Jersey; (Note major development related to removal of restrictions on post-conviction DNA testing reported by Associated Press (Bill Watson case: Montana) - to be found at the end of this Blog; HL); Back to Byron Halsey! Imprisoned for 22 years for murders he did not commit; Coerced into making a false (unrecorded) confession; Union County prosecutors fought for 13 years to deny him the DNA testing which ultimately would exonerate him and point to the real killer; Released in 2006, he is only receiving his compensation now - nine years later; (Publisher's view: A horror story; It demonstrates that prosecutors (and judges) cannot be trusted with the power to block post conviction DNA testing - and why legislation must take that power away wherever it exists. Harold Levy; Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog); "Prosecutors had sought the death penalty against Halsey, who maintained his innocence through the one-month 1988 trial, but a holdout on the jury spared his life."

The entire story can be found at:

Major development:  See Associated Press story:"People convicted of crimes through inconclusive or outdated DNA testing procedures should be allowed new tests using the latest technological advances without regard to a three-year time limit set by law, a federal appeals court ruled. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is the first in the nation to rule that the advances in DNA technology mean previously useless samples should be considered newly discovered evidence that is not subject to statutory time limitations. The three-judge panel acknowledged in its opinion Friday that the ruling could re-open many closed cases to new DNA testing. But the judges say protecting the innocent is paramount, particularly when innocence can be proven by DNA evidence even after a conviction has been made. "No tradition is more firmly established in our system of law than assuring to the greatest extent that its inevitable errors are made in favor of the guilty rather than against the innocent," the opinion written by Judge Andrew Kleinfeld read. The ruling was made in the case of a Montana man who was convicted of attempted sexual abuse of a 14-year-old girl in 2006 and sentenced to more than 14 years in prison. His lawyer, who took on the case on behalf of the Montana Innocence Project, said the decision will have a broad effect. "If you can show that there are new DNA technologies available to you to show your innocence ... you're going to get DNA testing. I think that's very big," Betsy Griffing said.........In 2013, seven years after a jury convicted Watson, the Innocence Project helped Watson request new DNA testing of the girl's underwear, clothing and tissue samples. A Boise State University biology professor said in a statement accompanying the request that technological advances would identify the semen and even small amounts of DNA from skin cells of anyone who had contact with the girl or her clothing. U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon of Great Falls rejected the request, saying it came more than three years after Walton's conviction. That is the statutory time limit under the Innocence Protection Act passed by Congress in 2004 to help use DNA tests to exonerate wrongly convicted people. The exception to the three-year limit is if there is "newly discovered DNA" evidence. But Haddon agreed with prosecutors that the evidence — the underwear, clothes and tissue samples — were available at the time of Walton's trial and could not be considered new. The appellate court disagreed, saying that technological advances made the evidence new. "Doubtless many people possessed radium before Marie Curie discovered its properties, and uranium was used to make yellow glass for centuries before anyone else discovered other uses for it," Kleinfeld wrote. The court reversed Haddon's order denying the new DNA testing."
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;