Friday, August 17, 2018

Joe Bryan: Texas: Troubling blood splatter case: Up-coming hearing: (August 20, 2018): Pamela Colloff emails readers of this excellent New York Times/ProPublica investigation that this will be, "the most significant milestone in Joe Bryan's case since 1989."

Pamela Colloff's email to readers of "Blood Will Tell: "Hi everyone. I hope you're having a good summer. I wanted to quickly touch base with you before next week, when Joe Bryan will be back in court for the first time in 29 years. Today, both the Waco Tribune-Herald—Joe's hometown paper—and the Austin American-Statesman  ran a powerful op-ed by the Innocence Project of Texas's executive director, Mike Ware, in which he called for additional DNA testing to take place in Joe's case. Ware aimed his criticism squarely at Bosque County District Attorney Adam Sibley, writing:

"Sibley has steadfastly refused to consider the possibility of Bryan's innocence, opposing DNA testing of crucial evidence. Someone murdered Joe Bryan's wife, and that person's DNA may be found on this evidence — evidence that may both identify the true murderer and add to the strong case of Bryan's innocence." "Texas has had over 50 DNA exonerations, with almost half of them from Dallas County. Many of the Dallas County exonorees had their initial requests for DNA testing thwarted...and delayed by prosecutors using the same tactics Sibley is using."

The op-ed comes less than a week before the most significant milestone in Joe's case since 1989, when he was convicted at his retrial of the murder of his wife, Mickey. That milestone is a three-day evidentiary hearing that will begin on Monday, August 20. His attorneys, Walter Reaves (who is a board member of the Innocence Project of Texas) and Jessica Freud, will address the claims they raised in Joe's application for habeas corpus. In plain English, they will make the argument that their client deserves a new trial. The hearing will take place in Comanche, Texas, where Joe's retrial was held. The legal proceeding will resemble a short trial, with various witnesses taking the stand, and the state and defense questioning them. Joe will also be present. Unlike a trial, however, the defense will present first, and the burden of proof will rest on the defense. Visiting Judge Doug Shaver will be asked to determine whether the bloodstain-pattern analysis presented at trial was accurate, and if not, what impact that had on the verdict. Last month, the Texas Forensic Science Commission found that the the bloodstain-pattern analysis used to convict Joe was "not accurate or scientifically supported" and the expert who testified was "entirely wrong." Reaves and Freud are also expected to call witnesses who will testify about other claims, such as their contention that the state's use of a special prosecutor—who was hired by the victim's family—was improper; that prosecutors failed to turn over evidence that pointed to other possible perpetrators; and that newly discovered evidence suggests that Dennis Dunlap, who committed another murder in Clifton months before Mickey Bryan's murder, should be considered an alternative suspect in the killing. After the hearing, Shaver will make recommendations to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, whose justices will ultimately decide if Joe should be granted a new trial. That process will likely take months, and could drag into 2019. The defense's request for DNA testing was granted last year by Judge James Morgan, who presided over both of Joe's trials. But the Bosque County D.A.'s office appealed the decision to Texas' 11th Court of Appeals, which has not yet handed down an opinion. I'll be covering the hearing next week, and will send you a dispatch from Comanche. Look for more from me soon! Best, Pamela."

Next week he heads back to court.

Next week he heads back to court.

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. 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: Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: 
Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;