Sunday, August 11, 2019

Back in action: Catch-up: Dr. Henry Lee: Connecticut: Part one: The Daily Beast (reporter Natalie O'Neill asks how many murder cases did the celebrity forensic science botch?..."A few days after Henning and Birch were granted new trials, Lee held a press conference insisting he made no errors. “In my 57-year career, I have investigated over 8,000 cases and never, ever was accused of any wrongdoing or for testifying intentionally wrong,” said Lee told a throng of reporters. “This is the first case that I have to defend myself.” But Lee’s history of problems with evidence—intentional or not—doesn’t begin and end with Henning and Birch. The 81-year-old world-renowned forensic scientist—who has appeared on dozens of crime TV shows and documentaries—has allegedly hidden evidence or given incorrect testimony in at least three other cases, potentially sending the wrong men to prison and allowing guilty ones to walk free, according to court documents and other legal sources."

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Shortly before taking a brief break for a writing assignment the American celebrity forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee burst into the headlines with accusation that he had botched evidence in several murder trials. My last post on Henry Lee  before temporarily closing shop (Friday July 12, 2109)  bore the following note: "Dr. Henry Lee: Connecticut: The famed forensic scientist is defending his work in the 1985 murder case that helped send Wendal(l) Hasan to prison, NBC Connecticut reports..."Now, a third convicted murderer, Wendal(l) Hasan, is asking the court to review his case based on a key piece of evidence that Dr. Lee testified about. Hasan has been in prison since 1986 for the murder of George Tyler in his Darien home. At the time, Dr. Lee said he tested a pair of Puma sneakers and found the victim’s blood. When the sneakers were retested in July of 2014, the state police forensic lab found the stains were not blood. On Thursday, Dr. Lee said he stands by his testing and testimony." Because my experience with the Charles Smith cases had taught me that incompetent experts seldom mess up just one or two cases - and Lee had probably given given his expert opinion in thousands of them -  I vowed upon my return to return to Dr. Lee on my return and follow developments closely. So here we go.


PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "In the years since these cases, Lee has become a rock star in the world of true crime. He’s appeared on the hit Netflix documentary The Staircase and dozens of Investigation Discovery-style programs, and he also scored his own show, Trace Evidence: The Case Files of Dr. Henry Lee. He’s won prestigious awards, including the Medal of Justice and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Science and Engineer Association. And he founded the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science—where his methods are being taught to future generations of criminalists. But critics, including a former colleague and legal opponents, say he may simply care more about scoring legal victories than the truth. “His attitude is extremely dangerous in the criminal-justice system,” said McGraw, who is also the executive director of the Connecticut Innocence Project. “His testimony has led to some very unfair and unjust results. These are horrible cases—and there are big reasons to believe some of the men involved are innocent.”