Monday, October 12, 2020

Derek Bromley: Australia: Author/blogger/consummate criminal justice analyst Andrew L. Urban asks a timely question - relevant not only in South Australia, but in other jurisdictions as well..."Can we trust a criminal justice system that despite some five decades of complaints and dozens of miscarriages of justice, has failed to address the dangers of poor quality scientific evidence or help improve its reliability. If it were an airline, it would be grounded."

NOTICE:  Check out today's release of my latest weekly post on 'The Selfless Warrior's Blog' which is devoted to celebrating  exceptional individuals who have been ripped out of their ordinary livesby  their  inability to stand by in the face of a glaring miscarriage of justice.

Joyce Milgaard: Saskatchewan/David Milgaard: In an introduction to her mother's 'memoir', ' Joyce Milgaard's daughter Susan  describes her mother as a 'housewife in a  small town' who was transformed into "a dynamic, articulate, courageous, articulate woman" who, with the help of her other children, set out to become an expert on murder (which she did), to secure the exoneration of her son (which she did) and to track down the real killer,  (which she ansi did).  A consummate  self-trained investigator (who once worked as a switchboard operator helping reporters track down people at The Toronto Star),  she became  commonly known as 'The Gumshoe Mom.' 


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am including a brief portion of a much larger post - referring to many other cases this Blog is following  - which deserves to br read word for word. Author Urban shows how Derek Bromley and others have been terribly let down by Australia's blinkered appeal  courts which have consistently rendered poor decisions in which scientific evidence has taken a big role. Yet another  misdiagnosis by forensic fraud  Dr. Colin Manock which,  at Bromley's  appeal in 2018,  was shown by both defence and  crown experts to be totally wrong. Already 38-years in prison. What kind of government can stand by in the face of such a callous, disinterested  abdication of responsibility by the courts  to correct a current, pressing miscarriage of justice? Time to look in the mirror.

Harold levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog.


COMMENTARY: "Woeful quality control of expert/scientific testimony compromises justice system," by Andrew L. Urban, published by his Blog,  The Wrongful Conviction Report, on October 9, 2020.

SUB-HEADING: 'Can we trust a criminal justice system that despite some five decades of complaints and dozens of miscarriages of justice, has failed to address the dangers of poor quality scientific evidence or help improve its reliability. If it were an airline, it would be grounded. "

GIST: "The criminal justice system seems to have learnt nothing. Almost 40 years ago, a forensic scientist gave testimony that she found foetal blood under the dash of the Chamberlain family car. Azaria’s, obviously. It turned out – much too late – to have been sound deadener. But it took years to correct the ‘scientific evidence’.

38 years in jail:

Four years after that dingo took Lindy’s baby in the Northern Territory, Derek Bromley in Adelaide was convicted of drowning a man with the help of eye witness evidence: that of a schizophrenic whose testimony was presented to the jury as reliable. But it isn’t just the eye witness testimony that is disputed. The case was another Manock special, a misdiagnosis of drowning and associated injuries, which at his latest appeal in 2018 was shown by both defence AND crown experts to be totally wrong. In a bizarre and incomprehensible decision, according to legal academics Dr Bob Moles and Bibi Sangha of Flinders University, the appeal court effectively put aside both these reports and against all precedent refused the appeal. He is still in jail, refusing to admit guilt and thus refused parole, after 38 years.

Appeal courts, as we have shown, also bear responsibility for poor decisions in cases where scientific evidence had played a big role; Van Beelen, Neill-Fraser, Bromley, Chamberlain, Keogh, among others not mentioned here … Robert Xie’s appeal decision is yet to come. And that case – five brutal murders of a family – presents the most dramatic example of the importance of reliable scientific evidence. The prosecution presented a weak and circumstantial case – supported only by a threadbare and contested DNA deposit 200 metres from the crime scene.

GUILTY: Evidently, decades of disastrous mistakes and wrongful convictions have not convinced the practitioners of our criminal justice system of the need to ensure, in the words of Justice Harry Edwards “that crime laboratories and forensic science practitioners follow proven practices that ensure the validity and reliability of forensic evidence offered in court.” Verdict: Guilty.'

The entire commentary can be read at:

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;
FINAL WORD:  (Applicable to all of our wrongful conviction cases):  "Whenever there is a wrongful conviction, it exposes errors in our criminal legal system, and we hope that this case — and lessons from it — can prevent future injustices."
Lawyer Radha Natarajan:
Executive Director: New England Innocence Project;
FINAL, FINAL WORD (FOR NOW!): "Since its inception, the Innocence Project has pushed the criminal legal system to confront and correct the laws and policies that cause and contribute to wrongful convictions.   They never shied away from the hard cases — the ones involving eyewitness identifications, confessions, and bite marks. Instead, in the course of presenting scientific evidence of innocence, they’ve exposed the unreliability of evidence that was, for centuries, deemed untouchable." So true!
Christina Swarns: Executive Director: The Innocence Project;