Monday, February 6, 2023

Leonard "Raheem" Taylor: Missouri: Execution set for tomorrow. (Tuesday 7 February): Sentenced to die - in spite of a very solid alibi and a medical examiner's drastic change in the time of death, Missouri plans to kill him tomorrow. The Innocence Project is therefore urging people to grant Raheem a reprieve and appoint an independent board of inquiry to fully investigate his claim of innocent now...Act Now...Governor's number provided..."Raheem was convicted for the 2004 murder of his girlfriend, Angela Rowe, and her three children in St. Louis, and has maintained his innocence for nearly 20 years. He had an alibi that should have proven his innocence immediately — he was nearly 2,000 miles away, in California, meeting his 13-year-old daughter at the time of the murders. His daughter even said in a sworn statement that she remembers talking to Angela and one of her daughters over the phone while she was with her father. But during the trial — with no sound explanation — the medical examiner drastically changed the time of death estimation, widening the potential time period for the murders, which supported the prosecution’s argument that the murders took place before Raheem left for California. Raheem is asking for a chance to have his innocence claims fully investigated and reviewed before it’s too late."


PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "Please, call 573-400-0357 to urge Gov. Mike Parson to grant Raheem a reprieve and appoint an independent board of inquiry to fully investigate his claim of innocence now.

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PASSAGE TWO OF THE DAY: "To date, nearly 200 people have been exonerated from death row, including four people in Missouri. They are proof that the death penalty poses a fatal risk to innocent people. We can’t let Raheem suffer this same fate."

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POST: "Missouri plans on executing Leonard “Raheem” Taylor tomorrow for a crime he’s always said he did not commit,"  published by The Innocence Project, on February 6, 2923.

GIST: "Please, call 573-400-0357 to urge Gov. Mike Parson to grant Raheem a reprieve and appoint an independent board of inquiry to fully investigate his claim of innocence now.


Raheem was convicted for the 2004 murder of his girlfriend, Angela Rowe, and her three children in St. Louis, and has maintained his innocence for nearly 20 years.


He had an alibi that should have proven his innocence immediately — he was nearly 2,000 miles away, in California, meeting his 13-year-old daughter at the time of the murders. His daughter even said in a sworn statement that she remembers talking to Angela and one of her daughters over the phone while she was with her father.


But during the trial — with no sound explanation — the medical examiner drastically changed the time of death estimation, widening the potential time period for the murders, which supported the prosecution’s argument that the murders took place before Raheem left for California.


Raheem is asking for a chance to have his innocence claims fully investigated and reviewed before it’s too late.


To date, nearly 200 people have been exonerated from death row, including four people in Missouri. They are proof that the death penalty poses a fatal risk to innocent people. We can’t let Raheem suffer this same fate."


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P.S. You can read more about Raheem’s story in this new article from The Intercept.


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The entire entry can be read at:

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PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue/resource. 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: http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith. Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com. Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog;

SEE BREAKDOWN OF SOME OF THE ON-GOING INTERNATIONAL CASES (OUTSIDE OF THE CONTINENTAL USA) THAT I AM FOLLOWING ON THIS BLOG, AT THE LINK BELOW: HL:

https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/120008354894645705/4704913685758792985

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: "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;

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(Part 5): Michael McGee; Minnesota. 'Smoking gun.' Discredited former Medical Examiner - a 'smoking gun.'... Major (Welcome) Development. As Ashley Brovold reports in Valley News..."The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office today announced it agreed to vacate Thomas Rhodes’ 1998 conviction for first- and second-degree murder. Mr. Rhodes’ release marks the first person who will be freed from incarceration because of an investigation and case review by the Conviction Review Unit (CRU) in the Attorney General’s Office."...Mr. Rhodes was found guilty on July 29, 1998, of first-degree premeditated murder and second-degree intentional murder of his wife Jane Rhodes when she fell overboard and ultimately drowned during a nighttime boat ride with Mr. Rhodes on Green Lake in Spicer, Minnesota. During the 1998 criminal trial, Dr. Michael McGee’s testimony was the smoking gun for the State’s case against Mr. Rhodes, and the State argued that Dr. McGee’s testimony excluded an accidental cause of death. Based on Dr. McGee’s testimony and autopsy report, the State argued that Mr. Rhodes intentionally grabbed his wife by the neck, pushed her overboard, and ran her over multiple times. Since Dr. McGee’s testimony in Mr. Rhodes’ case, Dr. McGee has faced increasing scrutiny with courts finding several problems with his work over the last two decades. In the recent decision, United States v. Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., a federal judge noted that Dr. McGee “has a well-documented history of providing false or inaccurate testimony in court,” and that his testimony in the case was “so unmoored from a scientific basis that it should not have been received at all.”..."


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: The rubble left behind by former medical examiner Michael McGee - fortunately retired, became evident less than a month ago, when Thomas Rhodes was cleared of murder,  years after being convicted after a 1998 trial, described by Valley News Reporter Ashley Brovold, "in which Dr. Michael McGee's testimony was the smoking gun for the state's case against Mr. Rhodes."


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PASSAGE ONE OF THE DAY: "Following the federal district judge’s opinion in the Rodriguez case calling into severe question the credibility of Dr. McGee’s work over many years, the CRU agreed to investigate Mr. Rhodes’ conviction and prioritized his case. As part of the CRU’s investigation of the case, a highly respected forensic pathologist and former president of the National Association of Medical Examiners was asked to provide an independent opinion of the cause and manner of death. The independent expert did not agree with many of Dr. McGee’s findings and found that Mrs. Rhodes’ death was not inconsistent with an accidental fall, as Mr. Rhodes maintained. Dr. McGee declined an interview with the CRU. With the benefit of a thorough review of all the evidence and circumstances, the CRU found that the medical evidence used in Mr. Rhodes’s conviction was flawed."


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PASSAGE TWO OF THE DAY: "Prosecutors have a duty not simply to win and protect convictions, but to seek the truth and to respect the defendant’s right to a fair process. Because of the new forensic analysis and questions surrounding Dr. McGee’s testimony, the conviction does not meet this standard. So, the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office agreed with a resolution that vacates Mr. Rhodes’s first- and second-degree murder charges, and a conviction for the lesser included offense of second-degree manslaughter." 


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STORY: "Murder conviction overturned for first time in Minnesota because of an investigation and case review by the Conviction Review Unit (CRU) in the Attorney General’s Office," by Producer  Ashley Brovold, published by Valley News, on January 13, 2023.


SUB-HEADING: "During the 1998 trial, Dr. Michael McGee's testimony was the smoking gun fir the state's case against Mr. Rhodes."


GIST: "The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office today announced it agreed to vacate Thomas Rhodes’ 1998 conviction for first- and second-degree murder. Mr. Rhodes’ release marks the first person who will be freed from incarceration because of an investigation and case review by the Conviction Review Unit (CRU) in the Attorney General’s Office. Mr. Rhodes was found guilty on July 29, 1998, of first-degree premeditated murder and second-degree intentional murder of his wife Jane Rhodes when she fell overboard and ultimately drowned during a nighttime boat ride with Mr. Rhodes on Green Lake in Spicer, Minnesota. During the 1998 criminal trial, Dr. Michael McGee’s testimony was the smoking gun for the State’s case against Mr. Rhodes, and the State argued that Dr. McGee’s testimony excluded an accidental cause of death. Based on Dr. McGee’s testimony and autopsy report, the State argued that Mr. Rhodes intentionally grabbed his wife by the neck, pushed her overboard, and ran her over multiple times. Since Dr. McGee’s testimony in Mr. Rhodes’ case, Dr. McGee has faced increasing scrutiny with courts finding several problems with his work over the last two decades. In the recent decision, United States v. Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., a federal judge noted that Dr. McGee “has a well-documented history of providing false or inaccurate testimony in court,” and that his testimony in the case was “so unmoored from a scientific basis that it should not have been received at all.” Following the federal district judge’s opinion in the Rodriguez case calling into severe question the credibility of Dr. McGee’s work over many years, the CRU agreed to investigate Mr. Rhodes’ conviction and prioritized his case. As part of the CRU’s investigation of the case, a highly respected forensic pathologist and former president of the National Association of Medical Examiners was asked to provide an independent opinion of the cause and manner of death. The independent expert did not agree with many of Dr. McGee’s findings and found that Mrs. Rhodes’ death was not inconsistent with an accidental fall, as Mr. Rhodes maintained. Dr. McGee declined an interview with the CRU. With the benefit of a thorough review of all the evidence and circumstances, the CRU found that the medical evidence used in Mr. Rhodes’s conviction was flawed. Prosecutors have a duty not simply to win and protect convictions, but to seek the truth and to respect the defendant’s right to a fair process. Because of the new forensic analysis and questions surrounding Dr. McGee’s testimony, the conviction does not meet this standard. So, the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office agreed with a resolution that vacates Mr. Rhodes’s first- and second-degree murder charges, and a conviction for the lesser included offense of second-degree manslaughter. While the State does not have evidence that would prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Mr. Rhodes murdered his wife, Jane, there is sufficient evidence to support his conviction of the lesser included offense of second-degree manslaughter. The evidence shows that Mr. Rhodes’ negligence led to Jane’s death. Mr. Rhodes drove a small, unstable boat, late at night, at top speed. And Mr. Rhodes knew Jane could not swim. Jane was not wearing a life jacket, and there were no life jackets within reach. The boat contained no flashlights, and no way to quickly call for help. As Mr. Rhodes later admitted, he had become too comfortable around the lake. While the Attorney General’s Office has agreed that the conviction for murder will be vacated, it has continued to defend a conviction for second-degree manslaughter charges. Mr. Rhodes’ guilty plea cannot bring back Jane Rhodes, who was described by friends and family as full of warmth, kindness, and humor. But Mr. Rhodes has already served nearly 25 years in prison, which is more than twice the maximum sentence he could have received for a manslaughter conviction."


The entire story can be read at:


https://www.valleynewslive.com/2023/01/14/murder-conviction-overturned-first-time-minnesota/?outputType=amp

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue/resource. 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: http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith. Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com. Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog;


SEE BREAKDOWN OF SOME OF THE ON-GOING INTERNATIONAL CASES (OUTSIDE OF THE CONTINENTAL USA) THAT I AM FOLLOWING ON THIS BLOG, AT THE LINK BELOW: HL:

https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/120008354894645705/4704913685758792985

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: "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;

Sunday, February 5, 2023

(Part 4): Discredited Former Medical Examiner Michael McGee: Missouri: Another Charles Smith? HL: They knew how dangerous he was back in 2012, as evidenced in this story by MPR News Reporter Madeleine Baran on the notorious kidnapping/murder case of Alfonso Rodriguez. As Reporter Baran, who has covered McGee for many years began this story: "The work of the Ramsey County medical examiner has come under scrutiny again. Attorneys for Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr., a Minnesota man awaiting execution for one of the region's most notorious kidnappings, say Ramsey County chief medical examiner Dr. Michael McGee mistook animal bites for stab wounds and used "junk science" to convince jurors to impose the death penalty."


QUOTE OF THE DAY: "It should come as no surprise that Dr. McGee testified falsely in this case," the motion filed by Rodriguez's attorneys said. "He has often performed shoddy work and drawn questionable conclusions for the benefit of the prosecution. His reputation is well known and richly deserved ..."


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PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "The criticism is the latest challenge to the credibility of Dr. McGee, a forensic pathologist who has served as Ramsey County's chief medical examiner since 1985. Forensic experts contacted independently by MPR News are raising similar questions about McGee's reliance on out-of-date lab testing to look for evidence of sexual assault in the Rodriguez case and in other murder cases dating back nearly three decades. A motion filed by Rodriguez's defense attorneys in federal court this week alleges the jury was swayed by false testimony from McGee about the death of Dru Sjodin, a 22-year-old college student who was abducted from a shopping mall parking lot in Grand Forks, N.D. in November 2003 and whose body was found five months later in a ravine near Crookston, Minn. "In large part, this is a case about junk science and false forensics," said the motion, written by attorney Joseph Marguiles, a Northwestern University law professor who has represented several death row inmates. "The centerpiece of the government's case was the horrific testimony of Michael McGee, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner.”


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PASSAGE TWO OF THE DAY: "McGee's testimony in the Rodriguez trial in 2006 garnered headlines for its captivating description of Sjodin's final hours. McGee told jurors that Sjodin could have been sexually assaulted up to 36 hours before she died — a finding that helped prosecutors argue that the crime was heinous enough to warrant the death penalty. As part of his testimony, McGee stood next to a drawing board and used a red marker to draw what he described as the "slash marks" on Sjodin's neck. McGee said the wounds were the most likely cause of death and that evidence suggests Sjodin was left to die face down in the ravine where she was found."


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PASSAGE THREE OF THE DAY:  "However, defense attorneys, along with leading state and national forensic experts contacted by MPR News, are challenging McGee's dramatic testimony. Four forensic pathologists who reviewed the case at the request of the defense found there was no forensic evidence that Sjodin was stabbed. The pathologists, who include retired Hennepin County medical examiner Dr. Garry Peterson, said McGee mistook damage caused by animals and decomposition for stab wounds. The pathologists found that it's more likely that Sjodin was suffocated to death. They note that Sjodin's body was found with a cord and remnants of a plastic bag stretched around her neck. McGee told jurors it was possible that Sjodin suffocated, but that he believed it was more likely that she died from the stab wounds he found on her neck. The defense and experts in forensic science and pathology also allege that McGee improperly relied on a laboratory test that was outdated to determine that Sjodin was sexually assaulted. McGee's use of the test in 2004 did not follow any standard forensic practices, they said. Separate lab tests performed at the state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension crime lab did not find any DNA, sperm, or semen suggestive of a sexual assault on Sjodin's body. National experts said they've never heard of a similar use of the test in recent years. The state's crime lab, run by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, does not rely on the test as evidence of sexual assault, nor do any of the other regional medical examiner's offices in the state, MPR News has confirmed. The Ramsey County Attorney's Office, in the same county in which McGee has served as chief medical examiner for 26 years, also told MPR News in August that the test cannot be used to determine a time frame in which a sexual assault occurred."


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STORY: Rodriguez case raises more questions  about work of Ramsey County M.E by Reporter Madeleine Baran, published by MPR News, on October 19, 2011. (WIKIPEDIA informs us that Madeleine Baran is an American investigative journalist. She is best known as the lead reporter for the APMpodcast In the Dark. She has received accolades including three Peabody Awards, a Gracie Award and two Sigma Delta Chi Awards for her reporting.)


GIST: "The work of the Ramsey County medical examiner has come under scrutiny again.

Attorneys for Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr., a Minnesota man awaiting execution for one of the region's most notorious kidnappings, say Ramsey County chief medical examiner Dr. Michael McGee mistook animal bites for stab wounds and used "junk science" to convince jurors to impose the death penalty.


The criticism is the latest challenge to the credibility of Dr. McGee, a forensic pathologist who has served as Ramsey County's chief medical examiner since 1985. 


Forensic experts contacted independently by MPR News are raising similar questions about McGee's reliance on out-of-date lab testing to look for evidence of sexual assault in the Rodriguez case and in other murder cases dating back nearly three decades.


A motion filed by Rodriguez's defense attorneys in federal court this week alleges the jury was swayed by false testimony from McGee about the death of Dru Sjodin, a 22-year-old college student who was abducted from a shopping mall parking lot in Grand Forks, N.D. in November 2003 and whose body was found five months later in a ravine near Crookston, Minn.


"In large part, this is a case about junk science and false forensics," said the motion, written by attorney Joseph Marguiles, a Northwestern University law professor who has represented several death row inmates. "The centerpiece of the government's case was the horrific testimony of Michael McGee, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner.”


The Ramsey County Attorney's Office, which relies on McGee to testify at its murder trials, recently initiated a separate review of a Douglas County case in which McGee was found by a judge to have given false or incorrect testimony.


"It should come as no surprise that Dr. McGee testified falsely in this case," the motion filed by Rodriguez's attorneys said. "He has often performed shoddy work and drawn questionable conclusions for the benefit of the prosecution. His reputation is well known and richly deserved ..."

The motion refers to three other murder cases in which McGee's testimony was disputed. They include the Douglas County trial of Michael Hansen for the murder of his infant daughter. In July, Douglas County Judge Peter Irvine found that McGee gave false or incorrect testimony that helped jurors convict Hansen in 2006. Irvine overturned the conviction and the county attorney later dropped all charges against Hansen, who was represented by the Innocence Project of Minnesota in his fight to clear his name.


The motion seeks to have the death penalty sentence set aside and asks for Rodriguez to be granted a new trial based on concerns about the medical examiner's work, ineffective counsel at the original trial, and evidence that Rodriguez is "mentally retarded" and was insane at the time of the murder. The motion does not argue that Rodriguez did not kill Sjodin. Rodriguez, 58, is on death row at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind.


Federal prosecutors could not be immediately reached for comment.


McGee's testimony in the Rodriguez trial in 2006 garnered headlines for its captivating description of Sjodin's final hours. McGee told jurors that Sjodin could have been sexually assaulted up to 36 hours before she died — a finding that helped prosecutors argue that the crime was heinous enough to warrant the death penalty.


As part of his testimony, McGee stood next to a drawing board and used a red marker to draw what he described as the "slash marks" on Sjodin's neck. McGee said the wounds were the most likely cause of death and that evidence suggests Sjodin was left to die face down in the ravine where she was found.


Sjodin's mother, Linda Walker, said only two people know what happened and that she believes the medical examiner's explanation.


"One is dead, my daughter. And one's alive and living a very nice life without having to worry about a house payment, without having to worry about a meal, without having to worry about paying for medical, health or any of that," she said.


"Those are the only two people, and God. So you know this can be debated forever, forever and a day, but in my heart of hearts, I truly, truly believe that Dru was given the best defense by an incredible team of people that pored their heart and soul in to ensure that they found out as much as they could to ensure that Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. would never walk again."


THE TEST IN QUESTION

However, defense attorneys, along with leading state and national forensic experts contacted by MPR News, are challenging McGee's dramatic testimony.


Four forensic pathologists who reviewed the case at the request of the defense found there was no forensic evidence that Sjodin was stabbed. The pathologists, who include retired Hennepin County medical examiner Dr. Garry Peterson, said McGee mistook damage caused by animals and decomposition for stab wounds.


The pathologists found that it's more likely that Sjodin was suffocated to death. They note that Sjodin's body was found with a cord and remnants of a plastic bag stretched around her neck. McGee told jurors it was possible that Sjodin suffocated, but that he believed it was more likely that she died from the stab wounds he found on her neck.


The defense and experts in forensic science and pathology also allege that McGee improperly relied on a laboratory test that was outdated to determine that Sjodin was sexually assaulted. McGee's use of the test in 2004 did not follow any standard forensic practices, they said. 


Separate lab tests performed at the state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension crime lab did not find any DNA, sperm, or semen suggestive of a sexual assault on Sjodin's body.


National experts said they've never heard of a similar use of the test in recent years. The state's crime lab, run by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, does not rely on the test as evidence of sexual assault, nor do any of the other regional medical examiner's offices in the state, MPR News has confirmed.


The Ramsey County Attorney's Office, in the same county in which McGee has served as chief medical examiner for 26 years, also told MPR News in August that the test cannot be used to determine a time frame in which a sexual assault occurred.


The test looks for evidence of an enzyme, called acid phosphatase, produced in high quantities by the male prostate. A similar test is used to detect prostate cancer. Crime labs relied on the acid phosphatase test as evidence in sexual assault cases in the 1970s and 1980s before DNA testing was available. In the past two decades, state and national experts said, DNA testing has largely replaced the test, although it can still be helpful to determine whether a sample might need to be tested for DNA.


"This is an older test that we used to use ... and as far as I know, it's not used in a lot of crime labs anymore," said Jill Spriggs, president of the American Society of Crime Lab Directors. When McGee used the test to bolster his claims at the Rodriguez trial, the test had already been out of favor for more than a decade, Spriggs said.


At the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension crime lab in St. Paul, forensic scientist supervisor Kristine Deters said the lab does not use the test anymore. Instead, they use a more precise test to decide if DNA testing is needed, she said.'


"If we get a positive result, it doesn't say for sure that it's seminal fluid, but it gives us enough information to decide whether to do another test," Deters said.


Pathologists cautioned that the acid phosphatase test is not reliable because the enzyme it detects can also be found in other bodily fluids, including vaginal fluids and fluids produced by a decomposing body.


Dr. George Sensabaugh, a nationally-recognized expert in acid phosphatase who teaches at the University of California-Berkeley, raised concerns about McGee's interpretation of the test at the original Rodriguez trial. Sensabaugh testified for the defense via video.


He told MPR News that he's aware of only one peer-reviewed study of acid phosphatase in dead individuals. McGee, he said, did not consider whether the test results from dead people at a morgue would be significantly different than those from living survivors of sexual assault at an emergency room.


"You're extrapolating from living victims to dead," Sensabaugh said, "And we don't really know enough about what goes on in the vagina after death to know whether that's a legitimate extrapolation.”


McGee used the acid phosphatase test in another murder investigation in Minnesota, MPR News has found. 


The case was the death of Linda Jensen, a woman who was murdered in her Big Lake home in 1992. McGee was assigned to perform the autopsy. He was called to testify when prosecutors filed charges in 2000 against Jensen's neighbor, Kent Jones.


Jones said he had been having an affair with Jensen. During an interview with MPR News at Stillwater prison on Friday, Jones acknowledged that a DNA test showed that he had sex with Jensen some time before her death.


However, he said McGee's testimony confused jurors and made it seem impossible for someone else to have killed Jensen between the time they had sex and the time she died.


McGee told jurors that the acid phosphatase levels were "elevated" and suggested that Jensen died while being sexually assaulted, although he acknowledged he could not determine the exact timing. Jensen's body was found naked with a knife sticking out of her chest.


Jones was convicted, but the court granted him a new trial in 2006 in which he was again found guilty.


Jones has since requested representation by the Innocence Project of Minnesota, the same group that represented Michael Hansen in his successful effort to refute the medical examiner's testimony. Innocence Project attorney Bridget Sabo confirmed that the Innocence Project is investigating Jones' case.


Jones said he's angry at McGee for his handling of the case. He notes that McGee declined to revise his interpretation of the acid phosphatase test when he was presented with scientific articles that refuted it.


"I believe that Dr. McGee absolutely knew he was wrong," Jones said. "If he didn't know at the first trial, which I highly doubt, he obviously knew at the second trial because we made a very detailed record, you know, it's all in the transcripts. So there's no way he could not have known, so yes, I believe he lied through his teeth."


A PEER FINDS FAULT

Criticism has been directed at McGee's work by his fellow medical examiners, in addition to people he helped convict.


Dakota County medical examiner Dr. Lindsey Thomas was involved in the Hansen and Jones cases and disagreed with McGee's findings. McGee made mistakes in those cases, she said, but Thomas said that's not the issue. Most medical examiners make mistakes from time to time, she said.


"I think that's what's really disturbing is when someone has a chance to correct a mistake and they don't, it just, it's very worrisome," Thomas said.


No one oversees McGee's work. He runs a private company that has a nearly $700,000 contract with Ramsey County to provide medical examiner services for Ramsey and Washington counties. His company also has contracts with at least 13 other counties across the state, and McGee works for other counties on a case-by-case basis. McGee's contract with Ramsey County covers his salary and the salaries of his three employees, only one of whom is a board-certified forensic pathologist.


Ramsey County Attorney John Choi recently asked retired Ramsey County prosecutor Jeanne Schleh to review the Hansen case. Choi's spokesman Paul Gustafson said the county attorney has not yet read the motion and will not comment until he has reviewed it.


The Ramsey County manager's office has previously completed a one-day administrative review of the medical examiner's office, in response to an MPR News report in September. That review did not look at individual cases. It found McGee was in compliance with his contract and state law."


The entire story can be read at: 


ramsey-county-medical-examiner-michael-mcgee-rodriguez-sjodin-folo


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AFTERMATH: (Judge says man convicted of killing Dru Sjodin can't use disability as a factor," (Associated Press), published by CBS Minnesota, on January 9, 2023..."A federal judge says defense attorneys cannot use intellectual disability as a factor in the second death penalty debate for a man convicted in the killing of University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin. Judge Ralph Erickson last year ordered a new sentencing phase for Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., after ruling that misleading testimony from the coroner, the failure of lawyers to outline the possibility of an insanity defense, and evidence of severe post-traumatic stress disorder had violated Rodriguez's constitutional rights. That overturned a jury's 2006 vote for the death penalty. Defense attorneys then filed a motion asking Erickson to reconsider intellectual disability as a defense. The judge said in an order last week that it can't be considered as part of Rodriguez's eligibility for capital punishment. "Based on the evidence in the record and even with the expansion of the developmental period to before age 22, the Court finds Rodriguez has not met his burden of establishing he is intellectually disabled and categorically ineligible for the death penalty under controlling precedent and current diagnostic standards," Erickson wrote. Rodriguez, a convicted sex offender from Crookston, Minnesota, kidnapped the 22-year-old Sjodin from a shopping mall in Grand Forks in 2003 and drove her to Minnesota, where he killed her and left her body in a field near Crookston. Sjodin's disappearance sparked days of massive searches, reshaped the way Minnesota handled sex offenders and led to the national sex offender registry being renamed for Sjodin."


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PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue/resource. 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: http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith. Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com. Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog;


SEE BREAKDOWN OF SOME OF THE ON-GOING INTERNATIONAL CASES (OUTSIDE OF THE CONTINENTAL USA) THAT I AM FOLLOWING ON THIS BLOG, AT THE LINK BELOW: HL:

https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/120008354894645705/4704913685758792985

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: "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;

------------------------------------------------------------


Sophia King; David Sosa: Florida: Arrests: When police get the identification wrong! Accountability? (Hint!) Reporter Alex Deluca; Miami New Times.."Early one morning in May 2019, Sophia King received a seemingly random call from a police officer who claimed King was a witness to a crime in Liberty City, and that police had a few questions for her. The 32-year-old Miami resident was confused — she hadn’t frequented Liberty City and frankly didn't know what the officer was talking about, she recalls. But the officer advised that she could face arrest or lose custody of her children if she didn't cooperate, so she agreed to meet him at the Miami Gardens Police Department with her toddler and grandmother in tow. While on her way to the police station later that morning, about a half-dozen Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) officers, as well as child protective services, surrounded her car in a chaotic scene. With loaded guns allegedly in hand, police removed King from her vehicle, handcuffed her, and began transporting her to a local jail. En route to booking, King says, officers suddenly stopped the transport to ask her some basic, ground-level questions to verify who she is: middle initial and birthday. Upon hearing her answers, they promptly pulled over at a Citgo gas station off 27th Avenue and NW 169th Terrace and showered her with apologies, she says."


PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "While it might seem like open-and-shut litigation given the alleged admission of the officers, a recent high-profile Florida case shows that police can avoid liability on civil rights claims over accidental arrests that lead to days-long detainment. The arrestee, David Sosa, was detained for three days by the Martin County Sheriff's Office after deputies mistook him for a suspect of the same name, despite Sosa repeatedly advising them of their error. It was the second time in four years that the sheriff's office had confused him with the other man, according to Sosa.  The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of Sosa's civil rights claims against the sheriff's office, finding that his detention was misguided but did not rise to the level of a constitutional violation, in part because a valid warrant (albeit against a different man) existed."


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STORY: Cuffs first, questions later? Lawsuit claims Miami-Date cops failed to verify ID in mistaken arrest," by Reporter Alex Deluca,   published by Miami New Times, on January 24, 2023.


GIST: "Early one morning in May 2019, Sophia King received a seemingly random call from a police officer who claimed King was a witness to a crime in Liberty City, and that police had a few questions for her. 


The 32-year-old Miami resident was confused — she hadn’t frequented Liberty City and frankly didn't know what the officer was talking about, she recalls. But the officer advised that she could face arrest or lose custody of her children if she didn't cooperate, so she agreed to meet him at the Miami Gardens Police Department with her toddler and grandmother in tow. 


While on her way to the police station later that morning, about a half-dozen Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) officers, as well as child protective services, surrounded her car in a chaotic scene. With loaded guns allegedly in hand, police removed King from her vehicle, handcuffed her, and began transporting her to a local jail. 


En route to booking, King says, officers suddenly stopped the transport to ask her some basic, ground-level questions to verify who she is: middle initial and birthday.


Upon hearing her answers, they promptly pulled over at a Citgo gas station off 27th Avenue and NW 169th Terrace and showered her with apologies, she says. 


In a civil rights lawsuit filed against MDPD in federal court in mid-January (attached below), King claims she was the victim of an easily avoidable case of mistaken identity at the hands of Miami-Dade officers. She says her Fourth Amendment rights were violated when she was wrongfully arrested during the May 17, 2019 incident. 


The lawsuit says King had "no involvement with any illegal activity, nor was she a witness to any alleged illegal conduct." She was allegedly mistaken for a woman with a similar name, who was suspected of hitting somebody on the head and stealing their keys three months prior. 


"The reality is that this was a misidentification," King's attorney, David B. Andrew, tells New Times. "My client had absolutely nothing to do with the subject of any pending investigation, and yet she was arrested." 


MDPD has not responded to New Times' request for comment via email. 


Footage from officers' body cameras depicts King in a state of shock and bewilderment while speaking with Miami-Dade police officer Jean Pinero, according to the complaint. 


"So, you don’t remember an incident that had to do with some keys and your car, or somebody’s car, and then somebody got hit over the head?” Pinero asks. 


“What the hell?" King answers, according to the transcript. "I promise to God I don’t know what you’re talkin’ about."


Officer Pinero then interviewed King's grandmother and described the alleged crime to her, to which she responded "visibly dumbfounded," the lawsuit says. 


“No...That’s not her," she told the officer. 


The lawsuit claims that police, including a Miami-Dade sergeant, acknowledged the error, apologized, and released her back to her own vehicle. As captured on body-cam footage, King began violently shaking and had a panic attack towards the end of the ordeal, requiring treatment from fire rescue at the scene, the lawsuit alleges.


She includes counts for false imprisonment and assault and battery for being "seized, handcuffed, and placed into a patrol vehicle," actions carried out with the intent to cause "a harmful or offensive contact," she claims. She is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. 


King says the mistake could have been prevented if officers had verified basic information in their database before singling her out for arrest. 


"It is reasonable to conclude that the correct information identifying the actual alleged assailant or witness was readily available prior to any law enforcement interaction with Ms. King, facts known arguably even at the time the 6:00 a.m. phone call was placed to Ms. King, whereby she was pressured to come to the station," the lawsuit alleges.


While it might seem like open-and-shut litigation given the alleged admission of the officers, a recent high-profile Florida case shows that police can avoid liability on civil rights claims over accidental arrests that lead to days-long detainment.


The arrestee, David Sosa, was detained for three days by the Martin County Sheriff's Office after deputies mistook him for a suspect of the same name, despite Sosa repeatedly advising them of their error. It was the second time in four years that the sheriff's office had confused him with the other man, according to Sosa. 


The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of Sosa's civil rights claims against the sheriff's office, finding that his detention was misguided but did not rise to the level of a constitutional violation, in part because a valid warrant (albeit against a different man) existed."


The entire story can be read at: 


lawsuit-miami-dade-police-failed-to-verify-id-before-mistaken-arrest-16192159


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Read the very curious decision in The Sosa case at:


https://media.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/files/202012781.enb.pdf


A taste: Justice Newsom - Agreeing with  majority: Case citations removed: 


"On April 20, 2018, David Sosa must have felt like he had been dropped into a Kafka novel, for “without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested.” Franz Kafka, The Trial 3 (Breon Mitchell, trans., 1998). Worse than that, following a routine traffic stop, Sosa was arrested and detained by his hometown sheriff’s deputies for the second time on the same decades-old drug- dealing warrant issued for another David Sosa—one who lived hundreds of miles away in a different state, was a different age, height, and weight, and had conspicuously different tattoo markings. Just as he had the first go round, our Sosa naturally (and repeatedly) told the arresting officers that they had the wrong guy— but to no avail. The deputies detained Sosa for three days over a weekend before they eventually got around to fingerprinting him, recognized their mistake, and released him. What happened to Sosa was, in a word, awful. Without prejudging the issue, I’d be willing to assume that the officers’ con- duct—jailing Sosa for three full days on a warrant issued for some- one else, despite his repeated pleas of innocence and without bothering to do much of anything to verify his identity—might even have been tortious. The question before the Court today, though, is whether their conduct violated the United States Constitution— in particular, whether it infringed Sosa’s so-called “substantive due process” rights. The majority quite correctly concludes that it didn’t. As its opinion straightforwardly explains, the Supreme Court’s decision in Baker v. McCollan, which rejected a due-process challenge to a materially identical “overdetention,” is essentially on point, and our later decision in Cannon v. Macon County,  which recognized a substantive-due-process claim based on a detention more than twice as long as Sosa’s, is eminently distinguishable.  It really is as simple as that.I therefore concur in the Court’s decision and join its opinion in full."

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PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue/resource. 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: http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith. Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com. Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog;


SEE BREAKDOWN OF SOME OF THE ON-GOING INTERNATIONAL CASES (OUTSIDE OF THE CONTINENTAL USA) THAT I AM FOLLOWING ON THIS BLOG, AT THE LINK BELOW: HL:

https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/120008354894645705/4704913685758792985

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: "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;

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Saturday, February 4, 2023

Ernest Jaythan Kendrick: New York: Tainted eyewitness identification becomes the subject of a $100 million law suit, The New York Post (Reporter Rebecca Rosenberg) reports..."Racial profiling and unduly suggestive identification procedures and a lack of police accountability have all contributed to the scores of wrongful convictions in this country,” Freidman lamented in court. “It is shocking to see how easy it is to obtain a conviction and to send someone to prison for the rest of their lives.” WilmerHale attorney Ross Firsenbaum, who helped the Innocence Project with Kendrick’s wrongful conviction case for free, blasted the prior Queens DA, Richard Brown, for refusing to consider the new evidence and insisting on Kendrick’s guilt. Brown passed away last year. “Too many police and prosecutors remain focused on securing and maintaining convictions at all costs,” he said, lauding Katz’s office for taking a different approach."


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: This Blog is interested in  false eye-witness identification issues because  wrongful identifications are at the heart of so many DNA-related exonerations in the USA and elsewhere - and because so much scientific research is being conducted with a goal to making the identification process more   transparent and reliable- and less subject to deliberate manipulation.  I have also reported far too many cases over the years - mainly cases lacking DNA evidence (or other forensic evidence pointing to the suspect - where the identification is erroneous - in spite of witness’s certainty that it is true - or where  the police pressure the witness, or rig the identification process in order to make a desired  identification inevitable. 
Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog.
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PART ONE : The False  witness Identification: (Army vet's murder conviction overturned after serving 25 years in prison,  by Reporter Rebecca Rosenberg, published by The New York Post, on November 19, 2020.) 

PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "The conviction was based primarily on the eyewitness testimony of a 10-year-old boy. The child witnessed the slaying from the third-floor window of his apartment more than 100 feet away, according to Susan Freidman of the Innocence Project, who represents Kendrick. The boy offered a vague description of the assailant as a “black man in his 30s wearing a black jacket,” Freidman told the court. Hours later, Kendrick was detained after police spotted him walking in his Long Island City neighborhood because he loosely fit the suspect’s description. He fully cooperated with police, allowing them to search his apartment, which he shared with a woman, where they found a black purse on top of a television. The youngster initially identified another man in a lineup before changing his selection to Kendrick, officials said."

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PASSAGE TWO OF THE DAY: "Police later obtained a statement from a second witness who said he saw Kendrick fleeing the scene with a black purse under his arm. The second witness had two serious pending criminal cases and every incentive to provide testimony the police were seeking to nail Kendrick, Freidman said. After Katz took office, she founded the Conviction Integrity Unit, which investigated Kendrick’s case. Using technology that didn’t exist at the time of the crime, the purse was tested for the victim’s DNA and none was found. Four new witnesses came forward who contradicted the second witness’ statement implicating Kendrick, Katz told the court on Thursday. The young boy, who is now an adult, has since recanted, admitting that he wasn’t able to see the perpetrator clearly enough to identify him."

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GIST: "A Queens judge Thursday overturned the murder conviction of an Army veteran and USPS mailman who spent 25 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit.

”I’m very, very happy today because I never thought this would happen — although I hoped and wished it would,” Ernest “Jaythan” Kendrick, 62, told the court in a soft-spoken voice shortly before he stepped out of Queens Supreme Court as a free man.

“No one really understands what it is to be in prison when you’re innocent. You know you’re innocent and you’re behind that wall. Civilization is not there.”

Justice Joseph Zayas apologized to Kendrick.

“We failed you,” he said, before granting the motion to overturn the verdict submitted jointly by Queens DA Melinda Katz, who was present for the proceeding.

“I hereby vacate your conviction and dismiss the indictment,” said the jurist, prompting subdued applause from the gallery.

A jury found Kendrick guilty of fatally stabbing a 70-year-old woman in the back and snatching her purse on the grounds of the Ravenswood Houses in 1994. The conviction was based primarily on the eyewitness testimony of a 10-year-old boy.

The child witnessed the slaying from the third-floor window of his apartment more than 100 feet away, according to Susan Freidman of the Innocence Project, who represents Kendrick.

The boy offered a vague description of the assailant as a “black man in his 30s wearing a black jacket,” Freidman told the court.



Hours later, Kendrick was detained after police spotted him walking in his Long Island City neighborhood because he loosely fit the suspect’s description. He fully cooperated with police, allowing them to search his apartment, which he shared with a woman, where they found a black purse on top of a television.

The youngster initially identified another man in a lineup before changing his selection to Kendrick, officials said.

Police later obtained a statement from a second witness who said he saw Kendrick fleeing the scene with a black purse under his arm. The second witness had two serious pending criminal cases and every incentive to provide testimony the police were seeking to nail Kendrick, Freidman said.

After Katz took office, she founded the Conviction Integrity Unit, which investigated Kendrick’s case.

Using technology that didn’t exist at the time of the crime, the purse was tested for the victim’s DNA and none was found. Four new witnesses came forward who contradicted the second witness’ statement implicating Kendrick, Katz told the court on Thursday.

The young boy, who is now an adult, has since recanted, admitting that he wasn’t able to see the perpetrator clearly enough to identify him.

“Racial profiling and unduly suggestive identification procedures and a lack of police accountability have all contributed to the scores of wrongful convictions in this country,” Freidman lamented in court. “It is shocking to see how easy it is to obtain a conviction and to send someone to prison for the rest of their lives.”

WilmerHale attorney Ross Firsenbaum, who helped the Innocence Project with Kendrick’s wrongful conviction case for free, blasted the prior Queens DA, Richard Brown, for refusing to consider the new evidence and insisting on Kendrick’s guilt. Brown passed away last year.

“Too many police and prosecutors remain focused on securing and maintaining convictions at all costs,” he said, lauding Katz’s office for taking a different approach.

Kendrick said he was ecstatic to be a free man again. “It really feels incredible,” he said. His immediate priority is a good meal. “Shrimp, flounder, lobster, crab, any of that,” he said of tonight’s menu. In the longterm, he plans to travel and learn the latest technology. “When I went into prison, it was beepers and pagers,” he recalled.

He had one note of caution for others who find themselves in a similar position. “I would tell them to ask for a lawyer, don’t say one word,” he said. “I trusted them, I trusted the police, I trusted they’d do the right thing and see that I was innocent. That was my mistake.”

https://nypost.com/2020/11/19/army-vets-murder-conviction-overturned-after-25-year-incarceration/

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PART TWO: PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "Ernest “Jaythan” Kendrick was found guilty in 1994 of fatally stabbing Josephine Sanchez, 70, in Astoria’s Ravenswood Houses — but the conviction was based largely on planted evidence, false police reports and the eyewitness testimony of a child who saw the crime from 100 feet away, according to the Brooklyn Federal Court lawsuit. Kendrick, then 36, was found standing on a nearby street corner hours after the crime. He had no criminal record. He was interrogated for 11 hours and eventually charged — even though he didn’t fit the description of the killer. The killer was described as being 25 to 30 years old and over 6 feet tall wearing sneakers. Kendrick stood only 5-foot-7 and wore shoes. His case was taken up in 2017 by The Innocence Project, a nonprofit that works to exonerate the wrongfully accused, after a dedicated cousin, Clarence Hughes, spent five years writing letters begging anyone to look into Kendrick’s case. The conviction, which carried a sentence of 25 years to life, was overturned in November 2020 after a review by the Queens District Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit."

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PART TWO: The lawsuit: "Family of Ernest 'Jaythan' Kendricks, man wrongfully convicted of murder," by Reporter Kathianne Boniello, published by The New York Post, on January 28, 2023.

GIST: The family of a Queens man who spent 26 years behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit — only to die 14 months after winning his freedom — is suing the city for $100 million.

Ernest “Jaythan” Kendrick was found guilty in 1994 of fatally stabbing Josephine Sanchez, 70, in Astoria’s Ravenswood Houses — but the conviction was based largely on planted evidence, false police reports and the eyewitness testimony of a child who saw the crime from 100 feet away, according to the Brooklyn Federal Court lawsuit.

Kendrick, then 36, was found standing on a nearby street corner hours after the crime. He had no criminal record. He was interrogated for 11 hours and eventually charged — even though he didn’t fit the description of the killer. The killer was described as being 25 to 30 years old and over 6 feet tall wearing sneakers. Kendrick stood only 5-foot-7 and wore shoes.

His case was taken up in 2017 by The Innocence Project, a nonprofit that works to exonerate the wrongfully accused, after a dedicated cousin, Clarence Hughes, spent five years writing letters begging anyone to look into Kendrick’s case.

The conviction, which carried a sentence of 25 years to life, was overturned in November 2020 after a review by the Queens District Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit. 

The real killer was never caught, Hughes said.

“That’s one of the things Jaythan and I were upset about. Nobody ever went to find out who actually did the crime,” he said. 

“He went through a lot of torment,” said Hughes, 52, who recalled how the older man wept at the sight of him during their first visit in prison in 2011.

“Nobody had gone to see him for over five years,” said Hughes. “When I first talked to him I couldn’t understand what he was saying, he was in tears. He was just broken. He didn’t have any hope.”


By the time Kendrick, 63, was released, his parents, grandmother and sister had died. He had no relationship with his only daughter, Hughes said.


“My grandmother, his mama, we just felt like he was railroaded,” Hughes told The Post. “I can’t tell you how many hours I sat in the garage going through his files, looking at the crime scene photos thinking about the trajectory … thinking about [how the killer] wore sneakers; I had never known Jaythan to wear sneakers.”


The months after Kendrick’s release were like “a Vietnam vet coming home,” said Hughes, who noted his cousin’s health struggles after years of prison assaults, which he believes contributed to Kendrick’s death. “He didn’t want to go out of the house, he didn’t want to go out of the room. He was having nightmares.”


The two had always been close: US Marine Corps veteran Hughes lived with Kendrick in Queens for two years, after his 1989 discharge.


“That’s when I helped Jaythan move from The Bronx to Ravenswood, and he helped me start my VA [Veterans Affairs] claim. … He’s the one that showed me how to drive,” Hughes remembered.


Upon his release, Kendrick moved into Hughes’ Atlanta home, where the vindicated man begged his cousin to continue his legal fight.


“He drilled into my head, ‘I want this seen through,'” Hughes said.


The lawsuit accuses the city, the New York Housing Authority, and investigators and prosecutors on the case of negligence.


Housing Police detectives took part in the original investigation, according to the court papers. NYCHA declined comment on the litigation.


“He would cry and be like, ‘They could give me all the money in the bank in New York, and it wouldn’t do anything to take this [pain] away from me,’ ” Hughes said.


Even when Kendrick had a chance at freedom by admitting to the parole board he’d taken part in the murder, he never did, said attorney Thomas Hoffman, who worked on Kendrick’s case.

“He stood up for the truth and did not and would not say he did something that he did not do,” Hoffman said. “And when he stood up for the truth he stood up for everyone.”"

The entire story can be read at:

 https://nypost.com/2023/01/28/family-of-jaythan-kendrick-sues-for-100-million-after-wrongful-conviction/

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue/resource. 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: http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith. Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com. Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog;


SEE BREAKDOWN OF SOME OF THE ON-GOING INTERNATIONAL CASES (OUTSIDE OF THE CONTINENTAL USA) THAT I AM FOLLOWING ON THIS BLOG, AT THE LINK BELOW: HL:

https://www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/120008354894645705/4704913685758792985

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: "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;

------------------------------------------------------------