Friday, July 31, 2015

Reid Technique of taking confessions under increasing attack in the courts; Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) taking "new approach." Incisive National Post story: "Less Kojak and more Dr. Phil': How the law is forcing police interrogations to get kinder and gentler." (Must Read. HL);


STORY:"Less Kojak and more Dr. Phil': How the law is forcing police interrogations to get kinder and gentler," by reporter Douglas Quan, published by the National Post on July 29, 2015.

GIST: "Canada’s national police force is taking a gentler, less accusatory approach to suspect interrogations amid growing criticism that certain interview tactics used widely by law enforcement agencies can lead to false confessions. Under the RCMP’s new approach, quietly adopted in December, investigators are encouraged to keep an open mind, resist presuming guilt, and focus more on gathering information than on getting a confession, Sgt. Darren Carr, who led the development of the new interview model, told the National Post. “When I’m training people, I always say, ‘Less Kojak and more Dr. Phil,’” he said, comparing the gruff 1970s fictional TV detective to the more easygoing style of the popular TV host/psychologist. Like most North American police agencies, the RCMP’s traditional interviewing methods were heavily shaped by the Reid Technique. Pioneered in the U.S. in the 1950s, and named after Chicago polygraph expert John E. Reid, the technique consists of two parts. The first component is a non-accusatory interview that involves asking “behaviour-provoking” questions and assessing a suspect’s body language to determine if that person is lying. If investigators believe the suspect is lying, they move on to the interrogation, which is more accusatory. Investigators will tell the suspect that the investigation clearly establishes his or her role in the crime. They might offer a moral justification for the crime, telling a robbery suspect, “I think you acted out of desperation because of your financial situation.” Investigators might also present two choices for what happened — both incriminating. “Have you done this many times before or was this just the first time?” they might ask.
If the suspect continues to deny involvement, investigators are trained to swat away the denials and re-state their confidence in the suspect’s guilt. These tactics have come under increasing fire in academic papers and in court decisions for being overly coercive..........Joseph Buckley, president of John E. Reid and Associates, said in an email that the core of his company’s training is to “treat the subject with dignity and respect, and during the interrogation phase maintain a sympathetic and understanding approach.” Buckley said his company teaches police about false confessions and how to prevent them. He has previously said it is not the technique that causes false confessions but detectives who apply the technique improperly. But Tim Moore, a psychology professor at York University, maintains the Reid Technique is psychologically manipulative and its principles were “never based on research.” While he is encouraged police are moving away from use of the technique, it doesn’t mean detectives will stop using it, he said. “Thousands have been trained in it, and will probably continue to use it.”"

The entire story can be found at:

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/less-kojak-and-more-dr-phil-how-the-law-is-forcing-police-investigations-to-get-kinder-and-gentler

PUBLISHER'S NOTE:
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:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:
 
http://smithforensic.blogspot.ca/2013/12/the-charles-smith-award-presented-to_28.html
 
I look forward to hearing from readers at:

hlevy15@gmail.com.
 
Harold Levy; Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bulletin: Jeffrey Havard: Mississippi; Another report on his request from death row for a new trial; "Death row inmate Jeffrey Havard is arguing in a motion for a new trial that evidence of Shaken Baby Syndrome used to convict him of capital murder is now distrusted by the scientific and medical communities."..." In the years since, medical belief that these symptoms provided iron-clad proof of homicide has begun to crumble with several studies raising doubts. In 2009, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended the syndrome diagnosis be replaced with "abusive head trauma." Havard argued to the Supreme Court that he didn't know anything about such arguments or he would have had his attorney investigate. State prosecutors said the information was readily available if Havard had only looked. Kentucky.com.

"Death row inmate Jeffrey Havard is arguing in a motion for a new trial that evidence of Shaken Baby Syndrome used to convict him of capital murder is now distrusted by the scientific and medical communities. Havard filed the motion in Alcorn County Circuit Court in June. Prosecutors have until Aug. 31 to respond. In April, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled Havard could seek a new trial on the issue of Shaken Baby Syndrome. An Adams County judge will determine if Havard's argument has any validity.........For decades, Shaken Baby Syndrome was widely accepted, diagnosed through a triad of symptoms: subdural bleeding (blood collecting between the brain and the skull), retinal bleeding (bleeding in the back of the eye) and brain swelling. In the years since, medical belief that these symptoms provided iron-clad proof of homicide has begun to crumble with several studies raising doubts. In 2009, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended the syndrome diagnosis be replaced with "abusive head trauma." Havard argued to the Supreme Court that he didn't know anything about such arguments or he would have had his attorney investigate.
State prosecutors said the information was readily available if Havard had only looked."



Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2015/07/30/3966922_death-row-inmate-asks-for-new.html?rh=1#storylink=cpyhttp://www.kentucky.com/2015/07/30/3966922/death-row-inmate-asks-for-new.html

Bulletin: Aisling Brady McCarthy; (Dubbed the 'Irish Nanny' case): Medical examiner asks for more time to review findings in death of 1-year-old: "The move (for the examination) came amid growing doubts about the underlying science in abusive head trauma diagnoses, and followed a revised ruling last summer in the death of a 6-month-old boy in Malden. In that case, the medical examiner’s office initially ruled that the infant died from shaking injuries to the head, but after receiving more information about the family’s medical history ruled the manner of death could not be determined. A number of outside medical specialists concluded that the infant had died of natural causes. In light of the change, Middlesex prosecutors dropped murder charges against the child’s father." Boston Globe;

"In a brief hearing Thursday, a lawyer for the state medical examiner’s office said it had not completed its review of the medical evidence in the 2013 death of a Cambridge infant, and wanted the chief medical examiner to review the case as well. “There’s been no final conclusion,’’ Jacqueline Faherty, general counsel for the state agency, said in Middlesex Superior Court. She estimated the review would be completed in two to four weeks. The review began in April, but Faherty said the medical examiner’s office did not receive all the evidence until June. The office requested a few additional items Wednesday, which were not specified. Rehma Sabir’s nanny, Aisling Brady McCarthy, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of the 1-year-old girl based in part on the pathologist’s conclusion that the child died from traumatic head injuries. Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan’s office has alleged McCarthy caused those injuries while she was caring for the child in the family’s Cambridge home. But defense attorneys have cited a range of specialists who question the pathologist’s conclusions.........The move came amid growing doubts about the underlying science in abusive head trauma diagnoses, and followed a revised ruling last summer in the death of a 6-month-old boy in Malden. In that case, the medical examiner’s office initially ruled that the infant died from shaking injuries to the head, but after receiving more information about the family’s medical history ruled the manner of death could not be determined. A number of outside medical specialists concluded that the infant had died of natural causes. In light of the change, Middlesex prosecutors dropped murder charges against the child’s father. Under the law, the medical examiner must identify the cause of death as a homicide in order for a murder prosecution to take place. Prosecutors allege that Sabir was in McCarthy’s sole care when she suffered massive brain injuries, which included extensive bleeding in her brain and the back of her eyes. Specialists said she was subjected to violent force and that the injuries not have been inflicted before that day. But McCarthy’s lawyers have maintained her innocence, citing medical opinions that the child sustained bone and compression fractures several weeks before her death, when she was traveling abroad with her family without McCarthy. The next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 28. The trial is slated to begin in October and last about six weeks."
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/07/30/medical-examiner-office-needs-more-time-review-findings-death-year-old/vx8EnlWDvIMVFPuH82BwZN/story.html

Bulletin: Aisling Brady McCarthy; Massachusett's; (Dubbed the 'Irish Nanny' case); Lawyer for Medical examiner’s office due in court today to explain delay in re-review of medical evidence; (The legitimacy of shaken baby syndrome plays a central role in the case. HL); Northern Sound;

"The attorney for the Medical examiner’s office in the Aisling Brady McCarthy case is due in court in Massachussets today to explain the delay in the re-review of medical evidence.  Judge Maureen Hogan ordered the State’s Medical Examiner to appear before her court to explain about the delayed review of the medical evidence at the last hearing earlier this month. 36-year-old Aisling Brady McCarthy from Lavey in Cavan is accused of murdering a baby in her care in January 2013. She denies the charge."
 http://www.northernsound.ie/news/aisling-brady-mccarthy-case-attorney-for-medical-examiners-office-due-in-court-today-to-explain-delay-in-re-review-of-medical-evidence/

Bulletin: Jeffery Havard: Mississippi; Death Row inmate has officially asked for a new trial, on basis that, "Newly discovered evidence of advances in scientific and medical fields since Havard’s trial demonstrates that the testimony presented at the trial concerning Shaken Baby Syndrome is ill-founded and no longer supported by scientific and medical communities. The Natchez Democrat;

"The Adams County man on death row for the 2002 death of a 6-month-old baby has officially asked the court for a new trial………In the filing with the Adam’s County Circuit Court, Havard contends,  “Newly discovered evidence of advances in scientific and medical fields since Havard’s trial demonstrates that the testimony presented at the trial concerning Shaken Baby Syndrome is ill-founded and no longer supported  by scientific and medical communities…At Havard’s trial, pathologist Steven Hayne – who performed Britt’s autopsy – testified that the baby’s injuries were consistent with Shaken Baby Syndrome. In a 2013 affidavit, however, Hayne said the recent advances in medicine demonstrate “that shaking alone could not produce enough force to produce the injuries that caused the death of Chloe Britt. The current state of the art would classify those injuries as shaken baby syndrome with impact or blunt force trauma.” A second pathologist who has reviewed the case, Dr. Michael Baden, has also concluded that Britt’s death were (sic)  consistent consistent with “a short accidental fall.” Baden’s review also noted Britt did not have other injuries  - such as to the neck, chest, spine and ribs – that are often associated with abusive shaking.”
http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/2015/07/30/havard-asks-for-new-trial/

Bulletin: David Gavitt: Michigan; No compensation for victim of discredited arson 'science' - who spent 27 years in prison before being exonerated; No compensation for any victim of junk science in Michigan - or any other wrongly convicted person in Michigan. "Michigan is one of 20 states that offer no help or compensation to wrongfully convicted people — not even a night in a motel." (This rank injustice must surely be rectified by the legislature. HL); Lansing City Pulse;

Michigan is one of 20 states that offer no help or compensation to wrongfully convicted people — not even a night in a motel. In Michigan, 55 people have been wrongfully convicted and exonerated since the mid-1980s, and about 1,600 nationwide, according to the University of Michigan Innocence Clinic. In 1985, David Gavitt´s house in Ionia caught fire. His wife and two children died and he was seriously injured. Gavitt was convicted of arson and murder, even though the house was not insured, and prosecutors did not find a motive. In 2012, the case was re-opened by the University of Michigan Innocence Clinic, the only clinic in the state that handles non-DNA cases. Modern fire investigators, working with the Ionia County Prosecutor´s Office, found that the signs of arson used to convict Gavitt in 1985 have been discredited since then. A new investigation found no evidence of gasoline or accelerant. Gavitt was released June 26, 2012, after serving 27 years in prison for a crime he didn´t commit.........On May 7, Gavitt, Davis and four other wrongfully convicted people gathered at the State Capitol for a hearing on the compensation bill. One of the six was Julie Baumer, convicted of first-degree child abuse and thrown into prison for more than four years until her conviction was overturned in 2009. Scans of the baby´s brain revealed that a stroke, not shaking, was the cause of death.........The latest success for Cooley´s Innocence Project is a classic tug of war between DNA testing and junk science. On May 22, after hundreds of hours of work by the Cooley Innocence Project team, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the Court of Appeals must consider a request by a man convicted in 1989 of murder, Gilbert Lee Poole Jr., for DNA testing in the Oakland County Circuit Court. Poole has been in prison 26 years. The Court of Appeals or dered the DNA testing July 6. A controversial Michigan forensic dentist, Allan Warnick, testified that Poole´s bite marks were on the victim.
"[Warnick] has been associated with three or four cases in Michigan where he´s been 100 percent someone´s teeth marks are on a victim´s body," Mitchell-Chicon said. "There´s no scientific support for that whatsoever, and yet Gilbert Poole is still in prison because that was used against him." But the evidence in the Poole case is not in the best condition. The case hangs, literally, on a thread. "The blood on the bloody stones and grass was lifted with a piece of thread and blood typed," Mitchell-Cichon said. Blood typing uses up a lot of evidence. "Hopefully we have the threads and hopefully we have some visible blood on there." Cooley´s Innocence Project team didn´t take much time to celebrate the recent progress in the Poole case. DNA testing "gets better as we speak," Mitchell-Cichon said, but it´s not a magic bullet. "I´d love to be put out of business," she said."

http://www.lansingcitypulse.com/lansing/article-11636-raw-deal.html

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bulletin: Kelli Jacobsen; Washington State. Nanny convicted of manslaughter - but acquitted of the more serious charge of first-degree manslaughter in the 2011 death of Ryder Morrison. It was her second trial on the charges after her first ended in a hung jury two years ago. (Sentencing hearing set for September 4. HL);Tri-City Herald.

"Richland nanny Kelli Jacobsen was found guilty Wednesday of second-degree manslaughter. The jury of eight men and four women acquitted her of the more serious charge of first-degree manslaughter in the 2011 death of Ryder Morrison. It was her second trial on the charges after her first ended in a hung jury two years ago.........Doctors have said Ryder’s death on June 22, 2011, happened minutes or possibly up to 24 hours before he was rushed to the hospital. His mother, Tawney Johnson, stopped home during her half-hour lunch break but was back at work when she got the call her son was going to Kadlec. He died on the operating table a day after his first birthday. Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller had argued to jurors that Jacobsen gave different stories after Ryder was injured. She has claimed he fell a short distance while playing on a toy. Her attorney Shane Silverthorn told the jury said she was in shock and panicked, so her stories may have sounded slightly different. And he suggested that someone else who had access to Ryder in the hours before he died abused the boy."
 http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2015/07/29/3671965/richland-nanny-found-guilty-of.html