Saturday, April 25, 2015

Wiley Bridgeman; Kwame Ajamu; Brothers spent decades in prison for crime they did not commit get initial payment of $1.6 million. (There was utterly no evidence against them. The police used one of the oldest tricks in the book: They laid the charge on the basis of a 12-year-old boy's statement that he witnessed the commission of the crime: Eddie Vernon now says that, "once he told authorities the names of the three and the fact that he saw the slaying, Cleveland police fed him information about the crime." (So that's how it's done - one of way too many ways - and that's a casebook example of how innocent people are condemned to living hell, and lose decades of their lives. HL);


STORY: "Correcting a horrible wrong: Brothers who spent decades in prison for crime they didn't commit get initial payment of $1.6 million," by reporter John Kuntz, published by the Plain Dealer on April 6, 2015.

 GIST: "A judge ruled Friday that two brothers wrongly convicted for a 1975 slaying they didn't commit will receive $1.6 million in an initial payment for the decades they spent in Ohio prisons. Judge Patrick McGrath of the Ohio Court of Claims said Wiley Bridgeman, 60, will get a check for $969,093, while his brother, Kwame Ajamu, 57, will be given $647,578. Ajamu had changed his name from Ronnie Bridgeman.........McGrath directed the money to be sent to the men's attorneys to establish an annuity account to pay for the damages caused by the wrongful imprisonment. Bridgeman and Jackson were released in November. They had served 39 years in prison. Their release came just days after the key witness in the slaying admitted on the witness stand that he lied during his testimony in order to help police. Ajamu was released in 2003, after serving 27 years in prison. Eddie Vernon, the witness who, as a 12-year-old boy, told police a lie about something he did not see, testified at a hearing before then-Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Richard McMonagle. Soon after hearing Vernon's emotional testimony, prosecutors agreed to drop their case. In 1975, authorities built their case against Jackson, Bridgeman and Ajamu on Vernon, who said he simply wanted to help police. He said a friend gave him the three men's names, and Vernon told police he saw the slaying. In fact, he now says, he wasn't close, as the school bus he rode was not near the crime scene, the Fairmont Cut-Rite on Fairhill Road, which is now Stokes Boulevard. Authorities said two men attacked Harold Franks as he walked to the store. They beat him, threw acid in his face and one of the men shot him twice. The shooter also fired a round that hit Anna Robinson, the wife of the store's owner. The men stole Franks' briefcase and fled to a waiting car. Authorities accused Jackson of shooting Franks. There was no evidence linking the three men to the crime. Vernon said that once he told authorities the names of the three and the fact that he saw the slaying, Cleveland police fed him information about the crime."

The entire story can be found out: 

http://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/index.ssf/2015/04/correcting_a_horrible_wrong_br.html

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;

Friday, April 24, 2015

Motherisk: Toronto Star reports that the pregnancy drug maker Duchesnay is financially linked to the Hospital for Sick Children's Motherisk program and to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada - "both of which have played significant roles in shaping the drug’s reputation." The Star also reveals that Motherisk founder and director Dr. Gideon Koren, is "planning to retire."

 

HEADING:  "Pregnancy drug maker Duchesnay financially linked to Motherisk, obstetrician group," by reporter Rachel Mendleson,  David Bruiser and Jesse McLean, published by the Toronto Star on April 24, 2015. "

SUB-HEADING: "Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Sick Kids and Duchesnay all refuse to detail the amounts given by the drug company and what the money was specifically used for."

PHOTO CAPTION:  "Koren is a paid consultant to Duchesnay, according to his biography on the hospital’s website, and is described as a paid speaker for the company in a disclosure on a journal article he co-authored last year."

GIST: Money is the tie that binds the maker of a popular morning sickness pill to some of the medical organizations whose endorsements have helped make it the go-to choice for pregnant women and their doctors. The Star’s probe of Toronto doctor Nav Persaud’s frustrated request for information about the drug Diclectin reveals that its maker, Duchesnay, has a financial relationship with Sick Kids’ Motherisk program and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada — both of which have played significant roles in shaping the drug’s reputation. Duchesnay has provided funding for Motherisk and its founder, Dr. Gideon Koren, “for a variety of purposes, including research,” the Hospital for Sick Children confirmed. Koren is a paid consultant to Duchesnay, according to his biography on the hospital’s website, and is described as a paid speaker for the company in a disclosure on a journal article he co-authored last year.........Arthur Schafer, director of the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics at the University of Manitoba, said medical organizations that study the effectiveness of a certain drug or provide advice on its use should not accept funding from the manufacturer because it could create a conflict of interest.........Sick Kids, which called the lack of disclosure of Duchesnay’s ongoing financial support to Motherisk “regrettable,” has temporarily removed the booklet and added a disclosure statement to its website. The hospital also reassigned medical oversight of the Motherisk program, including its counselling lines, to Dr. Shinya Ito, and began investigating the drug company’s ties to Koren. This week the hospital said Koren, who declined multiple requests for comment, is planning to retire."

The entire story can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/04/24/pregnancy-drug-maker-duchesnay-financially-linked-to-motherisk-obstetrician-group.html

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

George Perrot: (Massachusetts); FBI overstated hair match crisis (10): (The Emperor's Clothes); Wrongful Convictions Blog highights his case as an example of the harmful impact of flawed FBI hair testimony. A sign of what's ahead for the potentially thousands of FBI tainted cases: "Massachusetts prosecutors are still defending his conviction. They say Perrot did not file his claim in a timely manner and that there is other evidence of his guilt — a common refrain that many others convicted on the FBI’s hair-comparison testimony are sure to hear in the coming months and years as their cases make it into court." (Must Read. HL);


POST: "Case highlights harmful impact of flawed FBI hair testimony," by Martin Yant, published by the Wrongful Convictions Blog, on April 23, 2015.

GIST: "The Guardian has effectively put a human face here on the tragedy of the FBI’s admission this week that its agents presented flawed testimony in almost every trial in which they testified against criminal defendants for more than two decades before 2000. The face is that of George Perrot, whose case was previously covered on the Wrongful Convictions Blog here and in which, it should be noted, this writer has played a small role. Perrot was convicted as a teenager on rape charges in 1985 greatly on the testimony of FBI agent Wayne Oakes that a hair found on the victim’s bed was similar to a known sample of Perrot’s hair. It didn’t matter to the jury that the elderly victim said that the rape didn’t occur on the bed or that the long-haired, bearded Perrot didn’t resemble the short-haired, clean-shaven man who raped her. Oakes’ testimony was enough, an appeals court later ruled, to put Perrot behind bars, where he has languished for 30 years.........Massachusetts prosecutors are still defending his conviction. They say Perrot did not file his claim in a timely manner and that there is other evidence of his guilt — a common refrain that many others convicted on the FBI’s hair-comparison testimony are sure to hear in the coming months and years as their cases make it into court."

The entire post can be found at:

http://wrongfulconvictionsblog.org/2015/04/23/case-highlights-harmful-impact-of-flawed-fbi-hair-testim

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

Bulletin: Elizabeth Ramirez, Anna Vasquez, Kristie Mayhugh and Cassandra Rivera (The San Antonio Four); Exoneration hearing ends; Judge to make recommendation to Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. It will be up to the appeals court to decide whether the women will be exonerated. KSAT;

Cassandra Rivera was the final witness in a hearing in which four woman who have become known at the San Antonio Four are seeking to have their names cleared in a 1994 sexual abuse of a child case. All four women -- Elizabeth Ramirez, Anna Vasquez, Kristie Mayhugh and Rivera -- served time in prison following their convictions in separate trials in 1997 and 1998.........One of the girls has since recanted her testimony, opening the door to this week’s hearing on a motion to have the women’s convictions set aside and their names cleared. Senior Judge Pat Priest, who presided over the hearing, will submit a recommendation to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.  It will be up to the appeals court to decide whether the women will be exonerated.

http://www.ksat.com/content/pns/ksat/news/2015/04/23/exoneration-hearing-for--san-antonio-four--ends.html

Bulletin: Letitia Smallwood; Pennsylvania; Bail hearing today for woman convicted in deadly ’72 fire; "Her attorneys argued last month that new scientific methods are raising questions about the initial investigation; and a judge agreed." ABC 27;


A bail hearing is set for Friday for a Cumberland County woman who has spent the past four decades behind bars in connection to a deadly fire. Prosecutors said 62-year-old Letitia Smallwood of Carlisle set fire to a building on North Pitt Street in 1972, after a jealous fight over a man.  Two people died. Smallwood has been in prison for 42 years.  Her attorneys argued last month that new scientific methods are raising questions about the initial investigation; and a judge agreed.  No date has been set for a new trial. The district attorney plans to appeal the ruling.
http://abc27.com/2015/04/24/bail-hearing-friday-for-woman-convicted-in-deadly-72-fire/

Massachusett's breath test scandal: (Here we go again? HL); Authorities warn of another "Dookhan" (Massachusetts drug lab crisis) experience as a result of tainted breath test evidence which was introduced into courtrooms. State Bar Association demands moratorium on these tests - and an independent investigation; Local lawyer called the development "further evidence that breath analyzers are “a fraud and a hoax upon the motoring public.” Johnson says, "“The judges in Massachusetts have seen case after case after case of Breathalyzer evidence which has been disproved by experts. They’ve been on notice for years,” Johnson said. “The cases which used the suspect Breath­alyzers must be brought forward for either dismissal or a new trial." The Boston Herald:


STORY: "Breath test brouhaha: OUI (operating under influence HL) cases could face challenge," by reporters O'Ryan Johnson and Jack Encarnacao, published by The Boston Herald on April 24 2015.

GIST:  "The state’s alcohol breath test snafu could create a cascade of legal challenges to drunken driving convictions reminiscent of the Dookhan scandal, top legal authorities warned, as the Massachusetts Bar Association has called on Attorney General Maura Healey to take charge and launch an independent probe.
“For me, this falls into the same category as the (Annie) 
Dookhan matter,” said Martin
 W. Healy, chief legal counsel
for the state bar association, comparing the suspension of drunken driving prosecutions in several 
jurisdictions over miscalibrated 
breath-analysis devices to the drug lab crisis that rocked Bay State criminal courts in 2011 and reverberates today. “We have evidence that was introduced into courtrooms that was found to be faulty and potentially that was corrupted evidence,” Healy said. “We would like to see a moratorium on these tests until we figure out what the problem is.” The state bar wants the attorney general to initiate an independent investigation to determine how long the problem has existed, and how many cases were effected.........Dookhan, a state chemist, was convicted of “dry labbing” drug samples — identifying them by sight without testing them — with evidence in thousands of cases. Hundreds of drug cases were overturned, the lab was shut down and the fallout continues. Dookhan was sentenced to three to five years in prison in November 2013. “Here we go again,” said Randy Gioia, deputy general counsel of the Public Defender Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services. “Now we have to go back and look at a lot of different cases.”.........State officials have said they have identified 69 faulty cases after reviewing roughly 6,000. “I think that’s a very conservative estimate,” Healy said. “We don’t know how long this has been going on.” Recent statewide OUI conviction stats were not available, but a report prepared for the Supreme Judicial Court in 2012 found 44,000 statewide convictions or plea deals in OUI cases out of 56,966 dispositions between Jan. 2008 and Sept. 2011. Law enforcement sources told the Herald the breath test problem centers on a discrepancy between what new machines introduced in 2012 consider “calibrated” — giving the go-ahead for a suspect to blow — and what’s called for in state regulations. The manufacturer standards, the sources said, consider a machine calibrated when a sample containing 0.08 percent alcohol concentration returns a reading between .07 and .09. State rules call for a tighter reading of between 0.074 and 0.086 percent. Attorney J. Albert Johnson, who has railed against the accuracy of the breath tests for years, called the development further evidence that breath analyzers are “a fraud and a hoax upon the motoring public.” “The judges in Massachusetts have seen case after case after case of Breathalyzer evidence which has been disproved by experts. They’ve been on notice for years,” Johnson said. “The cases which used the suspect Breath­alyzers must be brought forward for either dismissal or a new trial,” he said."

The entire story can be found at:
http://www.bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2015/04/breath_test_brouhaha_oui_cases_could_face_challenges

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

David Eastman; Australia; David Eastman has lost his motion to force Judge Anthony Whealy to recuse himself from deciding whether his second trial will go ahead, because of Whealy's relationship with Michael Adams Q.C. - the man who ran the prosecution at the original 1995 trial. The ACT Times; "Acting Justice Whealy also handed down his reasons for upholding the claims of federal and Victorian police to keep aspects of sensitive evidence secret."


STORY: "David Eastman loses bid to have judge removed," by reporter Christopher Knaus published by the ACT Times on April 24, 2015.

GIST: "David Eastman failed a bid to remove the judge from sitting on his application to stay his second trial. David Eastman has failed to force a judge to stand aside from deciding whether his second trial for Colin Winchester's murder will go ahead. Eastman tried to have Acting Justice Anthony Whealy recuse himself because of his links to the man who ran the prosecution at the original 1995 trial.   That prosecutor, Michael Adams, QC, went on to become a NSW Supreme Court judge and worked for about  10 years with Acting Justice Whealy, the man deciding Eastman's fate now. Eastman never alleged that the pair's relationship would influence Acting Justice Whealy in any way, but said members of the public might perceive bias.   That prompted Eastman to launch a bid to remove Acting Justice Whealy from sitting on his application to stay his second trial.  The stay application might require Acting Justice Whealy to make findings about the conduct of his former colleague leading up to and during Eastman's 1995 trial. But Acting Justice Whealy dismissed the application on Friday afternoon, saying he was satisfied that the "fair-minded lay observer" would have no reasonable apprehension that he would be biased......... Mr Adams was cleared last year of any improper conduct during the inquiry into Eastman's conviction. Acting Justice Whealy also handed down his reasons for upholding the claims of federal and Victorian police to keep aspects of sensitive evidence secret."

http://www.watoday.com.au/act-news/david-eastman-loses-bid-to-have-judge-removed-20150424-1msj1q.html

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;