Wednesday, May 23, 2018
John Kunco: Pennsylvania: (Great news. HL): Unreliable bite mark testimony and lots more! Trib Live (reporter Rich Cholodofsky) reports that he has been granted a new trial based on new DNA findings as well as unreliable bite mark testimony and voice identification used to convict him."
PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "Prosecutors said Kunco broke into the woman's apartment, blindfolded her with her underwear, shocked her wit...
Kevin Keith: Ohio: He is expected to find out tomorrow - Thursday May 24, 2018 - whether the U.S. Supreme Court will grant a new trial based on evidence never heard by a jury - the personnel file of Michele Yezzo - a state forensics investigator who worked on his case. The file contains allegations she had a habit of providing police departments answers they wanted in cases.”..."Still fighting, Keith, now 54, has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to grant him a new trial based on evidence never heard by a jury. Keith’s lawyers say the personnel file of a state forensics investigator who worked on his case contains allegations she had a habit of providing police departments answers they wanted in cases. Attorneys for Keith, who is black, also say the file shows the investigator was mentally unstable and used racial slurs against co-workers."
PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "This evidence, attorneys argue, is among several allegations uncovered years later that a jury never heard, in...
Alfred Swinton; Connecticut; Flawed bitemark science: John Stossel's timely reminder in 'Reason' that junk science sends innocent people to jail - and that reform is long overdue..."The TV show Cold Case Files covered the trial of Alfred Swinton. He was convicted of murder because a bite-mark expert said his teeth matched a bite on the victim. "A perfect match!" said Dr. Gus Karazulas, the "forensic odontologist" whose testimony clinched the conviction. Karazulas sounded impartial and objective. "A forensic scientist is not on the side of the prosecutor or defense," he said on Cold Case Files. "We look at the evidence." But Swinton was innocent. Lawyer Chris Fabricant helped get him released from jail by doing a DNA test, a much more reliable, less subjective form of science. Fabricant scoffs at bite-mark testimony: "The doctor was just wrong. It's an unreliable technique."
PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "Bite marks are just one dubious method police and prosecutors use. FBI researchers claim fingerprints are right ...
William Amor. Illinois. (Flawed arson 'science'); Man cleared in 1995 Naperville murder/arson he is seeking compensation from a very unwilling state..." Prosecutors maintained throughout the trial that Amor ignited the fatal fire to collect insurance money so he and his bride, Tina Micelli, could start a new life together. In vacating the convictions, Brennan ruled that advances in fire science proved the description of the crime Amor gave in his confession to police -- that he started the fire with a cigarette and a vodka-soaked newspaper -- was impossible."..."Paul Darrah, spokesman for DuPage State's Attorney Robert Berlin, said Friday prosecutors are "strenuously opposing (Amor's) petition for his certificate of innocence."
STORY: "Man cleared in 1995 Naperville murder seeks compensation from state," by reporter Justin Kmitch, published by The Daily ...
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Charles Flores; Kosoul Chanthakoummane; Texas: Awesome Dallas Morning News story by Texas Government Reporter Lauren McGaughy about two death row inmates who are pushing Texas to ban forensic hypnosis in criminal cases..."The CIA has turned to it, and the Justice Department believes it can be helpful "on rare occasions." The FBI requires its sketch artists to learn it. But since its heyday in the 1970s and '80s, forensic hypnosis has not only dwindled rapidly, but hypnotically induced evidence has been banned in some places as unreliable. “Use special caution before using hypnosis for age regression to help you relive earlier events in your life,” the Mayo Clinic warns. “It may cause strong emotions and can alter your memories or lead to creation of false memories.”
PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "Charles Don Flores, 48, was convicted in the 1998 slaying of Elizabeth “Betty” Black after a neighbor was hyp...
Corey Williams: Louisiana: (False confession case; Faked "summaries" of witness statements prepared by trial prosecutors) - but its on a plea deal, and the police and prosecutors walk away - most likely without paying him a cent of compensation. One good thing. At least he is still alive - and had not yet been executed by the insatiable State of Louisiana. (It loves killing blacks); Something is so very wrong in this picture. Williams will have to bear the load of the horrible ordeal he has been put through and the State's tainted institutions of justice - the police and prosecutors - will avoid accountability. HL..."After years of professing his innocence he agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter and obstruction of justice charges, which allowed prosecutors a face-saving way to credit him with time served and then endorse his immediate release. The deal was approved Monday by Caddo Parish District Judge Katherine Dorroh, who then vacated Williams’ first-degree murder conviction. Her involvement, too, is ironic. She had ruled against Williams once before in the case and perhaps is best known as the trial judge who denied compensation for Glenn Ford, another man who spent decades in a Louisiana prison for a wrongful conviction before dying shortly after his release."
PUBLISHER'S NOTES: Kudos to Andrew Cohen, of the Marshall Project - an extremely informative and influential criminal justice publicat...
Monday, May 21, 2018
John Kunco: Pennsylvania: Up-coming hearing (May 23); Flawed bitemark evidence case: "Lawyers say new DNA evidence could clear convicted rape suspect after 28 years," WTAE reports..."Court documents filed last week claim DNA evidence proves Kunco is innocent. Kunco was convicted in 1992 of blindfolding a woman with her underwear, shocking her with a frayed electrical cord and raping her. The crime took place in 1990 in New Kensington. Advertisement Kunco's attorney, Wendy Williams, told Pittsburgh's Action News 4 male DNA was found on the electrical cord and a white blanket at the scene, but both have now been tested and neither match Kunco's DNA."
STORY: Lawyers say new DNA evidence could clear convicted rape suspect after 28 years; John Kunco was convicted of a violen...