As you can see in these two articles, there are some grave issues with local and state crime labs that need to be addressed. I would imagine this extends far beyond just Detroit and Mississippi. But, it lends evidence to my claim that the death penalty is a very dangerous thing.
“The Michigan State Police audit of the city’s gun lab, which began in June after firearms evidence was found to be tainted, revealed a systemic problem that calls into question all forensic evidence handled in the city’s police laboratory over the past several years, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said.”
“Between them, Kennedy Brewer and Levon Brooks served more than 30 years in Parchman Penitentiary in Mississippi. Brewer was sentenced to death, Brooks to life without parole. The crimes for which each was convicted are remarkably similar: A female toddler was abducted from her home, raped, murdered, and abandoned in the woods. In each case, Mississippi District Attorney Forrest Allgood decided early on that the boyfriend of the girl’s mother was the culprit. In each case, he asked Dr. Steven Hayne to perform the autopsy. And in each case, Dr. Hayne called in Dr. Michael West to perform some analysis of bite marks on the children. West claimed to have found bite marks that had been missed by other medical professionals and then testified in court that he could definitively match these marks to the teeth of the men Allgood suspected of committing the murders.
In each case, West was wrong.”
These innocent men did not get justice and deserve some form of it now. The guilty ones running free over shoddy police work deserve their due, too. For more information on people working toward this cause, please look into the innocence project at http://www.innocenceproject.org/.
All life is valuable.