"New case again demonstrates duplicity of embattled Mississippi medical examiner," is Radley Balko's post at the Washington Post. It's a must-read. Here's the beginning:
In February, I wrote about a Fifth Circuit decision rejecting the claims of a defendant who was convicted based on improbable testimony from the controversial medical examiner Steven Hayne. Over the course of about two decades, Hayne nearly monopolized Mississippi’s criminal autopsy referrals, performing 1,500-1,800 autopsies per year all by himself. Most of these were done for the state’s prosecutors. Hayne’s testimony was responsible for several convictions that later resulted in acquittals after a new trial, dismissed charges, or DNA exonorations.
I’ve been covering this scandal for the better part of a decade now. Hayne has been found to have given testimony completely unsupported by science, regularly worked with known charlatans like the discredited “bite mark expert” Michael West, and has been sharply criticized by colleagues for his improbable workload, sloppy practices, and dubious testimony. He has also been shown to have perjured himself about his qualifications. Despite all of this, and despite the fact that there are literally thousands of people in prison due in part or mostly to Hayne’s autopsies and testimony, neither state nor federal courts have shown any interest in determining just how much damage Hayne may have done to the criminal justice system of Mississippi (and to a lesser extent Louisiana). The Mississippi legislature hasn’t shown much interest. And state attorney general Jim Hood continues to defend Hayne. (Hood often used Hayne during his time as a district attorney.)
Related posts are in the forensics category index.