Thursday, September 24, 2009

CNN Story on Dog Sniff Line-ups

http://ht-mobile. cdn.turner. com/cnn/big/ crime/2009/ 09/24/lavandera. scent.dogs. cnn_cw_NX05. 3gp

This story includes quotes from a man accused of murdering his next door neighbor based on Ft. Bend County Deputy Pickett. Pickett, who claims that his dogs are almost never wrong, refused comment so CNN used prior comments. As it goes with junk, bullcrap science, more than one convicted and other accused persons' cases have proven Pickett's dogs, and thus Pickett's claims, to be WRONG.

How many more people need to lose their freedom because of this proven liar?!

(He has proven a liar in at least once instance where he testified he had a masters degree which he does not have. Guess he did not think that anyone would check out not only his bogus dog claims but also his pompous testimony.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Why Lie To Get Convictions?

What kind of a person would lie, knowing that their lies will be depended upon by others in assessing judgment? That their lies will be used by those of us who do not specialize in their field, to determine whether someone is the perpetrator of some crime? Who would make up garbage, call it science, and swear it is dependable, knowing that another person's freedom is at stake?

Think about the junk science you have heard about over the years, that people have depended on because someone claimed that it was reliable. I remember the days when lab techs would come to court and testify that two hairs were microscopically the same or at least so similar that they could be relied upon to prove that they came from the same person. This kind of crap testimony occurred in many, many trials for years to connect suspected persons to rape, murder, and other crime scenes. Jurors relied on it. Hell, so did many lawyers. But what did we find out - it was bunk. A bunch of crap.

[I try to imagine what went through these "experts'" minds as they looked at the hairs and KNEW they could not rely on such science because it was not true? when they lied after swearing to tell the truth and looked jurors, judges, and lawyers in the eyes swearing they were correct. What did they think when the accused was convicted, in many cases, in heavy reliance on their lies? when we lay people finally figured out they were doing a "David Copperfield" on us? when they lay in their bed at night knowing someone sits in prison in large part because of their lies? What they will tell their maker. They had good intentions when they lied? Are they sorry? I mean do they feel sorry about what they did because they are DEFINITELY sorry.]

Dog sniffs. Does anyone really believe that a dog can smell a rock of cocaine inside a baggie, inside a box, inside a safe, in the closet in the back bedroom by sniffing at the front door? Seriously? I've had a case with similar facts & just cannot believe that we have to sit there & take it because some idiot says it is so. (I'll agree that dogs can smell some things that humans cannot but come on. Be a little realistic.) Yet here we are in 2009 and judges, and intelligent jurors, buy that crap just like they bought the hair lies.

Now we have scent lineups. A dog is allowed to smell some object from a crime scene, then he is taken to a lineup of persons & sniffs to tell his handler which is the perpetrator. There is, in fact, a cop who is famous (and soon to be infamous) who testifies that he does not keep records on his dog, but that he knows that his 3 dogs have made only 3 mistakes in almost 10,000 efforts. Wow.

However, the real evidence in some of those cases (including some that were dismissed without trial - AFTER the accused smellee sat in jail for at least some period of time) - exonerates the individuals. DNA says SODDI (some other dude done it).

The perpetrator of the falsehoods continues to testify but now the tides are turning. He and his law enforcement group have been sued. Moreover, private dog handlers as well as criminal defense attorneys have gathered the testimony of this proven liar as well as dissected his bunk claims, and are now demonstrating for juries through elaborate cross examination the falsity of the supposed science. In fact, in June of this year, a lawyer in San Jacinto county (where prosecutors proclaimed scent lineups to be as reliable as DNA) handed this liar his butt in cross examination. Her client was found not guilty of murder in 13 minutes.

The losses are mounting for Officer One Sniff Will Do Ya. But one thing that has not changed is this - until they are told essentially DO NOT USE THIS LIAR by an appellate court, the prosecution will continue to present to juries this emboldened witness and his majic dogs to help obtain convictions. Why? Because it is easy. Because no one is stopping them. Because they don't care about the truth.

[And, those real prosecutors who can smell dog crap when it is placed before them - like Vic Wisner formerly of Harris County - will refuse to engage in seeking a conviction for the numbers and will refuse to use Officer One Sniff Will Do Ya. Not only do they prosecute with what they believe is real evidence, many of them actually care to seek justice. What about the rest of them? Never mind. This was about why people lie.]

There are many reasons Officer One Sniff Will Do Ya might lie. We can all guess some nasty little explanations (or at least I can. And by nasty, I mean ugly & mean.) But heck, who cares? The fact is, his lies have resulted in convictions for some people who have since been exonerated. So what shall we do about the other convictions in which he was involved? ? ?