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The Battle For Injustice: Ajay Dev Appeal

The scurrilous, unconscionable conviction of Ajay Dev stands as monument to the overt politicalization toward the canons of judicial ethics, sponsored on behalf of the morally indictable and impeachable: Yolo County District Attorney.

To date, the prosecution in the State v. Dev has failed to proffer a scintilla of forensic evidence sufficient to substantiate and sustain the accuser’s spurious and exaggerated claims of having been physically abused on 750 occasions over a period of five years. Additionally, the Family Physician testified under oath that she saw no signs of emotional and/or psychological trauma, including any indications that the accuser had suffered any demonstrable evidence supporting the allegations of physical abuse.

Notwithstanding the accuser’s serial prevarications issued under oath concerning testimony involving core details endemic to the case, the jury in their conspicuous disregard for juridical discretion and compunction, unceremoniously chose to ignore the accuser’s unequivocal lack of credibility as the sole witness in the litigation and opt to pronounce reasonable doubt Dead On Arrival. Consequently, awarding the Prosecution an unfathomable judgment, where the absence of proof was ruthlessly employed as the sine qua non in the State’s Case-in-Chief.

We, the self-anointed soldiers in Ajay’s Army remain resigned in our infallible belief regarding his innocence, including his eventual exoneration for crimes he emphatically did not perpetrate.

This letter originally appeared in The Davis Vanguard Court Watch.


Flaws in Hair Analysis Not Being Reviewed

In 2013, the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board published a memo urging state and local labs to review their hair analysis case files. Since then, two states, Texas and Massachusetts, have begun that process. Unfortunately, local labs in other states are lagging in the review process and innocent people are  paying the price.


Click here to read the article in Al Jazeera.

Crime Labs Are Not Like TV Crime Shows

Crime labs are not run like television crime dramas. Unfortunately, "forensic science" is shown to be a lot less science than what prosecutors and TV shows lead us to believe. According to a Mother Jones report "Issues with lab technician Mignon Dunbar's work came to light during a child molestation trial in December, when defense attorneys discovered she had "filled in the gaps" in an incomplete genetic sample and submitted it for comparison with a database of California offenders' DNA profiles. (State rules specify that only complete genetic samples are supposed to be checked against the database.) The doctored sample matched with DNA from a man named Marco Hernandez, whom prosecutors charged."



Click here to read the Mother Jones article.

Children In Solitary Confinement

Most psychologists agree that the use of solitary confinement constitutes torture. Unfortunately, there are still many states that don't even have a maximum amount of time a child can be held in solitary confinement. Mother Jones has an excellent article detailing the history of this issue.


Click here to read the story.

Prison Statistics

There is an interesting article on the AlterNet website comparing incarceration statistics of the US vs. other countries.

Click here to read the article.

Paid Per Conviction

Roger Koppl and Meghan Sacks authored a paper written for the journal Criminal Justice Ethics. They looked into how the criminal justice system incentivizes wrongful convictions. One section shows the disturbing way some state crime labs are funded; they are paid a fee only when a test implicates a suspect but are paid nothing if the test clears the suspect.

Read the article in the Huffington Post.



Execution Stayed for Mississippi Man

Willie ManningFrom the Innocence Project - The Mississippi Supreme Court granted death row inmate Willie Manning a stay of execution four hours before he was scheduled to die by lethal injection. Mississippi’s highest court voted to halt the execution on a vote of 8-1. The Innocence Project had called for the stay so that Manning could have an opportunity to do DNA testing that might prove his innocence in the deaths of Jon Steckler and Tiffany Miller.

In the days leading up to his execution, the FBI sent several letters to the state noting that there were flaws in both the hair and ballistics evidence that was used to convict Manning. The FBI also agreed to do the DNA testing. The Innocence Project’s action alert generated more than 26,000 messages to Governor Phil Bryant asking that he stay the execution and order testing in Manning’s case.

Read a copy of the stay of execution order (PDF).


Handwriting Cases Under Review

This story first appeared in the Oregonian.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — More than 30 Oregon criminal cases are under external review to determine if investigations were tainted by handwriting analysts employed by the Oregon State Police.

Problems with handwriting analysis in a Umatilla County case led to the suspension with pay of two analysts last spring. The head of the state police Forensic Services Division was reassigned.


Will DNA Prove Bite Marks Wrong?

The faulty forensic science of bite marks helped incarcerate Doug Prade, a former police captain from Ohio. It has taken 14 years before DNA evidence may help prove the evidence against him was wrong. Now, he must wait until October before a judge decides if he is to be exonerated, face a new trial or remain in prison. 

Click here for the full story.