The content published below is composed of extracts from externally published articles. They make very compelling and illuminating reading. While they are not directly related to the Simon Gittany case, they show that depending on forensics to aid in conviction may not be quite as scientifically reliable as it is generally believed and accepted to be.
One of the most trusted tools of the trade for fighting crime is the fingerprint, thought by many to be so solid as to be sacrosanct. This is now being questioned. Fingerprints may not be quite as unique as they were previously thought to be. Fingerprint analysis appears to be more an expert opinion rather than an exact scientific conclusion. If true scientific methods were always followed, empirical evidence would always be used. There has not been up to this point, a study of the reliability of crime-scene fingerprint matching; there are no agreed-upon standards for what constitutes a match. With the exception of DNA very few if any forensics methods rigorously demonstrate a capacity for consistency.
Brandon Mayfield was erroneously linked to the 2004 Madrid train bombings. After Mayfield’s arrest, his wife Mona told reporters, “I think it’s crazy. We haven’t been outside the country for 10 years”. In regards to the fingerprint evidence, a top counter-terrorism expert was quoted in Newsweek Magazine saying “absolutely incontrovertible match to Portland attorney Brandon Mayfield”. The expert that Brandon Mayfield hired also agreed with the aforementioned expert. They were both wrong. Fortunately for Mayfield, Spanish police determine that the fingerprints belonged to a known terrorist. Mayfield was released from jail after 15 days.
The similarity between Mayfield’s print and the bombers is undeniable. It challenges a corner stone of forensic science: that no two prints are identical. It has always been assumed that fingerprints are unique. But what the Mayfield case has demonstrated is that parts of a fingerprint can be so similar that it is possible for two different people to be identified by one latent print. The following links provide further information regarding the flaws in fingerprints forensics:
Video: How reliable is the science behind forensics?
“That’s Not My Fingerprint, Your Honor”
A Multitude of Errors: The Brandon Mayfield Case
The FBI admits multiple errors made in its fingerprint analysis
Roy Brown was accused of murder. He gives the authorities various samples for testing. He permits the authorities to take a wax impression of his teeth. It reveals a distinctive pattern. Brown is missing two teeth. The bruise on the victim should have the same gaps that correspond to Brown’s missing teeth, but only has a gap on the right side. It appears Brown’s teeth don’t match the evidence. The forensic odontologist examines the bite pattern evidence and declares a match. Police charge Brown with first-degree murder. A jury finds Roy Brown guilty. He’s sentenced to 25-years-to-life and he spends the next 15 years in jail trying to prove his innocence. The bite mark evidence used to convict Roy Brown was based on an implausible interpretation. After 15 years in prison, 47-year-old Roy Brown is finally released. He sues the state of New York and wins $2.6 million.
Roy Brown Wrongfully Convicted
Prosecutor works to get justice for young man
Sonnet (Associate Crown Prosecutor) decided he wished to deliver an acquittal. “How did a young Somali man end up in gaol for the rape of a woman he had never met, in an over-28s nightclub he was too young to be admitted to, in a Melbourne suburb he had never visited?”
The Tainted Trial of Farah Jama
Is it really a Science?
“Nine days before death row inmate Earl Washington’s scheduled execution, his lawyers informed the state of Virginia that it was about to murder an innocent man”.
Is forensic science really a science could it be killing innocent people
“Aside from DNA and a few other solidly scientific disciplines such as toxicology, almost none of the forensic science disciplines could claim any scientific basis for their results”. Please click the following link to read more of this eye opening book by Josh Lee.
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