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Flawed Forensics lead to bad convictions

Lies Our Government Tells Juries to Believe Lead To The Convictions Of Innocent People

One of the hardest battles I've had to face in the courtroom showing why Government "experts" trained by the government on how to testify, giving their "opinions" to juries, who believe them, even when more competent experts have different opinions.  We have shown juries that defense experts, science, and even jury instructions lead them to a proper not guilty verdict, but they insist on believing the government.  Many times government witnesses have testified to rapid absorption of alcohol, and used flawed science to conduct "retrograde extrapolation" and determine that my client is "A Liar" and was "impaired" when driving.  It has affected many of my cases, even homicide cases, where government interests and personal goals are set toward gaining a conviction.  Officers, trained to testify "effectively" during the academy.  Government witnesses, experts who have been trained on effective testimony and testified hundreds or thousands of times, crime lab personnel, and forensic laboratories who make all or a substantial portion of their income from the government, who is seeking a conviction in a criminal case all ganging up to convict my client.  

My client uses his limited resources to hire a voice, a single voice to help him fight the injustice, scrapes together funds to hire an expert, and watches while science shows he / she was actually innocent.  Then, trained witnesses, professional witnesses with the backing of the "government" to bolster their credibility testify to what I believe, and like the lawyers in these cases argued, is incorrect science, only to see the jury convict because the government witness has no interest in the case other than honesty.  Not true, just more lies the government tells us to further their agenda.

Today, like many times before, the junk science and incorrect testimony of our government witnesses is being shown to be wrong.  Remember, many days in court the lawyer, the experts, the defendant stood up and argued this, but it fell on deaf ears as the juries convicted.  They must have doubted the honesty of the lawyer, the "hired gun" forensic expert working for the defense, or believed the officers testimony.  Now, the government stands up and admits it was wrong.  Why can numerous experts, defendants, and defense attorneys argue a point for years and people don't accept it as truth, but the moment the government admits they were wrong, we once again, believe the government?


Forensic examiners called into question

Among other aspects of the article there are several aspects that stand out.  "The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000."  Further, "Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory's microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95% of the 268 trials reviewed so far. . ."  

Other Key Points:

  • 14 people have been executed based on this flawed testimony
  • Hair and bite marks comparisons have contributed to the wrongful convictions of 25% of the 329 DNA exonerated cases since 1989
  •  FBI experts systematically testified to the near-certainty of "matches" of crime-scene hairs to defendants, backing their work by citing incomplete or misleading statistics drawn from their case work.
  • In 2002, the FBI reported that its own DNA testing found that examiners reported false hair matches more than 11% of the time.

Link To Washington Post Article

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"Criminal defense is about helping good people, that is what I do." Jonathan Rooker

Experienced Fresno and Madera County Criminal Defense Attorney Jonathan Rooker understands the needs of each client are quite unique to each individual client. Some clients are looking to keep their drivers license, others are looking to avoid long periods of incarceration. Many times pride and principles are cited for the client's motivation to achieve a particular resolution to their case. Many clients just want to put their life, family, and career back together. It is the responsibility of the defense attorney to coordinate and effective defense for the benefit of the client. It is essential that I provide the best defense for the individual person and their specifically tailored needs in life. I will help you by building the best defense that the facts allow. One important aspect of hiring a private attorney is the time they spend listening to your needs, and working to obtain an effective resolution under the circumstances. When these problems arise, it's time to reach out for a helping hand. I handle criminal defense cases on a daily basis, helping people with their issues. Let me help you.