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General Discussions => General Discussion => Topic started by: Desert Fox on December 21, 2018, 02:27:19 PM

Title: Wrongful conviction of Julie Rea & Bad Science
Post by: Desert Fox on December 21, 2018, 02:27:19 PM
This is a personal pet button of mine and this is one I just learned about.
It is another case of wrongful conviction based on flawed science.

https://www.propublica.org/article/bloodstain-pattern-analysis-jury-wrongful-conviction-acquitted-exonerated

Quote
But in 2000, after a protracted and deeply flawed investigation, Rea was charged with killing Joel.

“Surviving your child’s murder, only to find out that you’re being accused of murdering your child, is a kind of trauma that I wouldn’t wish on any living being,” said Rea, now 50. “I wouldn’t wish it on a snake.”

Prosecutors used a forensic discipline called bloodstain-pattern analysis to argue that an intruder never entered her home on the night of the crime and that Rea was, in fact, her son’s killer. She was convicted of first-degree murder in 2002 largely on the strength of the testimony of two bloodstain-pattern analysts.

Four years later, Rea was acquitted at a retrial, after a legal team assembled by the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law in Chicago mounted a vigorous defense that challenged the state’s forensic testimony. They also presented new evidence that a serial killer of children — a lifelong drifter who was on Texas death row for a nearly identical crime — had confessed to killing Joel. Rea was formally exonerated in 2010.
Title: Re: Wrongful conviction of Julie Rea & Bad Science
Post by: Soldier of FORTRAN on December 21, 2018, 02:37:57 PM
That's awful.  And a good demonstrate of forensic science's fallibility.  In recent years, I've read that hair analysis, bite mark analysis and field drug test kits are essentially bunkum.   I've read that eye-witness testimony tests as fairly unreliable. 

Forensic Science needs a thorough review and cleaning.
Title: Re: Wrongful conviction of Julie Rea & Bad Science
Post by: amysrevenge on December 21, 2018, 02:43:19 PM
ENHANCE
Title: Re: Wrongful conviction of Julie Rea & Bad Science
Post by: Desert Fox on December 22, 2018, 12:49:34 AM
Even with DNA, there are issues both with contamination and mixed DNA samples.
On an innocence board, we have a poster who is a professor of animal DNA who discusses the issues quite a bit.
Title: Re: Wrongful conviction of Julie Rea & Bad Science
Post by: haudace on December 22, 2018, 01:48:49 PM
I honestly think the United States has an incarceration rate problem in general...

(https://imgur.com/SoOhSOY)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incarceration_rate
Title: Re: Wrongful conviction of Julie Rea & Bad Science
Post by: skepticahjumma on December 24, 2018, 07:33:02 AM
I know of a case where a guy was in jail for months when the laundry detergent in his trunk field tested positive for meth. His case was dismissed only after the substance was retested months later.
Title: Re: Wrongful conviction of Julie Rea & Bad Science
Post by: Desert Fox on December 24, 2018, 09:48:35 AM
I know of a case where a guy was in jail for months when the laundry detergent in his trunk field tested positive for meth. His case was dismissed only after the substance was retested months later.

There have been several high profile cases of labs actually faking results.