Saturday, April 17, 2010

CSI Catoosa: The Prosecution's Questionable "Expert" Witnesses

What if the only person doing medical exams after women have claimed to have been raped all came from the local rape crisis center? What if this center were especially ideological in scope in which all the women who worked there believed that every man is a vicious rapist? Would any person who is serious about justice want such an advocate and ideologue to be an "expert witness" for the state?

Yet, that seems to be the situation in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, as "expert" witnesses who have a vested interest in the outcomes of the cases in which they testify are helping to put people who might be innocent into prison. This situation no longer can be ignored.

There are many reasons why courts in this country churn out wrongful convictions, but one of them is that prosecutors often use "expert witnesses" that really are frauds, and I don't mean people who just give bad testimony or make mistakes. I mean people who deliberately -- with full knowledge from prosecutors -- give fraudulent testimony. In this post, I will give some examples of well-known "expert" frauds, and then look at recent testimony of two "experts" that Brian House permitted to testify in his courtroom.

One of the things that turned the Duke Lacrosse Non-Rape, Non-Kidnapping, Non-Sexual Assault Case into a crisis that lasted for more than a year and has cost countless millions of dollars (and there still are lawsuits going on about it) was the dishonest testimony of a nurse named Tara Levicy, who was a hardcore feminist who decided she would press the lie that Crystal Mangum had injuries "consistent with rape," except, as investigators for the North Carolina Attorney General's office would later find out, were no injuries at all.

However, compared to Steven Hayne and Michael West and others in the Rogue Forensics Hall of Shame, Levicy is a saint. Hayne, a pathologist and for many years the unofficial medical examiner of Mississippi, was the favorite prosecution witness because he would give whatever testimony prosecutors wanted to hear.

West, a dentist, would give fraudulent testimony about bite marks in murder cases and in the video found by blogger Radley Balko, West is seen as implanting marks from a mold of a suspect's teeth onto a corpse. He then testified that a Jimmy Duncan was the murderer and Duncan has spent more than a decade on death row, despite the obviously fraudulent testimony from the state's "expert" witnesses.

The list of lying and dishonest and incompetent "expert" witnesses that testify on behalf of the prosecution is endless, yet prosecutors are reluctant to give up their advantages. After all, modern American prosecutors have turned the great William Blackstone's "better 20 guilty men go free than one innocent man convicted" into a win at all costs belief that "it is better that 20 innocent men be convicted than one guilty person go free."

Let us look at the two "expert" witnesses the state put on this past week in the attempt to frame Tonya Craft, who is falsely accused of molesting three little girls, including her daughter. The first was Sharon Anderson, a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), and Dr. Sandra. J. Carmichael. The former works for the Children's Advocacy Center and the latter, well, she works for the CAC, too.

Thus, to understand the perspective from which these witnesses operate, you have to understand the CAC, which is part of a larger network of children's advocacy groups that had their genesis in the Mondale Act of 1974. Far from being neutral advocates, however, these centers operate with a certain ideology, one that says something akin to "parents always abuse and sexually assault their children," or "parents are monsters," etc. The more accusations that these centers can make, the more money from the federal government that flows into their coffers.

I don't deny that these organizations, like Child Protective Services, can do good, but they also are responsible for a huge amount of harm. Remember the false child molestation cases of the 1980s and 90s? Children's advocates groups were the force behind them, which always should give anyone pause when people from these organizations then appear as "expert" witnesses.

Thus, Anderson and Carmichael are people who come into this mix with less-than-clean hands, and certainly less-than-honorable intentions. Given Anderson's "sometimes we win, sometimes we lose" statement from the witness stand, I cannot see how this woman is permitted to testify in court at all. It is not the job of the SANE to "win or lose." Instead, the SANE is supposed to testify to what she observed, not what the prosecutors want her to observe. Anderson is not supposed to be part of the prosecution, period, and if she and Carmichael actually believe that their job is to help prosecutors gain convictions, and if they are ideologically obligated to assume that everyone the prosecution targets is a child rapist, then they never should be permitted to testify at all, for their very presence on the witness stand taints justice.

Furthermore, let us not forget the "therapist" who is supposed to testify that she believes Tonya Craft sexually abused these children, the same "therapist" who, at best, had an "inappropriate relationship" with Craft's ex-husband, who has had custody of Craft's daughter the past two years, and who has been front-and-center in this whole affair. This is the same therapist that Judge Marie Williams of Hamilton County has disqualified because Williams does not believe she can be trusted.

Yet, this same "therapist" will be sitting before the jury in Judge Brian House's courtroom, telling the jury that Tonya Craft is a child molester. This is the same "therapist" who will answer the leading questions from Gregor and Arnt and will be treated as someone who actually knows something.

At one level, we should not be surprised. After all, it is the prosecutors of this country who present the Joyce Gilchrists, the Steven Haynes, and the Michael Wests as being real "experts" instead of telling the truth, that they are liars and charlatans. Having hired guns lie in court seems to be a disease that prosecutors love to catch, and, yet, jurors continue to be suckered by these quacks.

I guess we should not be surprised that Len "THE MAN" Gregor and Chris Arnt parade questionable witnesses before the jury and that Judge Brian House signs off on the fraud. This trial is a fraud, and when we see people from the Children's Advocacy Center, which has a vested interest in a "guilty" verdict, claim to be "objective" experts, and when we see a "therapist" who is persona non grata in a Tennessee court be vetted by Brian House as a "qualified expert," then we have to understand that we are observing something that truly is evil.

I'll be placing the Children's Advocacy Center under more scrutiny in the coming weeks, as Anderson and Carmichael have been instrumental in other people also being convicted of child molestation charges. As far as I am concerned, House, Arnt, Gregor, and the CAC are running a racket and it is time for honest people to stand up and expose this fraud for what it is.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope you are able to expose them for the frauds that they are!!

Anonymous said...

I think you need to look into the crediantials of the so called "forensic" interviewers at the Child Advocacy Center.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps also the campaign contributions of Brian House need to be investigated as well.

Anonymous said...

We are in evil days no different than days of Noah-from seemingly good people who know more than God. I would challenge the Childrens Advocacy Center the harm done emotionally by not allowing a mother to see her daughter! Justice and Truth is coming!

Anonymous said...

Again I ask someone that is against Tonya Craft please come forward with some evidence as to why you believe she is guilty because I havent heard the state do it yet. I would also like someone to inform me of how being a fitness trainer relates to molestation.