Friday, February 15, 2008

Let's ditch the battle of experts in court, and just get the facts

Technical expertise should not come with a viewpoint

James Morton, Freelance

Published: Friday, February 08

TORONTO - Expert witnesses seem a lot less expert these days.

Last week in Ontario we were reminded daily of the miscarriages of justice caused by forensic pathologist Charles Smith -- the many parents and caregivers charged and some found guilty of murdering children, the scores of lives ruined, and families destroyed.

And in August, the Ontario Court of Appeal said that one of its main reasons for acquitting Steven Truscott had to do with the testimony of John Penistan, the pathologist in that long-ago case of rape and murder. Dr. Penistan's official autopsy report stated that 12-year-old Lynne Harper had died soon after Steven Truscott had been seen giving her a ride on his bike, at a time when he would have been by far the most likely killer.

An interesting little editorial on some pertinent law. What do you think about what Mr. Morton has said?

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