My DNA writ was granted. Will justice be served for my client – and for others whose convictions were secured using the same bad science?
As many folks already know, I have been working on a case for many years now involving the use of invalid scientific techniques for the interpretation of complex DNA mixture samples.
I am happy to announce that on October 6, 2017, the San Diego Superior Court overturned my client’s murder conviction finding that defendants are “entitled to a trial in which the scales were not weighted on one side by invalid scientific evidence.”
This is fantastic news for my client, a man who I believe is innocent. But he is not out of the woods. He is still currently in jail awaiting a new trial. I don’t want to comment further on this as the case is still open and it’s in my client’s best interest for his voice to be heard in court.
But I do want to address what this means to the criminal justice community. As forensic expert Suzanna Ryan rhetorically asks in response to the court’s ruling, “What does this mean for the thousands of cases where mixtures have been interpreted the “old way”?” She further states that “the legal community around the country needs to be aware of these issues and to closely re-examine any cases that may have been subject to improper mixture interpretation.”
As I speak these words there are countless people across the country who are incarcerated whose convictions are based on the same invalid DNA techniques that were used in my client’s case.
Because of this, I am calling on prosecutors and defense attorneys from across the nation to begin a comprehensive case review of affected cases. I am working with my colleagues here in San Diego County to start the process of reviewing cases. But there are limited resources and the scale of this issue is massive. Suffice it to say, we need help.
Update January 25, 2018: Since this video was filmed, the San Diego District Attorney’s Office began conducting a review of old cases to determine which ones are affected by invalid DNA methods. Today they announced that 254 cases have been identified with possibly more to come. Orange County is conducting a similar review. Read the article in the San Diego Union Tribune HERE.