Texas’s Top Criminal Court Tosses Murder Conviction Based on Dog-Scent Evidence

This is a discussion on Texas’s Top Criminal Court Tosses Murder Conviction Based on Dog-Scent Evidence within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Wonder where this will lead? If anywhere? http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2010/09/22/...3A+Law+Blog%29 http://www.statesman.com/blogs/conte...iction_ba.html http://alt.coxnewsweb.com/shared-blo...%20opinion.pdf Charged with the capital murder of Murray Wayne Burr, appellant was convicted of the lesser ...

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Thread: Texas’s Top Criminal Court Tosses Murder Conviction Based on Dog-Scent Evidence

  1. #1
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    Texas’s Top Criminal Court Tosses Murder Conviction Based on Dog-Scent Evidence

    Wonder where this will lead? If anywhere?

    http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2010/09/22/...3A+Law+Blog%29

    http://www.statesman.com/blogs/conte...iction_ba.html

    http://alt.coxnewsweb.com/shared-blo...%20opinion.pdf


    Charged with the capital murder of Murray Wayne Burr, appellant was convicted of the lesser offense of murder and sentenced to seventy-five years in prison. We reverse the court of appeals and render an acquittal.

    SNIP

    Like our sister courts across the country, we now hold that scent-discrimination lineups, whether conducted with individuals or inanimate objects, to be separate and distinct from dog-scent tracking evidence. “Even the briefest review of the scientific principles underlying dog scenting reveals that, contrary to the conclusions of many courts, there are significant scientific differences among the various uses of scenting: tracking, narcotics detection, and scent lineups.” Andrew E. Taslitz, Does the Cold Nose Know? The Unscientific Myth of Dog Scenting, 42 HASTINGS L.J. 15, 42 (1990) (explaining that drug detection canines need only determine whether a specific scent is present. Tracking dogs, on the other hand, have the benefit of using both vegetative scents and human scent, while canines performing scent lineups must find one specific scent among many competing, similar scents). The FBI agrees, noting that tracking canines use human scent and environmental cues to locate the track of an individual. Allison M. Curran, et al., Analysis of the Uniqueness and Persistence of Human Scent, 7 FORENSIC SCI. COMM. 2 (2005). Accordingly, we conclude that scent discrimination lineups, when used alone or as primary evidence, are legally insufficient to support a conviction. Like the Supreme Court of Washington, we believe that “[t]he dangers inherent in the use of dog tracking evidence can only be alleviated by the presence of corroborating evidence.” Loucks, 656 P.2d at 482.
    Note the above is from a public government document and can be quoted freely
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    Another good post Dave. As much as we all want BGs put away, we don't want mistakes based on bogus "evidence."

    I thought it interesting that the court not only reversed the trial court's finding but instead of sending the case back for re-trial they rendered an acquittal. Pretty unusual stuff I think, and a brave move for elected judges.

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    I guess that takes a "Crime out of the bite."
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    I guess that takes a "Crime out of the bite."
    You get a gold star for effort.

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    I've been wrongfully accused of emitting a scent before,the first to smelt it didn't necessarily dealt it
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    When the dog can be charged with perjury, I'll accept his testimony.

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    I have little faith in the reliability of LEO dogs. I've watched drug dogs wander aimlessly around a car until the officer all put stuffed its nose into a space and made it "sit." This after the dog had passed by the spot three times previously. seriously. So now, they have cause for search? My stupid beagle could sniff out a rabbit on the first pass.
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