Manufacturing Guilt?

Experts say this exclusive video shows a dental examiner creating the bite marks that put a man on death row.

(Page 3 of 3)

West himself never testified at Jimmie Duncan's trial. Between his examination of Oliveaux in 1993 and Duncan's trial in 1998, the bite-mark analyst came under fire for his working methods and credulity-stretching testimony. In 1994, an ethics committee from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences unanimously recommended that West be expelled from the organization. West resigned instead. His work was criticized in such national media outlets as Newsweek, the ABA Journal, and National Law Journal. By 1998, Duncan's prosecutors recognized the baggage West carried and dropped him from the case. Still, West continued to both work with Hayne and testify in Mississippi until well into the 2000s.

Duncan's prosecutors then turned to Dr. Neal Reisner, a forensic odontolgist from Scarsdale, New York. Relying only on photos West took after the examination depicted in the video, Reisner testified that the marks on Oliveaux's cheek were indeed bite marks, and that "to a reasonable degree of medical certainty," he could determine that they came from Jimmie Duncan.

The video above was never shown at Jimmie Duncan's trial. It wasn't even shown to the expert witnesses from either side. Trial Judge Charles Joiner did view the tape, and inexplicably concluded that it contained "no exculpatory evidence favorable to the defendant," a conclusion that the forensics specialists Reason spoke with strongly dispute.

Prosecutors initially refused to turn the video over to Duncan's attorneys. In one brief filed during pre-trial motions in 1995, they noted the controversy surrounding West, and argued that "the defense is somehow hoping to drag Dr. West into this case in order to create ancillary issues for the jury." A year later, they relented and finally turned over the tape. For whatever reason, Duncan's trial attorneys never used the video; they never even showed it to their own expert, forensic odontologist Richard Souviron. (Duncan's trial attorneys declined to speak with Reason, because his case is still active.)

Souviron recently had the opportunity to view the video for the first time. In a new affidavit submitted to Duncan's post-conviction attorneys, Souviron describes the video as showing "Dr. West, violently and repeatedly, forcing a mold of Jimmie Duncan's teeth into Ms. Oliveaux's right cheek. In doing so, Dr. West creates a mark that was not previously present. Dr. West's behavior and methods are absolutely not supported by any scientific standards or protocol." Souviron added in the affidavit that hospital photographs show that "none of the marks were present when Ms. Oliveaux was at the hospital," and that the abrasions that Reisner testified about for the prosecution "were created by the flagrant misconduct of Dr. Michael West."

The Hayne-West Legacy

West was still testifying in Mississippi courtrooms until at least the year 2000, long after he'd resigned from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. As late as 2007, prosecutors were still relying primarily on West's testimony to keep Kennedy Brewer in prison. And despite the Brooks and Brewer exonerations, the state has refused to conduct a review of the hundreds of cases in which West has testified.

Tucker Carrington, director of the Mississippi chapter of the Innocence Project, argues that West's influence may run even deeper. "You also have to consider all the cases where someone may have falsely confessed, or accepted plea bargain for a crime they didn't commit after being presented with West's findings. Those cases aren't going to show up in legal searches," he says. "West was also widely used by the state's social services agencies. His testimony has helped the state take who knows how many children away from their parents."

The story with Hayne is even grimmer. In August of last year, Mississippi announced that it finally would no longer include Hayne on its list of medical examiners cleared to perform criminal autopsies. The move effectively ended Hayne's reign as Mississippi's de facto medical examiner.

But as with West, Mississippi officials still refuse to acknowledge that there was ever a significant problem with Hayne, and have no intention of investigating just how much damage he may have done to the state's criminal justice system. Given that Hayne performed approximately 80 percent to 90 percent of the state's autopsies for close to 20 years, the number of cases in which he has testified is likely in the tens of thousands. Worse yet, even in terminating Hayne, the state agreed to allow him to complete a backlog of approximately 600 autopsies. As of this article's posting, he's still testifying in Mississippi courts.

Radley Balko is a senior editor at Reason magazine.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • LarryA||

    I oppose the death penalty on the grounds that too many mistakes are being made. I could make exceptions if Hayne and West were the guests of honor.

  • thiagodaluz7@gmail.com||

    You oppose the death penalty for the man who raped and murdered to girls, but want to hang a couple of chump schererville dentists? Afraid I can't make that logical leap with you.

  • Adam W.||

    West should be imprisoned; Judge Joiner should be removed from the bench; Duncan's trial attorneys and the prosecutors should be disbarred.

  • <span style=\"color:darkblue\"||

    So, why isn't there a comments link at the bottom of the article? How come I have to go from the article, back to the main page, to hit and run, and finally to the comments link?

    Oh, and Hayne/West should be castrated.

  • jj||

    Oh my God.

  • <span style=\"color:darkblue\"||

    So, why is everybody doing this? Why do the police solicit these shoddy examinations? Why did Hayne and West perform them? Aren't they interested at all in justice?

    I just don't get the motive here.

  • ||

    Motive is easy. Detectives and prosecutors like to have "guilty" people to put in jail. ME's like to have bodies to examine. A nice hand-shake in a back room and a gentleman's agreement that if the ME (or bite mark "analyst") helps get convictions they will continue to get work is all the motive it takes.

  • ||

    Geesh...why am I NOT surprised? Hollywood makeup artists could not have done a better job.

    Hayne and West are more like Laurel and Hardy.

    What IDIOT cannot see the difference on this child's body/cheek?

    Stevie Wonder could SEE this!

    This is why I FIGHT and will NOT give up.

    If the state of Mississippi and Louisiana continue to IGNORE this, I vote that they move their states to Afghanistan.

    Thanx Radley Balko, you are a true American Hero and a heluva a man!

  • ||

    both of them, west and hayne should be arrested... today. and court action to free every single person jailed by the testimony of these two criminals needs to start without delay. this is a shocking a disgusting revelation.

  • nicole||

    Kudos to Radley as always. I just hope it will help, though I'm not expecting the thousands who should go free to actually do so.

  • ||

    The number of trials discovered to be tainted by the "work" of these two men continues to grow.

    Just fuck.

    As always, thanks Radley.

  • Tyler||

    Too bad prosecuters are legally above the law (however much sense that makes)

  • Jennifer||

    I keep telling you people: LOTTERY. Do away with the whole court-and-trial system, and whenever we need to imprison someone for a crime we'll just pick some random poor person's name out of the phone book. That way, we'll still have warm bodies to fill the jail cells, we'll have roughly the same accuracy rate, and we'll save a LOT of money on expenses like salaries for corrupt forensic examiners.

  • Warty||

    Yo, fuck Steven Hayne and Michael West.

  • ||

    I wonder how many killers are on the streets today because Hayne and West let the prosecutors just lock up the first person they could frame?

    -jcr

  • ||

    The problem is that almost everybody paid by the government benefits from convictions and no one benefits from acquittals. The police and prosecutors directly benefit from having a higher conviction rates. Law and order judges benefit by being re-elected. Public defenders have to work harder to get an acquittal and get no extra money. Sure it is good for their career to get few high profile acquittals but for most cases they are better off getting an innocent person to plead guilty.

    IMO, there needs to be a standing reward to get a reversal for any inmate - perhaps $20,000 per year of sentence. In other words, if you help free an innocent man from a 10 year sentence, you would receive $200,000. This would be more or less revenue neutral because it would save the cost of the prison cell.

  • tarran||

    What we are seeing in that video is attempted murder. West is clearly trying to murder Duncan.

    In the "good" old days, guys like West could be declared "outlaw" meaning that they were not protected by laws against murder and the like.

    It's guys like West who make that look like a good idea.

  • thiagodaluz7@gmail.com||

    No, it's guys like the rapist and murderer who committed the original crimes.

  • mr simple||

    This is horrible and maybe grounds for getting the feds involved in state business. Then again it's almost typical for justice systems in the south (I say that as a southerner). The study in Chapman's article has southern states filling 8 of the top 16 most corrupt states(out of 35) including the top 4. The guy that wanted to prosecute Phelps is from South Carolina. Just scroll down through H&R to get a good fill of ridiculous rulings, charges and outright corruption in southern legal systems. Don't get arrested in the south.

  • ||

    If there's any justice in the world, West does as much time as Duncan has done/will do until his (hopeful) eventual release. Duncan's hands aren't clean, obviously -- his negligent actions caused her death, and negligent homicide would've been a proper charge. But I don't get why they felt the need to do this -- to get a capital murder conviction. What's the point of it?

  • ||

    Fucking sick.
    I hate people.

  • ||

    No no no.
    I don't hate people, because there's always folks like Radley Balko.

  • Doug||

    This is Mississippi Burning 2.0.

    Gene Hackman where are you?

  • Douglas Gray||

    Hats off to Radley for keeping the dying art of investigative journalism alive.

    These guys deserve life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. The judge and the D.A. should be dismissed.

    It does make one question the trial system. The accused is more like a football that the D.A. tries to get across one goal, and the defense attorney the one on the other side of the field.

  • ||

    Great in depth article, why can't we see more like this in the MSM???

  • ||

    This is horrible and maybe grounds for getting the feds involved in state business.

    Maybe?

    It has always been legitimate for the federal government to step in and prevent the states from violating the Constitutional rights of citizens.

    How much longer should we give the Obama Justice Department to open an investigation into all this before we declare it no better than the Bush Justice Department on basic civil rights?

  • ||

    1. End sovereign immunity, but maintain a low threshold for good faith defenses.

    2. All fines and seizures resulting from criminal prosecutions go to the public defender's office.

    3. End voir dire and every day you are on jury duty, you are refunded all federal, state, and local taxes.

  • ||

    All fines and seizures resulting from criminal prosecutions go to the public defender's office.

    Watch what happens to the legislator who proposes that. Bring a raincoat.

    I have seen many good suggestions for reform. Most, if not all, will never happen. The police and prosecutors are too powerful, and they are too close to the legislators.

  • ||

    Our legal system is a 200-year-old criminal conspiracy of the highest order. It will never change, barring revolution.

  • ||

    2. All fines and seizures resulting from criminal prosecutions go to the public defender's office.

    Nah. Creates a conflict of interest in the PD's office.

    I would say that all fines and seizures go toward building roads or something that doesn't particularly benefit anyone involved in the criminal justice system.

  • Poppin' Caps Lock||

    There's an idea.

  • Snowden||

    You'd think that, after corrupting and perjuring thousands of other criminal cases, West and Hayne would realize that YOU SHOULDN'T FILM YOURSELF COMMITTING A CRIME, especially if you are going to keep it around for the defense to find.

    Thank God they're not just malevolent assholes, but that they're ignorant, mouthbreathing malevolent assholes.

    Mississippi: The Land That Totally Missed the 20th Century Altogether.

  • No Name Guy||

    Radley - keep up the work. You're one of the few lights for true justice in this country.

    I find it absolutely amazing at the complete lack of shame on the part of these two (Hayne and West). Those bastards ought to be stood up against a wall and shot....in the knees....then chained up to the wall, and shot in the groin....then have some battery acid sprayed on them. Then, after a few hours, a shot to the head. That would be about right for those couple of slimy bastards.

    Somewhat related to the story: Is it any wonder why newspapers are going out of business when they don't do work like Radley has been doing with respect to Hayne and West? Where's the NYT on this, huh? Their silence is deafening. Here in my home town of Seattle, the two dailys thought the most important story today is Griffey signing with the Mariners. I laughed when I saw that on the way into work. Lazy bastards - if they'd do their jobs, people might actually want to buy and read the damn bird cage liners.

  • ||

    Don't trust your soul to no backwoods Southern lawyer,
    Cuz the judge in the town's got blood stains on his hands.

    Hayne's and West are criminals, but the blinding incompetence of that! many! defense attorneys is almost as troubling.

    Radley, you need to take this to 60 Minutes, Dateline, Nightline, etc. The video, combined with all your other material is more than enough for an expose that will create enough outrage to move the US DOJ to act.

  • ||

    R C Dean,

    Nah. Creates a conflict of interest in the PD's office.

    Oops. You're right. Hmm. While trying deincentivize the police, I created another moral hazard.

    How about the prosecutor's and PD's office have to be funded at the same level? And spending must be one-to-one on a case-by-case basis? Sort of like discovery rules, but for money.

  • ||

    Don't trust your soul to no backwoods Southern lawyer

    "I'm just a simple country HyperChicken from a backwoods asteroid."

  • Boston||

    Twice in two weeks SF. Boo to you sir. Boo to you. Also, Radley is asking people to digg or reddit this article on The Agitator. For those of you who don't go over there.

  • ||

    Absolutely stunning journalism Radley!
    Now we can all be curious how the people charged with oversight and responsibility are going to react.
    I'm not holding my breath they will see the light.

  • ||

    These aren't "mistakes being made," LarryA. This is criminal malfeasance. Only execution is true justice in some cases. All who willfully participated in these frauds framing the innocent should be executed themselves. Preferably, after being tortured.

  • Benway||

    Radley Balko's relentless investigation of these two scumbags (Hayne especially) merits a Pulitzer. Give 'em hell, Radley. Never let 'em rest.

    Next stop, the Agitator for a Digg.

  • ||

    As far as I am concerned we should have the death penalty for people who are employed by the State (employees or subcontractors)who fabricate evidence which results in anyone's conviction, even if the conviction is for anything as trivial as a speeding violation.

    Its like a sheepdog that's gone bad that has starting killing the sheep. The other sheepdogs who are so tempted will likely reconsider their inclinations to be bad.

  • Mister DNA||

    Radley Balko's relentless investigation of these two scumbags (Hayne especially) merits a Pulitzer. Give 'em hell, Radley. Never let 'em rest.



    This needs to be repeated. In fact, the gross injustices which Mr. Balko exposes makes it easy to overlook the injustice of him not being recognized for his outstanding journalism.

  • ||

    Just reread Patterico's 2007 post here and and here accusing Radley of a hidden agenda to destroy Steven Hayne. Now let's see how Mr. Patterico will deal with this. Will he be honest enough to admit the obvious? His old argument to the WSJ is no good. Cory Maye is not involved in this one.
    Do I hold my breath? No indeed! I bet he'll try to weasel out of it by splitting a lot of hair.

  • ||

    How about the prosecutor's and PD's office have to be funded at the same level? And spending must be one-to-one on a case-by-case basis?

    That would work.

    You can take it a step further, and merge the two offices, assigning sides on a case randomly, so any given attorney will be prosecuting some cases and defending others. This should put paid to any cozy relationships between with the cops, ME's, etc.

    Just reread Patterico's 2007 post here and and here accusing Radley of a hidden agenda to destroy Steven Hayne.

    It was a hidden agenda? I thought Radley was pretty clear all along about it.

  • ||

    Note to self: Don't video tape your own stupidity!

    If it weren't for the seriousness of the issue, one could find humor in the fact that these so-called EXPERTS taped themselves creating grounds for PERJURY!

    Geesh! What kind of shit are these guys smokin'?

  • Korla Pundit||

    People who knowingly frame innocent people of crimes should be executed. These monsters, with the state behind them, have the power over life and death of people who are total strangers to them, yet they have no problem with ruining their lives, sending them to jail for life, destroying their families, or even having them executed. It is cold-blooded indifference to human life.

    Imagine how you would feel being on death row for raping and murdering your own kid when you know you didn't do it, and nobody believes you, and everybody believes you are scum.

    Makes me feel sick to my stomach.

  • Mike||

    Patterico won't be pleased to see this.

  • ||

    Since it doesn't really matter to these people that the Real Killers are allowed to roam free, and it doesn't seem to matter much to anyone else, and the whole criminal "justice" system is based on having someone to throw in jail and make money from building prisons and paying for fake autopsies, etc ( holy shit run-on sentence, but what the fuck)- I propose we shut-down all prisons and courts. Would it really be any worse or less-safe?

  • ||

    It is unbelievable that this guy Haynes was allowed to continue working in Mississippi or anywhere else on planet earth. He has been involved in several "questionable" autopsies in Tunica and Panola County Mississippi as recently as February of 2008!! I was told by family members of a murdered pregnant woman in Panola County that his findings stated she had had a hysterectomy in the past!!!! She was approximately 7 mths pregnant when she went missing!!! Her husband admitted to throwing her off a bridge and has not been charged with murder (2 victims). Local law enforcement is calling this a "crime of passion" What gives people?

  • ||

    I know it was explained above, but I really just don't get the motivation.

    How do these fuckers decide who and how they want to railroad somebody?

    I mean, do they all just get together and convince each other that it's okay? Or do they get together and convince themselves and each other the their target is guilty?

    And why would getting a false conviction be more agreeable to these fucktard than convicting an actual criminal?

    And you KNOW those who worked closely with them either turned a blind eye or were complicit.

    I just don't get it.

  • lunacy||

    Yeah, see, I just read Peter's comment.

    So what they hell has that poor pregnant woman's husband got going for him that these dickwads want to give him a pass with his "crime of passion", while Corey Maye, Jim Duncan and others get seriously screwed?

    You'd think in Mississippi that a man who killed his pregnant wife would be tried to two killings!

    Radley, you should do a video documentary on this shit.

  • ||

    I'll be back to read this after I've kissed my babies.

    Maybe that'll get my mind off wanting to tear Hayne and West limb from limb.

  • jgr||

    The only autopsy that he should be involved with is HIS OWN, and may it come soon.

  • jgr||

    "I wonder how many killers are on the streets today because Hayne and West let the prosecutors just lock up the first person they could frame?"

    Worse, how many people are dead today because the killers got away with it the first time?

  • Paul||

    Where were the defense attorneys during all of this? In any of these cases over the last 20 years. I mean, think about it. Every defense attorney can't be incompetent. And if Hayne was performing 90% of the autopsies over 20 years, by mere random chance one of those said attorneys would have to catch his shoddy work.

    That's why we have an adversarial system. This suggests failures on multiple points along the line.

  • ev||

    I had trouble just seeing the initial images of the dead girl.

    I don't understand how one can be so callous as to repeatedly defile a 2 year old girl with a piece of plaster.

    It's ok because she's already dead? Is that the logic?

    Yet again, I have another tally mark in the Why I Hate People column.

  • ||

    In your face JIM HOOD!

  • ||

    I am in shock. What sort of evil drives someone to abuse a child this way? The poor child's life had been difficult enough and ended horrifically - why would anyone think it was appropriate to traumatize her even in death?

    I simply cannot fathom it.

    Her profile looks very much like that of my 23 mo son. Seeing this is like being stabbed in the heart, and all I want to do is hold that child and make everything ok.

    I wonder if Haley's mother has seen this.

  • Qt. Jester||

    Radley,

    Just yesterday I shared the video about Cory Maye. I was totally unprepared for her comment. She said that the case was a perfect illustration for why there should be gun-control laws. No other facts of the case mattered.

    I am tempted to show your article to her, but I am afraid of her response (some strange angle that would make sense to Matt Damon). Sadly, I see her complacent rationalization of heinousness as a common malaise in our voting public.You're a brave man to persist in righting wrong.

  • Qt. Jester||

    Bronwyn,

    with all due respect. Mr. Balko used this video to help not just a few people from presumably unjust sentences.

    This was not attention-getting voyeurism. Redirect your disgust at the true perpetrators of crime, the forensic fakes.

    The poor child has not been abused by the article. If anything her senseless death is no longer senseless.

  • ||

    Qt. Jester, you obviously haven't met me before on the threads here and at The Agitator. Believe me, I know exactly what Radley's purpose was.

    With all due respect, you have completely misread my comment. My disgust and revulsion are directed squarely at Hayne, West, and the system that allowed - no, encouraged - this sort of evil to persist.

  • ||

    Radley, I'll share this around my usual internet haunts. If ever an awareness campaign was needed...

    I also have to add my Hear! Hear! to those calls for awards. You are doing our nation a great service.

  • ||

    Yep Qt. Jester, Bronwyn is one of the GOOD GUYS!

    I have friends all over the world that have read this article and saw the video...everyone has the same response...sick, disgusted and very angry!

    But anger or any emotion is not going to get anything done...we have to ACT!

  • Qt. Jester||

    Bronwyn,

    All apologies. I realized I'd prolly made a misinterpret of your post about the time after I made it. I hope rereading your post you can see how I misread it (just to save me embarrassment.) If not, I apologize again. And no, I am not frequent enough to recognize your handle. Won't happen again. If you read my post above yours, you might understand why I said what I said. Simply, it's a creepy world we live in. But you make it brighter. Peace!

    Qt. Jester

  • Qt. Jester||

    Again, Sorry,

    Any ideas on how to agitate are welcome. The Cory Maye case has me angry beyond belief and more so by the casualness most of my friends and colleagues have recieved it. I almost have resigned myself to what a retarded world I live in. Please, help!

  • nonPaulogist||

    I'm no fan of Reason or Balko, but if Radley doesn't get a Pulitzer for this, then there's no point in even having the prize awarded.

  • ||

    Radley,

    In a word...STUNNING!!

    I am absolutely horrified and outraged.

  • Qt. Jester||

    NonPaulogist,

    Good to see you here. But Balko is a hero. A hero for justice. Firefighting is awesome enough. But my experience even trying to convey what this guy has made easy, helps demonstrate the strong will of his work.

    A pullitzer prize would cheapen his work. That prize has gone to fakes. His prize will be acquittals from convictions based on false evidence.

    Funny enough I envision a day when Radley is supposed to accept an Academy Award for his work based on a major motion picture and he says: "With the little respect I can muster, you, despite your common ground, have ostracized my project which is to give freedom to the unjustly imprisoned, yet through the common sense of the American public, we have trumped your insolent hypocrasy. Our actors have willingly participated in this film. They may have won honors for such and they were paid their going rate for such. Let them speak now for or against my film.I am proud of it. It has freed innocent men from tyranny!"

  • Justen||

    Another reminder that while one man, acting alone, can ruin the lives of a handful of defenseless people, it takes the complicity of the state to commit truly monstrous acts. Everyone involved, prosecutors, police, court justices who knew or should have known that these men were manufacturing evidence are accomplices. By falsely convicting potentially dozens, if not hundreds, of people they have committed nothing less than the moral equivalent of genocide. Forcing these men's resignation as punishment is a JOKE at our expense and shows an utter contempt for anything resembling justice or the rule of law.

    What do we really have to fear: the malice of a handful of antisocial people who's crimes are rarely prevented in the first place, or the State, who under the guise of public service regularly commit widespread heinous acts? How many times do these things have to happen before we recognize which is the real danger?

  • ||

    What I don't understand is this: Why did the defense lawyers and the judge not see the obvious in this video? Let's even assume they were both corrupt and incompetent -- how could they explain the video away?

  • ||

    Just reread Patterico's 2007 post here and and here accusing Radley of a hidden agenda to destroy Steven Hayne.

    I don't think it's hidden. Nor should it be. There's nothing shameful about wanting to destroy Hayne; I can't think of many who deserve it better. He deserves to have his medical license yanked and be unable to get any job that requires more responsibility than that of a Wal-Mart stock clerk.

  • ||

    Oh my God.....thank you CPCPL and Innocence Project.....and Radley Balko for writing this article. Our family has been waiting for this news and this article and after reading it, I am stunned and shocked. I am Jimmie Duncan's aunt, his mother's sister. His mother Barbara died in 2007 waiting and waiting for someone to help him. I feel so angry right now at the prosecutor, defense attorney, judge, and so-called medical examiner that I can hardly speak. Why would they deliberately do this to anyone?

    I want to say thank-you to all of you who have written comments of support to this article. You don't even know Jimmie but you are kind enough to write words of support for him. I'm going to write to him tonight and tell him. By the way to everyone....his name is Chris....we call him Chris. His name is Jimmie Christian. He's only called Jimmie in jail.

    Please God, let him come home soon. And then.....we'll see who will be sitting in jail!

  • ||

    yeah jimmie christian ducan the child molester and rapist that murdered my cousin u stupid b**** u wanna sit there and believe he is innocent of what not biting her cheek yeah ok maybe that but he murdered a 2 year old baby how can u defend him let him burn in hell where he is

  • Will I am Tell||

    On the contrary Jessica, there is no credible evidence of Jimmie raping the child in this case. The only possible molesters were on Allison's side of the family. Another fact, just like this video that Judge Joiner conveniently made sure never made it to the jury. Allison to this day is nothing but a drug addict who had so much remorse on the day her daughter died she was out buying drugs that same night. Hardly indicative of a grieving mother. Every piece of evidence presented in this case was either manufactured or conveniently lost by the state. The forensics don't support the conviction. Jimmie will get his day in court and the true facts will come out. Sorry to tell you but you will be relegated to nothing more than your biased opinion, which the facts will prove are nothing more than just that...a vindictive biased opinion not based on facts or evidence. The whole thing is a tragedy. But Jimmie is innocent. You can't possibly dispute the validity of the video when it is staring you in the face, but the video doesn't begin to tell the truth of the miscarriage of justice in this case. I'm sure you'll find it refreshing to insult my comment as you have others on here, but you're not proving anything except you have an opinion. Not facts, but a biased opinion.

  • ||

    There are no words for what these 2 men have done to an innocent man many, many years ago....yes, he may have neglected the child by leaving her briefly unattended, but in his heart he has suffered her loss greatly for this ACCCIDENT......

    I will simply reiterate a comment above:

    Tbone | February 19, 2009, 3:04pm | #

    Radley, you need to take this to 60 Minutes, Dateline, Nightline, etc. The video, combined with all your other material is more than enough for an expose that will create enough outrage to move the US DOJ to act.

    Justice must be served for this innocent man!!!!!!!

  • ||

    innocent by far you have no idea what he did to my little cousin so keep ur fucking comments to ur self

  • Donna D.||

    It's insane that either Hayne or West still has any sort of medical license. And it's despicable that the state of Mississippi is too cowardly to investigate their work. This is a horrible miscarriage of justice that makes me ashamed to be an American.

  • ||

    It is absolutely repulsive how one person would sacrifice another for their own prosperity. This poor child suffered enough in life why make her suffer
    in death as well. It is absolutely disgusting.
    If this man did the things he was accused of..Where were the bite marks when the neighbors saw her? Where is the semen from the supposed rape?
    Where are the ligature marks from him drowning her? This is a nauseating look at the real justice sytstem that USA lives by. What facts can you live
    by when you see people we are supposed to trust act in this manner. It makes me question every moral I live by and every thing i am supposed to
    trust. I pray for every family that has had to deal with ignorant and self serving offcials who have the money and power to what serves their purpose
    and not Gods.
    I hope that no other child has had their body- even in death- mutilated by some self serving ass hole. She deserved much more that she recieved in either life
    or death.
    I do not know who or what evidence to trust anymore. Nor do I understand how any person could be so self serving. I do not trust anything any longer.
    This man could have been the only person in her (Haley's) life that cared for her. Now look at him, he may have made a mistake by washing dishes, but
    how many other people make this mistake everyday.
    In the same thought, how many other people have been accused and executed for the same or similar manufactured evidence? How many people is it too late for?
    The state nor the Federal Government should let it be too late for this one person or for this child. My heart goes out to anyone in this situation, as Louisiana and Federal laws have show, it can happen to anyone anywhere. It may even happen to someone you love and care for.

  • ||

    If he held her down her down to drown her, where are the hand prints? Hello- anyone who watches Forensic Files should know that holding someone with enough force to drown them leaves marks. these people were fixed and focused on one person. Its absolutely sickening

  • ||

    For some time I have believed the following:

    1) Politicians, categorically, are scum.
    2) Prosecutors are the worst kind of politicians.

    Incredibly good work Radley and Reason.

    Bill Walsh

  • ||

    Miss. Governor Haley Barbour is lining up to run for Prez in 2012. Force his hand on this issue.... he'll be all over the airwaves on this.

  • A. Magnus||

    Cases like this explain the real reason why there are so many 'CSI' type 'crime lab' shows on TV; it's pure pro-statist propaganda. These labs are not where most police officers work, they're too busy writing tickets or busting non-violent drug users. I suspect if your local CSI was independently investigated they would find numerous fabrications of evidence designed to create a new class of powerless slaves to the state whose labor goes right into government coffers.

  • ||

    Radley, you need to take this to 60 Minutes, Dateline, Nightline, etc. The video, combined with all your other material is more than enough for an expose that will create enough outrage to move the US DOJ to act. (tbone)

    I've been trying to do just that! However trying to talk to someone important enuff to do something at one of these major networks is much akin to re-entering one's mother's womb....it is IMPOSSIBLE!

    DAMN!

  • Michael||

    I HAVE TWO WORDS DAMON THIBODEAUX!!!! CROOKED ASS JPSO AND WESTWEGO POLICE DEPT. THEY CLEARLY KNOW THAT YOUNG MAN DIDNT DO THE CRIME!!!!!!!!! RIP CRYSTAL CHAMPAGNE

  • ||

    i would love to hear what you have to say about the Thibodeaux case. my husband and Damon were best friends growing up and was shocked to hear about this. so out of character for this guy.

  • ||

    Im damons cousin and he is innocent

  • ||

    Some thoughts about how man and society works...

    In Sweden we executed the last person in 1910, but we didn't abolish the death penalty until 1921 in times of peace. In times of war it was abolished in 1973. I find this interesting because it shows that the people started questioning this irrevocable and inhuman punishment and stopped this practice long before the law was changed.

    The popular conscience was a stronger force than the law in it self - and Sweden is nothing if not a country long governed by an intricate maze of laws and regulations.

    I read a question that a pro death penalty person asked. The question was based upon the anti-death penalty argument; that the more cruel and grimmer the punishment is, the crueler the people become, and that people's attitudes are a result of their environment. The pro-person, slowly starting to rethink her arguments and statements asked - But how long will it take for people to change?

    I believe that the mind changing and people changing with it will go fast when the law is finally changed. I believe that the American people will come to think that the death penalty is a inhuman and cruel punishment that doesn't fit in a democratic world, and this sooner than we can imagine. I think that it would become very clear that the death penalty system increases a society's social rifts and worsens the attitude toward and the relations with their neighbours. Why is this so?

    I think it is so because that the death penalty system is used as a "tool" by society to mark and define what is normal and what is deviant. The society is using those opposites to define and organise the collective thinking. By using different paired opposites it becomes clear to the individual what is not accepted and what is unwanted. This strategy is also used to identify "us" and "them". People who don't fit the profile are marginalised and their subcultures become a warning sign for moral degeneration. By giving rejected people and groups a stigma* the society prevents people from identifying everyone as the same. The "normal" creates stigma theories to convince people about the deviant's inferiority.

    I will give you an example. In the 1920s the Swedish Social Department started to believe that a small peripatetisk** group called gypsies disturbed the social order by their way of living. Two special censuses resulted in a new law in 1922. Now it became illegal to travel as they did, which made it hard for gypsies to survive. At this time a debate started about racial purity and discussions began about compulsory sterilization as a solution for the "gypsy" problem began. By characterizing this group as scum and seeing them as unintelligent, immoral, dirty and maladjusted, they became marginalised and rejected, and by this a very clear example was given of who was accepted and normal and who was not. By 1934 the gypsies became subject of a racial biological investigation [not just in National Socialist Germany] so they where put in institutions, they were declared mentally incompetent and subjected to compulsory sterilization. Their children were taken from their parents and put in institutions. This was the state's strategy to eliminate the unwanted.

    If I could excavate the future, like an archaeologist only using the future as my field, it could look like this: Imagine a society that allows the death penalty, active suicide help and abortion. All the unwanted would be eliminated. Only the wealthy, successful, lucky and healthy people would have a chance and a right to their own lives. By eliminating the unwanted, the love for life and the value of life would decrease to that level that we could compare ourselves to the worst dehuminazing times in history. This would actually kill the human soul. In fact I don't know if we still would be humans anymore.

    I also believe that the death penalty system is a solution for problems so fundamental that the state doesn't know how to handle them; poverty, racism and greed. Every crime is a cut to the society's body and it is to a certain level self-inflected. A society with a high crime level should feel it has failed and blame itself for not taking better care of its citizens. Instead it puts ALL the responsibility on the individual. Don't misunderstand me, every person has his own responsibility and should be punished for committed crimes. But the society's attitude should always be to save as many lives as possible. Preventing crimes and rehabilitating the criminals is one true way to a more equal and united society.

    To answer the question above, I will return to the gypsies again. In the 1920s they were counted to be 2575 individuals, yet only twenty years later there where 7668 individuals. By constantly widening the criteria and keep them vague, the numbers of gypsies almost trippeled. This, when coupled with the fact that they had been forcibly sterilized for ten years, should raise question marks. The increasing numbers of gypsies seems to stand in direct proportion to society's demands in terms of what was considered moral and legal behaviour. By vague formulations those individuals considered to be of lesser value or worthless and classified at the bottom of society, and this thus legitimized the forced sterilization of asserted asocial persons as a reform movement, building a new, strong and "healthy" society. Those people were the opposite of the Swedish ideal citizen.

    Do you see any similarities?

    This is an example of how fast peoples' thought patterns and conceptions change and I have brought up two opposite examples, one in each direction, one choosing life and one choosing death. My belief is that America is already changing its thought patterns about the death penalty, because 14 states have already stopped the executions so there is clearly hope and a wish to choose life, love and democracy.

    To conclude, I would just like to give you a citation about a twenty year old woman in the Swedish racial hygiene program from the 1930s.

    The blond of gypsy extraction was well aware of the consequences of the intelligence testing, e.g. the sterilization request. Tense and very nervous in the testing situation, but tries with rapid speech and many words to give the inadequate answers the appearance of intelligence. Course, clumsy motor skills, speaks in a vulgar manner in nonchalant tones. Proposed action: The extremely sleazy attitude with the previously asocial life style motivates, in spite of an IQ of 73, sterilization. N is missing - to judge humanely - all prerequisites for motherhood.

  • ||

    Fuck, this is sick. Secede Louisiana and Mississippi from the rest of the Union, please.

  • ||

    The poor baby that he is doing the autopsy on had been sexually and physically abused by that sick monster for a while. Her mother was too much of an idiot to care or notice, Im not sure which. She had been in the ER several times in the months leading up to her death for injuries suffered at that sick perverts hands. He is where he needs to be and I hope that he does not get out. Poor Haley was a beautiful little girl, how in the hell can any of you make that sorry bastard out to be the victim?

  • ||

    This man anally raped that little girl so viciously that her insides were on the outside. He brutalized her repeatedly, sexually and physically. How can ANYONE in their right mind even begin to view this man as a victim? How has our nation become a plac that is more concerned with the rights of the criminal than the rights and life that were taken from a CHILD? The mother in this case KNEW what was going on. After Duncan had been in jail for a mere six months, she asked that he be released from jail, that she believed he had served enough time and had learned his lesson. Both the mother and her boyfriend deserve death for the torture this poor child had to endure. We need to seriously take a LONG look at our justice system and assess when and how it became ok for people to do this type of thing and be viewed as victims. I hope they both rot in hell, for it would be true injustice if this little angel has to see either the mother or Duncan in the hereafter.

  • ||

    jamie i could not agree with you more and to think my uncle donnie was married to that bitch allison and she was truely an angel i wish u could of known her when she was alive

  • ||

    My comment is similar and is a question. Why haven't these people been arrested by the FBI. This is obviously being covered up at the State level?

    They are truly evil individuals to do this. I can not imagine the depth of the harm they've done to the criminal justice system in these two states.

  • ||

    yeah yall think its fucked up thats my little cousin yall are looking at we have been dealing with her death for the last 17 years and now this to think we may have out a innocent man behind bars because of the fuck nut i would love to fucking punch him in his face how could he do this to my little cousin she didnt deserve any of this it is just really fucked up

  • ||

    haha i take back my earlier post he is innocent against biting my cousin but dont get me rong he is guilty

  • Adnan SEOExperts||

    2 years later - are we better off?
    gear making

  • Scarpe Nike||

    is good

  • moncler outlet||

    good

  • caibutou||

    thank

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement