Hayne Responds

Dr. Steven Hayne has responded in Jackson's Clarion-Ledger to a complaint filed by the national and Mississippi Innocence Projects to revoke his medical license. And to vouch for his credibility, he has summoned none other than District Attorney Forrest Allgood—the same guy who has had three murder convictions overturned, and who continued using "bite-mark expert" Dr. Michael West more than a decade after the disgraced dentist was exposed as a fraud.

Here, a closer look at Hayne and Allgood's comments:

"My experience with Hayne is that 99 times out of 100 he testifies this guy died and this is how he died," Allgood said. "How is that in any way convicting innocent people?"

I'm not even sure what this means. In the Tyler Edmonds case, Hayne put his medical expertise behind a Allgood's theory that two people held the gun that fired the bullets that killed a man. His testimony in the Cory Maye case was critical in casting doubt on Maye's credibility with the jury. In the Devin Bennett and Jeffrey Havard cases, Hayne's testimony that infant deaths were homicides instead of accidents was really the only evidence presented against the men. Both were sentenced to death. Hayne routinely testifies to matters well beyond the mere cause of death, many times well beyond his area of expertise.

The National Association of Medical Examiners limits pathologists to fewer than 250 autopsies a year.

Hayne said such a number is arbitrary. "There's one group that says you shouldn't do more than 350, and there are other groups that don't have a limit," he said. "Should I call the Innocence Project to see if I've done too many and stop?"

NAME is widely considered the guiding professional organization for forensic pathologists. But I'd challenge Hayne to find any medical organization willing to give its approval to the 1,500 to 1,800 autopsies he does per year. It isn't that he does 10 or 15 more than he should. It's that he does 5-8 times as many as he should. While testifying 2-3 times per week. And holding other jobs.

He estimates he works 110 hours a week. "Some people were put on this earth to party, and some people were put on this earth to work," he said. "I've always worked very hard."

And a forensic pathologist whose conclusions and trial testimony can determine whether or not someone is found guilty of murder shouldn't be working 110 hours per week. It's simply not possible to put in that kind of time and do an adequate job. Hayne's history of sloppy work bears this out.

Innocence Project officials say Hayne has wrongly testified he is "board certified" in forensic pathology. By contending he is board certified, officials say this is an obvious reference to the American Board of Pathology.

Hayne disputed that claim.

He said the American Board of Pathology has never construed its board as superior. He said he is certified in anatomical pathology and clinical pathology by that board. He is certified in forensic pathology by the American Board of Forensic Pathology.

Any forensic pathologist will tell you that in order to work in most hospitals, testify in court, and generally be accepted as "board certified" in a particular medical specialty, you have to be certified by an organization approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties. And in forensic pathology, that means a certification in the sub-specialty of forensic pathology by the American Board of Pathology.

No forensic pathologist I've talked to has heard of the "American Board of Forensic Pathology." It sounds suspiciously like the organization Hayne should have been certified by, but is just a bit off. The organization apparently doesn't have a website. It's also just one of several organizations of dubious merit from which he has claimed certification over the years. Given that Hayne only seems willing to speak to the Clarion-Ledger, perhaps a reporter there could ask him more about this mysterious organization. Does he have an actual certificate from them? Where are they located? What did he have to do to get certified?

He said the American Board of Pathology hasn't certified him because he walked out of the examination. He said he got angry at what he regarded as a stupid question - ranking in order what colors are associated with funerals instead of asking questions about forensic pathology.

"I've got a temper. I don't put up with crap like that," he said. "I walked out and took another examination from another board."

And yet for decades thousands of forensic pathologists have managed to take the same exam without storming off in anger.

Sometimes defense lawyers will ask for the funds to hire an expert to challenge Hayne, Allgood said. "So far I have yet to see any of them come and testify, which only leads me to the conclusion they agree with what he said."

Allgood is flat-out lying. First, many times when a defense attorney in Mississippi asks the court for funds to hire an expert to challenge Hayne, he is denied. That's what happened in the Jeffrey Havard case. Moreover, I personally know of cases in which Allgood was the prosecutor, where defense attorneys were able to procure an expert to counter Hayne. It's not surprising to see Allgood hedge and mislead on this stuff. But he's now brazenly lying on matters that can be pretty easily verified.

Finally, a bit of comic relief...

Hayne said he's the victim of modern-day McCarthyism by a group whose real aim is to gut the death penalty in Mississippi and other states.

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  • Episiarch||

    Yeah, what's wrong wit da coroner we got? I mean, the coroner we got diagnose pretty good, don't he? Now, I ain't never heard nobody complain about the coroner we have.

  • hamilton||

    Radley, the article in the Clarion-Ledger has a contact number for the reporter for comments - are you following up directly with that guy? It would be awesome if some of what you are posting here could be refelected more locally. It's extremely unlikely Reason is on the top reading list for the Clarion-Ledger's clientele.

  • Long-time reader, first time t||

    Hayne just got pwnt. If there were any justice, he would be in prison right now. He is criminally negligent.

  • ||

    Hayne is one sick, sick man.

    Allgood is just as sick.

    The ogre in me just wants to rip them limb from limb and feast on their bloody corpses. Fortunately I'm only half-ogre and can suppress such urges with the aid of caffeine and cigarettes.

    Although my county is about to pass a county wide smoking ban....

  • adrian||

    he does realize that McCarthy actually outed many Communists and for the most part did an excellent job at what he was supposed to do.

  • Taktix®||

    NAME is widely considered the guiding professional organization for forensic pathologists.

    Radley,

    You can use my name of you want ;)

  • Episiarch||

    Personally, I'm surprised that a family member, of a person who got convicted by Hayne's bogus testimony, hasn't put a few holes in the "Doctor".

  • T||

    Well, when you're neck deep in it like Allgood and Hayne are, you really have two options. Give the big mea culpa and throw yourself on the mercy of the court or brazen it out and claim innocence of everything. I'm guessing both of them think they've gotten away with it so far, so they can keep going with bluster and bs.

    And I thought Texas had problems. They pale in comparison to this nonsense.

  • ktc2||

    So he's board certified by a board that either doesn't exist or that he in some way owns?

    And no defense attorney has gotten to the bottom of that?! Wow, they must be just as grossly incompetent.

  • Elemenope||

    he does realize that McCarthy actually outed many Communists and for the most part did an excellent job at what he was supposed to do.

    Yes, yes, blah blah blah. Witch hunt tactics are fine so long as they round up some guilty people.

    Moron.

  • Elemenope||

    And I thought Texas had problems. They pale in comparison to this nonsense.

    Texas courts ruled fairly recently that a sleeping attorney was competent counsel for a murder defendant.

    Are we talking about the same Texas?

  • Bingo||

    Yeah, what's wrong wit da coroner we got? I mean, the coroner we got diagnose pretty good, don't he? Now, I ain't never heard nobody complain about the coroner we have.



    lol

  • what a vagine||

    word

  • NP||

    Radley, you should contact The Clarion-Ledger to see if they'll offer to publish your rebuttal. It's high time these two impostors get what they deserve.

  • SJE||

    Allgood: "My experience with Hayne is that 99 times out of 100 he testifies this guy died and this is how he died," Allgood said. "How is that in any way convicting innocent people?"

    Perhaps coz Hayne only gives the results that affirm the police and prosecution story (mmm, wonder why?)

    Perhaps becoz the only person saying "how they died" is Stephen Hayne, and no one is allowed to dispute it.

    Maybe coz a prosecutor has no expertise in making a final determination on how a person actually died.

    Finally, even IF the prosecutor is correct and all is fair, a 1% error rate would mean that 15 people were wrongly convicted.

  • short, fat bastard||

    110 hours a week; that 15+ hours a day for seven days.

    Utter bullshit!

  • ||

    GET EM, GET EM!

  • ||

    I get the feeling that a lot of people in Mississippi would love to accident Radley.

  • ||

    re Hamilton @ 10:19am: "It's extremely unlikely Reason is on the top reading list for the Clarion-Ledger's clientele."

    Perhaps. But two of the comments to the Clarion-Ledger article linked posts to Reason articles about the case, so they ain't all mow-rons.

  • ||

    For the short, fat bastard:

    I did the math over at Radley's blog (and practically spammed the thread - sorry, RB!). I'll replicate in brief here.

    There are 168 hours in a week. Hayne claims to work 110 of those hours, leaving 58 hours, or 8h 16m a day for sleeping, eating, shitshowernshaving and time with the wife and kids (assuming he has them, he may not - I hope he doesn't).

    110 hours a week times 52 weeks is 5720 hours. Divide that by 1500 and we have 3h 48m TOPS that he can dedicate to each autopsy. If he does 1800 autopsies, that drops to 3h 10m. But of course, he's testifying and commuting, too.

    Let's say his total time, travelling and testifying at these 2-3 cases per week takes 20 hours a week - and I acknowledge that at this point, I'm only guessing because Hayne hasn't indicated his time commitment here. That leaves him with 3h 7m to 2h 36m per autopsy.

    Is he cracking open chests and writing the reports? I wanna see this guy's workflow.

  • ||

    Tick-tock. Tick-tock...

  • Dr. Steven Hayne||

    I see dead people.

  • hamilton||

    @shirt: yeah, but I was one of 'em. Didn't want to suggest Radley talk to the C-L without practicing what I was preaching. I'm a big Balko fan of late.

  • whoops, wrong blog||

    This guy probably killed all these people as well.

  • adrian||

    lmnop:

    so asking people to under oath declare whether or not they are communist supporters or party members is now a which hunt?

    how many people on his list of 230'ish suspected people weren't actually communist supporters?

    i think out of the 65 he targeted in the state department 54 resigned immediately. (numbers are probably off a little).

  • ||

    Nice threadjack, adrian. Been reading Mann Coulter lately, have we?

  • adrian||

    sorry didn't know we couldn't go off on a tangent.

    Mississippi DA is BAD.

    happy now?

  • ||

    No, no, hang on Joe McCarthy's nuts some more. I'm enjoying the show. Oh, and Hayne isn't the DA, fool, which you might know had you actually bothered to pay attention instead of hopping on the thread to butter up your cornhole for some hot McCarthy worship.

  • Elemenope||

    so asking people to under oath declare whether or not they are communist supporters or party members is now a which hunt?

    It was none of his business to ask. No American should have to answer to his government about what ideology of governance they believe in. They should only have to answer for actions they have undertaken. I think you'll find that for every spy that was a "true believer" there are several who were just in it for the money. If you had asked them, they would have undoubtedly been proud capitalists.

    But moving beyond those obvious points, it was a witch-hunt because the methods by which he produced his lists and his "proof" were fabricated (much like in actual witch hunts) and fueled by hysteria by an at least partially-imaginary threat (also like, you guessed it, witch hunts).

    Clear?

  • Fluffy||

    Well, Adrian, you're leaving out the somewhat pertinent fact that belonging to the Communist party was not then and has never been a crime, and that therefore the entire line of inquiry the Senate was undertaking was tyrannical and unjust.

  • Episiarch||

    Not to mention that by turning the whole thing into a hyper witch hunt, it was like a direct gift to the KGB. From that point on people still worried about moles and plants could be ridiculed as a nut just like Joe.

  • adrian||

    Jim Bob: this article and the history is about a bad DA and bad forensic pathologists putting innocent people behind bars. yes i read it and have read them all.. and no i didn't get this from coulter,

    fluffy lmnop: so being in the state department, making decisions about a war against a country whose political party you are affiliated with (or a member of) does not seem like a problem to you? I agree if you just like communist ideas that should not be a problem but when you support to some degree the soviet communist party (or chinese) with which you are currently at war it would strike me as at the very least a conflict of interest.

    then again, everyone in the media says it was a witch hunt so i guess it's true.

  • Kolohe||

    Hayne isn't the DA, fool

    But to be fair "Mississippi DA is BAD." is also a true statement

  • Kolohe||

    and ironically he's Allgood!

  • Elemenope||

    so being in the state department, making decisions about a war against a country whose political party you are affiliated with (or a member of) does not seem like a problem to you?

    The State Department does not make decisions on whether to make war or how war is made; its job is maintenance of diplomats and diplomacy. In any case, the US and the USSR were never in a state of war.

    I agree if you just like communist ideas that should not be a problem but when you support to some degree the soviet communist party (or chinese) with which you are currently at war it would strike me as at the very least a conflict of interest.

    Our ideals are only supportable when they don't matter? Besides, many American communists are well documented as being indifferent to or outright hostile to international communist organizations, particularly following WWII. It doesn't follow at all that they would have any greater proclivity of cleaving to the enemy or some such piffle. Also, to belabor the point, war was never a declared state of affairs between the two powers.

    then again, everyone in the media says it was a witch hunt so i guess it's true.

    that's pretty asinine, both as sarcasm and taken straight.

  • ||

    I believe the very term 'witch hunt' originated in McCarthyism. I'm pretty sure The Crucible was written as a parody of the McCarthy hearings.

  • Elemenope||

    I believe the very term 'witch hunt' originated in McCarthyism. I'm pretty sure The Crucible was written as a parody of the McCarthy hearings.

    The term may have been invented then, but the actual practice was alive and well throughout the last four centuries or so in Europe and America.

  • Episiarch||

    I'm pretty sure The Crucible was written as a parody of the McCarthy hearings.

    Arthur Miller was a Communist, after all!

  • ||

    Radley, my deepest appreciation goes out to you for exposing this charlatan. Without your voice and others like it kids like Tyler Edmonds would simply languish in prison and, eventuaully die there. Pretty cruel fate for a 13 year old child . . but an even worse fate awaited those men who were sentenced to die. Haynes and Allgood deserve prison sentences for the lives they have destroyed.

    I just want to note, once again, however that the "gatekeeper" in the Tyler Edmonds trial was supposed to be Judge James Kitchens (former employee of Allgood). Lots of weird testimony can be put forth in a criminal trial, but its the judge that is supposed to prohibit garbage like the testimony offered by Haynes. Instead, Kitchens let it go in the Tyler Edmonds trial and the result was Tyler's imprisonment from age 13 until age 17.

  • T||

    Texas courts ruled fairly recently that a sleeping attorney was competent counsel for a murder defendant.

    Are we talking about the same Texas?


    I didn't say the problems weren't large, just that they weren't as bad as this. Or maybe they are. Google "houston crime lab" and be amazed at the utter fecklessness and incompetence displayed.

    I guess what I'm learning from all of this is if you're accused of a crime, you're basically fucked no matter what.

  • ktc2||

    Yup, if your accused of a crime you're guilty. PERIOD

    Even if PROVEN innocent you will still be found guilty, one way or another.

    Maybe we should all start carrying cyanide pills.

  • Zman||

    McNulty and Freamon think these guys have gone too far.

  • ||

    But to be fair "Mississippi DA is BAD." is also a true statement.

    True, fair enough.

    and ironically he's Allgood!

    And that made me LOL.

  • ||

    What is wrong with Mississippi? They need to move into the 21st century. And WHY are they letting this HAYNE guy get by with this crap? I have corresponded with Devin Bennett. This North Carolina gal is getting ready to go to Mississippi and rip this HAYNE guy a new one!

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