Manufacturing Guilt?

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


Editor's Note: The following article contains graphic and disturbing photographs and video excerpts of an examination conducted on the body of a 23-month-old girl. The images are the basis of claims that forensic experts fabricated evidence in a case that put a man on death row, where he awaits exoneration or execution.

For most of the last 20 years, doctors Steven Hayne and Michael West have served as expert forensic witnesses for the state of Mississippi. Until 2008, Hayne served as the de facto state medical examiner, dominating a criminal autopsy market in which prosecutors contract out examinations to favored private doctors. West, a dentist, served one term as the elected coroner in Forest County, Mississippi in the 1990s and partly through his work with Hayne became a popular bite-mark examiner among prosecutors. Both men have come under intense scrutiny for questionable working procedures and dubious testimony—West off and on for 15 years, Hayne mostly in the last two. Reason has been following Hayne's deteriorating career since an October 2006 article that detailed his role in putting a possibly innocent man named Cory Maye on death row (see an archive of our Hayne-related reporting at:

Last year, two men that Hayne and West helped convict of murder in the early 1990s, Levon Brooks and Kennedy Brewer, were exonerated and freed from prison through DNA testing after serving more than 30 years combined behind bars. Both men had been accused of raping and murdering the daughters of their respective girlfriends. In what has come to be a pattern with the two doctors, in each case Hayne claimed to have found in an initial autopsy what other examiners missed: bite marks on the victim's body. He then called in West, a forensic odontologist (dental examiner), who definitively matched bite marks to the defendants. Partly because of the testimony from Hayne and West, Brooks was sentenced to life in prison, and Brewer to death (he spent 14 years on death row). DNA testing in 2008 determined that the semen found on both girls belonged to a third man, 51-year-old Albert Johnson. As Brooks and Brewer were freed, Johnson confessed to both crimes.

The Brooks and Brewer cases form their own forensics riddle: How could West and Hayne have definitively linked previously undetected bite marks on the victims to two men who didn't commit the murders?

Reason recently obtained shocking video from another Hayne and West collaboration that may shed light on the question. In 1993, the two conducted an examination on a 23-month-old girl named Haley Oliveaux of West Monroe, Louisiana, who had drowned in her bathtub. The video shows bite marks mysteriously appearing on the toddler's face during the time she was in the custody of Hayne and West. It then shows West repeatedly and methodically pressing and scraping a dental mold of a man's teeth on the dead girl's skin. Forensic scientists who have viewed the footage say the video reveals not only medical malpractice, but criminal evidence tampering.

How Jimmie Duncan Landed on Death Row

Haley Oliveaux did not have a happy young life. Her mother was divorced. Her father was in prison. In November 1993, she was twice taken to the hospital after suffering seizures. On November 29 of that year, she was again admitted to the hospital, this time after allegedly pulling a chest of drawers down on top of herself while climbing to reach for a piggy bank. She suffered multiple skull fractures in the incident and, notably, some bruising on her left elbow. An investigation by the West Monroe Police Department and Ouachita Parish Child Protective Services found no evidence of abuse and no reason to doubt the piggy bank story.

Three weeks later, on December 18, Allison Oliveaux went to work at 8:45 a.m., leaving Haley in Jimmie Duncan's care. According to Duncan, he gave Haley a bath later that morning, and left her in the bathtub while he washed some dishes. At around 10:30 a.m., Duncan said, he returned to the bathroom to find her lying motionless in the tub. Duncan said he rushed Haley to the house next door, where neighbor Floyd Bennett tried to administer CPR while his son called an ambulance. The ambulance crew described Duncan as hysterical and weeping. Haley was taken to the hospital, and pronounced dead shortly thereafter. After admitting to the police that he'd left Haley alone in the tub, Jimmie Duncan was arrested and charged with negligent homicide, or criminal inaction leading to another person's death.

But after the autopsy and examination by Hayne and West, prosecutors raised the charges. Citing the bite-mark analysis, along with other evidence, prosecutors charged Duncan with capital murder, alleging that he raped Haley Oliveaux in the bathtub, forced her head underwater, bit her, and drowned her. Five years later, even though the only physical evidence directly linking him to the girl was the bite-mark analysis, Jimmie Duncan was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. He has been on death row in Louisiana for 10 years.

Louisiana had its own medical examiners at the time who were closer to the scene of the crime. Nonetheless, Haley Oliveaux's body was taken from Glenwood Regional Medical Center in West Monroe, Louisiana, 120 miles east to Jackson, Mississippi, so it could be autopsied by Hayne. At the time, Hayne, who has never been certified in forensic pathology, was performing the majority of autopsies in Mississippi, some 1,200-1,500 per year. That's an output other forensic pathologists describe as impossible (he was also holding down two hospital jobs and testifying regularly in court).

Despite his heavy workload in Mississippi, Hayne, with West by his side, began looking for business in Louisiana, too. In October 1993, the Baton Rouge Advocate reported that officials in Ouachita Parish (where West Monroe is located) were considering sending criminal autopsies to Hayne, despite concerns expressed by other medical examiners about the quality of his work. Oliveaux was one of Hayne's first autopsies for Ouachita Parish, according to testimony from Duncan's trial. Among those who traveled 120 miles to observe the examination were the West Monroe police chief, a police detective and captain, plus two assistant district attorneys. Though it isn't particularly unusual for a district attorney or police officer to witness an autopsy, it is unusual for them to travel two hours and cross state lines to do so. The National Association of Medical Examiners discourages doctors from speaking to law enforcement officials before conducting exams because because doing so can bias a doctor's conclusions. At Duncan's trial five years later, one of his attorneys likened the Oliveaux autopsy to a job evaluation. If it was, Hayne passed. By that time Hayne was performing the bulk of Ouachita Parish's criminal autopsies, 30 to 40 per year.

Hayne testified that during an initial examination of Oliveaux's body, he was able to find bite marks that at the time no other medical professional had noticed—just as he'd done in the Brewer and Brooks cases before. And just as it happened in the Brewer and Brooks cases, Hayne's discovery of potential bite marks gave local authorities probable cause to obtain a plaster dental mold of the defendant's teeth, in this case Jimmie Duncan. Hayne then called in West to perform his unique brand of "analysis." West concluded that the marks were made by human teeth belonging to the man police and prosecutors suspected of killing the child.

The Video

Hayne and West videotaped many of their autopsies and forensic examinations over the years. For whatever reason, the video of West's examination of Haley Oliveaux was preserved, and Duncan's post-conviction attorneys found it in the district attorney's file last year. They were shocked at what they saw. The full video is 24 minutes long. The brief excerpts that follow show Oliveaux's face on successive days. At the start of the videotaped examination from December 18, 1993, her right cheek appears free of any noticeable marks. Yet after the tape cuts to December 19, 1993, the cheek shows prominent signs of abrasions, which are then exacerbated by West's handiwork.

Warning: These video excerpts, approximately 30 seconds long, contain disturbing images.

Click above to watch excerpts of Haley Oliveaux's postmortem examination.

The full 24-minute video opens with Michael West's initial examination of Haley Oliveaux's body on the night of December 18, 1993. He notes several injuries, but at no time does he mention the presence of possible bite marks on Oliveaux's right cheek. The video itself shows no sign of bite marks, scrapes, or abrasions on the cheek.

At the 4:55 mark, there's a cut in the original video, representing the break between West's initial exam on December 18, and a follow-up bite-mark analysis on December 19. After the break, West stands over Oliveaux's body, which now contains a striking red abrasion on her right cheek—an abrasion that wasn't there before. West then takes the plaster cast of Jimmie Duncan's teeth and pushes it into the scrape on Oliveaux's jaw. Over the next few minutes he jams, drags, and scrapes the dental mold across Oliveaux's cheek 17 times. For the entire 24-minute video, West uses Duncan's teeth mold on Oliveaux's skin more than 50 times.

Expert Opinion on the Video

Reason first asked Michael Bowers to comment on the video. Bowers, a practicing dentist, is a deputy medical examiner for Ventura County, California and a past chairman of the American Board of Forensic Odontology's Exam and Credentialing Committee. He worked with the Innocence Project to help free Kennedy Brewer.

"This is the best documentation I've ever seen of Dr. West's junk bite-mark comparisons," Bowers said in a phone interview last month.

When asked how abrasions on Oliveaux's cheek not present when the video begins could later appear, Bowers answered, "Because Dr. West created them. It was intentional. He's creating artificial abrasions in that video, and he's tampering with the evidence. It's criminal, regardless of what excuse he may come up with about his methods." Bowers added, "You never jam a plaster cast into a possible bite mark like that. It distorts the evidence. You take a photograph, or if there are indentations, you take an impression. But you don't jam plaster teeth into them." After viewing the video, Bowers submitted an affidavit for Jimmie Duncan's defense.

Reason also showed the video to David Averill, a dentist and a former president of the American Board of Forensic Odontology. "The video is troubling. I don't know how you can explain where those marks come from. And there's just no justification for him to push the cast into the skin like that," Averill said. "That isn't an acceptable way to perform a bite mark analysis."

Duncan's post-conviction attorneys hired San Diego forensic pathologist Harry Bonnell to review Hayne and West's testimony in the case. Bonnell, who has been highly critical of Hayne in the past, sits on the board of trustees for Parents of Murdered Children, Inc., a victim advocacy group. He has worked for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and formerly served on the ethics committee of the National Association of Medical Examiners. By email, Bonnell told Reason, "If what I am seeing on the video is accurate, someone is using the mold of Duncan's teeth to create an apparent bite mark; this, in my mind, is criminal tampering with evidence."

In his affidavit for Jimmie Duncan's defense, Bonnell elaborated:

The injury to the cheek of Haley Oliveaux is not seen in hospital photos…and was generated by using a mold of Duncan's teeth to create a bitemark. The injuries on the child's face are abrasions, which form almost immediately, unlike bruises, therefore the fact that the marks are not present in hospital photos and in the beginning of the West Video makes it medically impossible that Jimmie Duncan could have inflicted any of these injuries. Nor is it possible that witnesses could have seen these marks in the emergency room, as abrasions cannot appear, then disappear, and then reappear at the morgue…stating that the bites (which they are not) were inflicted within 30 minutes of death is rubbish, and supported by no scientific fact or literature.

The above image of Haley Oliveaux comes from the start of the autopsy video of Haley Oliveaux on December 18, 1993. The image below comes from December 19, 1993, when the video of the examination continued.

The Tainted Dr. West

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.

NEXT: Fiscal Responsibility Never Reigns in California

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 or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. obat tahan lama cialis West should be imprisoned; Judge Joiner should be removed from the bench; Duncan’s trial attorneys and the prosecutors should be disbarred.

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Just fuck.

    As always, thanks Radley.

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

  11. 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.

  12. Yo, fuck Steven Hayne and Michael West.

  13. 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?


  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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?

  18. Fucking sick.
    I hate people.

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

  20. This is Mississippi Burning 2.0.

    Gene Hackman where are you?

  21. 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.

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

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


    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?

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

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

  27. 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.

    1. There’s an idea.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. Don’t trust your soul to no backwoods Southern lawyer

    “I’m just a simple country HyperChicken from a backwoods asteroid.”

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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’?

  42. 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.

  43. Patterico won’t be pleased to see this.

  44. 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?

  45. 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?

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

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

  50. “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?

  51. 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.

  52. 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.

  53. In your face JIM HOOD!

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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.

  59. 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!

  60. 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

  61. 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!

  62. 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.

  63. Radley,

    In a word…STUNNING!!

    I am absolutely horrified and outraged.

  64. 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!”

  65. 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?

  66. 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?

  67. 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.

  68. 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!

    1. 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

      1. 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.

  69. 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!!!!!!!

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

  70. 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.

  71. 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.

  72. 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

  73. 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

  74. 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.

  75. 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.

  76. 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!



    1. 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.

      1. Im damons cousin and he is innocent

  78. 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.

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

  80. 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?

  81. 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.

    1. 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

  82. 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.

  83. 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

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

  85. 2 years later – are we better off?
    gear making

  86. 2 years later – are we better off?
    gear making

  87. Bokep Mesum Hello very nice website!! Guy , .. Excellent .. Superb ..
    I will bookmark your site and take the feeds also? Video Bokep Indo
    I am glad to search out a lot of useful info here
    in the post, we’d like work out more strategies on this
    regard, thank you for sharing,. googd your blogs

  88. Why did Reason remove the video and photos? I remember reading this at the time, and now it’s linked in 8/10/18 C.J.Ciaramella’s article, “Rod Rosenstein Defends Bad Forensic Science.” So, are we now too “vulnerable” or something to see the video? Is Reason too PC to keep it with the article?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.