Steven Hayne

New Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Addresses Steven Hayne

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This is encouraging:

Mississippi Chief Justice Bill L. Waller Jr. said on Wednesday he hopes to restore public trust in Mississippi's judicial system by promoting "a fair and efficient administration" in the state's Supreme Court.

Waller, who was elected as chief justice in January, said the high court plans to boost public confidence by providing better access to state courts and court records…

Waller commended state officials for their efforts to restore confidence in the state's judicial system. For example, state Public Safety Commissioner Stephen B. Simpson removed controversial pathologist Dr. Steven Hayne from the state's designated list of pathologists.

Hayne's credibility and credentials came under scrutiny after his testimony helped to wrongfully convict two Mississippi men of capital murder charges. Due to legal assistance from the state's Innocence Project, the men's convictions were overturned last year.

Waller said cases involving Hayne's testimony that have been appealed also are being reviewed "very closely" by the state's Supreme Court.

"We're going to evaluate the cases one at a time. I applaud Commissioner Simpson's decision to go a different direction from Dr. Hayne," he said. "We must follow appropriate standards. I think we're moving in a better direction."
 
Given that Hayne has likely testified in tens of thousands of cases, civil and criminal, I don't know that a one-by-one, as-they-come review by the state's supreme court will be sufficient. But it's good to see that the new chief justice at least recognizes that Hayne is a problem. The court has been enabling Hayne for 20 years.
 
 
My prior reporting on Hayne here.

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  1. “Meanwhile, Hayne testified in another Mississippi murder trial yesterday.”

    How does the defense not go right after Hayne’s credibility?

  2. How does the defense not go right after Hayne’s credibility?

    Someone needs to send them an e-mail.

  3. Elemenope,

    They still use fax down here.

  4. How does the defense not go right after Hayne’s credibility?

    Good question. Hoping Radley can answer.

    And thanks, Radley, for keeping up with this.

    I generally don’t favor elected judges since it perverts rule of law, but this is one of the few good arguments against appointed, life-tunured judges.

  5. How does the defense not go right after Hayne’s credibility?

    They try. But the state’s supreme court has repeatedly held that Hayne is qualified to testify. Until they overturn that, he’ll keep testifying–at least until all the cases for which he did the autopsy make it through the system.

    All defense attorneys can do is try to undermine his credibility in front of a jury. Mississippi’s prosecutors are great at making it look like Hayne’s a good man who’s the victim of some sort of liberal witch hunt.

  6. Sadly, Radley is correct. I have tried to get others to go to reason on numerous occasions. The response is ALWAYS “Interesting articles for a liberal site.” No fucking joke. Always.

  7. Have the people and officials of the State of Mississippi been shamed into at least trying to repair their so-called justice system?

    I can only hope so.

  8. J sub D,

    I’ve talked to my mother about Hayne and jailhouse snitching. She works for a lawyer. Her response is always the same. The officials are terrified of losing their jobs and status that any large scale appeals process would bring on them. My mother stated that roughly 70 to 80 percent of all cases would have to be reviewed due to the potential Hayne taint.

  9. potential Hayne taint

    Where’s URKOBOLD when you need him?

  10. The officials are terrified of losing their jobs and status that any large scale appeals process would bring on them.

    And they can just look the other way. I so very much detest government parasites. It’s not only government employees who would protect themselves at others’ expense, but government employees can do it with much more impunity.

  11. twistedmerkin,

    I was expecting Pro Lib(where ever he’s been lately) to point that out.

  12. I hear you, Epi. I’m almost to the point where I will cross the street to spit on a government functionary.

  13. RC, I avoid contact with government employees as if they had the plague. I will do anything to not have to deal with them. I was able to renew my registration over the internet, for instance. No DMV for me!

  14. Who said Dr Hayne performed all those autopsies? He supposedly performed over 1000 in a year which is impossible. There is very good reason to believe that at least half that number or more did not even undergo an autopsy.

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