Thursday, May 31, 2007

Staying on the Cutting Edge

Cathy Lynn Henderson is set for execution June 13, 2007 in the Texas death chamber for the murder of infant Brandon Baugh, of Austin, in 1994. Henderson claimed Brandon died in an accidental fall which resulted in a fatal skull fracture. Although Henderson had buried the child 60 miles away and had fled the State, new data interpreting Brandon's skull fracture could better support Henderson's claim Brandon's death was an accident.

Dr. Roberto Bayardo was the Travis County Medical examiner who originally testified against Henderson. Bayardo claimed Brandon's injuries were inconsistent with an accidental fall but recently, Bayardo reviewed the new scientific data and concluded he "cannot determine with a reasonable degree of medical certainty whether Brandon Baugh's injuries resulted from an intentional act, or an accidental fall."

Defense lawyers strive to stay on the cutting edge of forensic technology. The advent of DNA testing has resulted in the exoneration many imprisoned individuals. New research questioning the reliability of eye-witness identification has shed doubt on many convictions uncorroborated by other forensic evidence, like fingerprints or DNA. In the field of DWI defense, lawyers well-versed in the technology of intoxilyzers and field sobriety tests have successfully discredited criminal prosecutions against their clients and obtained acquittals. The best defense lawyers continuously education themselves on new technologies, or become well-versed in old technology, to better prepare themselves to challenge the prosecution's case.

Our system of criminal justice is adversarial - it is a battle between the government and the individual accused. Employing experts, reading articles, and associating with others in the defense field are the best ways the attorney stays on the cutting edge. More importantly, they are the best ways the attorney defends their precious clients from the power and resources of the State.

As a client, don't be afraid to invest your resources on expert evaluations or cutting edge technology. Follow the the lead of a well-informed defense lawyer when making these critical decisions about your defense. The dividends may pay-off handsomely.

No comments: