From friend BW.
State commission calls blood-spatter testimony in murder case ‘not … scientifically supported’ By Pamela Colloff, ProPublica, July 24, 201
An influential state commission said the blood-spatter analysis used to convict a former Texas high school principal of murdering his wife in 1985 was “not accurate or scientifically supported” and the expert who testified was “entirely wrong.” The findings of the Texas Forensic Science Commission, a national leader in forensic science reform, called into question the conviction of Joe Bryan, who has now spent more than 30 years in prison. Bryan was the subject of a two-part investigation by ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine in May that questioned the accuracy of the bloodstain pattern analysis used to convict Bryan, as well as the training of the experts who testify in such cases.
The findings, which were released during a commission meeting Friday, give fresh urgency to the pleas of Bryan, now 77 and in poor health, for a new trial. Bryan had been attending a principals’ convention in Austin, 120 miles from where the murder occurred, in the days surrounding the murder. He has always maintained that he was in Austin, asleep in his hotel room, at the time of the crime.
Created by the Texas Legislature in 2005, the commission — made up of seven scientists, one prosecutor and one defense attorney — does not investigate the guilt or innocence of defendants, but rather the reliability and integrity of the forensic science used to win their convictions. Earlier this year, its inquiry into the Bryan case broadened into a re-examination of bloodstain-pattern analysis, a forensic discipline whose practitioners regard the drops, spatters and trails of blood at a crime scene as clues that can sometimes be used to reverse-engineer the crime itself.