120220BrownMarch 21, 2015

I spent several hours Friday at Duke University Law School listening to experts detail “Evolving Trends in Forensic Science.”

Fascinating. Topics ranged from the effects of sleep deprivation on jurors’ decision-making to the use of cell tower evidence to determine suspect location. But I was wedged into an auditorium otherwise full of lawyers to hear pediatrician Cynthia Brown and defense attorneys Mark Montgomery and Lisa Miles outline the latest standards for medical exams in cases of suspected child abuse. The good news – if you’re being wrongfully prosecuted in 2015 – is that those standards have become dramatically more specific and sophisticated.

If, however, you were wrongfully prosecuted in 1987, then the fruits of that scientific progress remain maddeningly out of reach.  Waiting for me when I returned home Friday was a letter from Junior Chandler:

“April 15 will be 28 yrs – nearly half my life, all because of lies when I did no crime. It’s a shame & disgrace to the whole N.C. justice system, not only to do this but never to be willing to say they were wrong….”