Convicted based on forensic fraud in 1986, still waiting for justice


A capital case tainted by forensic science fraud will be considered by an Oklahoma judge on Friday (02/16/07), as a team of attorneys including the Innocence Project’s Colin Starger argue that murder charges against Curtis McCarty should be dropped because of the destruction of biological evidence that could have proved his innocence. McCarty, who has proclaimed his innocence since his arrest more than 20 years ago, has already had his death sentence overturned twice. He is currently awaiting a third trial.

In McCarty’s first two trials, notorious lab analyst Joyce Gilchrist falsely testified that hairs and other biological evidence proved that McCarty could have been the killer. In both trials, the juries convicted him and he was sentenced to death. In Gilchrist’s original notes, hairs from the crime scene did not match McCarty. She then changed her notes to say the hairs did match him. When the defense requested retesting, the hairs were lost. A judge has said Gilchrist either destroyed or willfully lost the hairs. DNA testing in recent years has also shown that another person raped the victim.

“I did not do it and they know damn good and well I didn’t do it,” McCarty said in an interview with Oklahoma Gazette from prison last year. “I want to be exonerated. Others just walk away with their head between their legs just happy to be alive. That’s not enough. They stole 20 years of my life because they wanted to.”

Read the full story

. (Oklahoma Gazette, 08/23/06)

Click below to read more about this case and others involving forensic fraud in Oklahoma:

• The




filed Friday on McCarty's behalf. (PDF)

• Joyce Gilchrist’s false forensic testimony has led to at least two other wrongful convictions; read more about the cases of

Jeffrey Pierce


Robert Miller


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