News 02.28.07

Third trial delayed again for Oklahoma man

Curtis McCarty has been convicted twice and sentenced to death three times. 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.

A story today in the Oklahoma Gazette reviews the slow pace of events in McCarty’s case.

Six years ago, the FBI examined the state’s forensic work and testimony from McCarty’s second trial in 1989, finding serious flaws.

The reason? Former Oklahoma City police chemist Joyce Gilchrist, who was terminated in 2001 after an internal investigation prompted by the FBI report.

Gilchrist’s testimony, based on her analysis of hair evidence, was discredited — the basis for an appeals court to overturn McCarty’s conviction and death sentence, resulting in the upcoming trial.

The appeals court ruled Gilchrist, acting in bad faith, either intentionally lost or destroyed key evidence, which could have been examined by the defense to prove McCarty’s innocence.

Defense attorneys used Gilchrist as the main reason the case should be dropped.

“She destroyed that evidence in order to hide the truth,” said Innocence Project attorney Colin Starger. “Can this prosecution be saved from its prior taint? We submit it cannot.”


Read the full story here

. (Oklahoma Gazette, 02/28/07)

Read our

previous blog post

on this case.

Read the

motion

and

brief

filed earlier this month 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

and

Robert Miller

.


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