Joliet, IL—I can’t understand how our courts continue to allow prosecutors, medical examiners and cops to hide autopsy evidence. They don’t want defense expert witnesses, judges and juries to see the post Mortem examinations.
Prosecutors do however, love to waive gory autopsy still photos intended to inflame jurors rather than to prove some point. This can only be a nefarious effort to cover-up evidence, professional bungling and bogus findings by medical examiners.
All the necessary high definition video equipment that would eliminate guesswork by the courts and juries is cheap, easy to operate and above all objective. More importantly it’s necessary for the fair administration of justice. To not preserve a full digital video record of autopsies deprives people on trial for their very lives the kind of fairness expected in an American court.
Perhaps it will take additional legislation to demand some reasonable evidence integrity into our criminal courts.
One thing for sure all reports, photos, moving pictures, test results, notes and names of people present at autopsies must be turned over to the defense under, Brady vs. Maryland. It’s called the discovery process. The law of the land is that evidence not disclosed to the defense can’t be introduced at trial.
What facilitated an Indictment and trial of Drew Peterson was the second exhumation of and third autopsy of Drew Peterson’s third wife Kathleen Savio.
The third and final examination or at least parts of it were video recorded by Fox News who paid famed pathologist, Dr. Michael Badden for the third and so far final autopsy. Dr. Badden's second opinion was that homicide rather than an accident resulted in the death. That Fox News tape has never been turned over as required and Peterson’s experts have not been able to consider that important evidence.
Repetitive autopsies are an incredible mess to begin with. All of the internal organs that have been dissected, sectioned and discarded are placed in a large plastic bag that later gets shoved into the abdominal cavity. Any pathologists conducting the second or third autopsies must search through the bag to locate, identify and reexamine everything.
Organs damaged during the first or second autopsy can be incorrectly attributed to being an injury that caused the death. Depending on the decomposition involved the pathologist would be motivated to take every possible shortcut of these especially nasty procedures.
In the Peterson case there are three competing autopsies with opposite findings and no digital video recording of them has surfaced.
A lot of people may hate drew Peterson, but if we can’t demand a fair trial for him who will insist on one for you or someone you love under similar circumstances?
The revelation of this grievous discovery violation should end this prosecution altogether. The integrity of the entire investigation has been redundantly compromised in the effort to convict Drew Peterson at all cost. The Will County State’s Attorney is has displayed the ethics of disbarred and disgraced Duke University, rape prosecutor, Mike Nifong. Enough is enough.