Friday, August 26, 2005

FBI Crime Lab Bolsters Innocence Claim of Man Serving Life Sentence

You may remember the case of Bruce Lisker, who I posted about in May. Lisker was convicted of bludgeoning his mother to death. A re-examination of the case by The Los Angeles Times has led many to believe that Lisker is innocent. One of the main pieces of physical evidence against Lisker at his trial was a bloody shoeprint which jurors were told was consistent with Lisker's shoes. When a LAPD crime scene analyst compared the two, however, she concluded that they did not match. She also concluded that a mark found on the victim's head was a shoeprint similar in size and description to the bloody shoeprint. Now, the FBI has weighed in with their forensic analysis of the shoeprints, and they agree with the LAPD analysis. Neither the bloody shoeprint on the floor nor the shoeprint on the victim's head are a match to Lisker's shoes. Bruce Lisker, meanwhile, remains in prison. "An innocent man is not in prison," LAPD Deputy Chief Gary Brennan continues to insist. I'm so happy that he can feel so confident about that. Here is the problem. The legal issue should not even be whether Lisker is innocent. The fact is that the jury was given scientific evidence that supported Lisker's guilt, and it has now been confirmed by the FBI and the LAPD itself that the evidence was false--that the scientific evidence actually supports Lisker's innocence. A conviction based on false evidence should not stand unless there was other overwhelming evidence of guilt. And in this case, there was not.

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