Monday, July 07, 2008

Trial Expert - Accusations of Fraudulent Misrepresentation

Saami Shaibani has testified in a myriad
of trial cases, including the trial of Michael
Peterson, who was convicted of
killing his wife. His over inflation
of his resume and his ego was brought
to light during the trial in North Carolina
in 2003.

Since then, one conviction obtained
when Shaibani testified as an expert
has been overturned and the Supreme
Court of Wisconsin ordered a new
trial. The DA in that jurisdiction is
looking to see whether a perjury charge
against Shaibani would be appropriate.

Other cases in the states of Washington,
South Dakota and others may also
be in question due to his dubious claims.

We've seen the seamier side of expert
testimony during the Phil Specter trial
(part 1) when the (now infamous)
Dr.'s Spitz, Baden and Wecht blew
whatever respect they had from a
majority of the viewing public by
their sleazy antics.

Instead of testifying to truth in the
interests of justice, all too often
the most familiar names before
the court, especially in high
profile cases, is not that of
a hardworking, well respected
Dr. or other expert but those of
what posters on message & chat
boards and blogs call "fame whores."

Shaibani isn't the first, nor will he
be the last "expert" that has been
accused of (or proven to be) having
fudged or lied about his/her
credentials and expertise or
has committed fraud in doing so.

I agree with Ryan J. Foley of the AP
in his assessment: "The laws need to
be changed so these fraudulent experts
cannot come into this state and tell
lies or use so-called tests not accepted
in scientific communities."

It would behoove attorneys, Prosecutors
and Defense alike to verify their experts
expertise before allowing them to get
before a jury. Juries aren't stupid,
their experts when lying, are.