There is no doubt that evidence may be hard to find in many criminal cases. A number of criminal cases are as complicated as they come. However, the police sometimes carelessly handle such cases which leads to the prosecution of the wrong people as well as shelving it under unresolved cases. Even with new technology in forensics and techy gadgets provided to detectives and investigators, common errors and problems may effectively and altogether change the verdict of a case. These are 3 criminal and legal cases that were carelessly handled.
1. Tom Horne, Botched Lethal Injection, 1989
Tom was officially pronounced dead by the Arizona Attorney General at 3:49pm on Wednesday. This was through the lethal injection which should ideally take less than 10 minutes in cases where the accused is sentenced to death through execution. Tom Horne was convicted of killing Debbie Dietz and Gene Dietz, who was his 29-year old estranged girlfriend and her father respectively in Tucson Arizona. The homicide took place in a local repair shop within Arizona.
The execution however did not take 10 minutes as it was expected. Reports say that it took over 2 hours for the convict to die, during which Tom was “gasping and snorting for more than an hour”. Dale Baich, who was Tom’s defence attorney, tried to appeal while the execution was taking place, but the judge did not issue an order to stop.
2. Michael Health, Botched Post-mortem Pathologist
Several murder cases including the conviction of Michael Stone is now under review due to concerns about the evidence provided by Michael Health, who was a home office pathologist. Health was the man responsible for providing evidence against Michael Stone and many others, who were convicted of homicide, some who are serving even life imprisonment. When the CCRC (Criminal Cases Review Commission) had a disciplinary panel for bungling examinations conducted about post mortems in August, there were shocking results. They found that the pathologist had made stark errors which were vital in the case of Stone. This led to the conviction of Stone and several others. Four other cases including that Of Michael Stone, who is serving life imprisonment, are being considered for referral to the Court of Appeal.
In many of the cases, the CRCC claims that the pathologist was always ‘marginal’ to the conviction. The commission now says that it is ready to review any cases where individuals may feel like they were wrongfully convicted and found guilty because of Michael Health’s evidence.
3. Benjamin Wey, Alleged Money Laundering, 2012
It is no news to hear big corporations undergoing huge losses over a period of time due to money laundering. In some cases, they involve companies that are in an organised pyramid scheme or a global scam. This was the case with this New York financier who had a carefully calculated stock manipulation scheme that ran through a long period of time. It is reported that tens of millions of dollars were reportedly stolen in early 2012.
The police were found to be in trouble after they did not have a detailed search warrant that specified the crimes that he was allegedly accused of. Moreover, they FBI agents who conducted the search were indiscriminate in acquiring evidence by taking randomly selected items such as X-Rays of family members, prescription drugs and his children test scores. The evidence therefore could not stand in court and couldn’t be used against Wey in his trial.
Benjamin Wey, who was the founder of the New York Global group, made a huge fortune by conduction reverse merges through the acquisition of shell companies. The forceful and aggressive acquisition of evidence has had the case dismissed.