JACKSON — Some defense lawyers are calling for an independent review of cases involving a pathologist whose testimony prompted the Mississippi Supreme Court to overturn two convictions.
Tucker Carrington, head of the Mississippi Innocence Project, is among those calling for a review of cases in which Dr. Steven Hayne testified.
“What needs to happen is the attorney general, the Mississippi Supreme Court or the Legislature need to appoint an inspector general or independent counsel to handle it,” he told The Clarion-Ledger.
Hayne lacks national board certification in forensic pathology. In 2008 the state dropped him from its list of recommended pathologists to handle autopsies.
He said he’s not worried by the idea of an independent review. “I don’t think I’ve misstated anything,” he said.
State Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, chairman of the Judiciary B Committee, agrees with Carrington. “Our experience with Dr. Hayne is extremely troubling, and there needs to be a look at anything he is involved in,” he said.
Attorney General Jim Hood said through a spokeswoman that his office has reviewed “the cases which have been brought to our attention.”
The conviction most recently overturned by the state Supreme Court’s was that of David Parvin, a former Mississippi State University professor convicted in 2011 of murder.
The prosecution’s firearms expert was unable to conclude how far away it was fired, but Hayne testified the blast was fired from about 4 feet. Jurors should never have heard Hayne’s “speculative” testimony, the court found.
Hayne defends his work in that case.