I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

Missing Posts: If you have a link to a post that's not here or are looking for posts from Summer of 2010, check this page.


More magic from Dr. Hayne! (or, the geniuses at the AG’s office don’t know 9 is before 10 and 12)

Radley Balko and the Innocent Project have another Dr. Hayne case to chew upon.

One aspect of Dr. Hayne’s testimony that was particularly vile is that, when cross-examined, he’d simply make stuff up.  A lawyer can’t be well prepared enough to cross-examine a witness who can just fabricate authority and answers on the fly.  He […]

Radley Balko on Mississippi injustice, Stephen Hayne and West

Radley Balko has published on Huffington a huge project on Mississippi’s infamous pathologist Stephen Hayne and his erstwhile sidekick, dentist Michael West.

This timeline, outlining case after case (including some of Hayne’s civil testimony) is devastating and damning.  The timeline is a side bar to this account of the solving of the murder of […]

Michael West: “Throw bite marks out.”

Jerry Mitchell has a long story about Michael West, the notorious bite-mark expert witness.  It seems that West has recanted:

Since the 1980s, Hattiesburg dentist Michael West has raised his right hand and sworn dozens of times that bite marks on victims matched suspects.

He compared these bite marks to fingerprints, describing their unique […]

“The Prosecution’s Case Against DNA”

The New York Times Magazine has an interesting article about a prosecutor near Chicago and a murder case in which he’s obtained three convictions.  In the third trial, there was proof there was no DNA match for semen found in the eleven year old girl who was the victim.  This is part of a […]

Radley Balko once again has Dr. West fabricating and altering evidence

Folks may recall reports of Michael West using a dental cast to create new bite marks on a corpse.

Well, in the Leigh Stubbs case, he apparently did it again.

I have posted a couple of times about Leigh Stubbs– Michael West (Jack of All Trades) and the Case of the Lesbian Bite […]

Radley Balko on West, Hayne, and the AG’s race

Radley Balko goes into details about how Jim Hood and Steve Simpson have staked out different positions about Stephen Hayne, Michael West, and the scandal over Mississippi’s lack of a pathologist.  And in doing so, brings up Dr. Roger Weiner, who told Balko that “in Mississippi, the cause of death is open to the […]

Radley Balko is coming to Ole Miss to speak Oct. 25th

Journalist Radley Balko (whose blog the Agitator I regularly link) is coming to speak at Ole Miss Law School October 25th.

Regular readers are aware of journalist Radley Balko, whose particular expertise as a reporter is problems with the criminal justice system, ranging from innocence cases to police harrassment of citizens (arrests for public […]

Joe York’s documentary Mississippi Innocence

Here’s the trailer.  The movie will premier February 11th in Oxford.


Court sets aside Bivens and Dixon convictions– from thirty years ago– in Hattiesburg innocence case

Judge Bob Helfrich in Forrest County has set aside the convictions of Phillip Bivens and Bobby Ray Dixon based on DNA proof and took under advisement the case of Larry Ruffin, who died in jail.  They had been in the penitentiary for over thirty years for crimes they did not commit.  The Clarion Ledger story […]

Today’s Clarion Ledger story rang a bell…

The story in today’s paper about those three exonerations in Hattiesburg had a name that rang a bell:

At the 1980 trial, Dixon initially testified Ruffin raped Patterson and Bivens slit her throat, but then backed off that testimony, according to a trial transcript.

“You wouldn’t let me bring the word out,” Dixon told […]