Below, a sampling of some letters and messages I’ve received on the Hayne story. I’ve omitted names, because some of these people hold or have held public positions in Mississippi, and are still reluctant to come forward with public criticisms of Hayne. I’ve also been told that at least one coroner and one police chief have already said they plan to stop using Hayne. When I have permission to tell you who, I will.
I’ve also received email from people who’ve had friends or family involved in cases where Dr. Hayne has testified. In some cases, the person they know is in jail or prison because of Dr. Hayne’s testimony. In others, someone they know died under suspicious circumstances, and they have doubts about Dr. Hayne’s autopsy. I’m not publishing those right now, because I have no way of vouching for the accuracy of their claims. I am, however, forwarding them to the appropriate authorities for investigation.
I don’t vouch for every claim made in the message below, either. I run them only to show that there’s strong sentiment among current and former residents and public officials in Mississippi that something is wrong.
Excellent job! Just terrific. Thank you for doing this.
I worked as a Forensic Scientist at the Mississippi Crime Laboratory for four years 2000 – 2004. I was certifed by the American Board of Criminalistics in 2002 and worked on a number of cases involving Dr. Hayne. I would like to thank you for bringing his practices to light. It was very difficult to work cases while there. The “little people” like myself were always held to much higher standards than the quacks like West and Hayne.
Unfortunately, we were all placed under tremendous workloads and worked in a very hostile environment for years. I think the story of just how overworked and undercompensated the true forensic experts are and were might make an interesting story.
All reputable forensic experts hate the charlatans who grab the lime-light and whore themselves, unfortunately, that is how fortunes are made in that and many other “businesses”.
Thanks again for offering some degree of vindication for those of us who have been forced to make chicken salad from their chicken shit. It was a great article and long overdue.
As a former resident of the Great State of Mississippi, may I commend you for publishing Radley Balko’s article (10/6/07) regarding the frightening practice of Dr. Stephen Hayne, Mississippi’s state “forensic pathologist.” It defies my imagination that prosecutors would be so desperate to prosecute a 13 year old for murder and send him to adult prison with life without parole that they would hire this horrible “physician” to do their dirty work for them. Thank God, the Mississippi Supreme Court intervened and overturned Tyler’s conviction based on Hayne’s outrageous testimony. In Tyler’s case, the behavior of the prosecution-Hayne team amounts to nothing less than state sanctioned child abuse of the worst kind.
Tyler is fortunate because all he lost was his entire adolescence. Others, including a man named Corey Maye who was sentenced to death by virtue of Hayne’s Bullet Trajectory BS, could lose their lives.
I agree with the author and implore Governor Haley Barbour to issue an immediate investigation of the crimes committed by this state employee and the other state employees who have hired him to assist with their prosecutions in murder cases.
I recently read your article on Dr. Steven Hayne and I want to thank you for putting that information out there. I’m from Mississippi, and my mother is a pathologist that works in the state. She used to work under Dr. Hayne when he was at the Rankin Medical Center so I am quite familiar with his antics. By the way, he does not and never has spent 55 hours a week either at Rankin or at that Renal dialysis place. He may claim that he was there, and he may have been paid to be there and working but he wasn’t there. Ask anyone that works or has worked under him. They’re the ones that have to pick up the slack for when he’s in court (lining his pockets) or doing autopsies (lining his pockets).
Dr. Hayne’s lack of professionalism is well-known among the “movers and shakers” of Mississippi. It’s not a secret. The issue isn’t that people don’t care. Of course they care about it. It’s just that he (Dr. Hayne) knows the right people to keep him employed and to keep his pockets lined. You know that, you wrote about it. I just hope that with the publishing of your article in Reason Magazine and the Wall Street Journal that he will maybe receive some national or even international attention, and that the Mississippi state governor will be humiliated enough to do something about it. Although I have my doubts about that. Anyway, thank you. The article was great, very informative and very accurate.
I’m sure you can tell by the tone of this e-mail that I don’t like him very much. I tried to be objective but clearly that failed. Sorry.
It’s been a long time of trying to get this guy exposed. Former
Columbus police chief J.D. Sanders demonstrated great professionalism
and courage in taking Hayne to task.
Let’s hope the state of Mississippi FINALLY gets rid of this jerk and
hires a real board certified forensic pathologist. God only knows
how many lives he has ruined on both sides of the courtroom for many
I just finished reading my copy and I feel that a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. It brings to light things I have wanted others to know for over five years. Mississippi NEEDS change so badly and those who are trying to effect change seem so few and far between without the clout of political power and authority.
Maybe this will help. I KNOW that is will at least spread the word and raise awareness. The trick is getting the legislature and others in power to recognize the IMPORTANCE of this issue. This is not a petty issue but, rather, an issue of life and death. I only hope that this will spread and the right people will see it. An article like this can be a catalyst for major change. The fact that several leaders in the field of forensic pathology chimed in on this artice is huge…it shows that concern is there and is growing nationally. It seems like such a huge mountain to climb, though.
Radley: your article is, quite simply, stunning. It is my understanding that it, and the shorter WSJ version, have been circulated to all judges at the Mississippi Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.
Through your extraordinary investigative reporting, you will change Mississippi.
There are simply no words to express my appreciation for your work.
I was just sent your WONDERFUL articles about Dr. Steven Haynes & Michael West. I was elated to get these because I know of inmates in MS who are wrongfully convicted and we all feel West & Haynes had a lot to do with their wrongful conviction.
Mr. Doug Todd, with Mississippi Justice Project sent your articles to me. I have forwarded these to the families of these wrongfully convicted people.
I also have met recently with Mr. Tucker Carrington who is the new Director of the “Newly Formed Mississippi Innocence Project” at Oxford MS and when he was asked to explain the procedure they go through as to rather they take a case he explained of course the number one is DNA but went on to mention when we asked that Dr. Haynes cases and Dr. West cases ( when they testified) are definitely considered. I was pleased to hear this.
Your articles are JUST FANTASTIC!!! Thank you for writing these.
I just read the summary of your upcoming article on the medical
examiners system in Mississippi and Dr. Hayne.
Hopefully this will start some serious review of this situation. Thank
you for writing this article.