This comes after West has put dozens of people in prison with bite mark testimony, including several on death row. Two of them, Eddie Lee Howard in Mississippi and Jimmie Duncan in Louisiana, are still awaiting execution.
The office of Mississippi Attorney Jim Hood so far has so far refused to go back and reopen all the old cases in which West has testified. Hood should have done that a long time ago. For that matter, the same goes for Hood’s predecessors. And the Mississippi Supreme Court. We’ve known for nearly 20 years now that this guy was a fraud. Hell, we’ve had video evidence. Lots of it. No much cared. Because, as one former Mississippi prosecutor told me, “Nobody wants to be the one to unravel that ball of yarn.”
Will Hood’s office still defend convictions won on West’s testimony now that even West himself concedes his field of expertise is quackery? I’ll be surprised if he does. My guess is that they’ll begrudgingly offer plea bargains to lesser charges that will be too appealing for defendants to turn down. That way convictions stay intact, and nobody has to admit that the system is broken.
But of course it is broken. I don’t know how you take West’s statements at the Stubbs’ depositions, compare them with the multitude of institutions in Mississippi (and Louisiana, and a few other states) that have defended and upheld West’s testimony and expertise over the years, and not conclude that significant parts of the criminal justice system are fundamentally flawed.
I mean, we could have concluded all of that well before West’s come to Jesus moment. It’s been clear for years that he’s a fraud. But it’s sure as hell clear now that he admits it.