Author Topic: How much reliance can we place on 'experts'?  (Read 153 times)

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Offline Holly Goodhead

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How much reliance can we place on 'experts'?
« on: February 28, 2017, 02:06:54 PM »
Dr Vanezis was not 100% the marks to NB's back were burns.  It is worth remembering that Dr Vanezis was the only expert to observe NB at autopsy so it could be argued he has the edge compared with those who have subsequently given an opinion but didn't have the benefit of observing NB at autopsy.

Prof Knight seems adamant that the marks were not burns.

Dr Caruso seemed to think the marks were burns caused by the barrel of the rifle.  Although I believe he did say further tests were required before he could commit.

Philip Boyce also seemed to think the marks were burns caused by the barrel of the rifle.

Were Dr Caruso and Philip Boyce told the marks were burns and therefore misled to some degree? 
Justice for Sheila and Jeremy. Victims of poorly arranged baby scoop era adoptions. Australia has apologised. Time for the UK to do the same?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hVbokTpYeg http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/92

Offline Holly Goodhead

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Re: How much reliance can we place on 'experts'?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2017, 02:19:07 PM »
At one time JB was represented by convicted fraudster and bogus lawyer Giovanni Di Stefano (GDS).

GDS obtained photos of SC supposedly with wet blood running the inference being that this provided JB with an alibi of sorts since he had been outside with police from circa 4am and SC was found by police at circa 7.30am.

GDS obtained a pathological opinion from 2 Italian pathologists/professors.  Did the professors run any checks on the authenticity of the photos or did they simply accept the photos at face value?  The professors formed the opinion that SC must have died at a time JB was outside with police.

I struggle with the authenticity of these photos.  The police found SC presumed dead at circa 7.30am.  The police surgeon confirmed her dead at circa 8.30am.  The police photographer arrived at WHF circa 9.30am and afaik didn't commence photographing the victims in the main bedroom until circa 10.30am.

Justice for Sheila and Jeremy. Victims of poorly arranged baby scoop era adoptions. Australia has apologised. Time for the UK to do the same?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hVbokTpYeg http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/92

Offline scipio_usmc

Re: How much reliance can we place on 'experts'?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2017, 02:30:56 PM »
At one time JB was represented by convicted fraudster and bogus lawyer Giovanni Di Stefano (GDS).

GDS obtained photos of SC supposedly with wet blood running the inference being that this provided JB with an alibi of sorts since he had been outside with police from circa 4am and SC was found by police at circa 7.30am.

GDS obtained a pathological opinion from 2 Italian pathologists/professors.  Did the professors run any checks on the authenticity of the photos or did they simply accept the photos at face value?  The professors formed the opinion that SC must have died at a time JB was outside with police.

I struggle with the authenticity of these photos.  The police found SC presumed dead at circa 7.30am.  The police surgeon confirmed her dead at circa 8.30am.  The police photographer arrived at WHF circa 9.30am and afaik didn't commence photographing the victims in the main bedroom until circa 10.30am.

The photos are real but were different coloring than the original photos. Even original photos can feature different coloring than one sees in person and in fact colors look slightly different to different people just to make things even worse.

The issue that matters is would it be reliable to look at a photo and tell just from a photo whether blood is dry or not in such photo.  The answer is no. There is no scientific basis to do that so an expert who claims to be doing that can't be trusted. If an expert who testifies in court is shown to be basing their opinion on unsound science then the trier of fact is supposed to disregard it and in fact a judge is suppose to keep out unreliable science in the first place.

Whether experts are to be believed depends on how sound their opinion is based which means having to actually test the claim in great detail.

Let's pretend that Vanezis said a shot to the top of June's head found in her brain caused her black eye.  That shot would be too far for it to be possible so his claim would not be credible.  When something is possible then it is credible.  The level of certainly required depends on how important the issue is.  Some things need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt others do not.

The bottom line is that there is no hard fast rule you can use you have to weigh a claim individually to test it.

 
“...there are three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehend; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others; the first is the most excellent, the second is good, the third is useless.”  Niccolò Machiavelli

Offline scipio_usmc

Re: How much reliance can we place on 'experts'?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2017, 03:01:59 PM »
Dr Vanezis was not 100% the marks to NB's back were burns.  It is worth remembering that Dr Vanezis was the only expert to observe NB at autopsy so it could be argued he has the edge compared with those who have subsequently given an opinion but didn't have the benefit of observing NB at autopsy.

Prof Knight seems adamant that the marks were not burns.

Dr Caruso seemed to think the marks were burns caused by the barrel of the rifle.  Although I believe he did say further tests were required before he could commit.

Philip Boyce also seemed to think the marks were burns caused by the barrel of the rifle.

Were Dr Caruso and Philip Boyce told the marks were burns and therefore misled to some degree?

Consideration:

The expert physically observing marks in person is in the best position to actually assess the marks everyone else is at a distinct disadvantage and faces limitations

People who don't view the damage in person have two reviews they can make:

1) to review what the original expert recorded as having been observed and diagnosed.  Let's pretend and expert describes symptoms of heart disease and yet diagnoses the illness as kidney disease which has totally different symptoms than the patient had.  In that case the expert reviewing it can say the symptoms were not from kidney disease but rather heart disease and thus call the original diagnosis into question.

2) to review xrays or photos. The quality and limitations of what angles etc were photographed is one inherent limitation. Another is the simply fact that photographs can never offer the same detail as a physical examination.
Photographs are most useful when they capture things that someone who looked in person failed to address and consider.  For instance let's pretend that a closeup photograph of a wound clearly shows a muzzle imprint and yet the expert totally missed it and said the shot was fired at long range.  That can destroy a case where the police were alleging it could not have been a suicide because it was fired from far away.

Let's pretend for the sake of argument that the burn marks were actually bruises caused by the little knob on the end of the rifle stock.  Vanezis thought the skin was seared and that it was burns. Let;s say he totally screwed it up though and it was bruising from being hit in the back with the tip of the rifle butt. What significance would that hold?  None all it would prove is the killer hit him in the back with the rifle butt. It could have been before he died or after he was slumped over.  There are experts who can assess whether bruises were delivered post and pre mortem but they are a very elite group and it is hard to fully know whether they are accurate or not.  It takes a great deal of care and expertise that few possess.

Let's pretend it was bruises causes by the barrel of the rifle.  Could the killer have struck him in the back with the barrel of the rifle while Nevill was slumped over after removing the moderator and putting it away?  Absolutely.  Even if true that would not establish the killer didn't shoot the victims with the moderator attached.  In the meantime they can't establish for sure it was a bruise let alone a bruise caused by the barrel of the rifle as opposed to something else.

The suggestion the killer removed the moderator and put it away then heated up the rifle barrel and used it to burn Nevill is not persuasive at all and in any event would fail to prove the moderator wasn't used to shoot the victims. But in keeping with the point of this thread about experts- it should be noted that the burns they created using the barrel of the rifle had holes in the center because the barrel has a hole in it and thus there was no heated area to burn the center.  So the testing they did failed to replicate the marks on Nevill's back.  They lied and said the marks were the same.  That is something that can easily be looked at and refuted so demonstrates why you have to actually test claims not just accept the word of experts without testing their claims.


At the end of the day the expert who examined the body said they were burns and there is nothing in his physical descriptions that permits saying he was wrong.  He is in the best position to know.  But even if he was wrong and they were bruises there would be no way to say what causes those bruises because the tip of any rounded object could cause bruises that size and shape and no way to prove whether they were made before or after he died.   

   
 




 

 
“...there are three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehend; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others; the first is the most excellent, the second is good, the third is useless.”  Niccolò Machiavelli