Charles Smith has
begun his testimony
at the inquiry looking into his work, and from the looks of things, he’s not doing much to up his standing in the hearts and minds of the public.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this piece of…work, he was, at one time, considered one of the leading experts in the field of pediatric forensicss, a man who’s word was highly valued and directly responsible for dozens of criminal convictions. Well, as it turns out, everybody’s favourite expert witness didn’t have a clue, or if he had one he put it aside for the sake of an anti child abuse agenda, because many of the convictions he helped win were against innocent people in cases where not only did the suspect have nothing to do with the death in question, but the child died of natural causes or another factor having nothing to do with foul play.
With the background out of the way, let’s look at some of the gems he came up with yesterday in his attempt to I suppose defend himself.
- He had little understanding of the criminal justice system, and no concept of the vital role that expert witnesses, in particular pathologists, could play in a trial.
- He thought his job was to always do what he could to make the prosecutor’s case look as good as possible, not to be impartial.
- Due to a lack of training courses in Canada, he only ever attended 1 seminar in the United States that lasted for 2 days and focused on testifying in court. As a result, much of Charles Smith’s training was done by Charles Smith and Charles Smith alone.
- This, “retrospectively,” was “woefully inadequate.”
- He is a disorganized person who had a tendency to be late delivering reports and keeping track of things.
- He never had a mission to hunt down child abusers, but he was concerned that it wasn’t being reported enough at the time and that the signs were being missed by others.
- In spite of all of this, he feels that he’s being singled out unfairly for review because he did his job to the best of his ability with what was available at the time. To review him now is dirty pool because the reviewers have access to information he didn’t have.
- Oh, and he’s very very sorry.
Have you got all that?
And do you, as I do, hold the belief that he wouldn’t know the truth if it tried to perform an autopsy on him?
To be fair, no matter what he said he was in a no win situation. He screwed up bigtime. At least 27 levels beyond bigtime in fact. Because of his wrecklessness, dozens of people were forced to fight long and costly legal battles to clear their names. Many of those people did prison time, some of them a lot of it. So what was he to do? If he tells the truth, he’s a stupid asshole. If he lies, he’s an uncaring and stupid asshole. If he refuses to answer any questions, yup, asshole. Even in apologizing, he’s still an asshole, especially I’d imagine to the wrongfully put away.
But that’s exactly the position he should be in. There’s no explaining what he did. No justification whatsoever for it.
If you don’t understand the justice system, you learn it. Countless books have been written on the subject, not to mention that you work around vital components of said system on a daily basis. Pick some brains.
If your training is no good because you can’t get any, find a new line of work. Highly respected forensic pathologist isn’t one of those jobs you can lie your way into and fake your way through. Go flip burgers or something more suited to your skill level.
Most of all, don’t talk out your ass when your life’s work and mistakes are being put under a microscope. You either did the best you could, or you were an untidy slob who never met a deadline he couldn’t ignore or a piece of evidence he couldn’t lose. You were never out to get child killers or you were part of the “advocacy culture” and too emotionally involved in what you were doing. Pick one, you can’t have it both ways. the fact that you think you can makes you look like an even bigger asshole, believe it or not.
And don’t even get me started on being unfairly singled out. If that’s the case, why are we not seeing a rash of mistakes across the board? Because most people care enough about their work to get things right. If anything else needs reviewing, it’s not the work of your peers [it sickens me to call them that], it’s the system that allowed you to function unchecked for so long.
I can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for us on day 2. Whatever it is, I’m sure it’ll go a long way towards ensuring your induction into the Asshole Hall Of Fame, you stupid asshole.