TDCAA Community
I need help with DX/CX of DNA experts...

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October 28, 2005, 11:29
Georgette Oden
I need help with DX/CX of DNA experts...
I am scheduled to go to Amarillo on Nov. 15th for a 3-day evidentiary hearing to determine, in part, whether a death row inmate received ineffective assistance because further DNA testing was not performed, etc. etc. I will be examining the DNA expert who did the testing for the state as well as crossing the defense expert who will assert that 'inconclusive' results should have been 'exclusive' of the inmate. OY! I was only a misdemeanor prosecutor and have no DNA experience. Any publications available to help me, or people you would recommend I chat with?

Also, their expert is a guy named Bill Shields.. he testified in the Scott Petersen case. Anyone dealt with him? (I will also post this in the Experts forum.)


(512) 936-1773
georgette.oden @
October 28, 2005, 17:56
J Ansolabehere
Try contacting Ron Urbanovsky at the DPS Crime Lab in Austin. He could probably give you some advice and counsel.

Janette Ansolabhere
October 29, 2005, 08:06
Rebecca Gibson

Sit down with your expert, for hours, before the hearing. Listen closely to everything he tells you, and learn how to question him. Don't let him make you feel stupid for the questions, and don't stop asking them until you understand what he will be asserting in court. Ask him about the defenses contention and how you may or may not overcome it. That is what that expert gets paid for, and you need to know what will help or hurt you before the hearing, from your own expert.
October 29, 2005, 09:38
Don't be afraid to ask for someone with more experience to accompany you. Spend the money, if necessary, to get that person.
October 29, 2005, 09:40
Check with prosecutor assistance division if you are unfamiliar with dna hearings.

Stacy Brownlee is a new hire in that division, and is one of the finest prosecutors in the State of Texas. There are many fine prosecutors in that division with significant dna experience. If you have never dealt with dna, either in a trial or in an ineffective context, John Bradley's advice is sage!
November 01, 2005, 10:24
Stacey L. Brownlee
I'll get you that $20 later Greg Cool

I have a notebook on DNA that I have kept for the last few years Georgette if you want to come look at it. I'm on 7 in the Clements building.

I also just went to a capital seminar with one of the Peterson prosecutors. I have his email if you want to contact him about that expert.
November 01, 2005, 10:42
Georgette Oden
Thanks all for the advice. Fortunately for me, our expert with Cellmark is very experienced in schooling non-science-majors like myself.. plus on Lindsey's advice I got a bunch of stuff from the APRI... and I had some CLE materials from the TCDLA as well. I'll be visiting with Stacey tomorrow. As always, the TDCAA network comes through like a champ.

Lucky me on another count: this is a federal habeas proceeding, not a trial. No jury, just a judge, and even if I *lose* the line-by-line DNA argument, there's still neither deficiency nor prejudice.

Thanks Ya'll! (and if anyone needs stuff on Bill Shields, defense DNA "expert," just let me know-- as usual I have compiled quite a stack of stuff.