Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday Globe Autopsy

ME's report right off the top....

"A life and death decision, without supervision" by Patricia Wen Globe Staff  August 20, 2016

A Globe review of shaken-baby rulings by medical examiners found a highly decentralized system of ruling on suspicious deaths in Massachusetts, in which forensic pathologists are given extraordinary freedom to make — and change — their rulings, with little scrutiny of what factors, including personal ones, may have influenced them.

In this extraordinary series of revisions, the examiners became powerful de-facto judges, wielding tremendous pretrial clout while operating out of public view and without fear of being overruled, according to a Globe review of e-mails, case notes, medical records, state ethics filings, court filings, and other documents. That made them prime targets for defense attorneys pursuing a novel strategy, focusing first on introducing doubt in the minds of these medical examiners — not jurors at trial — to help free their clients.

The lack of any kind of mandatory supervisory review of the examiners’ rulings also meant there was little opportunity to probe whether other factors, including possible conflicts of interest, could have played a role.

In Dr. Peter Cummings’s case, for instance, a review might have uncovered the fact that, while he was analyzing the Malden infant’s death, he had months earlier finished work as a paid defense expert in a shaken-baby case on the West Coast as part of the private practice that he was operating on the side. Soon after changing his decision in the death of the Malden infant, Nathan Wilson, he would leave government work and expand the business, devoting himself almost exclusively to consulting work for defense lawyers on shaken-baby cases.

Nearly a year after Cummings’s revision, Dr. Katherine Lindstrom, another state pathologist, would retract her shaken-baby homicide ruling in the case of a 1-year-old Cambridge girl after an unusual level of pretrial lobbying by the defense, according to e-mails obtained by the Globe through a public records request. And Dr. Anna McDonald would follow suit on a third case soon after, a full year after she had stopped working as a Massachusetts medical examiner and begun working for a North Carolina doctor who frequently testifies for the defense in shaken-baby cases. Despite her job change and relocation, she retained control of the case, which the agency allows.

The consequences of these revisions have been profound: Two murder prosecutions were dropped, including the high-profile prosecution of a Cambridge nanny, and a third homicide case against a Burlington baby sitter has been seriously weakened.

Concentrating so much unchecked power in individual forensic pathologists is something many major medical examiner’s offices try hard to avoid, the Globe review found.

David Fowler, president of the National Association of Medical Examiners, said his accreditation organization calls for each autopsy report to undergo a mandatory “quality assurance” review process.

In Maryland, where he is the chief medical examiner, Fowler said he is required to personally review and sign off on all death certificates involving a homicide, a child under age 2, and any rulings that call the cause of death “undetermined.” In New York City, which has its own medical examiner’s office, each homicide determination must be initialed by a second examiner, according to a spokeswoman....


Looks to me like the Globe is calling for the blood of the nanny's regardless of the shaky science upon which these cases are based.

No offense, but I have nil interest in the lead feature above the fold, and fear to flip to the lower half.

It's gets worse inside. Someone called a cop:

"Bill Bratton is leaving the NYPD to head up a consulting group called Teneo Risk, part of a company run by people who once worked for Bill and Hillary Clinton. Bratton, whose salary is $208,000, figures he gave up a million bucks every year he worked for NYPD. He’s about to go from six to seven figures. He said he’ll never leave New York, but the Teneo job was too good to pass up."

The rest of that piece is not.

The tube will take you to the next body:

"More of Kremlin’s critics are ending up dead" by Andrew E. Kramer New York Times  August 20, 2016

MOSCOW — Political murders are again playing a prominent role in the Kremlin’s foreign policy, the most brutal instrument in an expanding repertoire of intimidation tactics intended to silence or otherwise intimidate critics at home and abroad. 

This as they ignore the Clinton body count and all the official suicides of bankers and others under suspicious circumstances.

Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has made no secret of his ambition to restore his country to what he sees as its rightful place among the world’s leading nations. He has invested considerable money and energy into building an image of a strong and morally superior Russia, in sharp contrast with what he portrays as weak, decadent, and disorderly Western democracies.

My diagnosis is I'm sick and tired of a lying, war-promoting, agenda-pushing pos pre$$ pot hollering kettle.

Muckraking journalists, rights advocates, opposition politicians, government whistle-blowers, and other Russians who threaten that image are treated harshly — imprisoned on trumped-up charges, smeared in the media, and, increasingly often, killed.

Good thing that never happens in AmeriKa.

Political murders, particularly those accomplished with poisons, are nothing new in Russia, going back five centuries. Nor are they particularly subtle. While typically not traceable to any individuals and plausibly denied by government officials, poisonings leave little doubt of the state’s involvement — which might be precisely the point.

“Outside of popular culture, there are no highly skilled hit men for hire,” Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University and an authority on the Russian security services, said in an interview. “If it’s a skilled job, that means it’s a state asset.”

Other countries, notably Israel and the United States, pursue targeted killings, but in a strict counterterrorism context. No other major power employs murder as systematically and ruthlessly as Russia does.... 

The web version added to the print, but at this point I'm sick of the stench of this slop propaganda. F*** the NYT!


You can take a brief look at these before I flip to page A3 for the autopsies in Afghanistan, once again performed by the New York Times!

There was a day long, long ago when I would have leapt at that article with love and rejoiced! The NYT is covering the sufferings of the victims of war. Yaaaaaaay! 

Now I'm disgusted by such compassionate empathy (crocodile tears) coming from the lead war liar.

Then there is the bug up my ass known as the Washington Post before the NYT crawls up Trump's. The Globe then buries Clinton's e-mails under Sanders' shit as I move along.

So do you know who is the queen of Bangladesh?

My schooling wasn't very good, so it may take a while to dig up that information.

Time to put my socks on and tiptoe through the Metro section. I have no further questions about the latest shooting in Dorchester, nor am I my brother's keeper. Just wondering why the model police department would need to build trust. I can see teachers needing to do it, and why kids want to escape from school.

Well, your prayers have been an$wered. It's none of my business, and the cab ride out will cost you.

This ritual is almost at an end. It was a primitive idea to begin with, and has become downright dangerous. Who knows whose next to end up sick or on the slab?

NDU: Mass. medical examiner’s office chips away at backlog

I'm doing the best I can, but I think I'll move forward first.