Pitts v. Arkansas

Brief of Amicus Curiae The Innocence Network and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Appellant.

Brief filed: 02/12/2016


Pitts v. Arkansas

Arkansas Supreme Court; Case No. CR-80-40

Prior Decision

On amended petition for writ of error coram nobis, Pulaski County Circuit Court, Fifth Division, 60CR-79-471


Flawed forensic evidence like that used to convict Mr. Pitts is scientifically invalid. Faulty forensic evidence and related false testimony have contributed to the convictions of innocent people. Forensic evidence plays a key role in wrongful convictions because such evidence is generally perceived as infallible. The hair comparison evidence used to convict Mr. Pitts has been discredited. Hair comparison evidence like that proffered against Mr. Pitts is false and has contributed to at least 74 wrongful convictions. The hair comparison evidence introduced through former special agent Malone was erroneous. Mr. Pitts is entitled to relief based on the state's reliance on now discredited microscopic hair comparison evidence.

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Amelia R. V. Maxfield, NACDL, Washington, DC; Steven R. Morrison, NACDL, Grand Forks, ND; Russell L. Hirschhorn, Patrick Rieder, and Martine Seiden, Proskauer Rose LLP, New York, NY; Seth Miller, The Innocence Network, Tallahassee, FL; J. Blake Hendrix, Fuqua Campbell, P.A., Little Rock, AR.