Normal Topic DNA proves Byron Halsey's Innocence, falsely accused by a polygraph (Read 16209 times)
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DNA proves Byron Halsey's Innocence, falsely accused by a polygraph
Jul 11th, 2007 at 4:43pm
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All Concerned,

I submit yet another polygraph falsely helping to convict an innocent person.

Link: http://blog.nj.com/timesupdates/2007/07/plainsboro_dna_test_firm_revea.html

Text:

Plainsboro DNA test firm reveals truth
Posted by The Times of Trenton July 10, 2007 10:39PM
Categories: Business, News
PLAINSBORO -- Under a microscope, the truth is revealed.

A local life sciences company conducted the laboratory work that helped exonerate a northern New Jersey man this week after he was convicted of a brutal double murder more than two decades ago.

Orchid Cellmark, a 20-year-old company that specializes in DNA testing, did the clinical work for the Innocence Project that led to the conviction of Byron Halsey being overturned. The Innocence Project is a nonprofit group that works on behalf of prisoners it believes have been wrongly convicted.

The crime in this case was horrific: Plainfield youngster Tyrone Urquhart, 8, and his sister, Tina, 7, were sexually assaulted, murdered and mutilated in November 1985. Halsey, boyfriend of the victims' mother, failed a polygraph test. He confessed, then retracted his confession, and was convicted at trial. He was spared execution, and spent more than 21 years in prison.

Yet advanced DNA testing, not available in the late 1980s, led to an overturned conviction in May and to a complete exoneration by authorities on Monday. And Orchid Cellmark, as well as state laboratories, conducted the DNA testing that led to Halsey's release.

It is the type of work that Orchid Cellmark has been doing for years.

See Wednesday's Times for more on this story.

Contributed by Bill Mooney

--- End of Text

Yet even more proof of how dangerous and invalid the polygraph really is.
Real science proves itself, psuedo-science just buries its mistakes for 21 years.

Regards ....

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Re: DNA proves Byron Halseys Innocence, falsely accused by a polygraph
Reply #1 - Jul 11th, 2007 at 5:15pm
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Re: DNA proves Byron Halseys Innocence, falsely accused by a polygraph
Reply #2 - Jul 11th, 2007 at 6:44pm
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Sorry George,

I Didn't see the original blog entry.

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Re: DNA proves Byron Halseys Innocence, falsely accused by a polygraph
Reply #3 - Jul 12th, 2007 at 8:54am
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Hi EOS,

There's something that give me long hours of thought.
Why would an innocent person confess to a horrendous crime in the first instance. If I was an innocent suspect in a similar crime, I would not confess no matter what.

I can imagine that things are different in a miltary situation, where the captors will beat s*** out of you until you say what they wanna hear. But surely the
police did not physically beat Halsey - (he would have said so by now)

I wonder what if chemical changes can occur in 'preserved' DNA after 22 yrs and how reliable would that evidence be (22yrs later )..?

I am not entirely convinced as to the reliability of DNA evidence 22 yrs down the line.

I watched a documentary a few weeks back - also a prisoner freed a few yrs
after being wrongly convicted - his catch phrase was "DNA, my favourite three letters of the alphabet, that's for sure" --- anybody else see it..? To me, some
of the statements made by the free one were highly deceptive. Unfortunately I didnt tape it.

Rgds
(the new serious minded)
1904
  
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Re: DNA proves Byron Halseys Innocence, falsely accused by a polygraph
Reply #4 - Jul 12th, 2007 at 9:30am
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1904,

In response to your first question, as to why someone would confess to a crime they did not commit, please allow me answer that one.

When someone is TARGETED by the police as a suspect in a crime and are subject to intensive interrogation, they play mind games with that suspect.  They are trained in tried and true methods of first scaring the suspect and then gaining his trust.  It could be the old good cop, bad cop routine where the bad cop will tell the suspect that he is going down for the crime, regardless of if he confesses or not.  Then the good guy comes in and comforts the suspect...telling him that they know he did it, they have his DNA and witnesses, and the only way to get out of the situation is to confess.  They might tell the suspect that if the case goes to trial, it is open and shut and the suspect will never see the light of day again and will either die behind bars or even be put to death (depending on the crime).  But they offer a deal...if you confess we will go easy on you...you might get probation because we all have these urges.  You're not a bad guy afterall...you just made this one mistake.

You and I know this would never work on us, we would tell the cops to get bent and we would invoke our right to a lawyer.  The guys that this tactic is effective on is typically low income, low education and low mental capacity.  They can be bullied by lies and intimdiation and will often capitulate just to get out of the interrogation room.  Interrogations can be extremely draining bot emotionally and psychologically and even physcally.  Often the suspect will confess just to "escape".  Whereas constant bullying would make you and I even more belligerent, it wears down those who have no ability to pay for lawyers or who don't have the mental capacity to know that the police are lying.  They are often confused and scared and looking for an out.

You say that you understand confessions gained under physical abuse, but often mental and psychological abuse can be just as debilitating.

As far as DNA being viable after 22 years, I believe it has much to do with how it was stored.  If frozen in laboratory conditions, I believe it remains viable indefinitely.  Just yesterday I read that they have found a frozen 10,000 year old mammoth and hope to use its DNA to clone and resurrect the species.
  
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Re: DNA proves Byron Halseys Innocence, falsely accused by a polygraph
Reply #5 - Jul 12th, 2007 at 2:16pm
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The good cop-bad cop routine is a bit of a cliche in real life.
Reserved I think, for lesser crimes than our example.

We're not talking armed robbery, but the maniacal murder and
mutilation of 2 children.

I find it hard to swallow that an innocent man would confess to
such a gruesome crime if he was 'totally' innocent.

I wish that the investigating officers read this board - I would dearly
love to hear their side.

A question for those in the know (George.??)-- was it a lack of DNA that freed him or mismatched DNA?
  
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Re: DNA proves Byron Halseys Innocence, falsely accused by a polygraph
Reply #6 - Jul 12th, 2007 at 2:33pm
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The following media excerpts answer my own questions:

Press Reports:
Yesterday, in a stunning reversal, a Superior Court judge threw out Halsey’s convictions and ordered a new trial after advanced DNA testing — unavailable at the time of the prosecution — showed that the killings might have been carried out by a Plainfield neighbor.

The new DNA test shows a neighbor, Clifton Hall, 49, was the source of semen found at the scene. Hall, who testified against Halsey at trial, is now in prison for three sex crimes in early 1990s, authorities said.

It was not clear whether he had an attorney, and state corrections officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Hall.

Halsey gave a confession after he was interrogated for 30 hours during a 40-hour period, Innocence Project co-director Barry Scheck said.

"It would be a stretch to say that Byron Halsey even confessed to this crime given the state of mind he was in, the length of the interrogation, the tactics police used, and the words he actually said," Scheck said.

Investigators were able to recover evidence of semen from the girl's underwear, the covering of the couch, and from an oral swab of the boy's mouth. More DNA evidence was recovered from the cigarette butts.

At the time, however, DNA technology was not sufficient to provide a match to an individual, and investigators were only able to match Halsey to the semen because he had the same blood type as the culprit.

In the immediate aftermath, investigators aggressively questioned Halsey - who told them he had left the children alone and came home to find them missing.

After hours of questioning, Halsey allegedly confessed to the killings, admitting he "sexually assaulted [Tina] in the basement on the blue couch."

But his attorneys argue the confession was coerced after a 30-hour interrogation during which Halsey - who has a sixth-grade education and suffers from severe learning disabilities - was allowed little sleep.

But influenced by the blood-type evidence, and testimony from Hall - who earlier on the night of the murders had driven Halsey to a friend's house - the jury convicted Halsey in 1988 after five days of deliberation.

  
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Re: DNA proves Byron Halseys Innocence, falsely accused by a polygraph
Reply #7 - Jul 12th, 2007 at 2:36pm
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The DNA evidence that cleared polygraph victim Byron Halsey implicated a neighbor, Clifton Hall, who has now been charged with the murders for which Halsey wrongly spent 22 years in prison.

Quote:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/07/09/national/main3037008.shtml

Charges Dropped Against Man Freed By DNA
ELIZABETH, N.J., July 9, 2007(AP) Prosecutors on Monday said they would not retry a man who spent 22 years in prison for the murder and rape of two children and was recently freed after DNA testing exonerated him.

In a statement released before a court hearing Monday, Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow said he decided not to pursue the charges following "careful re-evaluation of the case" against Byron Halsey.

Halsey, 46, was released from prison on May 15 after a judge threw out his convictions. New DNA testing, not available when he was convicted, linked a neighbor to the crime.

However, until Monday, Halsey could have been retried on charges of aggravated sexual assault, aggravated manslaughter, felony murder, child abuse and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

Instead, on the prosecutor's recommendation, a judge dropped all charges.

Outside the courtroom, Halsey thanked prosecutors for "acknowledging the truth."

"I want to thank my Lord savior for carrying me through the years," said Halsey, who also thanked his grandmother, standing behind him in a crowd of supporters.

Halsey said he is trying absorb his new freedom, which began Monday with the removal of an electronic ankle bracelet that monitored his whereabouts.

Though he said he is still angry, he doesn't have immediate plans to sue the state.

Halsey had been convicted in 1988 of murdering and sexually assaulting Tyrone and Tina Urquhart, the children of his girlfriend, with whom he lived at a Plainfield rooming house.

For the last month and a half, he has been trying to piece his life back together without knowing if he would still face charges.

He moved to Newark and found a job with a sign company, established himself with a church and met with social workers to help him adjust to his new life since the dramatic day in May when he walked out of prison.

He said he's gained 20 pounds since leaving prison and has enjoyed catching up with his family. "I'm going to church, going to work, pay my bills," he said, proudly handing out his business cards to reporters.

When asked what the biggest change was since he went into prison in 1985, he said, "Cell phone, man."

The next step would likely be applying for compensation and filing a civil lawsuit, said Barry Scheck, co-director of the Innocence Project, which is representing Halsey.

Vanessa Potkin, a lawyer with the group, said he could be compensated $20,000 per year of imprisonment.

Superior Court Judge Stuart L. Peim vacated Halsey's conviction on May 15 and granted a new trial because the new evidence "would probably change the verdict."

The bodies of Tyrone, 8, and Tina, 7, were found in the home's basement in November 1985.

Halsey had made a confession before trial, but Scheck said the statement followed 30 hours of interrogation over a 40-hour period.

At trial, the jury opted for life in prison rather than the death sentence, prompting jeering in the courtroom, said Eric Ferrero, a spokesman for the Innocence Project.

Halsey was sentenced to two life terms, plus 20 years.

The new DNA test showed that a neighbor in the rooming house, Clifton Hall, 49, was the source of semen recovered at the scene and may have been responsible for the crimes, Ferrero said.

Hall has now been charged with two counts of murder and one count of aggravated sexual assault, authorities said. He is being held at a prison for sex offenders because of three sex crimes convictions in the 1990s.

Halsey is the 205th person nationwide exonerated and the fifth in New Jersey through DNA evidence, said Ferrero of the Innocence Project, which is affiliated with Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.

  

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Re: DNA proves Byron Halseys Innocence, falsely accused by a polygraph
Reply #8 - Jul 12th, 2007 at 3:54pm
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Quote:
Hi EOS,

There's something that give me long hours of thought.
Why would an innocent person confess to a horrendous crime in the first instance. If I was an innocent suspect in a similar crime, I would not confess no matter what.

I can imagine that things are different in a miltary situation, where the captors will beat s*** out of you until you say what they wanna hear. But surely the
police did not physically beat Halsey - (he would have said so by now)

I wonder what if chemical changes can occur in 'preserved' DNA after 22 yrs and how reliable would that evidence be (22yrs later )..?

I am not entirely convinced as to the reliability of DNA evidence 22 yrs down the line.

I watched a documentary a few weeks back - also a prisoner freed a few yrs
after being wrongly convicted - his catch phrase was "DNA, my favourite three letters of the alphabet, that's for sure" --- anybody else see it..? To me, some
of the statements made by the free one were highly deceptive. Unfortunately I didnt tape it.

Rgds
(the new serious minded)
1904


1904,

Some very provocative questions indeed. But with your background in P/G and interrogation. The right stimuli, in the right settings, with time on my side, I could make that person believe he shot and buried HOFFA. And he would confess to it, knowing full well he didn't.  Just to get away from the mental pressure cooker. False confessions are not anything exotic in this type forum. The cops overzealousness, and shoddy investigative work are the real crimes here.  But again it was the science that nailed the neighbor for the crime. They got the right person finally, but with a very expensive mistake upfront.

Regards ....
  

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Re: DNA proves Byron Halseys Innocence, falsely accused by a polygraph
Reply #9 - Jul 12th, 2007 at 4:29pm
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See the Innocence Project's profile of Byron Halsey here:

http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/690.php

Regarding his interrogation it reports:

Quote:
The Investigation and Confession
Both Clifton Hall and Byron Halsey were immediately considered to be suspects by police. Halsey was interrogated for 30 hours during a 40-hour period shortly after the bodies were discovered. When this questioning led to a confession by Halsey, police stopped investigating Hall.

Halsey, who has a sixth-grade education and severe learning disabilities, offered varying accounts of the crime that did not agree with the evidence. On every key fact of the crime, including the location of the bodies and the manner of death, Halsey initially gave incorrect answers and had to guess several times before answering correctly. The detective interrogating Halsey later said many of his answers were “gibberish” and that he seemed to be in a trance during the process. However, the final statement signed by Halsey does [sic] mentions neither these inaccuracies nor the process that led to the statement. None of the interrogation statements were audio or video recorded.
  

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Re: DNA proves Byron Halseys Innocence, falsely accused by a polygraph
Reply #10 - Jul 13th, 2007 at 10:44am
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Hi EOS,

Point taken. Sort of.

My (our) work centred mainly on Fraud & Screening, then the occasional matrimonial
with a few sexual harassments & child molestations per year. All in the civil sector.

We never used interrogation tactics like the good-bad cop scenario.
Dealing with fraud issues, tangible evidence was required and not just confessions, to get convictions.
IRO the 'nasty' issues, it would usually be family wanting to know whether their 'suspect' was guillty.

But, having read as to the mental state of the Deskovic / Halsey personalities, it becomes clearer
and understandable how relentless, single-minded interrogation could make them lose grip on reality
and crack under that relentless pressure.

It sounds horrible. Terrible. I wonder how those bastards (interrogators) feel now.

Regards.


  
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Re: DNA proves Byron Halseys Innocence, falsely accused by a polygraph
Reply #11 - Jul 14th, 2007 at 6:58pm
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Quote:
Hi EOS,
It sounds horrible. Terrible. I wonder how those bastards (interrogators) feel now.


They don't feel anything, 1904.  That part of them died a long time ago; they murdered it.  When everything you do is a lie and your profession is responsible for ruining so many lives, you need to find a way to cope, unless you're already a psychopath. 

They might think they're really sorry.  But Byron Halsey is just collateral damage, the thing that is sacrificed to acquire the summum bonum of the polygraph, which will lead us to the promised land and without which all our wives will be ravished by rapists and all our children molested by pedophiles.  Mr. Halsey really ought to be thanking them, according to the way those things think.  Without their efforts, all of the al Qaeda operatives who would be working for the government probably would have blown up the prison he was incarcerated in for such a large portion of his life.
  

Is former APA President Skip Webb evil or just stupid?

Is former APA President Ed Gelb an idiot or does the polygraph just not work?

Did you know that polygrapher Sackett doesn't care about detecting deception to relevant questions?
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Re: DNA proves Byron Halseys Innocence, falsely accused by a polygraph
Reply #12 - Jul 14th, 2007 at 9:39pm
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1904, Lethe,

When your vocation is truth detection, the truth you know is only as good as the truth you believe in. Perception, motivation, and above all else,  ego, drives that perception. The polygrapher, named in another thread, that put him away, will never admit to any wrong doing. He was just doing his job. Its the same excuse the guards in concentration camps used during Nueremburg and other famous war crimes trials.  Just doing their jobs, without remorse, without reflection or compassion, without caring about the laws and lifes they affect or destroy. I think that covers it. Its the old cliche' Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. And polygraphers have way to much power when dealing with those that are naive, intellectually challenged, and unread. The only protection is to be none of those catagories. And its quite humorous to watch a polygrapher trying to figure out why his machine and process is not working, especially since he perceives himself and his polygraph always right.

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DNA proves Byron Halsey's Innocence, falsely accused by a polygraph

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