The Talented Dr. Steven Hayne

Dr. Steven Hayne is a forensic pathologist in Mississippi. He’s a fraud and liar, too. Here’s a description of his method (citations omitted):

Until 2008, Hayne performed about 80 to 90 percent of criminal autopsies in Mississippi, and has testified to performing more than 1,500 autopsies per year. Performing more than 325 autopsies per year is considered a “Phase II deficiency” by the National Association of Medical Examiners, and prevents an office from being accredited. While performing these autopsies, Hayne also regularly appeared in court to testify as a forensic expert, and held down two hospital jobs.

Hayne’s well-educated, but he applied his schooling and intellect to a method that was substandard in every way, leading errors, mistakes, and wrongful convictions.

Hayne’s shoddy work and testimony are responsible for placing innocent men on death row.

In 2008, Mississippi finally barred Hayne from performing any more autopsies within the state.

For more on Hayne’s disgraceful career, see the excellent work of Radley Balko (formerly of Reason, soon to be at the Huffington Post):

Balko, Radley (November 2007). “CSI: Mississippi: A case study in expert testimony gone horribly wrong.” Reason Magazine. Retrieved 2009-09-18.

Balko, Radley (October 2006). “The Case of Cory Maye: A cop is dead, an innocent man may be on death row, and drug warriors keep knocking down doors.” Reason Magazine. Retrieved 2009-09-18.

Balko, Radley (September 1, 2009). “Update in Mississippi: Titles Are Free!” Reason: Hit and Run. Reason Magazine. Retrieved 2009-09-18.

Balko, Radley (February 19, 2009). “Manufacturing Guilt? Experts say this exclusive video shows a dental examiner creating the bite marks that put a man on death row.” Reason Magazine. Retrieved 2009-09-18.

Yet for years, despite Hayne’s absurd claims — and the unjust results they produced — he held onto his position. He even had defenders, status quo stalwarts who did anything they could to prop him up, until he was finally removed.

There’s the proof and demonstration of human nature — that some are corrupt and selfish, and will exercise power unjustly so long as they have a place from which to do so. They’ll say anything, do anything, merely to hold onto a position, title, or role. It’s not truth that inspires them, but prominence — as long as they have a chair at the table, they’re satisfied.

There’s great power in this situational amorality — without anything more than their selfish desires, they’ll dissemble, distort, and deceive so much as they need.

Hayne’s intelligent, but his career is one of degradation, of himself and others Even an ape would care better for its kind than Hayne cared for many others of his own kind.

If Hayne lasted so long, through his unremitting lies, then what finally did him in?

Someone like Balko, and others who publicized Hayne’s misconduct, eventually won the day. For if Hayne seemed the immovable object, Balko was — truly — the irresistible force. What Hayne had in selfishness, Balko exceeded in tenacity and patience. Along the way, Hayne probably seemed likely to prevail, until he was finally undone.

Politics is a long, ongoing thing. The selfishly situational — vile pigs like Hayne who will grab anything they can get — misunderstand the dynamic and transformational nature of America.

Hayne had the status quo, so to speak, but it wasn’t enough to resist a patient — very patient — doggedness for the truth.

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