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Sat Jul 6, 2013, 01:58 PM

Re: Dr. Bao testimony, ME in Zimmerman trial

Did he ever get the chance to explain the reason that he had absolutely zero memory of that autopsy? He kept alluding to it as though there was some really good reason, but he never elaborated. Did it ever come out?

This witness was truly the worst witness I've ever seen. Anybody who complained that Rachel Jeantel was a bad witness needs to go back and listen to her testimony again after listening to Dr. Bao. She, in comparison, was a stellar witness. Actually, she wasn't a bad witness at all in the first place. I liked her and liked what she had to say. I give her a load of credit for maintaining her composure--for the most part--during that badgering by the asshat prosecution.

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Response to Duer 157099 (Original post)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 02:01 PM

1. Because he sees lots of bodies, many from crimes? Because he keeps meticulous records?

 

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #1)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 02:03 PM

2. Did he say that?

Of course that is true, but everytime he mentioned not having any memory whatsoever, he said it in such a way that he was begging someone to ask him WHY? And yet, as far as I am aware, nobody would indulge him that. He was itching to say why. Did he?

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Response to Duer 157099 (Reply #2)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 02:08 PM

3. He did explain he had to many cases to have a memory and...

besides he said memories are not facts and he only deals in facts.

I personally liked that he would not allow anyone to put words in his mouth and would only testify to the facts of the case. But I will admit it didn't play well on tv. We just aren't use to seeing someone with his ethical integrity.

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Response to Little Star (Reply #3)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 02:15 PM

4. You say ethical integrity, I say

ego the size of a house. This guy may have integrity but it was far overshadowed by his ego.

"If I didn't see it, it didn't exist!" "I am 100% sure, that's my job." "Nobody knows this autopsy better than me."

But then also:

"Opinions can change. I can change my opinion every day, every minute." "Someone who doesn't change their opinion is mentally retarded." "I don't remember."

Etc. Just bizarre.

Let's dissect this further: was it a FACT or an OPINION that TM could have survived 1-3mins after the shot? Well, 6 months ago it was a FACT. Yesterday, that FACT was somewhat altered due to new evidence (that he could write a paper on and that the whole world would love to read, but he doesn't have time) to being 1-10 minutes. The precise time in this case is an OPINION, which is why he only offers a range of time. But the FACT of the range of time changed. From 1-3 to 1-10.

I think he's the one confused about the difference between facts and opinions.

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Response to Duer 157099 (Original post)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 02:17 PM

5. He said he could change his opinion every hour

 

What kind of expert says something like that?

A cold chill went down my spine when he said that, I can only imagine what Trayvon's parents must be thinking watching this guy testify.

He might as well have been a double-agent for the defense.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #5)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 02:22 PM

6. Exactly. For example,

at the time, he decided not to take photos of TM's hands. Was it his opinion that there was no need? Or was it a fact? His ego forces him to say it was a fact, because he is 100% sure of his ability to make such decisions. Yet, I think in hindsight, everyone--except maybe him--would agree that the lack of photos of TM's hands was a mistake.

I would not trust anything this man says ever.

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Response to Duer 157099 (Reply #6)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 04:48 PM

8. He testified that there was zero evidence on TM's hands for which to take a photo. ME's do not take

 

photos of a corpse's every square inch. No reason = no photo.

As a matter of protocol, yes, the ME's observations ARE accepted as fact. If they were not, we'd never have ANY "acceptable" records.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #8)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 04:49 PM

9. Is "zero evidence on TM's hands" a FACT or an OPINION?

I'll finish my answer after I hear yours.

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Response to Duer 157099 (Reply #9)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 04:52 PM

11. I edited my above post to that, but to reiterate: The ME's observations are, by law, accepted as

 

fact.

To engage in an argument such as you are positing is to go down the rabbit hole. Where would you end, when the law has already established someone as THE final authority?

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #11)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 04:58 PM

12. OK. Was it a "fact" 6 months ago that TM could have lived from 1-3 minutes after the shot?

If it was a fact then, but now it has changed, then was it really just an opinion?

If that was an opinion, then what else that has been called a fact is subject to change?

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Response to Duer 157099 (Reply #12)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 05:05 PM

14. The 1-3 minutes comment was based upon his original opinion.

A case 3 weeks ago that was similar to the Martin shooting gave fresh information on potential time remaining of life. Based upon the newer case, the ME revised his opinion accordingly. As the ME stated, opinions are not fixed but may be altered based upon new information and experience.

If people are unwilling to revise their opinions in criminal cases then there would be no need for advancements in forensic science and we would never have developed things like DNA testing.

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Response to avebury (Reply #14)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 05:30 PM

15. Ummm not sure that is accurate

The thing, with regards to the 1-3 vs 1-10 minutes, that he classified as his opinion, would be if he picked a time within that range. For example, if he said "it is my opinion that he lived for 1.8 minutes after being shot" and he wasn't willing to do that, because he didn't want to offer an opinion to the court on this matter. That was when he kept talking about the difference between facts and opinions.

No?

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Response to Duer 157099 (Reply #15)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 05:43 PM

16. I was listening to the ME's

testimony and he originally testified that he thought that Martin lived 1-3 minutes. The more recent case provided more evidence that, in a similar type of shooting, Martin might have lived somewhere in the 1-10 minute range. The ME only would give estimated time ranges because he could not state a time period that was factually correct.

He was pretty firm that his analysis was always subject to change based upon new information or experience. We do not live in a scientific or informational vacuum so I would hope that he could incorporate new information and experience in revising a report if it is warranted.

Think of all the evidence taken by police over the years. Then think about the evolution of DNA testing which allows the Innocence Project to have the evidence tested and prove some convicted people to actually be innocent.

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Response to avebury (Reply #16)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 05:54 PM

17. I was listening as well

he very carefully reiterated a number of times that the very reason he wouldn't speculate on an exact time was because that would be opinion. That he named a range of 1-3mins in the past suggests that he considered that factual. The he learned new info to revise his range up to 10mins is also what he considers facts. Otherwise, he wouldn't offer the info, since he refused to speculate.

So, this is a situation where his facts actually changed over time. That is the whole point I am making. He insists that facts are static and based on truth. Listen to him again.

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Response to Duer 157099 (Reply #9)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 05:03 PM

13. I would say fact because if there were something

worth noting, pictures would have been taken, and notes entered into the autopsy records accordingly.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #5)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 02:27 PM

7. And, his notes

 

appear to have been a gold mine for the defense. One of the books he consulted was apparently by one of the defense experts.

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Response to Duer 157099 (Original post)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 04:50 PM

10. He said it would be impossible for him to remember

The autopsy was too long ago and he does to many of them.

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Response to Duer 157099 (Original post)

Sat Jul 6, 2013, 07:02 PM

18. I watched Dr. Bao's entire testimony and I think he was one of the best witnesses

I've ever seen.

There was a strategy behind everything he said. Zimmerman's atty. was trying to elicit some statement that was contrary, even in some miniscule way, to what was in the autopsy report and thus discredit his testimony on that basis.

The facts at issue were in the report, the only official narrative of what was found at autopsy. Dr. Bao refused to take the bait and start opining about what was or wasn't done (what is it - 2 years ago now?). The report stands on its own merits or lack thereof. Z's atty was looking for a reason to discredit him and he failed in that respect.

As far as the opinion about how long a person can live after being shot in the heart, Someone else in this thread pretty much covered it. There was a recent case where a father shot his son in the heart and the son lived for at least 10 minutes. I'm not a pathologist but I would think those sorts of things can only be predicted within a range, not down to the minute.

IF ANY ATTORNEYS ARE READING THIS THREAD, could you comment on the following, please: I thought Dr. Bao's mentioning his "notes" (not the same as the report) was a big 'Oops!'. Z's atty jumped on that and there was all that arguing and bench conferencing etc.

Dr. Bao was visibly upset and he didn't want them to see his notes. He said several times that he had written the notes at home, at night , on his own computer, on his own time etc.

He knew what he was doing. He was trying to send a message. IMO it had something to do with what attorneys call "work product". Someone help me out here. I wouldn't think anyone had a right to his notes, but I guess the Judge thought differently.

Inadvertently disclosing the notes was a BIG DEAL, as was the issue about making copies, I think. Then after lunch there was that long bench conference and the Judge ruled that the Robinson Rule (?) had not been violated. I'm really curious what that was about. Can someone clarify?

In sum, Dr. Bao was a very competent witness. He's probably done this a number of times.


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Edit to add> I guess they didn't find anything incriminating in Dr. Bao's notes, because I don't remember hearing any more about it.

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