False testimony leads to freedom for novelist accused of murder
North Carolina: On May 9, Judge Orlando Hudson ruled that the 2003 murder conviction of novelist Michael Peterson was invalid. The judge explained that the conviction was the result of "materially misleading and deliberately false" testimony from the key witness, Duane Deaver of the State Bureau of Investigation.
According to the judge's order, Deaver had intentionally misled the jurors about a few key points. First, he overstated the amount of experience he had dealing with cases involving bloodstains. He was also found to be habitually biased towards the State and against defendants. Finally, his experiments in analyzing the bloodstains were found to be scientifically flawed, based on the opinions of other bloodstain analysis experts.
Peterson has spent eight years in prison as the alleged murderer of his wife. Since December, he has been free on bond. Whether or not he committed the crime, the mistrial has cleared his conviction. An appeal by the District Attorney is in motion.
|This article was written by Matt Latourelle, the Project Director for the State Courts Project on Judgepedia. He can be reached at email@example.com.|