False Positive: When forensic science fails [Full version]

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  • Published on:  Wednesday, February 13, 2019
  • How “science” and “justice” failed Robert Lee Stinson.

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    False Positive is a documentary produced by Vox Senior Producer Joss Fong about the conviction of Robert Lee Stinson. Stinson spent 23 years in a Wisconsin prison for murder after two forensic odontologists concluded that his teeth matched bite marks found on the body of the victim. False Positive looks at the structural and cultural factors that have made the U.S. criminal justice system susceptible to unreliable forensic science, and that continue to impede progress toward more reliable methods today.

    This documentary was originally released as three separate episodes:
    Part 1: https://www.thclips.net/video/kiw1Zv-B02c/video.html
    Part 2: https://www.thclips.net/video/beixsgKr93o/video.html
    Part 3: https://www.thclips.net/video/-1y8Nq0ndsk/video.html

    To go even deeper into the series, become a member of the Vox Video Lab, for exclusive access to a live Q&A about this story, and additional behind-the-scenes details on the series.

    Watch the Q&A with Joss and Johnny Harris: https://www.thclips.net/video/juBYSt_hB9I/video.html
    And the Lab extra here: https://www.thclips.net/video/aFZ8sCnR1So/video.html

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  • Source: https://youtu.be/EO6kYkoCEsA


  • Vox


     2 months ago +24

    July 2019 UPDATE: To read about the resolution of Stinson's lawsuit, read this article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/milwaukee/2019/07/11/milwaukee-pay-7-5-million-wrongfully-convicted-man/1673834001/

  • mymathmind


     5 days ago

    I love how at the end when questioning Moses the investigator is acting like it was Moses’ fault that Stinson was wrongfully convicted 🙄. Why is there no accountability for getting this wrong? Why is so little value placed on people freedom?

  • Lily Emily Varga

    Lily Emily Varga

     7 days ago

    115k for 23 years of life he will never get back. You could shower him in endless amounts of money but that won't fix anything, they ruined his life and all they do is say sorry and give him some money. it's disgusting

  • Bruce Gillett

    Bruce Gillett

     7 days ago

    I think 115,000?!?!?? He should’ve gotten MILLIONS

  • Ole van der Linden

    Ole van der Linden

     14 days ago

    Wy did they not get some thing like a peice of pig skin an let him bite into it that would makw it so clear he vas not it

  • Wilson Kennedy

    Wilson Kennedy

     14 days ago

    Don't settle for less than 28 million dollars

  • Andrea


     14 days ago

    Well done! What a truly disturbing story that is only the tip of the faulty science conviction iceberg. I'm so sorry, Robert Lee Stinson.

  • Brian Jefferson

    Brian Jefferson

     21 days ago +1

    This serves as an example to why it's very risky to live among or be in proximity to people with low standards or illegal tendencies. It reminds me of the top definition for 'the trap' at UrbanDictionary(dot)com. I'm glad he saw justice with his new case settlement of $7.5 million dollars.

    I wonder how conscientious each of the individuals responsible for influencing the conclusion of Stintson's case would have been if legislation had been enacted which said each expert witness involved would have to serve half of all wrongful sentences received by those whose prosecutions were predicated on false positives they concluded. Having such a law would restore the applicable weight of responsibility to those who so drastically impact others' lives in such an immense way as well as create a safeguard to prevent it from happening.

    Anyone involved in any aspect of legal proceedings should probably be routinely pre-screened for impartiality and judicious decision-making in competency tests, warned against emotional influences, given extra emphasis before cases disclaiming that no part of any human testimony should ever be expected to be perfect information, and have stressed to them extensively that all defendants should truly be considered innocent unless being fully proven otherwise beyond all reasonable doubt, using the Stintson case as an example.

     I hope Stintson invests his compensation and settlement across fundamentally sound dividend yielding stocks with reasonable expectations of economic longevity. A sum as great as $7.5 million invested for dividend yield will necessarily compound on itself to a principal balance that could put him on Forbes list as long as the dividends are reinvested.

  • Cassandra


     21 days ago

    I remember being a kid and biting my own arm after a fight with my brother and telling my mum he did it and I remember her saying "look those marks are to small to be your sister's" but they were mine she was a scientist who worked in a ferensic lad (tho not in pattern analysis) that says a lot doesn't it.

  • citla Pilco

    citla Pilco

     1 months ago

    This makes me wanna study forensics

  • reeah


     1 months ago

    wow ok

  • gokul balagopal

    gokul balagopal

     1 months ago

    In India he would have been hanged

  • Richard Spare

    Richard Spare

     2 months ago

    Every comment is saying how disgusting was that he got convicted, but if the experts that had no reasons to lie were 100% convienced that the guy did it, the defendant lied about his alibi and he lived near the victim every resonable jury would have convicted him.
    At the time there weren't all the technological tools that there are today, that was sufficient enough to convict, it's a shame that he was innocent and merited more than what he was payed but it's not morally outragious.

  • Adnan Prantoi

    Adnan Prantoi

     2 months ago

    The age of the old dentist/professor...probably got to him.

  • Enjoy The Silence

    Enjoy The Silence

     2 months ago

    I love Vox content so much

  • John D.

    John D.

     2 months ago

    Bottomline: how to catch a furry suspect

  • ShellyMay AllDay

    ShellyMay AllDay

     3 months ago

    Please give an update to this!!

  • Emily Arking

    Emily Arking

     3 months ago

    I hope he gets the money that he deserves, though no amount of money in the world can replace 23 years of someone’s life being ripped away from them

  • Prabhkirat Singh

    Prabhkirat Singh

     3 months ago

    He should be given at least 5 lakh dollars for 23 years and some other facilities to get back in his daily life.

  • Mario


     3 months ago

    They should sent that judge to prison for the same ammount of time that guy spent there.