The CCA today handed down its opinion on a capital murder punishment retrial that Alex Calhoun and I tried 2 years ago in Waco. Click here for link to opinion.
And Dr. Cunningham talked about being a scientist and what that means. What that means is, I don't just look at the evidence and make a wild guess. Okay. I'm not a tea-leaf reader. I'm not a guy who says, well, I'm just going to depend on my-my experience and say this person is a future danger-okay-without going back and checking my work, without quantifying things, without being able to say, you know, I'm correct to this certain quantum of correctness. . . . So he's a scientist. A scientist comes up with an idea, a theory. Okay. He tests that theory. He doesn't just test the theory, but he also gives his data to other scientists to look at, so they can test his theory. Then he goes back and double-checks his work. Then he thinks, now, maybe there's a weakness in my own argument that I've already made. Let's go back and double-check that weakness and see it that changes our numbers or does that reinforce our numbers. All right. So that's what a scientist is supposed to do.
Do you remember Dr. Coons's testimony? Dr. Coons, do you check your work? Not really. Dr. Coons, do you remember going back and looking at the records of people that you have predicted are going to be a future danger to see if they really were? Well, I'm sure I've done it, but I can't tell you who I've done it with. In other words, he's a guy who is completely uninterested in whether he's correct or not. . . .
. . . How can he ever get better? How can he establish for the jury that his opinion is reliable? He can't because he's not a scientist. He's a tea-leaf reader.