Sunday, April 20, 2008

An Open & Shut Case

by Dr. Cyril Wecht
April 20, 2008

When one reviews and objectively analyzes the infamous murders of prominent political leaders throughout the world since World War II, it becomes frustratingly evident that insofar as those cases are concerned in which the perpetrator was not immediately and clearly visualized, there was a paucity of forensic scientific evidence that was identified, preserved, and tested in order to identify the assailants.

The assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Reverend Martin Luther King are the foremost examples of such instances that have regrettably resulted in perpetual, seemingly insoluble controversies.

The investigation into the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy should have been different. Solid incontrovertible scientific evidence was available for thorough examination by competent, experienced forensic pathologists, criminalists, and ballistics experts. The results of all those tests and analyses would have unequivocally proven that Sirhan Sirhan did not fire the fatal shots that killed Robert Kennedy. Tragically, such meticulous, objective studies were either performed by less than scrupulous and experienced forensic scientists, or not undertaken at all.

Phil Van Praag and Robert Joling have done an outstanding job in putting together An Open & Shut Case that unequivocally confirms this premise. These authors have painstakingly revisited all the physical and forensic evidence in the RFK case, and they have established an air-tight case. It is extremely regrettable that this kind of investigation was not conducted in 1968. Nevertheless, there are many reasons why it remains important and necessary to establish the truth, albeit four decades later.

An Open & Shut Case is a must read, not only for forensic scientists and trial attorneys, but for all Americans who care about the criminal justice system, as well as the honor and dignity of our great country.

© 2008 An Open & Shut Case, LLC

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