Supreme Court orders new trials for 2 men in Allegan County
July 11, 2019
ALLEGAN, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Supreme Court has ordered new trials for two men after finding that Allegan County juries were likely swayed by experts whose testimony went too far.
In a unanimous decision, the court said experts can't tell a jury that children usually don't lie when reporting sexual abuse. The court also said a doctor can't give an opinion about whether an assault occurred if the conclusion simply is an opinion about the alleged victim's truthfulness.
Justice Brian Zahra noted there was a dearth of evidence in the two cases, which made the experts' testimony crucial for prosecutors.
Joshua Thorpe has been in prison for more than three years. Brandon Harbison was sent to prison in 2015.