A Texas sheriff's deputy facing lawsuits over claims that his bloodhounds match lingering scents on crime scene evidence to suspects is retiring.Now the Attorney General or somebody needs to go back through the 2,000+ cases in which Pikett testified and determine how many convictions were based primarily on his dogs' testimony. I have little doubt that innocent people have been accused and convicted in Texas courts as a result of this flawed and untested technique.
Fort Bend County Sheriff's Deputy Keith Pikett will retire at the end of January. Sheriff Milton Wright said Wednesday that Pikett told him last week he is ready to "hang it up."
Pikett is the defendant in at least three lawsuits from men who say they were wrongly jailed after dogs sniffed them out. Authorities eventually dropped charges in the cases. Pikett maintains his dogs are accurate in sniffing out bad guys.
Wright says the 63-year-old deputy was not forced to retire. He will be retained as a reserve deputy and continue to work for the sheriff's department in a reduced role.
See prior, related Grits posts:
- More detail on scent-lineup case headed to Texas CCA
- Texas Court of Criminal Appeals will hear arguments on dog scent evidence
- More litigation, disapprobation for dog-scent lineups
- 'Scent lineup' evidence may be used in Anthony Graves capital case
- CNN profiles cop wrongly accused by dog scent lineup
- A 'scent lineup'? Rover in the witness box
- DNA exoneration indicts Rover in the witness box
- 'Scent lineups stink to critics'
- 3 false convictions relied on dog-based scent lineups in Florida
- Scent lineups by dogs don't pass the smell test
- Texas Innocence Project vetting dog scent lineup cases
- Evidence mounts against dog handler, scent lineups
- Texas Innocence Project report discredits dog 'scent lineups'
- More innocent people accused by dog 'scent lineups,' but FBI now using technique