Con: Judges are best arbiters

Even some people who question the value of scent lineups think judges should decide whether evidence is fit for court.

Lawyer Rex Easley represents two men who were falsely implicated in crimes because of scent lineups.

Both men have filed lawsuits alleging civil rights violations in federal court. They allege Deputy Keith Pikett's scent lineups violated their civil rights.

Although he's worked with the Innocence Project on investigating Pikett, Easley said he trusts courts to eliminate bad evidence.

A Texas appeals court upheld Pikett's use as an expert witness, but some trial courts have begun to reject his testimony. The appellate court approved Pikett's use because he fudged his credentials, Easley said.

During at least one trial, Pikett said he had a master's degree in chemistry, according to transcripts. In a later a deposition, Pikett said that was not his testimony and he had a degree in sports science.

"The courts have a way of correcting wrong decisions," Easely said.

District Attorney Steve Tyler agrees. Tyler has criticized Pikett's credibility, but said the courts have tests to decide whether scientific evidence is valid.

Judges are in a better position to review evidence than lawmakers, Tyler said.

Even if legislators are well-intentioned, they're prone to cause unintended problems when writing laws for courts, Easley said.

"I think that the justice system takes care of itself," he said.

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