Texas Law Enforcement Suspect ID Is Not Going To The Dogs

Grits for Breakfast, not just a weekend feast but also our excellent local civil liberties blog, tells us how, in at least two cases, judges have ruled (and have been sustained on appeal) that dog scent identification is too unreliable to be admissible as evidence in court. But wait… don’t dogs have superb sniffers that can track anyone anywhere after just one whiff of, say, a suspect’s clothing? Well, perhaps in a Sherlock Holmes story (the dog Toby in “The Sign of Four”), but in real life, the dog’s handler has to do things just exactly right to enable the pooch to make a dependable ID. Not all handlers go to the necessary trouble. Read the Grits post; he explains it all.

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