Clark Baker Wrong on Science? Naturally. But Wrong on the Law, too?

It is not surprising that Mr. Baker has such a poor grasp of science. After all, he has no formal training, education or experience in any scientific discipline. However, it is really sad that he also has such a poor grasp of the law. Mr. Baker was with the LAPD for 20 years and has been a Private Investigator for about ten years and he has been working on criminal HIV cases since 2009. It is unforgivable for him to be so wrong on the law.

For example, take a look at this statement he wrote when discussing the Eneydi Torres case:

“Torres was complicated by a competent defense attorney and a recent US Supreme Court ruling that requires prosecutors to prove that HIV tests are reliable and that defendants are actually infected with an infectious disease.” (bolding by Baker)

The SCOTUS ruling Baker links to is that of Melendez-Diaz V. Massachusetts. That ruling is strictly about forensics testing certificates and the Confrontation Clause of the 6th Amendment. It does not address diagnostic testing generally and has absolutely nothing to do with HIV test reliability or infectious disease specifically. Nada. Zero. Zilch. Zip. This resource is specifically dedicated to that case:

The issue presented in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts (No. 07–591) was:

Whether a state forensic analyst’s laboratory report prepared for use in a criminal prosecution is ‘testimonial’ evidence subject to the demands of the Confrontation Clause as set forth in Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004).

Also from that site:

On June 25, 2009, in a 5 to 4 opinion authored by Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court held that certificates of forensic analysis are “testimonial” and “the Sixth Amendment does not permit the prosecution to prove its case via ex parte out-of-court affidavits.” Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, 557 U.S. 305, 129 S. Ct. 2527, 2542 (2009) (No. 07–591).

Just how it is that Mr. Baker came to such an erroneous conclusion is perplexing to say the least. Unless, of course, this is another example of Mr. Baker saying whatever he wants to say in order to perpetuate his agenda with complete disregard for the facts.

Perhaps this is why Mr. Baker had so many completely wrong opinions during the live blog of the 2011 Andre Davis Case.  During that live blog Mr. Baker continually and erroneously stated that the person(s) who “tested and diagnosed” Andre Davis is/are not in court to testify and therefore Davis can not “confront his accusers”.  He also kept saying that the “persons” (Medical Technologists) who performed the HIV tests at Quest are Davis’ accusers.

The only thing that Baker got right is that it is the 6th Amendment that allows defendants to face their accusers. And in the case of Andre Davis it is the women with whom Mr. Davis slept that are his accusers and those women were in the court to testify and to be cross examined. Yet Mr. Baker continually said it was everyone involved in the testing:

  • Unless prosecutors deliver the witnesses who collected, packaged, transported, opened, and tested the biological samples, the evidence is meaningless.
  • There is a basic 6th Amendment issue here… defendants have a right to cross-examine their accusers… In this case, his accusers are those who allege he’s infected with HIV.
  • The prosecutor had six months to prepare this case…any idea why she couldn’t find the doctor and techs who performed the tests?

Mr. Baker is conflating those who do the testing with those who are the actual accusers and in this case, it is the victims who slept with the defendant. I hate to use the term “victim” but that is the correct word for the women who were subjected to a potentially deadly virus by sleeping with Mr. Davis without the knowledge that Davis was HIV positive. And for Baker to say the defendant is the victim is not just factually wrong, it is morally wrong as well. Whatsmore, we see that Mr. Baker still does not understand the ruling of Melendez-Diaz V. Massachusetts.

But this is not the first nor the last time that Mr. Baker makes such false and improper accusations. Even in the comment section at the military blog about Sgt David Gutierrez last month, Mr. Baker makes similar false and erroneous statements:

In another high profile case in Atlanta this year, doctors all testified that the labs diagnosed our client, while all the Quest and LabCorp officials insisted that the doctors diagnosed him.  The Clayton County jury convicted our client, who was sentenced to ten years in prison – even though the record showed that our asymptomatic client was never diagnosed by anyone.

Here Baker is simply trying to sew doubt where none exists. A laboratory is never and has never been an entity to “diagnose” anyone. Ever. Laboratories, (and in this case, as with all HIV criminal cases, we are talking about diagnostic labs and not forensic labs), are simply the place where the testing is done. It is a doctor who would make the diagnosis. Baker is obviously trying to make some sort of blame-shifting game in an attempt to discredit the lab and the doctors all at once. It is silly and transparent. Also, Baker does not link to any proof of such a silly allegation. Why does Mr. Baker not supply a transcript in the case with the specific section highlighted? After all, Mr. Baker was part of the defense team. He could easily get such proof. Alas, that proof only exists in Baker World.

That is not the only way Mr. Baker tries to discredit the testing process and those involved. Notice how Baker describes them as “unknown and untested third parties”. He did it in the Andre Davis case and he does it again at the military blog regarding Sgt David Gutierrez. It is also another example of Mr. Baker’s extreme hypocrisy I discussed in the previous post. Mr. Baker became indignant that a commenter called him and his co-horts “AIDS Denialists”. Mr. Baker said this statement was meant to “dehumanize” them. Yet Mr. Baker went even further in his later comment about the Medical Technologists who perform the diagnostic tests:

Blood is drawn by unknown people and transported to a testing facility where other lab rats run tests that look for proteins that all of us are born with.

Here Baker not only dehumanizes the Medical Technologists, he calls them rodents. It is silly, I agree. But it is one more great example of his hypocrisy.

That statement also gives us another example of Mr. Baker not understanding science. He says that the HIV tests “look for proteins that all of us are born with.” This is hogwash. It is also a shortened version of what Mr. Baker tried to pull in the comment section of Myles Power’s youtube video part II debunking House of Numbers. In the comments Baker was trolling as “Rick Haines”. (Which is another of example of Baker’s hypocrisy because he accuses those who use “anonymous” and fake names to be part of Big Pharma etc just as he did at the military blog: Anon81 (and associates) make their claims anonymously because, if they did so publicly, we would know that his employers are funded largely by the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry,…) NOTE: Yes, I have two comments by “Rick Haines” that prove he is Baker but they are too long to post here.

Back to the youtube page where Baker, er, I mean “Rick Haines” says:

Rick Haines

+The Snout That was a very funny story… are you calling yourself David Regev today or still using Kevin Kuritzky?As for P24, that protein represents a “family” of common proteins found in yeast and the cells of at least ten other mammals, including mice.  They are implicated in biosynthetic protein transport and have a possible role in the formation of specialized structures within cells (called “organelle morphogenesis”).  P24 plays a role in insulin transport and function as receptors, regulate vesicle biogenesis, perform structural and morphogenetic functions in the secretory pathway and are responsible for quality control of transported proteins.  They are subdivided into four subfamilies (p24α, β, γ and δ).  Animals and fungi have representatives of each of the four subfamilies.  Plants have members of the p24β and p24δ subfamilies.

The p24 family consists of eight p24 members in yeast, nine in Drosophila, 11 in Arabidopsis, ten in Xenopus, and ten in mammals.  The p24γ subfamily is common among vertebrates, (including humans).  In mice, eight out of the ten p24s were “ubiquitously expressed.”

So as you can see, EVERYONE reading this post has the P24 protein – and probably ate a few meals recently containing the protein as well.

SNOUT corrects him thusly:

The Snout

No, Rick. The eukaryote golgi transport glycoproteins designated p24 are completely unrelated to the HIV-1 capsid protein p24. They have completely different amino acid sequences. The only thing they have in common is that they are both proteins (hence the “p”) and they are both approximately 24 kiloDaltons in weight (hence the “24”)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P24
 
Even though Mr. Baker has been given the proof that p24 is not what he claims it to be, he continues to give false information.
 
Mr. Baker gets more science wrong at the military blog. Baker writes:
 
As for antibodies, HIV tests don’t detect HIV or antibodies – they detect common proteins that the “experts” claim identify HIV – even though the same proteins are common among all human. But even if we are to BELIEVE the HIV antibody theory, antibodies demonstrate a body’s ability to defend itself from infection. The fact that I have antibodies from last year’s flu doesn’t mean that I am infected with the flu now. 
 
Here Baker gets the most basic, rudimentary immunology wrong. Antibodies to the flu do not hang out in your body for a year. That is not how antibodies work. I thought I cleared that up for Mr. Baker in this post. Antibodies do not persist indefinitely in the human body. That is what Memory B-Cells are for. Those cells “remember” the foreign antigen and produce a new round of antibodies if the invader is reintroduced to your body.
 
I have shown in multiple posts that Mr. Baker is wrong about science. But for him to be so wrong on the law is absurd and unforgivable.
 

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