James Duckett Florida Death Row

james duckett

James Duckett was sentenced to death by the State of Florida for the murder of 12 year old Teresa McAbee . According to court documents James Duckett would sexually assault and murder twelve year old Teresa McAbee on his patrol car, Duckett was a Mascotte Police Officer at the time of the crime. James Duckett would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death

Florida Death Row Inmate List

James Duckett 2021 Information

DC Number:112232
Birth Date:09/04/1957
Initial Receipt Date:06/30/1988
Current Facility:UNION C.I.
Current Custody:MAXIMUM
Current Release Date:DEATH SENTENCE

James Duckett More News

The key pieces of evidence that sent former Mascotte Police Officer James Duckett to death row for raping and killing a 12-year-old girl were four: His squad car’s tire tracks at the scene, her fingerprints on his cruiser, the word of a 16-year-old thief and finally, an FBI expert’s testimony about a single hair found in her pink panties.

Wait. Let’s make that three. Last month, the FBI quietly released a report attempting to explain why the FBI’s now-discredited microscopic hair analysis unit and Agent Michael Malone, lied in thousands of cases, possibly including Duckett’s.

Duckett remains on death row, even though the FBI admitted in 2015 that Malone and his crew went “beyond what the science would support” and that they had found errors in “most” analysis and testimony.

Tire tracks near Knight Lake where victim Teresa McAbee was found matched those from Duckett’s patrol car, and her palm print was on the hood of his car, fingers pointing outward as if she were sitting on the hood.

Duckett’s explanation was that he saw and talked with the child who had gone to a convenience store to get a pencil to do her homework. And Duckett says that he drove around Knight Lake looking for Teresa after her mother summoned police when the girl didn’t return home from her 10 p.m. trip to the store.

The thief, a pregnant teen, told deputies months later that on the night of the murder, she saw Duckett drive away with Teresa in his car. Later, she recanted her testimony.

All of that just muddies the waters. The single pubic hair found in Teresa’s panties was the sole piece of critical physical evidence. The FBI expert testified that it was “completely indistinguishable” from one of 30 samples taken from Duckett.

However, the Justice Department’s inspector general later nailed agent Michael Malone for lying on the witness stand and for submitting scientifically flawed reports in 18 high-profile cases, including O.J. Simpson’s, the Oklahoma City bombing and the case of John Hinckley, who shot President Ronald Reagan.

The Justice Department notified prosecutors in 263 Florida cases — Duckett’s included — that Malone had done shoddy work, misrepresented evidence and in some cases lied. Prosecutors could decide on their own whether to revisit convictions. Lake’s prosecutor decided not to.

Now, the FBI has released a 309-page report detailing why FBI analysts overstated the cases. It’s a little on the bizarre side.

The consulting company that did the work, ABS Group, explained it using this analogy in a preface to the report:

It was as if “…examiners were told to drive on a road where the only posted speed limit sign says, ‘Drive Carefully.’”

Then, 20 years later, they wrote, experts determined a safe speed and posted the appropriate signs and admonished earlier drivers for going faster.

At the heart of the controversy, they said, are the words “consistent with,” as in “these hairs are consistent with” those taken from the suspect, when the more accurate phrasing should be that the hairs “could have come” from the suspect.

Huh? What kind of apologist nonsense is this?

The report implies that superiors should have set limits for what the analysts could have testified to rather than the experts knowing their business well enough to write reports and testify truthfully.

The errors, the company reported, came from “most examiners, not just a few,” starting in 1971. Of course, the company didn’t find evidence of “malicious intent” by any FBI agents or analysts to convict someone who was innocent.

Every time someone complained, it was dealt with as an isolated event, not a systemic problem. The report stated that overconfidence and lack of leadership allowed the errors to go on for literally decades.


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