The Innocence Files is available to stream and download on Netflix now. The first two episodes of nine explore the cases of Levon Brooks and Kennedy Brewer, calling into question the reliability of bite mark evidence in the process. Forrest Allgood features heavily in these episodes but who is he and where is he now? Express.co.uk has everything you need to know.
Who is Forrest Allgood?
Forrest Allgood was the District Attorney of Eastern Central Mississippi from 1989 until 2015.
He served the counties of Lowndes, Oktibbeha, Clay and Noxubee.
Allgood was well known for using the testimony of medical examiner Steven Hayne and bite mark Dr Michael West in the 1990s.
During his career, he had a record of misconduct, reversed convictions and the use of questionable testimony.
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He was the prosecutor in the separate cases of Levon Brooks and Kennedy Brewer, who were wrongfully convicted of capital murder and sexual battery of two three-year-old girls.
The cases of Brooks and Brewer were eerily similar, the Innocence Project who were working to exonerate Brewer at the time believed the two must have been linked.
Lawyers from The Innocence Project called into question the reliability of the bite mark evidence that was used to help convict Brewer and Brooks.
Dr Michael West had examined marks on the bodies on Courtney Smith and Christine Jackson respectively.
He argued the marks were the result of human bites and testified at both men’s trials that the bites belonged to them.
Throughout the Innocence Files on Netflix, Allgood can be seen in old interviews defending the prosecutions case and the use of the bite mark evidence, despite the real attacker, Justin Albert Johnson, confessing to the crime and DNA evidence exonerating Brewer.
Brooks had been was sentenced to life in prison and serve 16 years before he was released.
Brewer had been sentenced to life in prison and served 15 of his sentence.
They were both given a sum of $50,000 [£40,191] a year for 10 years as compensation.
The Daily Herald reported at Brooks’ exoneration hearing, Allgood apologised to the man he had prosecuted.
He said: “I can’t give you your life back, but I want you to know I believed in what I was doing.
“For whatever part I played in your prosecution, I’m truly sorry.”
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Where is Forrest Allgood now?
After 26 years in office as District Attorney, Allgood was voted out of office in 2015.
The 61-year-old was defeated by Scot Colom, an African American Democrat who was 32-years-old at the time he assumed office.
Producer Nick Capote reached out to Allgood two years ago about the documentary but Allgood declined to appear on camera.
However, Allgood did exchange emails with producer Capote, answering questions about forensics and media attention on the trials of Brooks and Brewer.
Capote shared some of the emails with Mississippi news outlet, The Dispatch.
In one email Allgood explained the importance of bite mark evidence at the time.
He wrote: “At the time of these trials, the law looked askance upon DNA evidence. Special hearings had to be held to determine if you could even get it in; the science itself was in its infancy in some respects. … Of course, no DNA was available in either trial; but it gives you an idea of the state of the world at that time.
“Forensic odontology, however, was in its halcyon.
“One of the most notorious serial killers in America, Ted Bundy, had been convicted by forensic odontology. Dr Michael West was one of its foremost practitioners.
“He had lectured in China and London, not to mention domestically; and testified all over the country.”
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Speaking to Mississippi news outlet, The Dispatch, Allgood said: “I’ve had a lot of people tell me I was portrayed very unflatteringly.”
He also said that he did not remember the cases of Brooks and Brewer in much details as they took place so long ago.
However, he maintained he would not have prosecuted them unless he believed Brooks and Brewer to be guilty, The Dispatch reported.
Not much is known about Allgood’s whereabouts today.
He is believed to still be living in Mississippi and is involved in community activities, serving as one of the directors on the board of the YMCA in Lowndes County.
The Innocence Files is streaming on Netflix now
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