El Paso County (Texas) recently fired its Chief Medical Examiner, Paul Shrode, who had testified in capital cases in Texas and Ohio. He was dismissed after evidence he provided in an Ohio death penalty case turned out to be unsupported by science. It was also discovered that he had made numerous misrepresentations on his resume. Earlier in May, the Ohio Parole Board voted to recommend clemency for death row inmate Richard Nields, citing problems with Shrode’s 1997 testimony that helped secure Nields’s death sentence. Shrode had previously been questioned by the County Commissioners Court in Texas after discrepancies were discovered in three resumes he submitted. Shrode had stated he had a “graduate law degree” from Southwest Texas State University, although there was no law school at the university. It also stated that he was a member of the State Bar of Texas. The County Human Resources Director told the court Shrode had taken courses in political science at the school, but received no graduate degrees. The State Bar of Texas had no record of Shrode being a member, either as an attorney or a paralegal.

(M. Schladen, “County fires Chief Medical Examiner Paul Shrode: Ohio Parole Board’s ruling spurs decision,” El Paso Times, May 25, 2010). Texas and Ohio lead the country in executions in 2010. See Clemency and Arbitrariness.