An Indiana trial court judge in Porter County (think Valparaiso) has denied a motion by prosecutors to use dog-tracking evidence in a high-profile murder trial there, citing Indiana case law nearly a century old to the effect that “bloodhound evidence is inadmissible because it is an
unreliable form of evidence.” Prosecutors had hoped to enter testimony that a tracking dog, whose name happens to be Jury, had alerted to the defendant's scent at the
site near his home where the body of his former girlfriend was found.
From the 1917 case, Ruse vs. State:
When it is considered that the use of bloodhounds, even under the most favorable conditions, is attended with some degree of uncertainty, which may readily lead to the conviction or accusation of innocent persons, and that, at best, evidence as to their conduct in following a supposed trail is properly not of a great probative value, it follows . . . that both reason and instinct condemn such evidence, and courts should be too jealous of the life and liberty of human beings to permit its reception in a criminal case as proof of guilt.
The Chesterton Tribune reports that even without the negative case law it was unclear how the prosecution hoped to use the evidence, because the tracked scent was over five months' old and the victim had been transported in a vehicle.
The bloodhound's name is Jury.
HT: Indiana Law Blog