Should an identification of a suspect’s scent by a dog in a “scent lineup” be enough to imprison someone? Enough to convince a suspect to agree to a plea bargain?
In several of the cases that were based on Deputy Pikett’s dogs, however, the scent lineups appear to have provided the primary evidence, even when contradictory evidence was readily available. Mr. Bickham spent eight months in jail after being identified in a scent lineup by Deputy Pikett’s dogs, until another man confessed to the killings. In an interview, Mr. Bickham scoffed at the accusation that he had taken part in three murders, noting that he has been hobbled by bone spurs and diabetes and is partially blind.
Ronald Curtis, another Houston man jailed on the basis of Deputy Pikett’s dogs, was released from jail nine months after being accused of a string of burglaries. Store videos showed that the burglar did not resemble him. “Nobody was listening,” Mr. Curtis said.