William L. Dulaney, a college professor who studies motorcycle outlaws, has withdrawn as an expert witness in the Pagans Motorcycle Club RICO case in Charleston, West Virginia.
Dulaney (above) is a former member of the American Outlaws Association who has become a common source for journalists seeking insight into the outlaw world. He has appeared on The National Geographic Channel, The History Channel and The Biography Channel in the last two years. He contributed as essay to The Mammoth Book of Bikers and wrote a well known “history of outlaw motorcycle clubs” for The International Journal of Motorcycle Studies. A year ago the Christian Science Monitor quoted Dulaney in an article about the demise the Myrtle Beach Rally. Last October, the Associated Press turned to Dulaney for some instant insight into the Pagans case.
We Have Video Of That Expert
Dulaney, as opposed to most biker experts, clearly gets it. Last February, he stated that he was prepared to testify that:
“The Pagans Motorcycle Club (PMC) is not a criminal organization or a national criminal organization. Instead, the PMC is best described as a series of motorcycle organizations predominately scattered across the Eastern United States whose members are overwhelmingly not criminals. The PMC is a relatively small motorcycle club with chapters coming into and out of existence over time in locations limited to Florida, West Virginia, Eastern Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Delaware, New York, and Kentucky.”
Dulaney’s testimony would have provided a refreshing contrast to the ceaseless demonization of motorcycle clubs by cynical, and occasionally deranged, ATF and FBI Agents and other professional experts – like rap aficionado Chuck Schoville, President of the International Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association. (See video below.)
Daubert Voir Dire
Dulaney decided to withdraw from the case after what is called a “Daubert hearing” on May 10th. While police are automatically assumed to be “expert witnesses” who can speak authoritatively about bikers, other witnesses who disagree with the police must prove their authority to do so. There are a couple of different standards used in the Federal courts to determine whether a witness knows what he is talking about or not. They are called “Daubert” and “Frye.” Failure to meet the Frye standard, for example, is the reason why polygraph examinations are not admissible in federal court. The Daubert standard is designed to ensure that what the “expert” knows is, “relevant to the task at hand” and is based “on a reliable foundation.”
Before an expert can testify he must submit to a trial within a trial called a voir dire. In this case it was a fight between Dulaney and prosecutor Steven I. Loew over Dulaney’s credibility.
Loew wanted Dulaney “to produce the names of members of the Pagans Motorcycle Club and other motorcycle clubs whom he had interviewed in preparation for testimony in this case.” Dulaney refused. The judge in the case, Thomas E. Johnston, agreed with Lowe.
The next day the defendant who had hired Dulaney, Richard Timothy Weaver, sent the court a formal notification that, “Dulaney asserts that he has a professional ethical obligation not to disclose those names. To avoid being required to produce those names, Dr. Dulaney has requested that he be withdrawn as an expert witness in this case.”