Tuesday, August 02, 2005


a classmate helped an innocent man go free with the admission of dna evidence.

another classmate and i had a debate on whether dna evidence should be used in lieu of juries, or at least before a trial even happens - to exclude suspects. the classmate was worried that the government may try to use the results in scary ways against disadvantaged minorities. (yes she said this. no, it doesn't make sense to me either.) actually, i countered, it may serve to exonerate the very people that are wrongly accused, because they fit the "profile." remember this? a white woman murders her four kids and initially claims a "black man" had abducted them. or this? a runaway bride claims that a "hispanic man" had kidnapped her.

to this day, i still don't know what she was afraid of. i'm thinking it was p.c. on acid - "hide the truth, so everyone can be in the dark" - because she was secretly afraid that minorities really are more prone to committing heinous crimes. disturbing, huh?

science. it is your friend. do not be afraid of it. and as shown above, if it is available, it can prove the truth better than any jury (or any distraught victim who might be prejudiced by police error), and the truth can set a person free. dna evidence is not subjective. juries are.


emily1 said...

don't the police already use DNA evidence to exclude or target suspects when doing their investigations?

one related problem to the use of DNA evidence in crime investigations is that a lot of districts actually have a backlog of samples that need testing. that and the expense.

emily2 said...

that and evidence that arises "too late" or stupid lawyers.

emily1 said...

i can't that asshole prosecutor didn't want to allow the test.

emily2 said...

makes no sense to me either. (i know there is probably a criminal procedure / evidence issue here which i probably knew at some point, but i drank all of my legal knowledge away in the past five days.) anyway, allow the test. we'll see if he's innocent. if he is, let him go. all of the "i don't want to pay for people in prison" types should be happy too.

and whatever rule blocking the admission of such evidence should be knocked aside. if anyone remembers criminal procedure, do tell.

the law is always slow in catching up to technology.

Benjamin J. Cooper said...

Re Asshole Prosecutors -

Basically, a lot of DAs don't like to be wrong. They don't like to reopen cases, in part because they feel the system works most of the time even when they're operating on less than "beyond reasonable doubt" evidence, and in part because, if they were wrong, they fucked up twice by both confining an innocent man and not making anyone any safer. So they hope beyond hope that they've got the guy, and do their utmost to keep him in.

Also, sometimes they're convinced that they've got him for his crimes in the aggregate, even if not for the particular one he's been charged with.