Prosecutors Block DNA Testing

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Wudge, May 20, 2009.

  1. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

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    [Snippet]

    "Louisiana, where Mr. Reed is in prison, is one of 46 states that have passed laws to enable inmates like him to get such a test. But in many jurisdictions, prosecutors are using new arguments to get around the intent of those laws, particularly in cases with multiple defendants, when it is not clear how many DNA profiles will be found in a sample.

    The laws were enacted after DNA evidence exonerated a first wave of prisoners in the early 1990s, when law enforcement authorities strongly resisted reopening old cases. Continued resistance by prosecutors is causing years of delay and, in some cases, eliminating the chance to try other suspects because the statute of limitations has passed by the time the test is granted.

    Mr. Reed has been seeking a DNA test for three years, saying it will prove his innocence. But prosecutors have refused, saying he was identified by witnesses, making his identification by DNA unnecessary.

    A recent analysis of 225 DNA exonerations by Brandon L. Garrett, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, found that prosecutors opposed DNA testing in almost one out of five cases. In many of the others, they initially opposed testing but ultimately agreed to it. In 98 of those 225 cases, the DNA test identified the real culprit."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/18/us/18dna.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&emc=eta1
     
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  3. southcitymom

    southcitymom New Member

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    Thanks for posting nudge. Eyewitness testimony of someone you've never seen before is notoriously shaky (I just saw an American Justice program about the subject) though juries accept it very readily.
     
  4. SuziQ

    SuziQ Well-Known Member

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    Eyewitness testimony is a lame argument and definitely not as reliable as DNA. If a prosecutor insists on using DNA to convict, they should also be obligated to use it to exonerate.
     
  5. kgeaux

    kgeaux New Member

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    I smell a BIG ol' rat. If those prosecutors were convinced they had the right man behind bars, they'd test that DNA right now.

    It ought to be the right of every person accused or convicted of a crime to have ALL the evidence analyzed and taken into consideration.
     
  6. LaLaw2000

    LaLaw2000 Louisiana

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    I agree with you on this one.

    I want the right person to pay for the crimes he/she have committed!
     
  7. believe09

    believe09 Active Member

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    Look what it took to exonerate Anthony Capozzi who was believed to have been the Bike Path rapist for 22 years. It was law enforcement who repeatedly brought to the DA the information that Capozzi clearly was not guilty of the crimes, in spite of being convicted based on eyewitness testimony of a victim. The actual serial killer/rapist was pillar of the community Altemio Sanchez. Even after Sanchez pled guilty, LE could not get the DA to release Capozzi until by some MIRACLE the rape kits of the victims were found and the DNA matched Sanchez. Prior to the match, the DA argued that there was no hard evidence eliminating Capozzi, a lifelong schizophrenic, from the crimes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altemio_Sanchez

    I actually just watched this story on Dateline ID last night. It is a heartbreaker-fortunately, NY legislators enacted a law named for Capozzi making it easier to get the wrongly convicted out of prison.
     
  8. Vegas Bride

    Vegas Bride New Member

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    You know what gets me about this case is how Sanchez's uncle did not tell the police about him driving his car. If he had been truthful how many women would have not been victims? Why is it so hard for some family members to do the right thing?

    VB
     

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