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Old 05-23-2012, 12:55 PM   #91
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No, because if they were innocent of the crime they wouldn't have been convicted and sentenced to death.
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I say again......that can't happen today with today's DNA and forensic technology.

I'm a devout fan of real crime shows on TV (like "Crime stories", "Medical detectives" etc.) and the percentage of accuracy in convictions due to forensic technology is astounding. There is no way that a person can be convicted of a crime if he didn't do it.
Well, it is not correct, repeating doesn't make it more correct. TV shows hardly ever show you the cases in which no one could get caught, or where the person was later found to be innocent. So the picture they present is naturally skewed in favour of forensics.
In the US, it takes a couple decades from conviction to execution. To cite "today's forensics" such is fallible.
As you state yourself, "the percentage of accuracy in convictions due to forensic technology is astounding", so without recognizing you acknowledge there to be failure. Failure means, you pull the plug on an innocent person.
Science is never 100%. The best science can achieve is to "fail to reject the null hypothesis", meaning you cannot prove what you are trying to find is false or true. Anyone in science claiming to have proven our found something is dishonest to his profession. Forensics is a science.
Just two years ago, it was discovered that German police was searching for a phantom. They found DNA at a number of crime scenes, usually where murders happened, and were looking for a mid-aged woman. After years it came out that the q-tips used were contaminated with the DNA of a woman who worked at the factory producing the q-tips. This is just one example, but there could be plenty of reason why DNA gets found at the scene but does not lead you to the real perpetrator.
There's a number of studies on the "CSI effect", maybe you want to read up on that. Such crime shows, and of course the real ones or such that claim to be real, create a false image of forensics.

And well, your personal feelings of revenge and tremendous emotional involvement in such cases goes diametrically to the philosophy and purpose of the modern legal system.

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Hi BVS,

I read the article and the exerpt below proves my point:

half of the 873 exonerations studied in detail, the most common factor leading to false convictions was perjured testimony or false accusations. Forty-three percent of the cases involved mistaken eyewitness identification, and 24 percent of the cases involved false or misleading forensic evidence.

In two out of three homicides, perjury or false accusation was the most common factor leading to false conviction. In four out of five sexual assaults, mistaken eyewitness identification was the leading cause of false conviction.


If I met a person and we touched each other, that person would have my DNA on them. If this person got killed shortly after I left, that means I'm the murderer because my DNA is on the body, in the clothing or somewhere on the scene?

DNA doesn't lie and physical evidence doesn't lie either - witnesses can be mistaken and evidence can be falsified, but a murderer's DNA on a victim is a slam-dunk - you cannot falsify DNA evidence.
If I met a person and we talked and touched, this person would have my DNA on them, and I would have theirs. It doesn't even take minutes for that. So if said person had my DNA on them, and shortly after I left he or she got murdered, I would be the murderer?

http://dna-view.com/profile.htm

Some more information on DNA. DNA is quite a good indicator, but no more.
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:51 PM   #92
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No, because if they were innocent of the crime they wouldn't have been convicted and sentenced to death.
Take your hands away from your eyes and read some of the posts in this thread. Intentional ignorance is no excuse for being so ill-informed.

TEN PERCENT OF ALL PEOPLE ON DEATH ROW ARE INNOCENT.
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Old 05-23-2012, 04:23 PM   #93
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I say again......that can't happen today with today's DNA and forensic technology.

...

There is no way that a person can be convicted of a crime if he didn't do it.
I'm sorry, but you are mistaken to believe that. Did you read the article that started this thread out? Not only is it possible to be convicted of a crime you didn't commit, it has happened many times, and has been documented many times.

The Innocence Project - Home

So I'll ask you my original question again, since you didn't actually answer it: How would you feel if the supposedly guilty man you personally pulled the plug on turned out to be innocent?
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:11 PM   #94
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I do find it pretty funny that AchtungBono is claiming that technological advancements have made errors in criminal justice a thing of the past inside of a thread inspired by a horrible error made by the criminal justice system.

I mean, shit, it's right in the title.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:24 PM   #95
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You live in a fantasy world
I think it's left liberals that live in a fantasy world of no mass murders, no serial killers, no child rape - or even if they such crime do exist, the solution is just to be nice to the perpretators, rehabilitate, teach them how to sing Kumbaya and all that.

There may be valid concerns to raise about the exercise of the death penalty in various countries, maybe even including the US - but the hyprocritical Guardian (or "Grauniad" as its known in its native country) are maybe not the right people to raise them, as shown by their blatant and hypocritical disregard for critiquing the death penalty in countries other than their beter noire, the US, for example the Palestinian authority and other Muslim governments.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:55 PM   #96
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I think it's left liberals that live in a fantasy world of no mass murders, no serial killers, no child rape - or even if they such crime do exist, the solution is just to be nice to the perpretators, rehabilitate, teach them how to sing Kumbaya and all that.
Except nobody is arguing such a thing, save for perhaps rehabilitation.

I don't agree with the death penalty, but I sure as hell don't have any sort of sympathy for rapists or child killers or genocidal psychopaths or whatnot. They're all lowlife scum and if the human justice system eludes them and they don't get the punishment they so deserve, I like to think they'll still get theirs in some other way. If there is indeed a hell I have no problem believing they'll go there and would be worthy of going there.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:59 PM   #97
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There may be valid concerns to raise about the exercise of the death penalty in various countries, maybe even including the US - but the hyprocritical Guardian (or "Grauniad" as its known in its native country) are maybe not the right people to raise them, as shown by their blatant and hypocritical disregard for critiquing the death penalty in countries other than their beter noire, the US, for example the Palestinian authority and other Muslim governments.
Except the Guardian isn't the one raising the concerns - it's an article that's essentially a book review of a book written by a law professor and his students over the years.

That's why I provided a link to the whole book (it's available online for free).
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:27 PM   #98
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I think it's left liberals that live in a fantasy world of no mass murders, no serial killers, no child rape
How is this relevant to what I was talking about? Did I say anywhere there weren't mass murders, serial killers, or rapes? Don't use my words out of context as a jumping point for you rant
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:04 PM   #99
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I think it's left liberals that live in a fantasy world of no mass murders, no serial killers, no child rape - or even if they such crime do exist, the solution is just to be nice to the perpretators, rehabilitate, teach them how to sing Kumbaya and all that.
I have no idea what relevance this has to do with this particular discussion because life imprisonment, the proposed alternative to execution, doesn't exactly put an emphasis on integrating criminals back into society.

Also, impressive work alienating a huge chunk of regulars to this thread when most of your post regards the hypocrisy of the Guardian.
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:29 PM   #100
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I think it's left liberals that live in a fantasy world of no mass murders, no serial killers, no child rape - or even if they such crime do exist, the solution is just to be nice to the perpretators, rehabilitate, teach them how to sing Kumbaya and all that.
Let's just throw some shit at the wall.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:40 AM   #101
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TV shows hardly ever show you the cases in which no one could get caught, or where the person was later found to be innocent. So the picture they present is naturally skewed in favour of forensics. ... There's a number of studies on the "CSI effect", maybe you want to read up on that. Such crime shows, and of course the real ones or such that claim to be real, create a false image of forensics.
exactly. in some ways, the csi shows are some of the worst things to happen to television, because it creates such a false reality as to how crime-solving actually works. at the very least, these shows show two people working on a case, from showing up at the initial crime scene and collecting evidence, all the way to arresting the bad guy. they're apparently detectives, lab people, a jack of all trades. who knew!

there's a reason there's cases that have gone unsolved for decades, and that even some crimes committed today will not get solved, be it something small like a purse snatching or a murder.

dna may not "lie" but it can mislead. sometimes the best you can get when you run a test is that a suspect can't be ruled out. it might not even be that person, just that they have enough markers in their dna to be similar enough to, like the test says, not rule them out as a match. yet if the actual person were ever caught, then you could have your exact match.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:10 PM   #102
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exactly. in some ways, the csi shows are some of the worst things to happen to television, because it creates such a false reality as to how crime-solving actually works.



this is quite true. scientists and lawyers know this and worry about it when it comes to jury trials.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:28 PM   #103
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When I served on jury duty, we were given a little intro speech by both lawyers, warning us that the trial was not going to be like what we saw on Law & Order or CSI.

It's both pathetic and depressing that it needs to be said. But obviously, it does.
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:51 PM   #104
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Hmmmm.

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A 10-year nightmare over rape conviction is over

Brian Banks spent years in prison, branded a rapist. Then his accuser provided the key to getting his conviction dismissed.

By Ashley Powers, Los Angeles Times May 25, 2012

Brian Banks logged onto Facebook last year, and a new friend request startled him.

It was the woman who, nearly a decade ago, accused him of rape when they were both students at Long Beach Poly High School.

Banks had served five years in prison for the alleged rape, and now he was unemployed and weary. So he replied to Wanetta Gibson with a question: Would she meet with him and a private investigator? She agreed.

At the meeting, which was secretly recorded, Gibson said she had lied. "No," she was quoted as saying, "he did not rape me."

That admission set off an extraordinary chain of events that culminated Thursday morning. A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge dismissed Banks' conviction, ending 10 years of turmoil in a hearing that lasted less than a minute.

Banks, 26, bowed his head and trembled, his eyes flooding with tears. His girlfriend, Pamela Soladar, yelped with joy. They made their way to each other and embraced; Banks was too overwhelmed to speak.

"You made it," she whispered to him.

It had been a long, maddening journey.

In the summer of 2002, Banks was considered a top college football prospect. A 6-foot-4, 225-pound middle linebacker at Long Beach Poly High, Banks said he had been courted by USC, UCLA and other football powerhouses.

He was attending summer school, and asked his teacher for permission to leave class so he could make a phone call, according to court papers. Then Banks, a senior, ran into Gibson, a sophomore.

Banks said they fooled around, but that their sexual contact was consensual. His mother, Leomia Myers, believed him, and said she sold her condo and her car to pay for his defense.

"I knew I didn't raise my son to do something so horrendous," she said.

Gibson's version shifted over the years. She could not be reached Thursday for comment.

Initially, court papers show, she told a classmate in a note rife with misspellings: "he picked me up and put me in the elevator and he took me down stairs and he pulled my pants down and he rapped me and he didn't have an condom on and I was a virgin now Im not." Gibson later told authorities a similar, more detailed story.

But when she testified during Banks' preliminary hearing, Gibson faced the rigorous questioning typical in sexual assault cases. She changed some details and added others, Banks' attorneys alleged in court documents.

Banks had a choice: He could take the he said-she said case to trial and, if convicted, risk being sentenced to 41 years to life in prison. Or, as his lawyer advised, he could accept a plea deal.

Banks pleaded no contest to one count of forcible rape, spent five years in prison and, upon his release, was forced to register as a sex offender and wear an electronic monitoring bracelet. At one point, he begged the California Innocence Project in San Diego for help, but he was told that without new evidence, there was nothing its attorneys could do.

"It's been a struggle, it's been a nightmare," he said. "It's more than I can describe, the things that I've been through."

Meanwhile Gibson and her family sued the Long Beach schools. They settled the case for $1.5 million. Gibson's mother, Wanda Rhodes, could not be reached Thursday for comment.

Had Gibson not contacted Banks via Facebook, it's unlikely their paths would have crossed again. But she felt guilty that he had lost out on going to college and playing football and had "a desire to make amends," Banks' attorneys said in court documents.

When Banks heard from her, he recalled, "I stopped what I was doing and got down on my knees and prayed to God to help me play my cards right."

According to Banks and his private investigator, Gibson refused to tell prosecutors that she had lied, so that she wouldn't have to return the money she and her family had won in court.

She also said she feared it would affect her relationship with her children, Banks' attorney alleged in court papers.

But her taped admission was enough to interest the Innocence Project attorneys, who said they had never before taken the case of someone already released from prison. When they reexamined Banks' case, said Innocence Project attorney Justin Brooks, investigators also found other evidence to back up his claims.

After the alleged rape, no male DNA had been detected on Gibson's underwear, his attorneys said. Also, the classmate Gibson first told about the alleged attack — via the note — said Gibson later admitted to making up the story so her mother wouldn't find out she was sexually active, attorneys said.

More recently, Gibson has backed off her recantation, Brooks said. Nevertheless, when presented with the Innocence Project's findings, Los Angeles County prosecutors agreed that the case should be thrown out.

"It's not our job to maintain a conviction at any cost," Deputy Dist. Atty. Brentford Ferreira said. "It's our job to do justice."

He said prosecutors had no plans to charge Gibson, saying it would be a difficult case to prove.

Banks walked out of Thursday's hearing as if in a daze. Someone handed him a black hooded sweat shirt with the word "innocent" in bold white letters.

He led a parade of supporters and cameramen outside the Long Beach courthouse, where he shared his hopes for restarting his football career. At one point, he grabbed his attorney's hand and raised both their arms into the air, the pose of an athlete who has just clinched victory.
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Old 05-28-2012, 01:46 PM   #105
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People who wrongfully and willfully accuse someone or rape or child molestation are the most loathsome shit bags on the planet. In most cases, even if the charges end up being dismissed or they win the case, that label sticks with them for life.

But Bomac, is that some sort of fan fiction article? something like that can't happen in this day and age. Don't you watch CSI?
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