Bush on criminal justice crisis and DNA testing


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European Courier
June 17, 2006, 09:21 PM
Check out an article about numerous mistakes of the U.S. criminal justice system and how the Bush administration wants to address the problem. G.W.Bush is known for strongly supporting a death penalty but he also realizes that wrongful convictions happen throughout the U.S. It seems that the government has a plan how to fight it:

http://europeancourier.org/home.htm

The title of the article is "USA: Errors of Criminal Justice System"

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JohnBT
June 18, 2006, 08:12 AM
Crisis? In 4 years 340 convicted persons were exonerated. That's good. Do mistakes happen? Certainly. Does the system work to correct them? Sometimes. It's easier now that DNA testing is available.

How many wrongly convicted persons were exonerated during the same period where you live? Just curious.

Thanks for dropping by.

John

Steelcore
June 18, 2006, 11:05 AM
I read in the Washington Post last month that 10,000 innocent people were incarcerated in US prisons.Thats a lot if its true.

mljdeckard
June 18, 2006, 12:41 PM
I find the 340 number VERY difficult to believe. Exoneration and casting doubt are two different things. Just because our system gives the accused the benefit of the doubt, even AFTER the fact, does NOT mean they were exonerated.

Getting a death sentence is not easy in the first place. In most states, you must prove not only guilt, but also heinous circumstances, such as lying in wait, torture, etc to even be eligible for the death penalty. Most killers who confess don't even get the death penalty. You have to be guilty, AND a very bad person, in the eyes of a JURY, not just a judge, with a unanimous vote to get e death sentence.

I'd like to see data that shows 340 death sentences have even been CHALLENGED by DNA evidence, or could be helped by such a challenge. I'm betting that the 340 number is a forced natiowide estimate based on a sampling. By the way, EVERYONE on death row is innocent. Just ask them.

JohnBT
June 18, 2006, 12:54 PM
Re: 340. I don't think they were talking about death sentences. The article mentions 340 who were exonerated and actually released during those years.

Re: "I read in the Washington Post last month that 10,000 innocent people were incarcerated in US prisons." That's all? I thought they were all innocent. ;)

NukemJim
June 19, 2006, 07:37 AM
Most killers who confess don't even get the death penalty. You have to be guilty, AND a very bad person, in the eyes of a JURY, not just a judge, with a unanimous vote to get e death sentence.

You might want to consider reading "Actual Innocence" by Barry Scheck, Peter Neufeld and Jim Dwyer. It has numerous cases of people who were found guilty by the court system being proven to be innocent, not "not guilty" but innocent as in not having anything to do with the crime. It was a real eye opener to me. Especially the section on "Jailhouse Confessions".

Last time I checked the State of Illinois had IIRC, since death penalty was reinstated, executed 12 men and had 13 on death row proven to be "not guilty" ( some were proven innocent, some were found "not guilty).

When you consided that the primary means of proving someone innocent is DNA and that DNA is not available for the majority of crimes the 10,000 innocent number may be valid.

There have been a number of cases where the state involved would not allow DNA testing of evidence. It is a very messy situation.

NukemJim

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