The lack of resources to extract DNA is continuing to effect the justice system. The backlogs of rape kits throughout the United States has become an overwhelming number while the crime labs have been doing very little to compensate for these changes. Not only does the inefficiency of DNA analysis effect rape kits, rapes effect thousands of innocent humans every year. It is an ongoing cycle and very little is being done to stop it. Although hard to help with the rates of crime, specifically rapes, there is something that can be done with bring these sexual offenders to justice.
Since the earliest civilizations, people have been executed for an assortment of crimes. The Babylonians wrote the first ever death penalty laws over 3,700 years ago, and to this day several countries such as China and the United States continue to enforce capital punishment against those proven guilty of murder, treason, espionage and other crimes. Despite its extensive history, the implementation of the death penalty in modern societies raises an underlying question: Is the execution of criminals truly justifiable? Proponents of capital punishment claim that it dissuades criminals from committing extreme crimes. Potential murderers will be much less inclined to kill for fear of being executed, while criminals with no intent to kill would
Smith, 437 Mich. 293 (1991)). Upon, his sentencing the Judge did allow for his juvenile criminal record to be a part of his sentencing report and a factor in the sentencing guidelines for his sentence. Smith’s juvenile criminal records did show that he had six felony offenses as a minor, these felony offenses did heighten the penalty and give Smith above the number of felonies required for an offender to be determined as a habitual offender. As stated above, Smith appealed the conviction and the sentence, where the appeals court did uphold the conviction but did reject the sentencing and order a new sentence hearing for Smith. The State of Michigan then filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Michigan on the decision of the lower
To date more than “337 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 20 individuals who were at one time sentenced to death” (The Innocence Project). Out of the 337 cases where innocent men and women were wrongfully imprisoned nearly half of the true suspects were identified and convicted. The racial heritage of those who have been exonerated is fairly diverse, consisting of “206 African Americans, 104 Caucasians, 25 Latinos, and 2 Asian Americans” (The Innocence Project). (Transition) Although The Innocence Project has changed the lives of many who others would not afford them the opportunity to prove their innocence, they would not have been able to do so without the recent
Avery fought several times for an appeal, but each time was denied. Fortunately for Avery, a petition for DNA testing was granted in 1995 and showed that scrapings taken of Beernsten’s fingernails contained the DNA of an unknown person. The tests were unable to eliminate Avery, however, and a movement for a new trial was denied. In April of 2002, attorneys for the Wisconsin Innocence Project obtained a court order for DNA testing of 13 hairs recovered from Beernsten at the time of the crime. The state crime laboratory reported that, using the FBI DNA database, it had linked a hair to Gregory Allen, a convicted felon who bore a striking resemblance to Avery.
Weinstein acknowledges the claim that Rob Warden made stating, false confessions are leading the way in wrongful convictions (Weinstein). If one dives down deeper and examines that this is factual, it is a frightful thought that out of all the wrongful convictions there are in the U.S., false confessions are ahead of the pack, leading the way. Carrying on, Weinstien similarly stated, "...In the last 40 years, at least 200 false confession cases have been documented, and that this is almost certainly the tip of a much larger iceberg" (Weinstein). This information is a little piece of the big pie since there are more cases in the more recent years from when Weinstein wrote the
The other thing is that each death row prisoner to maintain the prisoner cost taxpayers 90,000 more per year, but without the death penalty cost 740,000, while to use the death penalty cost 1.26 million. The crimes are also pretty severe to have you be sent to death row, “The capital offenses include espionage, treason, and death resulting from aircraft hijacking. However, they mostly consist of various forms of murder such as murder committed during a drug-related drive-by shooting, murder during a kidnapping,murder for hire, and genocide.” There can be many reasons why you can be sent to death row. The question you need to ask yourself, is it worth taking the life of someone, or should we forgive and forget? People can look at the death penalty in a lot of different ways.
He was commit bank robbery and murder. During the investigation, police are narrowing down an area of suspects that the offender was a left-handed person. It is because the CCTV displayed that the person who commit the bank robbery is holding a gun with the left-hand. Then, police narrowed down the area of suspects, Tsui Po was not a suspect in the crime area so that police cannot arrest the offender as soon as possible. But, this does not imply that profiles should be ignored or should never be used by police again, but that profiling should be approached with caution.
The Innocence Project lists six primary causes of wrongful convictions exonerated by DNA evidence. The causes are eyewitness misidentification, unvalidated or improper forensic science, false confessions or admissions, government misconduct, informants, and inadequate defense. The leading cause of wrongful convictions proven by DNA evidence is eyewitness misidentification. Eyewitness misidentification was a factor in more than 70% of convictions whose rulings were reversed due to DNA testing nationwide. Throughout history, the reliability of eyewitness identification has been questioned.
In 2009, Alonzo King, Jr. was arrested for violent assault charges and while in custody, the police took his DNA and logged into the Maryland DNA Database. His DNA was matched to the DNA in an unsolved rape case. The Maryland DNA Collection Act (MDCA) allows police officers to collect DNA samples of people under arrest for violent crimes or attempted violent crimes. However, in court, King appealed to have the conviction because the MDCA was against his IV amendment rights because his DNA was taken without a search warrant. The Maryland Court of Appeals reversed the conviction stating that the MDCA was infact unconstitutional, because King’s expectation of privacy was greater than the interest of Maryland in using DNA samples for the purpose of identification.
Washington Post has posted on May 24, 2015 that the FBI confirms that no major terrorism cases were caught form the Patriot phone data collection (Krieger, 2015) The American Civil Liberties Union filed a law suit against the government in 2013. The case provides evidence that the Patriot Act is infringing on American’s privacy, freedom of speech and association. Within the Patriot Act, surveillance of phone records such as phone numbers, and duration is being collected across the United States. The ACLU deals with defending the civil liberties and those phone surveillance and would have drastic impact on how they advocate for Civil rights (Kaufman,
One primary legislative cause of the difficulties in prosecuting police is the 1986 the United States supreme courts case, Tennessee v. Garner, which did not allows usages of deadly force by an officer unless "the officer has a good-faith belief that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others" but the rhetorically vague term "good-faith belief" allowed an objective reason to kill and created a barrier in proving an officer is guilty in court system. While this old legislative piece accounts the difficulties in prosecuting police, the traditional unspoken rule of police officers not to report against colleagues cause corruption in the process of prosecution which is another source of
In nearly nine out of 10 searches, police find nothing”. This proves racial profiling still exists in today’s legal system like in the 1930s because in the 21st century, as it shows in this study, people in law enforcement stop particularly African Americans and Latinos most of the time to check them because they have “suspicions” about them. Interestingly, most of the time the police don’t find anything. This is an example of racial profiling because law enforcers are using the race of a group as grounds for suspecting someone of having committed an offense. This is very similar to what Alabama citizens did to 9 African Americans, commonly known as the Scottsboro boys, on the train going from Chattanooga in the 1930s.