Impact of DNAs reliability and credibility on the exoneration of at least 135 Death Row Inmates

The Death Penalty Information Center, during its press release reported that since 1973 to date, 135 death row inmates were released due to insufficient evidences. Five were released in 2009 and 51 were pardoned since 2000. July 7, 2009 was the date when Ronald Kitchen and Marvin Reeves, imprisoned for the murder of five people in 1988 were pardoned after 13 years as death row inmates in Illinois.

DNA testing was the evidence used that proved the innocence of Kitchen and his co-defendant Marvin Reeves. It took 13 years to prove the lack of evidences, since DNA testing was still unavailable during the time of murder (Farrell 2009).

Herman Lindsay was the 135th person exonerated from death row that followed Kitchen. Like Kitchen, Lindsay was pardoned due to insufficient evidences that pertained to him. He was proven innocent on July 9, 2009 after serving 12 years in jail. DNA testing was also the main evidence used to free Lindsay (Farrell 2009).

Although the exoneration brought closure to the cases and proved the innocence of the convicted murderers, exoneration of these prisoners after years of serving as inmates proved the inefficiency of judiciary systems. The conviction of people even without adequate proof may give rise to mobilization of people against the unjust system. In effect, the people may have lesser trust in the government in solving crimes.

This report on exoneration of death row inmates states the dangerous effects of death penalty, that there are still many innocent people out there being convicted and that too many innocent lives were at risk that proves death penalty to be inhumane.

Therefore, hypothetical reasoning explains that there were many innocent people executed from the past. This furthermore strengthens the anti-death penalty advocates and proves even more that not all convicted suspects are guilty.

The societys empathy now moves to the convicted defendant due to the inadequate accuracy of the investigations and decisions in the execution of defendants. The lack of trust of the society in the judiciary system will give rise to many protests supported by human rights activists.

Scientists intervention in the investigation of crime scenes are now in high demand, because of the technologies that may lead to the solution of unsolved crimes. Scientists have are constantly improving the ways and equipment to aid in the investigations. The use of technology in solving crimes is now accepted as evidences in courts. Also, weak evidence may be strengthening by confirmations with the use of DNA testing.

There are many evidences that are used to be presented in court and help to convict or acquit a defendant. DNA testing is a method now famously used for the conviction of criminals. DNA testing was the key that resulted to the dismissal of the murder cases of Kitchen, Reeves and Lindsay. To help the investigators solve the crime, DNA samples from crime scenes are tested, compared and matched to individuals involved in the scene.

DNA or Deoxyribonucleic acid belongs to the group of Nucleic Acids that is made of chromosomes. The chromosomes dictate the individuality of a person, because of the genes it possesses that carries the particular trait.

Since humans have all the same DNA structure, the basis for the difference in DNA material is through the order of base pairs (A-T C-G) and this may give rise to the individuality of each person. However, detection of the differences in the numerous DNA base pairs may consume a lot of time.

Evidences from DNA testing are now famous for the determination of criminals and is now accepted as evidence in courts. DNA technology has given a big hand in forensics and crime scene investigations given that the DNA preserved is not contaminated that may lead to false conviction. DNA evidences helps prosecutors to establish the guilt or innocence of a defendant.

DNA fingerprinting offers a more convenient method to determine individuality of a person. It can be used for Maternity and Paternity tests, Personal identification and for Criminal Identification and Forensics.

In this case, DNA testing is important in Criminal Investigations. To prove the suspect guilty or innocent, DNA from blood, hair, skin cells or other genetic evidence gathered in the crime scene may be used to detect the individuals involved the crime. Also, an individual may be differentiated from others with the use of DNA testing.

However frequently used in courts, DNA-based investigations are still subjected to questions pertaining the samples integrity and credibility. Several factors must be considered to totally rely on DNA testing as evidence. The sample of DNA collected must be properly labeled, stored for future analysis. Strict preservation must be done to prevent the contamination of the sample and ensure high quality of the sample. It is important to submit the sample in an accredited laboratory. Also, second analysis from another laboratory must also be done to ensure the correctness of the DNA matching results.


Post a Comment