Friday, November 24, 2006

Durham as Wonderland

A somewhat routine ruling, but nonetheless one that stresses how far out of step Durham is from the rest of the country.

CNN reports that "authorities are reviewing the conviction of a man imprisoned for a 1992 rape after he was cleared by DNA tests that the original lab analyst refused to conduct." The improper conviction was based on . . . the accuser's identification.

In Durham, DNA evidence is irrelevant. In the rest of the country, it frees the falsely convicted.


Anonymous said...

Durham = Nifong = prosecutorial abuse.

Anonymous said...

Most places where such a "crime" is charged do not have an entity like Duke University, where a vocal group of faculty members is arguing for a post-modern prosecution. There is no need for evidence, only accusations of racism and homophobia.

Can one imagine a justice system based upon the rants of the Gang of 88? Well, we have it. Look at Durham, and see how people like Nancy Grace are trying to push such a system beyond Durham. This truly is frightening.

Anonymous said...

Actually, this ruling is very interesting. In this case, the victim is now persuaded that the police manipulate her and her fright to convict the wrong man. She first said that the defendant was too old, but was talked out of it. As I said in previous post, Illinois had huge problems with wrongful convictions and this conviction predated many of the reforms.

Why is this case interesting aside from the willingness of Illinois courts to take a second look based on DNA evidence.

First, the DNA evidence was not available during the 1990's confirming that relying upon rape proseuctions "the old fashioned way" is just wrong.

Second, even honest police and prosecutors can fatally taint eyewitness idenfications demonstrating that dishonest authorities can make the system do whatever they want.

Third, bad police procedures hurt everybody including, in this case, an actual victim and god knows how many other victims of an actual rapist.

Nifong is not only wrong, he is a dinosaur that leaves a trail of sadness and injury that goes beyond the obvious and immediate injustices.