I'm confused - my first exposure to DNA testing was a few years ago while listening to C-SPAN radio near Washington, D.C. with my friend Thom heading to work . We tuned in just as testimony was beginning of a man who had been imprisoned for almost his entire life. The speaker who had recently been exonerated for a crime he'd never commited was not bitter, angry or looking for revenge. He was simply thankful to get out of prison so he could enjoy what few years of his life remained. Many years have passed so I don't have particulars of that exact case - but I remember Thom and I were dumbfounded and shocked that our legal system was capable of such injustice. Fast forward to today - it's fixed right? NO - in fact we just took a step in the wrong direction.
I came across THIS STORY today regarding a recent decision by the Supreme Court ruling that:
"The U.S. Supreme Court Thursday ruled that a defendant does not have the constitutional right to demand DNA tests to prove his innocence after his case has already been tried.
In a split decision of five to four in a country which still carries out the death penalty, the nation's highest court said a federal Alaska tribunal was wrong to allow a man jailed for rape to have retroactive DNA tests.
"DNA testing has an unparalleled ability both to exonerate the wrongly convicted and to identify the guilty," the court wrote in its opinion of the case of William Osborne, serving 26 years in prison for the 1994 rape.
At the same time, DNA testing alone does not always resolve a case. Where there is enough other incriminating evidence and an explanation for the DNA result, science alone cannot prove a prisoner innocent, it added."