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A vastly accepted principle of the justice system is that bringing the guilty perpetrators to justice. Consequently, the danger of a guilty person remaining free dominated public attention (Bjerk & Helland, 2018). However, the justice system has been flawed for robbing of life experiences and freedom of wrongfully convicted individuals (Gould & Leo, 2010). The flaws in the justice system have attracted public opinion and research interest. Empirical interest in wrongful convictions dates back to research work by Borchard (1932). The introduction of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing technology in the justice system brought to light the flaws in the system by revealing the innocence of convicts in prison with some serving death or life sentences (Bjerk & Helland, 2018). Wrongful convictions occur when factually innocent persons are convicted of crimes; a miscarriage in the justice system. The handful convictions of innocent persons challenges the efficacy of the US justice system.…
DNA Exonerations: John Kogut
The Path To Exoneration: John Kogut
The Path to Conviction
When 16-year-old Teresa Fusco left work at 9:45 PM on November 10, 1984 she became one among several young girls reported missing over the past several years [Centurion Ministries, 2013; Innocence Project, n.d.(a)]. In contrast to her predecessors, however, her body was discovered a month later in a wooded area several blocks from the roller rink where she worked. According to the autopsy, Teresa had been raped and murdered. Semen and sperm were collected from her body and the marks on her neck revealed that she had been strangled with a rope or cord. Also found at the scene were her jewelry and the murder weapon. The coroner's office, however, failed to conduct a blood type analysis on the semen.
The Nassau County police were under tremendous pressure to solve these disappearances, especially Teresa's rape and…
Centurion Ministries (2013). Dennis Halstead, John Kogut, & John Restivo, Long Island, NY. CenturionMinistries.org. Retrieved 6 Oct. 2013 from http://www.centurionministries.org/cases/dennis-halstead-john-kogut-and-john-restivo/.
Drumm, David. (2013, May 11). Why the FBI doesn't record interrogations. JonathanTurley.org [blog]. Retrieved 7 Oct. 2013 from http://jonathanturley.org/2013/05/11/why-the-fbi-doesnt-record-interrogations/ .
Editors. (2013, Jan. 1). America's retreat from the death penalty. New York Times, A18. Retrieved 7 Oct. 2013 from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/15/maryland-death-penalty/1989977/ .
Gootman, Elissa. (2003, Jun. 12). DNA evidence frees 3 men in 1984 murder of L.I. girl. New York Times, B1, B5. Retrieved 7 Oct. 2013 from http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/12/nyregion/dna-evidence-frees-3-men-in-1984-murder-of-li-girl.html .
Corrections/Police - Criminal Justice
Innocents Project Exoneration
On November 19, 1991, 14-year-old Cateresa Matthews left her great-grandmother's house in Dixmoor, Illinois. She was not seen again until December 8, 1991, when her body was found on a well-worn path running along I-57 as it passes through Dixmoor. "She had been shot in the mouth at close range with a .25 caliber pistol. She was also an apparent victim of sexual assault, as her body was naked from the waist down. A pair of white panties was found around her right ankle, and her jeans were draped across her chest. Seminal fluid was recovered from the vaginal and rectal swab of the victim" (obert Taylor, n.d).
The police made no arrests and apparently had no leads in the case for over ten months, until October 20, 1992. On that date, a police report specified that Keno Barnes, 15, supposedly…
Exonerated, freed and facing a new life. (2011). Retrieved from http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-11-25/news/ct-met-dna-freedom-
Law School's Exoneration Project helps free wrongly convicted man. (2011). Retrieved from http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2011/11/04/law-school039s-exoneration-project-helps-free-wrongly-convicted-man
Robert Taylor. (n.d). Retrieved from http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/Robert_Taylor.php
Change them often; (2) Use disposable instruments or clean them thoroughly before and after handling each sample; (3) Avoid touching the area where you believe DNA may exist; (4) avoid talking, sneezing, and coughing over evidence; (5) Avoid touching your face, nose, and mouth when collecting and packaging evidence; (6) Air-dry evidence thoroughly before packaging; and (7) Put evidence into new paper bags or envelopes, not into plastic bags. Do not use staples." (National Institute of Justice, 2007)
V. Future of CODIS
The work entitled: "Communication, Documentation and Information Services" states that in the future CODIS will "continue to place a major emphasis on upgrading technology in all areas of its responsibility." (Vest of Research, nd) in a National Institute of Justice report entitled: "The Future of Forensic DNA Testing: Predictions of the Research and Development Working Group" published in November 2000 states that "technology projections for 2010" include transition…
Combined DNA Index System CODIS (nd) Fast Facts from the DPS. Online available at http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/director_staff/public_information/Fast_facts/Codis.pdf
CODIS (2007) SAIC. Online available at http://www.saic.com/justice/codis.html
Lessons Learned From 9/11: DNA Identification in Mass Fatality Incidents. (2007) President's DNA Initiatives. Online available at http://www.dna.gov/uses/mass_fatalities/
Using DNA and Other Resources to Identify Missing Persons (2007) President's DNA Initiative Online available at http://www.dna.gov/uses/m_person/.
At the time that yrd was tried in 1985 DNA technology was not capable of forensic analysis of biological evidence however; in 1997 a comparison was conducted of yrd's DNA with the bodily fluid in the rape kit that had been collected at the time of the incident resulting in yrd's exoneration for this crime. The importance of proper preservation of biological evidence is highlighted in this case and not only for the purpose of obtaining a conviction but also for the purpose of ensuring that the wrong individual is not charged, found guilty and sentenced to prison for a crime that they did not commit.
VI. Most Common Applications of lood Evidence
The work of George Schiro entitled: "Collection and Preservation of lood Evidence from Crime Scenes" states that prior to the documentation and collection of blood evidence the value of the evidence must be recognized by the crime…
Catalin, Marian; Andrei, Anghel, and Mitrasca, Oana (nd) Modern Methods of Collection and Preservation of Biological Evidence for Human Identification by DNA Analysis. Biochemistry Department, "Victor Babes" University of Medicine and Pharmacy from Timisoara. Online available at: http://www.oglethorpe.edu/faculty/~k_aufderheide/Forensic_Science/Web_Documents/Catalin_Andrei_Mitrasca.pdf
Jones, Cynthia E. (2005) Evidence Destroyed, Innocence Lost: The Preservation of Biological Evidence Under Innocence Protection Statues. The American Criminal Law Review. 1 Oct 2005. Online available at: http://www.allbusiness.com/legal/laws/1047368-1.html
Ladd, HC and Ladd, C. (2001) Preservation and Collection of Biological Evidence. Croat Med J. 2001 Jun;42(3):225-8. Online available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11387627
Schiro, George (nd) Collection and Preservation of Blood Evidence From Crime Scenes. Louisiana State Police Crime Laboratory. Online available at: http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net/blood.html
Criminal Justice System
Challenges of Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) to law enforcement
Law enforcement agencies view the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) the most harmful street gang in the U.S. The aggressive nature of MS-13 members have led to a variety of killings and terrible beatings. Various trials held in New York and Maryland have led to significant jail terms even extending to life imprisonment for MS-13 members. The FBI was first attracted by violence, but proof of the gang's escalating level of organization has drawn public attention. Organization is an indicator of a future where MS-13 is will be a transnational network of criminals extending from the United States to suburban communities in a multitude of U.S. towns (Mandel, 2013).
Despite functions of violence, it is worrying to note that MS-13 movement is improving its structure and organization. Many major security experts are comparing it to the illegal groups of the 50s…
Erbschloe, M. (2001). Information Warfare How To Survive Cyber Attacks. New York: Osborne/McGraw-Hill.
Mandel, R. (2013). Global Security Upheaval Armed Nonstate Groups Usurping State Stability Functions. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Scheck, B. (2010). 250 Exonerated, Too Many Wrongfully Convicted: An Innocence Project Report On The First 250 DNA Exonerations In The U.S. New York: Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University.
Siegel, L., & Senna, J. (2009). Essentials of Criminal Justice (6th Ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
False confessions are an unfortunate part of the criminal justice system. False confessions are often extracted in order to gain a quick conviction without careful consideration for the facts of the case. This can lead to major problems for the defendant and the court system as defendants try to convince juries of unethically extracted confessions. While many in the criminal justice system believe, a false confession is a rare occurrence, research suggests it is a far more pervasive problem than imagined.
If one were to look at false confessions via the lens of cognitive dissonance, one can see that certain perceptions may lead one to attempt to maintain a belief regardless of potential evidence going against such a perspective. That can often lead to actions committed to 'catch the culprit' without considering the entire picture from evidence and testimony. The recommendation then consists of raising awareness of false confessions by…
She had been struck several times in the head with a Toney Penna golf club -- so ferociously that the club had shattered into multiple pieces -- and then stabbed in the neck with the broken shaft the club's handle and part of the shaft had vanished. (Kennedy Jr., 2003, Martha Moxley section, ¶ 1)
From evidence retrieved from the autopsy, police determined Moxley's murder occurred at approximately10:00 P.M..
On July 10, 1998, 23 years after Moxley's murder, "Connecticut authorities convened a one-man grand jury consisting of Judge George Thim. The state's attorney Jonathan Benedict took over the Moxley case and began a multimillion-dollar effort to convict Michael Skakel" (Kennedy Jr., 2003, Mark Fuhrman section, ¶ 5). Until this time, Greenwich police and state investigators considered Ken Littleton as the primary suspect for the murder of Moxley (Fuhrman, cited in Kennedy Jr., Mark Fuhrman section, ¶ 7). According to prosecutors'…
Caldwell, Lori. (2004, June 8). Post-Tribune. Gun missing as evidence, so Gary man acquitted. Post-Tribune (in). Retrieved November 20, 2008 from HighBeam Research database.
Givens, Ann. (2006). Evidence bungled?: Blood work in DWI death trial might have been mishandled, according to testimony of troopers, others. Newsday (Melville, NY). McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. Retrieved November 20, 2008 from HighBeam Research database.
Caldwell, Lori. (2004, June 8). Post-Tribune. "Gun missing as evidence, so Gary man acquitted." Post-Tribune (in). 2004. Retrieved November 20, 2008 from HighBeam Research: www.highbeam.com/doc/1N11032253A4EBD8A1C.html
Complete coverage: Limo crash. (2008). Retrieved November 20, 2008 at http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-licrashsg,0,390101.storygallery?coll=ny-linews-headlines
Threat or perception of threat is best described by protection motivation theory:
This theory states that the extent to which people show preventive behavior in light of a threat depends on their protection motivation (. W. ogers, 1975, 1983). According to this theory, the level of protection motivation depends on the seriousness of the threat, the probability that the threat will manifest itself, the judged efficacy of the recommended behavior (called response or outcome efficacy), and the self-efficacy expectation relating to that behavior. (Wiegman & Gutteling, 1995, p. 235)
In a practical sense what this theory says about the perceived threat is that as incidences of observation occur in the lives of individuals, be they real or imagined they will likely become more protective and therefore attempt to engage in avoidance of behaviors that have been identified with the production of environmental threat. By doing so this the individual, and…
Agnew, R. (1985). A Revised Strain Theory of Delinquency. Social Forces, 64(1), 151-167.
Lesko, Wayne a (2006). Readings in Social Psychology (6th ed).
New York: Allyn & Bacon.
Lyddon, W.J., & Sherry, a. (2001). Developmental Personality Styles: An Attachment Theory Conceptualization of Personality Disorders. Journal of Counseling and Development, 79(4), 405.
A review of the literature unequivocally reveals false confessions are oftentimes deliberately sought after by overzealous criminal justice interrogators who are much more preoccupied with ascertaining a confession -- and an ensuing conviction -- than they are with ascertaining the truth about a particular crime.
This paper is organized by explaining the concept that false conceptions are deliberately extracted by far too many interrogators for the purposes of a conviction -- regardless if doing so is truthful or not. The author of this document explores this tenet from a variety of differing viewpoints which support it. However, there is a counterpoint to this thesis which is then elucidated. This counterpoint reveals that there are certain circumstances in which law enforcement have taken active measures to determine the truth without the presupposition of guilt or the outcome of a jury trial. Finally, the paper deconstructs those specific circumstances prior to…
Chojnacki, D.E., Ciccini, M.D. & White, L.T. (2008). An empirical basis for the admission of expert testimony on false confessions. 40 Ariz. St. L.J. 1 (2008).
When a false confession has been extracted, the defendant on trial has few recourses. One of their recourses is to convince the jury that the confession was unethically extracted, by calling in expert witnesses in the field of psychology. These expert witnesses can show juries how and why false confessions occur, to show that they are relatively common as well as problematic. However, the authors claim that many judges disallow the expert testimony under the assumption that the jurors are familiar with the topic of false confessions. This article is tremendously helpful in my research because it shows not only that false confessions occur due to bad law enforcement procedures, but also that there is a widespread misperception of how pervasive the problem has…
While black men can be incredibly diverse-looking, she may focus on those features that tend to differentiate them from white men. This is a risk in any cross-racial identification, where someone may notice differences from their own ethnic group, but fail to look beyond those features that stand out as "other" in his mind, which makes any person in that racial group a possible suspect.
In fact, it is impossible to overplay the role that misidentification has played in so many wrongful convictions. It is difficult for many people to realize that DNA evidence did not play a role in older convictions; the technology simply was not available. Furthermore, when DNA evidence first became available, it was a new technology that was not fully understood by all of the actors in the criminal justice system. In those early times, there were investigators, prosecutors, and fact finders who would believe a…
Innocence Project. (2011, October 21). New Orleans man wrongfully incarcerated for 30 years exonerated of rape that new DNA evidence proves he didn't commit. Retrieved from http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/New_Orleans_Man_Wrongly_Incarcerated_for_30_Years_Exonerated_of_Rape_that_New_DNA_Evidence_Proves_He_Didnt_Commit.php
A good example is the 1985 murder of convenience store clerk Cynthia Barlieb, whose murder was prosecuted by a district attorney bent on securing execution for Barlieb's killer (Pompeilo 2005). The original trial and all the subsequent appeals forced Barlieb's family, including four young daughters, to spend 17 years in the legal process - her oldest daughter was 8 years old when Cynthia was first shot, and 25 when the process ended without a death sentence (Pompelio 2005). During those 17 years, Cynthia Barlieb's family was forced to repeatedly relive her murder.
hen a person is murdered, it is understandable that American society demands justice, particularly on behalf of the victim's family and loved ones. But we can not advocate capital punishment under the guise of protecting the interests of victims' families, and then cut those members out of the process when they do not support the death penalty. and,…
American Civil Liberties Union (2002). "ACLU Praises Supreme Court Refusal of 'Sleeping Lawyer' Case as 'Acknowledgment and Reminder' of Death Penalty Problems." Retrieved Sept. 30, 2006 at http://www.aclu.org/capital/unequal/10466prs20020603.html .
American Civil Liberties Union (2002). "DNA testing and the death penalty." Retrieved Oct. 1, 2006 at http://www.aclu.org/capital/innocence/10392pub20020626.html .
Amnesty International (2006). "Death penalty." Retrieved Sept. 30, 2006 at http://www.amnestyusa.org/abolish/index.do .
Antonio, Michael E. (2006). "Arbitrariness and the death penalty: how the defendant's appearance during trial influences capital jurors' punishment decision." Behavioral Sciences & the Law. March 2006.Vol.24, Iss. 2.
e should be thankful for this amazing technological development," (Hatch, 2000).
The death penalty must be altered, not abolished. In all new cases, if DNA evidence is not provided as conclusive for the conviction of the arrested, then capital punishment should not even be a consideration. There are already appeals processes in place for those who presently serve on Death Row, and in many of these cases, the inmates have pleaded for DNA testing. This should be executed on a case-by-case basis, pending the jurisdiction of the local judicial system. It was found in the research for this analysis that many of the authors who approve of using DNA testing for exoneration, oppose DNA evidence that has been presented during the time of trial. Much like those who oppose the death penalty and those who support it, there will be continued debate over this new science, which is offering legendary…
American Civil Liberties Union. (2010). DNA Testing and the Death Penalty. Retrived April 16, 2010, from www.aclu.org.
Banner, Stuart. (2002). The Death Penalty: An American History. Cambridge, MA:
Hatch, Orrin G. (June 13, 200). Post-Conviction DNA Testing: When Is Justice Served?
Sinclair Billy Wayne, & Sinclair, Jodie. (2009). Capital Punishment: An Indictment by a Death-Row Survivor. New York, NY: Arcade Publishing.
With the advent of technology, there are other tests apart from Blood Type present to rule out a crime. If today, the assailant's blood type does not match the blood on the crime scene, it does not necessarily prove him guilty. Forensics studies have indicated that there are two types of people on this planet regarding secretion of ABO proteins in body fluids. There are the secretors, and then there are nonsecretors. In cases of rape, the fluid usually tested is semen. The thing to note is that if that person is a secretor, only then his blood antigens will be present in the semen. If the semen is negative for any antigen that can either mean that the person is type O or is a non-secretor (Lyle, 2011) Furthermore, there are thousands and millions of people who have the same blood type. Due to this reason, DNA testing…
Flaherty, C. (2013). Cops: black mob kidnaps, rapes teen girls. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.wnd.com/2013/11/cops-black-mob-kidnaps-rapes-teen-girls / [Accessed: 13 Jan 2014].
Gross, S.R., Jacoby, K., Matheson, D.J., Montgomery, N. & Patil, S. (2005). Exonerations in the United States 1989 through 2003. The journal of criminal law and criminology (1973-), 95 (2), pp. 523 -- 560.
Innocenceproject.org. (2014). The innocence project - know the cases: browse profiles:bennett barbour. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/Bennett_Barbour.php [Accessed: 13 Jan 2014].
Johnson, S. (1984). Cross-Racial Identification Errors in Criminal Cases. CORNELL L. REV., 69 (934), 935-36.
(Human Genome Project, DNA Forensics, 2006) Examples of genetic testing use of DNA in forensic identification are: (1) identification of potential suspects from DNA left at crime scene; (2) exoneration of those wrongly accused of crimes; (3) identification of crime and catastrophe victims; (4) establishment of paternity and other family relationship; (5) identification of endangered and protected species in aiding wildlife officials and in prosecution of poachers; (6) detection of bacteria and other organisms that may be pollutants of air, water, soil and food; (7) matching of organ donors with recipients in transplant programs; (8) determination of pedigree for seed or livestock breeds; and (9) authentication of consumables such as caviar and wine. (U.S. Department of Justice, 2003; DNA Forensics, 2006) DNA typing is accomplished through obtaining DNA samples through designing "small pieces of DNA probes that will each seek out and bind to a complementary DNA sequence in the…
Advancing Justice Through DNA Technology (2003) Using DNA to Solve Crimes. U.S. Department of Justice. Executive Summary. Online available at http://www.usdoj.gov/ag/dnapolicybook_exsum.htm
DNA Forensics (2006) Human Genome Project. U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research. Online available at http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/elsi/forensics.shtml
Genetic Testing - Patient Privacy and Discrimination Considerations (2007) American Cancer Society. Online available at http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_6X_Genetic_Testing_-_Patient_Privacy_and_Discrimination_Considerations_5.asp?sitearea=
Guidelines for Genetic Testing (2003) Genetic-Medicine Related Societies. August 2003.
Forensic Sciences in the USA and the United Kingdom
Over the last two decades, the forensic science has assisted in producing valuable evidence that has contributed to a successful conviction and prosecution of criminals and exoneration of innocent citizens. Typically, an advanced in forensic science and DNA technology have been a great assistance for law enforcement agency for an identification and prosecution of criminals. In the United States and the UK, many cases that have been formally unsolved have now been solved based on the great assistance of the forensic science investigators. (National esearch Council, 2009). Forensics or forensic science is a field of investigation drawing different scientific disciplines in law, criminal and civil services. This practice requires an application of scientific knowledge, quantitative, qualitative and empirical skills to collect and analyze data that will assist in presenting evidence in a tribunal or court of law. However, the method the…
Butler, J.M. (2015). U.S. initiatives to strengthen forensic science & international standards in forensic DNA. Forensic Sci Int Genet. 18: 4 -- 20.
Goulka, J.E. Matthies, C. Steinberg, P. (2010). Toward a Comparison of DNA Profiling and Databases in the United States and England. Technical report (Rand Corporation).
House of Common (2013). Forensic Science. House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.
Mallett, X. & Evison, M.P. (2013). Forensic Facial Comparison: Issues of Admissibility in the Development of Novel Analytical Technique. J Forensic Sci, 58 (4):859-865.
She answered that no one had condemned her. Jesus then said to her, "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin" (John 8:11).
Because the woman was not stoned in the end, many interpret it to mean that Jesus changed Mosaic law and then this argument is extended to capital punishment in general. However, Jesus still left the opportunity for her to be stoned. If one of the people in the crowd had been without sin, then the woman would have still been stoned. He did not tell them not to stone her, he only set a condition on who should cast the first stone. He said nothing about the second or third stone, only the first. Luckily, for the woman, there were no qualified takers who could cast the first stone. Therefore, Jesus did not abolish capital punishment in this passage.…
Anderson, Kerby. "Capital Punishment." Leadership U. 2010. Web, 5 May 2010.
Croucher, Rowling. et al. (2003). "Death Penalty in the Bible." John Mark Ministries. Web, 5
One of the most brutal crimes in North Carolina occurred in 1984 when a young white newspaper reporter, Deborah Sykes, was assaulted, raped, sodomized, and stabbed to death a few blocks from her workplace in Winston-Salem (Stern & Sundberg, 2006). Darryl Hunt, a 19-year-old black man was charged with this crime despite the absence of any physical evidence linking him to the crime. Hunt’s charges were largely based on an eyewitness’ identification that was made by a former member of Klu Klux Klan. He was later convicted of the crime and sentenced to life imprisonment by a jury of 11 whites and one black. However, in 1994, DNA testing showed that Hunt did not rape the victim, which generated significant doubts on his involvement in the murder of Deborah Sykes. Despite these findings, Hunt stayed behind bars for another decade for a crime he did not commit before his release…
Post response questions, requires a position support position evidence assigned readings. Please correct sources APA. Each question 1.5 pages length. The reading attached. 1. Critics death penalty contend evidence wrongful conviction offenders sentenced death powerful evidence favor abolishing death penalty
One of the foundational principles of the American system of justice is that it is better to let a guilty man go free than it is to condemn an innocent man as guilty. The existence of the death penalty seems to belie this principle. Once someone has been put to death, there is no way to reconsider the verdict. No matter how heinous the crimes of the clearly guilty people put to death, there also have been innocent persons convicted of capital crimes. Despite all of the controls put into place within the American justice system, mistakes have been made in the past and fortunately many of these defendants were…
Convicted wrongfully for the murder of a man by the name Delbert Baker, Juan Roberto Melendez-Colon spent more than seventeen years on death row awaiting his execution. His eventual release came after Mr. Baker's real killer confessed to the said murder. Now a free man, Melendez-Colon adds his voice to the call for the abolition of the death penalty. In his opinion, wrongful conviction cases cannot be resolved using DNA testing. In response to proponents of the death penalty who are somehow convinced that DNA testing could easily resolve persistent cases of wrongful conviction, Melendez-Colon points out that DNA "is quite limited because it is not present in the great majority of murder cases." To back up his assertion, Melendez-Colon observes that since 1973, only 17 of the 139 death row exonerations involved DNA. In his opinion, there is a huge amount of money that the…
Like Melendez-Colon, Philip Brasfield and Carl M. Cannon are also of the opinion that DNA testing cannot help resolve the inherent shortcomings of the capital punishment system. According to Brasfield, although post-conviction DNA testing has been of great significance in helping expose the fallibility of the said system, "DNA tests are useless in cases where no evidence is found at the crime scene." This statement effectively reinforces Cannon's assertion that DNA is largely irrelevant in a significant number of other cases including but not limited to non-rape cases. For this and several other reasons, the authors appear convinced that the execution of innocents cannot necessarily be prevented through the utilization of DNA evidence. In the opinion of both authors, the death penalty should be abolished so as to bring to an end the killing of innocents in the name of justice.
My Opinion on the Topic
It is highly likely that a significant number of people have been wrongfully convicted and subsequently executed since the 1976 reinstatement of the death penalty in the U.S. In my opinion, embracing the utilization of DNA testing (both pre and post-conviction) could help solve some of our capital justice system's fundamental flaws. Given that the said testing has in the past helped exonerate quite a number of death row convicts, its widespread utilization could help solve many more innocent lives. With that in mind, the federal government needs to further increase funding to programs that seek to enhance both the availability and quality of DNA testing. That way, we do not necessarily have to abolish the death penalty.
Research Question and Introduction Development
Topic: Safeguarding the criminal justice system from wrongful convictions through an efficient innocence program
Research Question: What aspects of the innocence program need improvement, and in what ways, in order to guard the judicial system from wrongful convictions? (Rossi, Lipsey & Freeman, 2004)
Wrongful conviction is an abuse of justice. It entails the sentencing and subsequent punishment of someone for crimes they never committed (Huff & Killias, 2013). Wrongful convictions can happen in civil and criminal cases alike. Many criminal justice processes have been tailored to overcome this possibility and overturn such erroneous judicial decisions. It is quite difficult to achieve this, however, due to fundamental challenges in the judicial system. Wrongful convictions may take years or decades to overturn. In some instances the discovery of innocence happens after a person has already served their time in prison, after they are dead or after…
DECISION -- S & MAPE vs. UNITED KINGDOM
The cases of S & Marper v United Kingdom involved the claims of two individuals that their rights had been violated by the retention of their fingerprints and identifying DNA material by police after their exoneration from the criminal charges against them. The bases of their claim was that: (1) Section 1 of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human ights (ECH) guarantees that "Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence" and that Section 2 of Article 8 prohibits any "interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the…
The Economist (December 4, 2008). DNA and human rights -- "Throw it out: A court decision limits the scope of police DNA databases." Accessed online:
Kerry Max Cook has come into the limelight subsequent to being found guilty and sentenced to life in 1978 for one of the most notorious and gruesome killings in East Texas County. Cook was convicted in the grisly and horrific killing of Linda Jo Edwards, a young 22-year-old girl that was found in her apartment room having been trodden, knifed and mutilated. The thesis of the article indicates the difficulty of proving and maintaining innocence. This is linked to the fact that even after being released from death row, Cook continues to maintain his innocence and is seeking a full and comprehensive exoneration. However, the difficulty of attaining innocence continues to be a daunting task with prosecutors going on with opposition of Cook's claims of actual innocence that would permit him to obtain compensation for the two years spent while on death row.
There are distinctive lessons that can be…
Transforming Scheduled Death Into Renewed Life
One of the harsh realities of living in an otherwise-free society is the fact that the United States incarcerates far more of its citizens than other leading industrialized nations, and it one of the few countries in the world that retains the death penalty on its books. hen capital offenders are executed, there exists the opportunity to turn this scheduled death into renewed through organ donations. At present, while an individual has the right to say whether their organs should be donated, death-row inmates are considered wards of the state and it is the position of this study that the state should have the corresponding right to harvest their organs as a means of execution in order to save and improve the quality of the lives of others. To determine whether the potential exists for such an approach, this study examines the relevant peer-reviewed…
"Abolish the death penalty." (2011). Amnesty International. [Online]. Available: http://www.
Beard, T. Randolph, David L. Kaserman and Richard P. Saba. (2006). "Inefficiency in cadaveric organ procurement." Southern Economic Journal, 73(1): 13-14.
Ben-David, Orit F. Organ Donation and Transplantation: Body Organs as an Exchangeable
Wrongful Conviction of Steven Avery
Steven Avery was arrested in 1985 for the rape of Penny Beernsten, even though his family testified as to his whereabouts at the exact moment the crime took place. 18 years later, Avery was exonerated via DNA evidence, in which a hair from the crime scene was matched to Gregory Allen (who was actually suspected of committing the crime at the time but whom law enforcement agents neglected to pursue because of an apparent vendetta they had against Avery and their desire to see him behind bars). Manitowoc County District Attorney Denis Vogel was particularly complicit in this wrongful conviction (Griesbach, 2011; Messer, 2016).
Avery and his family had gotten under the skin of authorities in their neighborhood. Avery himself had a record of reckless and mildly deviant behavior. However, his big mistake was offending his cousin, who also happened to be the wife of…
Griesbach, M. (2011). The wronged guy. Isthmus. Retrieved from http://isthmus.com/news/news/a-new-book-revisits-steven-averys-conviction-for-a-crime-he-didnt-commit/
Messer, L. (2016). 5 Things to Know about Steven Avery from 'Making a Murderer'.
ABCNews. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/things-steven-avery-making-murderer/story?id=36090236
Ricciardi, L., Demos, M. (2015). Making a Murderer. Netflix.
Misattribution Creation of New Memories
Primary source: single paragraph on source misattribution
The 1989 article "Misinformation and memory: The creation of new memories" by Elizabeth F. Loftus and Hunter G. Hoffman discusses a commonly-observed phenomenon in memory research, namely that new, erroneous memories can be created with misinformation. This misinformation can impair or replace the original, accurate memory as well as be accepted as a 'real' memory when no such memory exists. One theory to explain this is source misattribution when there is confusion over the source of origin of a memory. Talking about a screwdriver leads us to think we saw the screwdriver with our own eyes. However, biologically-oriented psychologists note that the mechanism of synaptic changes related to memory is poorly understood. It is uncertain if misremembering involves actual memory loss and replacement (Loftus & Hoffman 102). One further question related to source misattribution, not specifically discussed in…
Eyewitness identification. (2011). Kentucky: Department of Public Advocacy.
Retrieved December 8, 2011 athttp://dpa.ky.gov/kip/mew.htm
Loftus, Elizabeth F. & Hunter G. Hoffman. (1989). Misinformation and memory: The creation of new memories. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 118 (1): 100-104
An Ethical Analysis & Position Statement
Against the Practice of Capital Punishment
An Historical Overview
Issues and elevant Facts
Application of Ethical Theories
Support for Capital Punishment
Arguments Against Capital Punishment
An Historical Overview
The practice of capital punishment is often known by other names such as the death penalty or an execution, but the basic concept is that someone convicted of a crime that is worthy of their life (capital crime) is put to death after their conviction by some form an authority figure taking the life of the convicted. There are many different methods that have been employed to take a convicted person's life and history and it is striking to read about the creativity in which brutal forms of executions have been designed over the millennia. Even the Old Testament is riddled with a plethora of different crimes that are considered…
Binghamton University. "The Death Penalty." 6 March 2011. Paren Ethical. .
Chalfin, A., A. Haviland and S. Raphael. "What Do Panel Studies Tell Us About a Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment? A Critique of the Literature." Journal of Quatitative Criminology (2013): 5-43.
Dezhadbksh, H., P. Rubin and J. Shepherd. "Does Capital Punishment Have a Deterrent Effect? New Evidence from Postmoratorium Panel Data." American Law and Economics Review (2003): 344-376.
Mocain, H. and R. Gittings. "Getting off Death Row: Commuted Sentences and the Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment." Journal of Law and Economics (2003): 453-478.