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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Three for the road ...

I know it must be a bore to read these posts about news articles revealing the flaws in our justice system. I'm sorry about that. I am incapable of letting these things go by without notice or comment. Here's three more from the L.A. Times that you might have missed:

1. Sunday, May 4, 2008, page 1: "When a match is far from a lock." Turns out that using DNA evidence in "cold cases" to find the culprit may result in convicting the wrong person. The article contains a primer on the complex subject of statistical analysis of DNA samples drawn from a database of past criminals.

2. Tuesday, May 6, California section, page B3: "Court voids death case." Mr. Miranda spent 26 years on death row until the California Supreme Court unanimously reversed his conviction because the prosecution failed to disclose to the defense that another person confessed to the crime before the case went to trial. The main witness in the case for the prosecution had confessed in a letter that was possessed by the DA that he, not the defendant, was the killer. The letter remained in the DA file and wasn't discovered by the defense until many years later, when habeas counsel finally convinced a federal court to open the DA's file.

3. Tuesday, May 6, California section, page 1: "Thieves make off with dozens of manhole covers." This needs no explanation...

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