Monday, May 18, 2009

Gee, Why Would They Do That?

From this morning's New York Times, a report on how prosecutors OPPOSE DNA testing:

"A recent analysis of 225 DNA exonerations by Brandon L. Garrett, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, found that prosecutors opposed DNA testing in almost one out of five cases. In many of the others, they initially opposed testing but ultimately agreed to it. In 98 of those 225 cases, the DNA test identified the real culprit."

The story is here:

My two cents: the rule that "the ethical duty of the prosecutor is to seek, justice, not convictions" is honored more in the breach than the observance.  Why would a prosecutor oppose a DNA test?  If the defendant or prisoner is guilty, the test will prove that.  If he or she is innocent, justice demands their release.

I think the adversarial system of justice is fun.  But sometimes, it doesn't serve our society's interests or values very well.  When prosecutors give in to the human desire to "win" every case, we all end up as losers.


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