Tuesday, January 24, 2006

DNA justice

You know, I don't think that many people probably realise just how great for courts in upholding proper justice that DNA testing really is. In this particular case, a man called Crotzer has been declared innocent after DNA tests showed he could not have committed the crime in question:
His lawyers had filed a motion to have the sentence and charges against him dismissed in February 2004, after California forensics expert Edward Blake confirmed that DNA evidence excluded Crotzer as the rapist.

Crotzer, who is black, was convicted by an all-white jury that took only one hour to reach its verdict, according to Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, a local advocacy group.
I wonder if the "all white jury" part and the fact Crotzer was black had more to do with his conviction than any of the other evidence present (sarcasm). Of course, now that he has been proven innocent, I wonder how someone can compensate for the twenty-four years of his life that have been (arguably) stolen from him? Even further, I have to wonder if people will still treat him as if he hadn't committed a crime or still regard him with suspicion? Further, the stigma of having the rape of a 12 year old girl attached to oneself, even if you didn't commit the crime to begin with isn't one that is just going to go away any time soon. I imagine even with the DNA exoneration there will be people who still think he did the acts in question.

Makes me wonder sometimes what the "Justice" in "Justice system" is supposed to mean.