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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Why

There is a fantastic article in the Baltimore Sun about the record number if exonerations last year; it talks a little about why they continue to happen, especially after the advent of DNA testing:

"At one level, the answer is that DNA was never the cure-all some expected. In 2014, only 18 percent of the reversed convictions (22 out of 125) occurred after DNA testing proved innocence. This reflects the reality that relevant DNA is available only in a tiny minority of cases. CSI dramas are fantasy; in real life, science can't solve most crimes. At the same time, risk factors that we now know lead to wrongful conviction — eyewitness misidentification, junk science, false confession, ineffective assistance of counsel and police misconduct — are present in thousands upon thousands of cases that pass through our system every year."

I highly recommend reading it, sharing it, etc. In Coy’s case, as far as we know, no DNA samples were ever taken. The D.A. didn’t bother to collect the physical evidence that the assault he was accused of would have left. At one time I believed finding something like that, hidden or lost, would be the only way to exonerate him.

But it’s not. I appreciate that so many of you send in letters to the government with me, asking for a new trial. I hope that our persistence will one day pay off.

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