innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Thursday, October 07, 2004

DNA isn't everything


Paul Gregory House Posted by Hello

A new ruling by a federal appeals court shows DNA evidence isn't a magic wand ensuring freedom. A sharply divided 6th circuit rejected a Tennessee death row inmate's bid for a new trial -- despite new evidence showing semen found on the victim didn't match him. The semen actually matched the victim's husband, who was linked to the killing by three witnesses who recently came forward. Still, the court decided the new evidence didn't justify a new trial.

In another case, the U.S. Supreme Court could take from federal judges the power to increase prison sentences for crimes that aren't prove to a jury. The court's decision could have a huge impact on thousands of drug and financial cases in which judges dished out extra time for unproven crimes.

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