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Court finds convicts have no right to test DNA

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posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 10:31 AM
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Court finds convicts have no right to test DNA


www.google.com

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says convicts have no constitutional right to test DNA evidence in hopes of proving their innocence long after they were found guilty of a crime.

The decision may have limited impact because the federal government and 47 states already have laws that allow convicts some access to genetic evidence. Testing has led to the exoneration of at least 232 people who had been found guilty of murder, rape and other violent crimes.

The court ruled 5-4 Thursday agai
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 10:31 AM
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Soooo....... It doesn't really matter if someone is innocent or not anymore?

Scientific evidence in a court of law?? EWWWWWWW

Also, all the paperwork associated with making someone who spend years in jail but is now found innocent?

So we actually allowed DNA evidence in court before, what were we in the dark ages or something?

www.google.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 10:32 AM
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I dont understand why not.

This doesn't seem to serve the purpose of Justice.



posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 10:37 AM
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reply to post by Aeons
 


someone being locked up for a crime they didn`t commit


and thats not justice then huh



posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 10:47 AM
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Another 5-4 vote just to give you the illusion of fair and balanced.


Why can't they let somebody keep a right to fight a possible injustice? Why? Eventually it'll get to the point where they'll just say "you're guilty 'cause I say so and there's nothing you can do about it".


Peace



posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 10:59 AM
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Makes you wonder if it has something to do with the money. The money the state would have to pay for wrongful prosecution,and false imprisonment.
The law has very little to do with justice.Now days its about compromise and conviction rates.



posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 02:12 PM
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reply to post by daddyroo45
 


ya good point
it might be about money



posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 02:48 PM
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reply to post by ModernAcademia
 


I guess too many innocent people were getting out of jail...

Soooo...WOW.... I am not comfortable with this.... Are you?

I mean this is a serious breach of justice. This is lets go to war worthy.

HMMMMM

If Convicts do not have the right to test DNA does that mean the Government does not have the right to collect it either?

I doubt it.

The screws of tyranny are turning.



posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 02:55 PM
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Now hold on a second everyone..

I know this is a "Hot Topic" and I agree that DNA should be available....

BUT>>>>>

It is NOT a Constitutional Guarantee and that is ALL the SCOTUS is saying...


The Supreme Court says convicts have no constitutional right to test


The SCOTUS isn't saying it is not a good idea, they are not saying it should not be done.. That is Legislation from the bench and is VERY unconstitutional by the way..

All the job of the SCOTUS is, is to determine if something is Constitutional or not... Period....

So, as far as that goes, they have done a good job...

Also, farther down the article is this tid-bit you should all read before you get your pitchforks and torches out...


federal government and 47 states already have laws that allow convicts some access to genetic evidence.

Link

Semper



posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 03:08 PM
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Interesting but it would seem to violate the equal protection under the law clause.

If a victim has access to DNA testing to help convict someone then that person should have the same access to prove their innocence.

I mean how this got to the supreme court anyway is beyond me... according to NPR just now the person in question wasn't even asking the state to do the testing for him, he was offering to pay for it himself and apparently the state of Alaska denied him that right.

[edit on 18-6-2009 by grover]



posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 10:28 PM
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reply to post by semperfortis
 


I would disagree with you semper citing the 5th 6th and 8th amendments.

By denying the convicted the right to have his or her DNA tested he or she is denied the right of due process.

And if 47 states already have legislation set up in support of DNA testing then the SCOTUS did something very unusual by ruling against the majority of the states. Also I find it very VERY cruel to deny a person the right to present evidence that may prove them innocent of a crime they did not commit.

[edit on 18-6-2009 by titorite]



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 01:20 AM
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reply to post by titorite
 


1st let us understand that DNA was not a concept that would have been considered in drafting the Constitution. So there are no allowances inherent. I know this sounds petty, but legally it is significant.

Let us examine the Amendments you mentioned.


Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

US Constitution

Now, no matter how many times I read this, I find nothing even remotely suggestive of this topic.

You also have to remember that the commonly accepted rules of evidence are set by each State and NOT by Federal mandate. In other words, how evidence is presented at trial, what evidence may be presented and what evidence may be accepted, is the venue of that particular court in that particular state.

Also of note is that each states court cases are subject to judicial revue. This is where the federal judges come into play. But what they are SUPPOSED to do is to evaluate each case in accordance with the states requirements and the applicability of the Constitution.

As it is clear above, the Constitution does not apply in this case.

Semper



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 01:51 AM
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reply to post by semperfortis
 



Aye let us re-examine the specific part of the 5th

"nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"

I understand that DNA was not well known back in the 1700s but the idea of evidence was and thats all that DNA is in this specific instance. Evidence. Irrefutable evidence.

The idea that one can only introduce certain kinds of evidence kinda deprives the citizen a fair trial.

Also I think the Ninth Amendment may also be subject to this debate.

From wiki:

" * Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. "

Their is no amendment prohibiting the introduction of certain kinds of evidence. Be it a bloody knife, a paper trail, a sworn statement or whatever, the right to introduce whatever evidence we can is not denied to us by the US constitution. In fact I would still say it is protected by the 5th under due process.

DNA evidence can also significantly speed up a trail with its high level of accuracy. It can quickly prove innocence or guilt.

And it is cruel so very very inhuman to deny people the right to use DNA evidence to prove their innocence.

.... And Roberts is wrong. He based his decision not on the constitutional law but on the status of the citizens conviction saying "A criminal defendant proved guilty after a fair trial does not have the same liberty interests as a free man"

An appeal can not be fair if we pick and choose what kinds of evidence is allowed to be entered. His freedom may be in question but the right to a fair trial remains....

At least on paper....

[edit on 19-6-2009 by titorite]



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 02:14 AM
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reply to post by titorite
 



"nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"


The actual definition of Due Process is defined by the SCOTUS.. Looks like they did...


While your definition may vary, that is why the SCOTUS is there...


The idea that one can only introduce certain kinds of evidence kinda deprives the citizen a fair trial.


Not true...

Some evidence MUST be excluded. Besides the obvious Fruits of the Poisonous Tree, there is
Non-exculpatory
Hearsay
Non-Disclosed
ETC..

If every defendant was allowed to present any evidence they choose, trials would continue for years..The evidence must be pertinent and disclosed prior...

But remember what the ruling is.. Not that DNA can not be presented... Only that there is no Constitutional basis..

That is the key here...


Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights.


Again, SCOTUS is not, NOT saying DNA can not be presented, only that is it not a Constitutional right..


Especially considering the majority of the states views already on the books.


You just answered your own dilemma, it is NOT a Constitutional Right.. It is all about the State...

Semper



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 02:22 AM
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I guess we will agree to disagree?

I really see this as a denial of justice and an approval of wrongful convictions.

Especially since it is a decision not based on the constitution but on the status of a citizen whether or not they be free men or cons.

I see this decision as permission for the states that have DNA testing laws to repeal or ignore whats already on the books to continue to deny justice to others. It is a bad road, one that will only come back to haunt people.

Thats my opinion.



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 02:34 AM
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reply to post by titorite
 



Thats my opinion.


And I understand your opinion...

The problem here is one of duplicity, let me explain if I can..

Many MANY posters here are always talking about BIG BROTHER this and BIG BROTHER that and TPTB and every other moniker one can imagine. Unless the situation fits within their idea of right and wrong. In other words their opinion..

Then they WANT Big Brother to step in..

Well the fact is one can not have it both ways...

The Federal Governments powers were restricted for more states powers for a very good reason. The sad fact that we have judges legislating from the bench now, is horrendous and would cause the FF to roll over in their grave.

So don't misunderstand me; I support DNA testing absolutely, I just support the STATE having the say so, NOT THE FEDS...

If there was ever a doubt about the veracity of DNA testing, all one has to do is watch a rerun of the OJ Trial...DNA is only as good as the humans doing the testing...

Leave the States Rights in the hands of the State and keep the Federal Government out of our affairs... I know this is upsetting for that percentage of the population living off the federal Coffers, but that is the only way this country has prospered and if the Feds keep gaining power, it is how this country will fail..

Semper



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 03:04 AM
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WOw, so many jump to condemn the SCOTUS and it seems only Semper is defending it. With a little (very little) effort, I was able to find the actual opinion and case review

And wonders of wonders, the man convicted did HAVE the DNA test in the first place (which was what helped to convict him)!!

What he was petitioning for was an even "more discriminating" type of DNA testing that MIGHT or Might not clear him.

And our tax dollars pay for all this - the lawyers & the courts. Grrrr...


After reading it, I fully agree with Demper, not only was it a proper ruling, but it was also not within the scope of SCOTUS to legislate from the bench and create law.

The did not and that is a good thing



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