March 2, 2009

Criminal justice

Posted: 02:12 PM ET

NEW YORK - Let's talk DNA. Believe it or not, if you are convicted of a crime, you have no right to the DNA evidence. No constitutional right, that is. That's why Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck and the other folks at the Innocence Project are in Washington, D.C. today to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to find that such a right exists in our Constitution.

To be clear, most states do provide for access to DNA material; But in many states, the fight for the DNA material from a crime scene can go on for years, even decades. In Alaska, where today’s case originates, there is no right at all to test DNA on appeal from a conviction - none. That means that an innocent person, who might be able to prove his wrongful conviction, simply cannot.

It also means that victims and their families, who seek justice, may not get it because if the wrong man is in prison, of course, the real perpetrator is still out there – a result not even the most law-and-order prosecutor would want. Prosecutors, after all, are in pursuit of justice.

That is why a consortium of prosecutors have joined with the Innocence Project to file an amicus brief in the case supporting a Constitutional right to DNA. Those who oppose it cite the costs of collection, preservation and the testing of DNA. These are valid concerns but do not trump the Constitution, lest we lose the true meaning of criminal justice.

-Jami Floyd, In Session anchor

Filed under: Uncategorized

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paula jarrard   March 2nd, 2009 2:46 pm ET

i am very disappointed in the outcome of the trial. I agree with the adopted mother that this trial was already decided for it even began. I believe the judge was very unfair in not allowing the weapon or angela tyler into evidence as well. i believe every member of the brown family is guilty of something to do with this case. their testimonies are just to close. all their statements are to similar. as far as the father of th co-defendant going to a great deal of trouble to hide the weapon, sounds to me like he is covering for someone.

John Lennon   March 2nd, 2009 4:33 pm ET

Paula; I guess you feel the same way i do. That judge didn`t want to allow enough time for angela or anyone else from the defense side to testify but he wasted two days or more to figure out what to lie to the jury. That whole Brown family are nothing but trailer trash trouble makers. I also think that foul mouthed Maria was in on it too. She wanted to blame Joe for cleaning the inside of that car and thats why the judge didn`t want to let angela to tell the jury that she was the one cleaning out the car. The judge only let her tell that without the jury present. I hope Joe appeals that verdict.

viewer from hawaii   March 2nd, 2009 4:42 pm ET

i agree totally with paula jarrard. 100%. something just doesnt seem right, the way he said that he did not commit the crimes why is he going in for life. Didnt he just commit the robbery. i really think he is covering for someone, as in paula jarrard said.

LTJ   March 2nd, 2009 6:54 pm ET

Peter Neufeld & Barry Scheck have worked miracles for many people and their families. many men have been released after spendiing years behind bars--continue the great work.Jami you are wonderful to watch and listen to,thank you for your wisdom

Brian, Detroit, MI   March 3rd, 2009 1:34 am ET

I don't know what criminal trial started this debate but DNA evidence is the true verdict of guilt. That's why OJ got away with murder. I saw those killings, I know he was guilty. But because of some racist cop, he got away with murder. Do not be racist, DNA is the true proof.

Rick   March 3rd, 2009 4:43 am ET

I need some help on csi effect it is a project we have at school and I have no idea on what it is ?

Dorothy Ohio   March 3rd, 2009 11:39 am ET

Miss Jamie ..Miss Ashleigh ...Miss Lisa ...Mr Jack

I have watched all of you for a long time ..somteimes I wonder what your true opinion is. I realize you have to be careful to not step over certain boundaries. You do not want to come across as bias. You do not want to cause any more hurt to the victims families. I would love to be a fly on the wall when the cameras are off!!!

Humans still amaze we can do these things to eachother...
greed, lust, all 7 deadly sins...cause so much pain..

I think all of you are very intelligent wonderful people and thank you for covering these trials...

Just once I would love to hear you say I know they are guilty !or innocent !! such as Bearden ...he was not in the car but truly was involved...Not guilty of Murder
again thank you all for all your efforts and I love Beth and Jean as well!

linda   March 4th, 2009 10:07 pm ET

For some reason Barry Scheck couldnt figure out the DNA in the OJ trial. hmmmmmmmm.
I dont know why people would believe him now.

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