Monday, October 09, 2006

How does DNA exonerate you?

In March, Durham County District Hoax-ist, Mike Nifong asked: "How does DNA exonerate you?”

Being the helpful sort of folks that we consider ourselves to be, we thought Mr. Nifong might appreciate a hand in finding an answer to his question. Initially, our research led us to believe that the answer to the question might be something along the lines of, “DNA exonerates you when it belongs to someone other than you” or perhaps, “DNA exonerates you when an fictional thirty minute five minute "brutal", three orifice, gang rape leaves none of your DNA on or in an accuser’s person.”

Quickly, and for obvious reasons, we dismissed those options as they certainly don’t seem to be the answers Nifong was looking for. While the rest of the free thinking world accepts that DNA would indeed exonerate you in those situations, DA Nifong pretends that the science of DNA is an opinion to be dismissed when it contradicts his perceived infallibility.

Realizing that these generally accepted answers would not suffice for his highness, and of course, being eager to please the master, we dug a little deeper and thought a little harder. The next stops on our quest took us to the Justice Project and the Innocence Project where we discovered 187 clues in the form of case details on men and woman who combined spent a total of nearly 3,000 years in jail for crimes they did not commit before being exonerated by DNA.

Exonerations based on DNA Evidence:

Rickey Hammond, 1992
Angel Hernandez, 2001
Steven Toney, 1996*
Armand Villasana, 2000*
Keith Brown, 1997*
Jeremy Sheets, 2001
David Shepard, 1994*
McKinley Cromedy, 2000*
John Dixon, 2001*
Charles Dabbs, 1991*
Leonard Callace, 1992*
Kerry Kotler, 1992*
Terry Chalmers, 1995*
Victor Ortiz, 1996*
Warith Habib Abdal, 1999*
James O’Donnell, 2000*
Brian Piszczek, 1994*
Walter Smith, 1996*
Danny Brown, 2001*
Anthony Green, 2001*
Thomas Webb, 1996*
Timothy Durham, 1997*
Robert Lee Miller, Jr., 1998*
Dennis Fritz, 1999*
Ronald Williamson, 1999*
Jeffrey Pierce, 2001*
David Johns Bryson, 2003*
Bruce Nelson, 1991*
Dale Brison, 1994*
Vincent Moto, 1996*
Willie Nesmith, 2000*
Perry Mitchell, 1998*
Joe Sidney Williams, 2001
With the understanding that his Fongness might deem his opinion superior to those of the 187 mortals listed above and the 187 judges, attorneys, governors, juries and/or scientists who made the determinations of innocence based on DNA evidence in their cases, we decided as a last resort to consult the words of the oracle himself in order to complete our servile mission.
From a News and Observer article dated July 12, 2000, we found that our aim was at last true and our quest had been fulfilled.

New suspect sought in rape

DURHAM -- Police issued an arrest warrant for a man suspected in a February rape in Trinity Park on Tuesday, days after DNA evidence exonerated another man they had charged with the crime. The suspect, Jeffrey Lamont McNeill, 30, also might be a suspect in a second Trinity Park rape earlier this year. The two assaults put residents of the neighborhood next to Duke University's East Campus on edge for weeks. They went door-to-door with wanted posters and composite drawings of the rapist, and some organized self-defense classes as a result. Police refused to elaborate on a poster they issued with McNeill's picture that said they were looking for him in connection with the "Trinity Park Sexual Assaults."
On Friday, after receiving the results of a DNA test, police released from the Durham County jail the man they had charged with one of the Trinity Park rapes. They said the evidence exonerated him - but matched McNeill. Leroy Samuels who has been in jail for more than three months with his bail set at $150,000 in connection with an assault on Green Street on Feb. 3. He was charged April 6 after several witnesses, including the victim, identified him as he stood near Broad and Main streets, blocks from the assaults.
On Friday, charges of first-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree burglary and first-degree statutory sexual offense were dropped after the DNA test results were received from the State Bureau of Investigation laboratory.
"Results of DNA testing exclude the defendant as the perpetrator of this crime," prosecutor Mike Nifong wrote."
It would appear that, the correct answer to "How does DNA exonerate you?" is:
In Durham County, DNA exonerates you if, and only if, Mike Nifong says it does.

(Please Note: The list above includes only men and women who have been falsely convicted prior to being exonerated by DNA evidence. Countless other people have been exonerated, just as Mr. Samuels was by DA Nifong, by DNA evidence without having to stand trial nor having to face the prospect of being falsely convicted.)


Anonymous said...

"Results of the DNA testing exclude the defendant as the perpetrator of this crime," prosecutor Mike Nifong wrote."

His analysis in the previous case is accurate and it is horrible the wrong person sat in jail for months. So, how can he possibly justify his change in position regarding the significance of DNA in the Duke case? A gang rape would certainly leave multiple DNA samples. This case simply defies all logic and common sense.
Another great piece, Liestoppers. Keep up the great work.

emmy said...

There is simply NO way that Fong is going to get what he wants, which is a conviction for each player...this latest from Liestoppers is SUPERB...Fong has NO conscience...he would love for the three Dukies to spend time in prison for something HE KNOWS they didn't can he just dismiss this DNA evidence (non evidence), the SAME evidence that has released thousands of innocent people from prison? Has he ever done this before? If so, hopefully this travesty will help to expose the other dirty deeds done during his (brief, God willing) tenure as Durham D.A...I hope he soon finds out that he picked the wrong guys to railroad...

Anonymous said...

Agreed, a brilliant Post!

I thought the District Attorney of Durham County were supposed to look for the truth?

Silly me!

Anonymous said...

In the recent Durham case, the perpetrator’s DNA was found inside the victim, so it was possible to use the DNA to exclude other people. However, the absence of DNA found inside or on the victim does not does not afford the DA a similar opportunity. Good article, but bad example.

Anonymous said...

To the previous poster. Are you living under the rock? They found DNA inside the accuser, only it does not match any of the accused.
Get a clue.

inmyhumbleopinion said...

In the 2000 case there was DNA found in the victim that must not have matched anyone with whom she had consensual sex, therefore the profile obtained was determined to have come from her attacker. It did not match Samuels, so he was exonerated. McNeill's DNA profile must have been in the system and was matched to the profile obtained from the victim. The facts are different in the Duke case. There is no suspect DNA that can be used to exonerate the accused. Anonymous who posted at 12:30 pm is correct - good article, bad example.

Anonymous said...

DNA exonerates them because they couldn’t have committed the crime they are accused of without leaving DNA behind. None of the DNA found in the accuser belongs to them. It belongs to her boyfriend.
I really don’t see what is so hard to understand here.

Anonymous said...

This widespread public corruption by Nifong and the DPD demands investigation.
FBI Core Values
• Rigorous obedience to the Constitution of the United States;
• Respect for the dignity of all those we protect;
• Compassion;
• Fairness;
• Uncompromising personal integrity and institutional integrity;
• Accountability by accepting responsibility for our actions and decisions
and the consequences of our actions and decisions; and
• Leadership, both personal and professional.

The FBI's #4 & #5 top ten priorities are:
4. Combat public corruption at all levels
5. Protect civil rights

If you support the 3 innocent Duke Lacrosse players and you are sickened by the actions of DA Nifong and the DPD, write a letter to the FBI and the Department of Justice today. Each letter makes a difference.

Anonymous said...

Of course the facts are different in the Duke case. In the 2000 case there was an actual rape, in the Duke case there was not.

Any one of the 188 examples listed above is enough to disprove the ridiculous notion that DNA cannot exonerate a person. Taken as whole, it only makes the jackass look even sillier for trying to tell us that DNA can't exonerate someone.

If there was no "suspect" DNA, what the hell did he spend $24,000 testing?

Anonymous said...

Science is hard to argue with, but there are some diehards. No DNA matching any Lacrosse player was found in her, on her, or on her clothes. Yet DNA matching her boyfriend was.

The best comment was from a attorney on Court TV over three months ago who handles rape cases. He said he couldn't remember any person being convicted of a rape when DNA matching anyone else was found in the victim and none of the accused DNA was.

Does it take a 2 x 4 over the head for people to understand that?

Apparently in Durham it does!

Anonymous said...

All that DNA testing did cost Durham thousands of $. So, exactly, if there was no suspect DNA, what did Nifong spend all this money for, testing? The boyfriend's DNA was found, none from the accused was.
It clearly exonerates the accused.

Anonymous said...

Allow me to rework Immyhole's comment here:

In the 2006 Duke case, there was DNA found inside the acusser that did not match the alleged attackers, therefore a profile was obtained to determine who she had consentual sex with. It did not match any of the evil Dukies and therefore, the Fong should exonerate them !

Friends of Trinity Park Snitches