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I was on Death Row and I was Innocent

death row; innocent;

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#1    libstaK

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 01:13 AM

Excerpts from the article:

"I was the first person in the United States to be exonerated from death row because of DNA testing."

"There was no physical evidence against me. During the trial, I was convicted primarily on the testimony of five witnesses who were later shown to be terribly mistaken. It took the jury less than three hours to convict me. When they announced my death sentence, the courtroom erupted in applause."

'The prosecutor almost brought my innocence claim to a halt when she sent a letter with a devastating message: The biological material in my case was inadvertently destroyed. Miraculously, the judge from my second trial had decided to keep some of the physical evidence and store it in his chambers."

", DNA evidence has been used to exonerate more than 300 individuals in capital and non-capital cases. Approximately 75% of these cases involved inaccurate or faulty witness identification."

Read more:

http://edition.cnn.c....html?hpt=hp_c3

I find it particularly poignant that Kirk's surname is "Bloodsworth" - his blood was certainly worth testing - it saved his life. :yes:

"I warn you, whoever you are, oh you who wish to probe the arcanes of nature, if you do not find within yourself that which you seek, neither shall you find it outside.
If you ignore the excellencies of your own house, how do you intend to find other excellencies?
In you is hidden the treasure of treasures, Oh man, know thyself and you shall know the Universe and the Gods."

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#2    keninsc

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 10:13 AM

There's only one rather glaring problem with his story and that is the judge keeping DNA evidence in his chamber. That taints the evidence because the chain of custody is broken.
Granted many people have been freed as a result of DNA testing, but a sitting judge is supposed to have broken a solemn vow as an officer of the court? And it flies, and it's all good? Really? So that means if I can produce DNA that I've kept in an old mayonnaise jar in my basement and it proves Charlie's Manson is innocent then it's all good, right? Right?


#3    libstaK

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 11:07 AM

View Postkeninsc, on 08 March 2014 - 10:13 AM, said:

There's only one rather glaring problem with his story and that is the judge keeping DNA evidence in his chamber. That taints the evidence because the chain of custody is broken.
Granted many people have been freed as a result of DNA testing, but a sitting judge is supposed to have broken a solemn vow as an officer of the court? And it flies, and it's all good? Really? So that means if I can produce DNA that I've kept in an old mayonnaise jar in my basement and it proves Charlie's Manson is innocent then it's all good, right? Right?
Why do you believe he broke any vow?  As a sitting judge he could have signed for that evidence as he was reviewing the case pending an upcoming appeal.  The wheels of justice are slow, from the date when the intention to appeal was made to the time it was reviewed could have been significant.  If the officer aka: judge who signed for the evidence had the evidence in his custody in a secure location ... does that legally mean the chain of custody was broken?

"I warn you, whoever you are, oh you who wish to probe the arcanes of nature, if you do not find within yourself that which you seek, neither shall you find it outside.
If you ignore the excellencies of your own house, how do you intend to find other excellencies?
In you is hidden the treasure of treasures, Oh man, know thyself and you shall know the Universe and the Gods."

Inscription - Temple of Delphi

#4    keninsc

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 12:12 PM

The chain of custody exists to prevent any evidence from being tampered with, and no Judge's chamber is a secured location. This story reeks of BS, while it might be based on a factual story. Say the judge ordered the evidence held in a different location for safe keeping, but then that wouldn't have quite the same dramatic impact, now would it?

Sorry, that dog won't hunt.


#5    regi

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 02:47 PM

Here we go again; yet another wrongful conviction in a murder case- a capital case! Here we've got false confessions and false witness testimony- one or the other and often both are common in wrongful convictions, and in this case, I think, corrupt investigators and inept counsel because even at the time, there was evidence that the confessions had to be false because for starters, the co-defendant was actually in custody when the crime occurred!
I think injustice will continue as long as authorities aren't held accountable. :angry:

Here's another article about the case.
http://articles.balt...ton-bloodsworth


#6    2-B

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 05:14 PM

View Postkeninsc, on 08 March 2014 - 12:12 PM, said:

The chain of custody exists to prevent any evidence from being tampered with, and no Judge's chamber is a secured location. This story reeks of BS, while it might be based on a factual story. Say the judge ordered the evidence held in a different location for safe keeping, but then that wouldn't have quite the same dramatic impact, now would it?

Sorry, that dog won't hunt.

IMO, you're really missing the most important point of this case, since the DNA sample wasn't found tossed in the trunk of the defendant's family car or his lawyer's bathroom. The egregious problem for our legal system illustrated here is the impact of erroneous eye witness identification, made even more complicated in KB's case by the claims of multiple eyewitnesses. Juries find it almost impossible to disbelieve an eyewitness who points a finger at some one and identifies that person as a perpetrator--UNLESS those juries are educated in the science of witness memory and eyewitness identification.

It's unfortunate that many police forces remain equally uneducated about this science, some even resisting DOJ guidelines urging specific changes that would reduce problems during the investigation stage. On the plus side, 48 of 50 states now allow expert testimony in the courts to educate juries, the same way experts educate juries re DNA, fingerprints, etc. (though my state is sadly one of the 2 refusing to allow these experts).

Innocence Projects across the country have overturned an astounding number of convictions predicated largely on eyewitness testimony using DNA. That number should make us gasp--and wonder how many eyewitness cases have no DNA to use as an avenue for over turning the cases. Rape cases form the bulk of the reversals, where there is almost always available DNA. Not every crime is so likely to leave DNA evidence.

All just my opinion, but based on a great deal of prior reading on this subject.



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#7    keninsc

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 09:46 PM

Sorry, but you need to remember there are no guilty men in prison, everyone is a victim. Granted, that is the case in some but not all and in this case the whole thing reeks. Sorry if I don't jump on the "free them all" bandwagon, but in my honest opinion that judge should investigated and de-frocked.


#8    regi

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 12:16 AM

View Postkeninsc, on 08 March 2014 - 12:12 PM, said:

The chain of custody exists to prevent any evidence from being tampered with, and no Judge's chamber is a secured location.

There's obviously a severe chain of custody issue here. I mean, it was reported the evidence had been destroyed....


#9    keninsc

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 12:17 AM

View Postregi, on 09 March 2014 - 12:16 AM, said:

There's obviously a severe chain of custody issue here. I mean, it was reported the evidence had been destroyed....

Yes, then it magically reappeared via a sitting judge.


#10    regi

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 12:26 AM

View Postkeninsc, on 09 March 2014 - 12:17 AM, said:

Yes, then it magically reappeared via a sitting judge.

It might depend on the state- I don't know- but it seems that, if possible, cases are remanded back to the original trial judge...


#11    libstaK

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 12:49 AM

View Postkeninsc, on 08 March 2014 - 09:46 PM, said:

Sorry, but you need to remember there are no guilty men in prison, everyone is a victim. Granted, that is the case in some but not all and in this case the whole thing reeks. Sorry if I don't jump on the "free them all" bandwagon, but in my honest opinion that judge should investigated and de-frocked.
How does "the whole thing" reek?  The real killer has been identified using that same DNA sample and has now pled guilty to the crime.  Whatever the facts or loopholes for Bloodsworth what "reeked" was his 9 year incarceration for a crime he didn't commit.  The fact that he was freed via DNA evidence that was verified as being from the crime and belonging to someone else cannot in any way be construed as "reeking".  What does reek is that evidence held by the prosecutors was "inadvertantly" destroyed - if anyone should be dis-barred it should be those that destroyed that evidence, a man was sitting on death row - his very life on the line.  The appeals process was far from complete, yet somehow in the chain of custody evidence was allowed to be destroyed.

I am glad that the stench of the Judge's custody of the additional DNA evidence was available under those circumstances because an innocent man being railroaded into a death sentence is what really does reek about this whole sordid series of events.

Edited by libstaK, 09 March 2014 - 12:50 AM.

"I warn you, whoever you are, oh you who wish to probe the arcanes of nature, if you do not find within yourself that which you seek, neither shall you find it outside.
If you ignore the excellencies of your own house, how do you intend to find other excellencies?
In you is hidden the treasure of treasures, Oh man, know thyself and you shall know the Universe and the Gods."

Inscription - Temple of Delphi

#12    keninsc

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 12:52 AM

Jeez, I just explained it to you.

All the evidence is gone then suddenly the judge violates the chain of custody and like magic we have DNA evidence that clears the accused.

.....and that doesn't seem a tiny bit odd to you?


#13    2-B

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 12:53 AM

Worth reading section 412, re the grants for the Kirk Bloodsworth Post-Conviction DNA grants, and Section 413, esp. Subsection B re preservation of evidence as necessary for grants including those described in 412:

http://www.gpo.gov/f...-108publ405.htm

If there had been any kind of post-conviction chain of custody issue uproar in this case, I suspect the post-conviction DNA review would never have gotten a green light in the first place, nor would we have grants named for the case, shining a spotlight on it for years afterward. My opinion only. So far with some quick googling, I have seen no chain of custody questions arise in the post-conviction, only those issues addressed with the grant monies, which makes perfect sense.

ETA: It would seem no one, including the CNN article, has described the conditions under which the judge kept the DNA in his chambers. Was the sample locked away? Left carelessly in an unlocked desk drawer? The assumption here seems to tilt toward the latter. I would be interested in knowing how and where the judge stored this sample.

Edited by 2-B, 09 March 2014 - 12:57 AM.

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#14    libstaK

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 01:06 AM

View Postkeninsc, on 09 March 2014 - 12:52 AM, said:

Jeez, I just explained it to you.

All the evidence is gone then suddenly the judge violates the chain of custody and like magic we have DNA evidence that clears the accused.

.....and that doesn't seem a tiny bit odd to you?
The only person claiming that chain of custody has been violated is you.  What rules pertaining to chain of custody have been broken?  Can you cite them and address how they apply to the facts of the case - not just the snippet from CNN, which clearly was short on detail.

What I find odd is your fixation on this part of the story, yet you don't even blink about the missing evidence that the police / prosecution "inadvertantly" destroyed?

"I warn you, whoever you are, oh you who wish to probe the arcanes of nature, if you do not find within yourself that which you seek, neither shall you find it outside.
If you ignore the excellencies of your own house, how do you intend to find other excellencies?
In you is hidden the treasure of treasures, Oh man, know thyself and you shall know the Universe and the Gods."

Inscription - Temple of Delphi

#15    regi

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 01:22 AM

If it's believed that evidence has been destroyed, it's because that's what records indicate. Now, if that evidence is later discovered in a judges' chambers, then obviously, there exists a serious, serious break in the chain of custody of that evidence.
To me, that's only logical.





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