Last week, the San Jose Mercury News reported that Jeffrey Rodriguez, a man from San Jose who spent five years in prison for a crime he did not commit, was awarded a $1 million settlement from Santa Clara County for his wrongful conviction. Earlier this month a Louisiana circuit court of appeals upheld a $14 million jury settlement against the Orleans Parish DA for misconduct resulting in the wrongful conviction and death sentence of John Thompson. In addition to the unconscionable act of incarcerating a person for years for a crime they did not commit, wrongful convictions impose an enormous financial burden on taxpayers. In this economic climate, can states really afford to have a criminal justice system prone to dangerous, costly errors?
|By: John Terzano Tuesday August 25, 2009 5:39 am|
|By: John Terzano Tuesday June 23, 2009 9:11 am|
George Rodriguez is seeking justice. In 2004, DNA testing exonerated Rodriguez for the 1987 abduction and sexual assault he had been convicted of seventeen years earlier. During his trial, a Houston Police forensic analyst testified that biological evidence pointed to Rodriguez’s guilt; it was later discovered that the analyst lied. Forensic science is not flawless, and its use in the criminal justice system is in great need of reform. To ensure a more fair and accurate criminal justice system, it is critical to improve the reliability, objectivity, and independence of forensic analysis and forensic expert testimony in criminal investigations and trials.