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Old 11-25-2002, 01:34 PM
densebrit densebrit is offline
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Default DNA Testing - Perfect Justice Petition


Perfect Justice petition - can you please sign this. It's not just relating to Joyce Gilchrist but all those that abuse their positions.

DNA TESTING---Not a job for 'cops in white coats'

DNA testing has been called the gold standard of criminal evidence. When a jury learns that the DNA evidence in a rape case, for example, matches the DNA of a suspect, a guiltyverdict is practically assured. Juries believe they can rely on scientific evidence.

Scientific test results of any kind, however, are only as good as the scientists and laboratories that perform the tests. Therefore, the current accusations that critical errors have been made by the Houston Police Department crime lab in handling and testing evidence raise profound implications regarding the operation of our criminal justice system.

This is not just a Houston concern. Even the FBI crime lab, which has been called the most influential and powerful lab in the country, has been the subject of serious criticism. A 1997 report issued by the Department of Justice revealed numerous flaws at the FBI lab, including substandard analytical work, improper documentation of test results and
faulty preparation of laboratory reports.

According to a 2000 study of wrongful convictions by the Innocence Project at New York's Cardozo School of Law, approximately one-third of those convictions were the result of fraudulent or tainted scientific evidence. These statistics have provoked a question that is being debated across the country: Should police departments run crime labs at all?

Take, for example, the case of Jeffrey Pierce. Pierce was wrongly convicted of rape based, in large part, on the testimony of Joyce Gilchrist, a chemist with the Oklahoma City Police Department crime lab. Gilchrist "authoritatively" linked Pierce's hair to hair evidence found at the crime scene. After spending 15 years in jail for a rape he did not commit, Pierce was exonerated by properly performed DNA tests and
released in May 2001.

Pierce's release was not the end of the story, becauseGilchrist had worked on more than 3,000 cases. In 2001, a federal appeals court reversed an Oklahoma inmate's death sentence, finding that Gilchrist provided evidence that she knew was false and misleading at his trial.

The Oklahoma attorney general has been forced to re-examine all capital cases on which Gilchrist worked; however, 11 persons have already been executed based at least in part on her testimony.

As a result of the Gilchrist scandal and other instances of forensic fraud, Oklahoma and other states are considering proposals that would require crime labs to be independent, rather than under the control of a police department or agency. Many fear that technicians employed by a police crime lab may become more focused on clinching a conviction than on searching for truth. Making forensic labs independent could help remove any pro-prosecution bias harbored by scientists who currently may see themselves as "cops in white coats." In Illinois, the Governor's Commission on Capital Punishment recommended in April that the state create an independent forensic laboratory with its own budget and
operated by civilian personnel.

Last edited by densebrit; 11-25-2002 at 01:45 PM..
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Old 11-26-2002, 12:50 PM
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Old 11-26-2002, 01:31 PM
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Old 11-27-2002, 06:19 AM
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Old 11-28-2002, 03:53 AM
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Old 01-03-2003, 07:21 AM
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Bonjour! I'm 160. Thanx! Happiest of New Years to you and yours, throughout!
Addressing, not addressing them
have costs, the former is individual, and
the latter is global, as well.

Matutinally Yours,

james m nordlund reality (aja)
Old 03-05-2003, 07:25 PM
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Old 03-05-2003, 07:27 PM
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Old 03-05-2003, 08:15 PM
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PRAY on 13th of Month

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Number 169!

Good Luck!

Old 03-08-2003, 09:28 AM
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Old 03-13-2003, 01:04 AM
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#172 great petition!
Old 03-13-2003, 01:27 AM
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