By Mike DeVine, Legal Editor for The Minority Report and The HinzSight Report
DNA is no more a magic bullet for clearing or convicting criminal defendants and suspects than were the ancient practices of seeing if a suspect could survive poisoning of being thrown in a lake tied to a rock.
And neither gamecock nor Mike DeVine, esq. needs assistance from any CockStradamus to forecast that we will soon discover that convicts paroled due to DNA evidence were actually guilty of the crimes for which they were convicted.
This rooster crows the above in the wake of Boulder County (CO) District Attorney Mary Lacy’s public “clearing” of the parents of murdered 6-year old beauty queen, JonBente Ramsey in 1996, “citing new DNA tests.”
Ever heard of the axiom that one cannot prove a negative?Hope so.
a) Murder suspects have been cleared by prosecutors since time immemorial (most of which was before DNA became more than merely three letters of the alphabet);
b) Ramsey’s parents could have and should have been “cleared” years ago due to a lack of evidence of guilt and the “new” DNA tests that purport to identify same male DNA in different locations no more clear the parents than the first drop of blood of an unknown male found at the beginning of the investigation;
c) One can murder without leaving DNA;
d) One’s DNA can be all over God’s creation and the corpus delicti and be innocent of murder and worthy of a prosecutor’s public “clearing” eleven years earlier; and
e) Prosecutors are human beings and, often times politicians, that love to be able to avoid any actual professional responsibility and judgment they are paid for when they can hang their hat on a “magic” test (enter DNA).
It is a disgrace that the parents have been hung out to dry this long. No one knows who killed the child and no one knows the parents didn’t.
What we do know is that a Colorado prosecutor has perpetuated the myth that district attorneys, law enforcement, juries and parole boards need not think when DNA “evidence” or the lack of same, is involved.
Early in the investigation, police found male DNA in a drop of blood on JonBenet’s underwear and determined it was not from anyone in her family. Investigators were unable to say who it came from and whether that person was the killer.In 2003, the Ramseys got a major boost when a federal judge handling a defamation lawsuit involving the couple said the evidence was more consistent with the theory that an intruder killed JonBenet.Three years later, only months after Patsy Ramsey died, the case seemed to veer into absurdity when John Mark Karr, an American teacher in Thailand, offered a bizarre confession to the slaying.He was whisked from to Colorado but was released after prosecutors concluded he couldn’t have killed her, and once again there was no prime suspect.Then, late last year, prosecutors turned over long underwear JonBenet was wearing to the Bode Technology Group near Washington, which looked for “touch DNA,” contained in skin cells left behind where someone has touched something. The lab has used this technology for at least three years.The laboratory found previously undiscovered genetic material on the sides of the girl’s long underwear, where an attacker would have grasped the clothing to pull it down, authorities said. The DNA matched the genetic material found earlier.District Attorney Mary Lacy said the presence of the same male DNA in three places on the girl’s clothing convinced investigators it belonged to JonBenet’s killer and had not been left accidentally by an innocent party.”It is therefore the position of the Boulder District Attorney’s Office that this profile belongs to the perpetrator of the homicide,” she said in a statement Wednesday. In a letter to the Ramseys, she said the DNA evidence “has vindicated your family.”
I hate to break it to the do-gooders for whom no one is guilty ‘cept society and the lock-em up and throw away the key-ers that think all those arrested are guilty (of something anyways) , that God has not returned to Earth as DNA evidence.
That someone’s DNA is found in a particular incriminating place or not found, is not a sine qua non of proof beyond a reasonable doubt nor its anti-thesis.
Man cannot escape the fact that the DNA glass can only be seen thru a glass darkly just like those non-DNA glasses the Apostle Paul spoke of.
Lawyer Lacy, given the atrocious treatment the Ramseys were afforded by your office for eleven years, you were right to make a public clearing. You were wrong to pretend that their atrocious treatment was the fault of your predecessors’ lack of spine and professional responsibility and you were wrong to pretend that this new DNA evidence absolves the Ramseys and your office.
Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
Legal Editor for The Minority and HinzSight Reports
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