... and linked an innocent man to a 20-year-old murder case
. Analysis by the EFF
of the case of Michael Usry, a New Orleans filmmaker
whose father's DNA profile in a non-profit DNA database, which he had been assured would remain private, dragged him into a grisly unsolved murder case
. [more inside]
Remember the Central Park jogger case
from 1990? Here's a (lengthy, fascinating) New York Magazine article
discussing the case just around the time of the 2002 exoneration
of the initial five accused, four of whom had previously confessed to the crime. 24 years after the attack, a group of filmmakers, together with the five wrongly convicted men, have created a documentary telling the tale: The Central Park Five
. Criminal reform activists everywhere are hoping the story might change a few minds
... in 2023, the Grid knows who you are and where you go at all times. A short near future sci-fi movie (15 min).
"The mist — visible only under ultraviolet light — carries DNA markers particular to the location, enabling the police to match the burglar with the place burgled. Now, a sign on the front door of the McDonald’s prominently warns potential thieves of the spray’s presence: 'You Steal, You’re Marked
Leeches, horror film
wonders, and now crime fighters
. Police cracked the case of a home invasion and safe robbery when they found one of the suspects' blood inside a leech on the floor and matched his dna.
Familial genetic profiling of law enforcement DNA databases
has already been used to succesfully establish both guilt and innocence. Legal and moral questions on these expanded techniques abound and are comprehensively explored by a speaker at a recent FBI symposium on the topic. In the author's words, scenarios previously limited to movies like Minority Report are unfolding quietly, before most of us have thought about the consequences. (Via)
She robs, she injects herself with heroin
, she flits across borders like a ghost, she seems to kill with almost professional precision
, she leaves clues and bodies – and she has no identity. [more inside]
Bobby Dunbar was a four year-old boy that vanished in 1912, while on a fishing trip with his family in a Louisiana swamp. For weeks, searchers combed the area looking for him. The lake where he went missing was dynamited. Alligators were captured and had their bellies slit open to see if the body was inside. Nothing was found except a set of child's footprints leading to an old railroad trestle. Eight months later, the police found Bobby in the company of a drifter with a horse-drawn cart. He protested his innocence but was arrested and charged with kidnapping. Another woman came forward and claimed Bobby was, in fact, her son. But she was an unmarried fieldworker, and her claims were dismissed. The crime became a nationwide media event
and the boy was returned to his parents, and their hometown held a parade in his honor. Bobby returned to his life. Ninety-one years later, Bobby Dunbar's granddaughter uncovered the truth
DNA frees 3 convicts after 17-year incarcerations
--Barry Scheck and The Innocence Project
have struck again. Thus far, they have used DNA to free 128 wrongly convicted people.
Read Frontline's interview
Learn about a sister organization, Northwestern's Center on Wrongful Convictions
, which has freed nine Illinois men who were once sentenced to death
For those sentenced to time in the can, prison can be a rough place
How can we prevent innocent people from being put to death? Or fates worse than death
Strathclyde Police, Scotland,
given the right to take DNA samples from anyone arrested. Previously DNA samples were taken only from those suspected of murders, sex attacks or serious assaults.
Sir John Orr, Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police, denied that compulsory testing would infringe people's human rights. He said: "The tests are not invasive, not intrusive and not against civil liberties. The vast majority of people will be asked only to give a simple mouth swab, which can be done in seconds. This is a magnificent tool which will help detect crime and the public should be very pleased."
Read: you have nothing to fear if you're innocent...