500 words

1. Visit The Innocence Project Internet site. Read about the problems with scientific evidence, including DNA evidence and problems associated with forensic science crime labs. http://www.innocenceproject.org/causes/unvalidated-or-improper-forensic-science/

With so much attention focused on scientific evidence in television crime shows, it is important to understand the limits of science and the problems associated with using this type of evidence in the criminal justice system. What aspect of the reading from the Innocence Project website did you find most interesting and why? Do you believe that DNA evidence is properly used in our system today? Why or why not?

2. Research the Justice for All Act of 2004 at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/publications/factshts/justforall/welcome.html. It is federal legislation that, among other things, grants federal inmates the right to petition the federal court for DNA testing to support innocence claims. There are other provisions that address preserving evidence and making post-conviction DNA testing available to state inmates. Do you think this is worthwhile legislation? Why or why not?

 The following is simply an FYI.

A Texas man named Tim Cole who was convicted of rape in the late 80’s, and died in prison in 1999, always insisting on his innocence. Recently the Governor of Texas issued the first ever posthumous pardon in Texas history after DNA evidence proved that he had not committed the crime.



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