Thursday, September 06, 2007

Mississippi Outrage!!!

After DNA from semen and blood at the crime scene exonerated a death row inmate and his capital murder conviction was overturned, Mississippi prosecutors have decided that DNA notwithstanding, he is guilty after all.

Noxubee County prosecutors have decided to charge Kennedy Brewer with capital murder and rape in the 1991 death of 3-year-old Christine Jackson, his girlfriend's daughter, who disappeared from her bedroom and was later found dead.

Based on the DNA evidence and dental testimony, Brewer was convicted and sentenced to die in 1995.

A controversial Mississippi dentist testified at Brewer's initial trial that "19 marks found in the body [of the child] were human bites made by Brewer."

Dr. Michael West of Hattiesburg had previously testified against "an innocent man charged with three capital murders in Mississippi" and a man wrongfully convicted of killing his former spouse in Louisiana. In both instances, West based his court testimony on "dubious science" as a self-described forensic expert. DNA evidence eventually exonerated both men.

West has been sanctioned by the American Board of Forensic Odontology and resigned in fear of being ousted by the American Academy of Forensic Science and the International Association of Identification.

The New York Times reports that "[t]his is the first time prosecutors have sought a new capital murder trial after a conviction was overturned by DNA evidence. " But as Times notes, "[m]odern forensic tools do not appear to carry much weight in Noxubee County."

Forrest Allgood, the district attorney, insists that "DNA reversals — there have been more than 200 nationwide — did not prove innocence." Never mind that only months before Jackson was killed another toddler "disappeared from her bedroom in the county and was found raped and murdered in a nearby pond."

The prosecution claims the two cases are unrelated

Science may have proven Brewer did not rape and kill the little girl, but he was guilty of something. And the only logical explanation and conclusion according to the harebrained prosecutor is that Brewer helped someone else do the killing and raping.

"I perceive that Kennedy Brewer assisted someone else in the killing of the child,” Mr. Allgood said. “Whether he actually penetrated that child or not functionally doesn’t make any difference if he was aiding, assisting and encouraging in her death.”
His evidence, ahem, beyond a reasonable doubt???

Mr. Brewer was babysitting the night the girl disappeared and there was no sign of forceable entry. Of course, two men also visited the home the same evening; and like Mr. Brewer, their DNA did not match the crime scene. But hey, by the same twisted logic, the two men are guilty of capital murder as well.

To add to the outrage, prosecutors have made little effort to find the real killer(s). Allgood has failed to run tests against Louisiana's DNA database to try to find a possible match; and he falsely claimed that "no such database exists."

John M. Allen, assistant director of the Louisiana State Police Crime Laboratory told the Times the lab has had a "DNA DATABASE FOR YEARS."

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