Friday, November 1, 2002

Prisoners can prove innocence for $20?

Les Kennedy Daily Telegraph reported today that" Prisoners who believe that DNA will prove they were wrongly convicted will have the chance to prove their innocence for a mere $20 administration fee. The move comes 20 months after NSW inmates were asked to provide DNA for comparison with a databank of DNA from unsolved crime scenes for possible convictions.

[But don't be fooled, CSI is only a Big Brother tool, a one way street. The ruling class in Australia only want to and have used DNA to convict or set people up for crimes and definitely not to release innocent people. Contrary to popular belief DNA can and will be planted at crime scenes taken from the prisoners' data-base makes it easy to set up any innocent prisoner. That could be as simple as saving the tourist dollar and a backpacker murder or any unsolved crime, even crimes perpetrated by a cop. Therefore there will be no innocence panel for prisoners. ]

Les Kennedy: Next week the Government's long-awaited Innocence Panel, chaired by Judge John Nader, will begin taking applications from serving and former inmates who believe they were wrongly convicted of serious crimes such as murder and rape, and that DNA may exist from their alleged crimes that can prove it.

[ Updated 2009: And the Innocence Panel was crushed after the first prisoner was to be proved innocent. Search this blog for DNA Label, please note two instances of DNA being planted at crime scenes. DNA is easy to get and easy to plant at crime scenes, in fact here are those two links: ]

Corrupt police planting DNA evidence at crime scenes

Others have raised concerns about corrupt police planting DNA evidence at crime scenes.

[Remember if he was and ex-prisoner they had his DNA so all the police had to do is plant it at the crime scene. But fortunately in NSW there are no corrupt Police?]

[You see DNA can be placed at a crime scene and tampered with.]

Military lawyers await probe on DNA tampering

Les Kennedy: Judge Nader said yesterday he expected the bulk of applications would cover cases that precede advances in DNA testing and its introduction 10 years ago. He said there might even be cases where prisoners believed a vital exhibit had been overlooked that may prove their innocence through DNA testing.

He said the panel would also have the discretion to look at cases of serious armed robbery, but offences such as murder and aggravated sexual assault were the first priority. Judge Nader said he could not estimate how many people were expected to apply to the panel which make no ruling as to the guilt or innocence of a person.

Judge Nader said that the panel - made up of representatives from the Police Service, Legal Aid, Health Department, Director of Public Prosecutions, Privacy Commission, the Public Defenders Office and criminal law specialists - would not form an opinion as to an applicants guilt or innocence."We will advise an applicant of the results of the DNA exhibits search and tests and recommend whether they needed to seek legal advice," he said. If an inmate believed the tests proved their innocence they would then have to apply to the Court of Criminal Appeal for an inquiry into their conviction.

But Judge Nader said he did not envisage the clearance rate would be as high as that in the United States over the past two years. In the US, 88 people - the majority of them on death row - have been found to be to have been wrongly convicted through DNA tests.

"I wouldn't expect a great number of successful applications ... I wouldn't expect the high rate that was achieved in the US, because in the US prosecutors and judges are elected on law and order platforms and in many past cases there are racist elements in jury convictions," he said.

The Police Minister, Michael Costa, said yesterday that brochures detailing the workings of the panel and how to apply had been sent to prisons this week and also to legal centres. Mr Costa's predecessor, former police minister Paul Whelan, set up the panel a year ago initially to draw up guidelines aimed at facilitating the search of police exhibits and taking of DNA from applicants for comparison. "DNA is a powerful tool that can provide vital evidence in criminal investigations," Mr Costa said.

"The panel will determine whether forensic evidence exists for post-conviction DNA comparisons and facilitate testing for genuine applicants."

Kennedy got nearly every detail wrong. IP began receiving applications last week not Next week.

It was 22 months since prisoners began giving DNA not 20. DNA testing was introduced 17 years ago in the UK and 14 years ago in NSW, not 10 years ago.117 US prisoners have been exonerated with DNA Evidence, not 88 and only 18 were on death row, not'The majority', etc, etc, etc. At least he got the $20 application fee right.

By Gregory Kable and Michael Strutt 1 Nov 02

Related Updated: all about DNA Check it out.

Military lawyers await probe on DNA tampering
The Army's Criminal Investigation Command said nearly 500 forensic test results from all services dating back 10 years are under review after one of its examiners allegedly faked results. About 119 of those cases pertain to the Navy and Marine Corps.

Corrupt police planting DNA evidence at crime scenes
Others have raised concerns about corrupt police planting DNA evidence at crime scenes.

Expert baffled by Falconio evidence DNA contamination
NT: The director of the Northern Territory's forensic science unit has told a Darwin court he does not know how his DNA contaminated a key piece of evidence in the Peter Falconio murder trial. [lost trial? After all he wasn't found?]

The ABC for good or evil?
He had a suspect that he wanted to find guilty based on the chances of a spouse killing a spouse which were greater in anycase, at least more likely than that of a stranger.

First Grabs To Control Our DNA
A small company in Australia has been subjected to gross denials of rights after DNA database technology was stolen from it's company. This one year saga has spawned them to form a new approach to projects of importance to all people.

Worries over DNA and racial profiling
UK: Black men are four times more likely than White men to be on the national DNA database and there is growing concern about racial profiling in criminal investigations.

Lab's Errors Force Review of 150 Virginia DNA Cases
US: WASHINGTON, - A sharply critical independent audit found that Virginia's nationally recognized central crime laboratory had botched DNA tests in a leading capital murder case. The findings prompted Gov. Mark Warner to order a review of the lab's handling of testing in 150 other cases as well.

Witch-hunt targets scientists
QLD: SCIENTISTS at the John Tonge Centre are being threatened with jail in the wake of a government hunt for the source of leaks highlighting serious problems in the forensic laboratories.

Fresh swipe at DNA labs
Scientist Kris Bentley, whose departure yesterday follows that of forensic biologist Deanna Belzer after concerns about "inaccurate" DNA results and unvalidated equipment, issued a scathing resignation letter leaked to The Courier-Mail.

DNA leads 'CSI' cold-case squad to first arrest?
Frozen case? I don't really know what to say about them until they come up with their case. They say it involves DNA evidence but that's the only stuff we know.

Criminal's DNA filed under relative's name
The New South Wales Opposition is calling for an investigation into claims that police have entered DNA data for serious offenders under incorrect names.

DNA fingerprinting 'no longer foolproof'...
The genetic profiles held by police for criminal investigations are not sophisticated enough to prevent false identifications, according to the father of DNA fingerprinting.

PROFESSOR BARRY BOETTCHER: Now, there should be a law enacted within Queensland so that when cases come up like this they can be brought to attention and if an appropriate authority such as a judge of your Supreme Court considers that it merits further inquiry, an inquiry be ordered.

'Rape' officer clears his name
UK: A former policeman has been cleared of rape after protesting his innocence for 15 years. Judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh ruled that Brian Kelly, 47, had suffered a miscarriage of justice over crucial DNA evidence.

New unit investigates unsolved deaths?
A new police unit has been established to investigate more than 360 unsolved deaths in New South Wales, with many of the deaths dating back more than 30 years.

Prisoner's bid for review denied
Prisoner Roger Cheney has lost a Supreme Court action to have a judicial review of his 1993 convictions an 30-year jail sentence. Justice Shaw said he was concerned about the prisoner's claim that DNA evidence held by the police could prove his innocence. Although Cheney had requested the results of the DNA tests, he had been denied access to the forensic analysis.

QLD Prisoners DNA Bid THE curious case of Queensland's "cat lady" murder is set to test the state's legal authorities again, with the man convicted of the killing asking the Attorney-General to take the unprecedented step of releasing blood samples for DNA retesting.

Database clears up crimes?
NSW Police Minister John Watkins said at the launch of a Sydney conference of international forensic experts meeting to mark 100 years of fingerprinting in NSW. He said the collection of DNA from prisoners and suspects in NSW during the past two years had led to more than 5,400 matches on the forensic database.

A Question of Innocence
Katrina Bolton: The promise of DNA freeing the innocent as well as convicting the guilty has been repeated by politicians across Australia, usually while DNA laws are being expanded. The promise was made as a national DNA database, ‘Crimtrac’ was created, and it was made as NSW introduced legislation giving unprecedented powers to take DNA samples from prisoners, by force if necessary.

Weak Carr Government suspends Innocence Panel
It's a callous disregard for justice! The panel takes applications from convicted prisoners for DNA evidence to be analysed a move that may help in a future court appeal.

JUST BEAT IT! Govt lauds crime-solving technology?
The New South Wales Government says advances in crime solving technology are helping the progress of hundreds of police investigations.

DNA testing causes debate in murder case
The use of voluntary DNA testing in the investigation of a murder case in New South Wales has been applauded by victim support groups who are ill informed about the process said Justice Action's spokesperson Gregory Kable.

Abolition of double jeopardy law a political stunt: NSW Opp
Why draconian laws? What about the re-trial by media that goes along with it? Twice shy?

The NSW government has finally appointed somebody (Justice John Nader) to head up its Innocence Panel and has produced leaflets and forms for people convicted of serious crimes (eg murder) to apply for DNA testing if they believe it may help prove their innocence. You can get the info by phoning 1300 881 717 or writing to the panel at GPO Box 45 Sydney NSW 2001.

Is the Westminster System flawed?
Most people would say Lady Di got the boot and NSW has so much trouble getting the Innocence Panel moving. I said hey, what's going on!

Murder charge first for DNA data bank link, but not the same as solving the murder Mass DNA testing of prisoners has led to the first NSW case of a person being charged with a previously unsolved murder as a result of a controversial gene-matching data bank. The Herald reported 25 Nov 02 "a DNA saliva swab led to the charging of a former prisoner with the bashing murder of a woman. Police had been unable to find any witnesses or suspects following the murder in Sydney's inner city two years ago. Detectives had admitted they faced a tough job finding the killer."

Prisoners can prove innocence for $20
Les Kennedy Daily Telegraph reported today that" Prisoners who believe that DNA will prove they were wrongly convicted will have the chance to prove their innocence for a mere $20 administration fee. The move comes 20 months after NSW inmates were asked to provide DNA for comparison with a databank of DNA from unsolved crime scenes for possible convictions.

DNA yours or mine?
Now they have isolated two genes that they say tells you if you're more likely to be depressed. What does that mean? It could mean that you should stay in jail because you are more likely than not to continue your offending behaviour according to a Department of Corrective Services Forensic Psychiatrist.

DNA = Do Not Assume - DNA Controversies!
The national DNA database of all known offenders proposed by Prime Minister Tony Blair could mean that innocent people will be accused of crimes they did not commit.

DNA Evidence of Bipartisanship
Last week the U.S. Congress passed the Justice for All Act, which includes provisions of the Innocence Protection Act. As of this posting, the legislation has not yet been signed by President Bush. Attached is an analysis of the legislation prepared by the Justice Project.