Forensic science is biased and inaccurate, but juries believe it and convict the innocent

DNA Testingsource: 
published: 11 June 2014

Nine days before death row inmate Earl Washington’s scheduled execution, his lawyers informed the state of Virginia that it was about to murder an innocent man. Forensic analysis of semen introduced at trial had convinced the jury that Washington, whose mental abilities matched those of a 10-year-old, had brutally raped and murdered a young woman in 1982.

Washington’s lawyers uncovered evidence that the analysis was faulty. The state halted the impending execution, and following a gubernatorial pardon, Washington was released from prison in 2001. He had been there for 17 years.

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Justice on trial: Highlights from The Guardian

Blind justice lawall credits: The Guardian

The Guardians’ Justice on Trial is an ongoing series that aims to highlight cases where there are major concerns of a miscarriage of justice.


‘It’s like being buried alive’
Since the 1980s and 90s a flow of miscarriage of justice cases has undermined public confidence in the criminal justice system. John Kamara, Paddy Hill and Sean Hodgson describe their experiences of wrongful conviction.

Watch the video here >
WARNING: This video contains strong language from the outset!

The Injustice Gallery
Gallery (assorted pictures): Prominent British miscarriage of justice cases in the last half century. View the gallery >

Troy Davis

Petition: Re-investigate officer MacPhail's murder

by Davis/MacPhail Truth Committee
published: 4 September 2012

A petition has been launched to re-investigate the killing of a police officer that led to the execution of Troy Davis.

Troy was sent to his death despite a mass of evidence casting his 1991 conviction in doubt, including recantations from seven of the nine key witnesses at his trial for the murder of a police officer.

The execution provoked an extraordinary outpouring of protest in Georgia, at the supreme court and White House in Washington, and in cities around the world.

The petition demands that Officer MacPhail’s murder should be thoroughly investigated in light of recanted and tarnished witness testimony, a faulty initial investigation that was highly prejudicial toward Troy Davis, and his poorly financed defense during the original trial and appeals process.

Read more +  Sign the Petition >