More than two decades after a Detroit man was convicted of raping a 9-year-old girl, scientific evidence points toward his innocence.
Karl Vinson was convicted largely due to a botched forensic test and eyewitness testimony and sentenced to 10-50 years in prison. New evidence raises serious doubts about Vinson guilt, according to an editorial in the Detroit Free Press.
The Michigan Court of Appeals must decide whether or not to grant Vinson a new trial that was requested by his counsel at the Innocence Clinic at the University of Michigan.
“The reaction by authorities is to preserve a conviction at all costs,” said clinic co-director David Moran. “Besides the injustice to Vinson, there’s a rapist who might still be out there, and no one seems to give a damn.”
The prosecutor said that “science does not trump the testimony of individuals,” which ignores the fact that eyewitness misidentification contributed to nearly 80% of wrongful convictions nationwide.
An appellate court order mandating that a new jury hears all the evidence offers the best chance of assuring justice and restoring faith in the criminal justice system’s capacity to correct its mistakes.
National Academy of Sciences Report Calls for
of Forensics in U.S.