Kirk Bloodsworth was the first person in the United States to be exonerated by DNA testing after receiving a death sentence. He was misidentified by five eyewitnesses in a Maryland murder case and served eight years behind bars before he was exonerated. In an article yesterday on the Huffington Post blog, Bloodsworth compares his case with that of Troy Davis in Georgia, who is scheduled to be executed despite recantations from eyewitnesses who testified against him.
Had DNA testing not been available, I would still be in prison today. In Troy Davis' case, along with the vast majority of criminal cases in this country, DNA or other biological evidence is not available; hence eyewitness testimony holds tremendous importance in establishing guilt or innocence. Unfortunately, eyewitness testimony is highly subjective and susceptible to numerous forms of contamination from poorly conducted police lineups, to the lack of careful documentation of the identification, which increases possible manipulation of witness certainty.
While Troy Davis awaits execution mounting evidence casts a large shadow of doubt his conviction. The flaws of our broken criminal justice system in Georgia now threaten to take the life of a man based solely on highly suggestive, unreliable evidence.
Read the full post here
. (Huffington Post, 08/07/07)
Read more about the Troy Davis case
. (Amnesty International)