Graduates rapidly advance in the criminal justice system and pursue graduate study in criminal justice administration and related fields. Professional development opportunities. Field placement Earn your police standard certificate with training at the Pasco-Hernando Police Academy. Intern with agencies such as the U. Secret Service, U. Customs, Drug Enforcement Administration, U. Hands-on learning Testify and sit on a jury for a courtroom role-playing assignment. Stand in the death chamber of the Florida state prison.
Examine fingerprints in a forensics lab. Co-curricular activities Become an active member of Alpha Phi Sigma, the national criminal justice honor society. Where are Saint Leo Criminal Justice grads now? Request Information. After the ruling, he and Scheck received numerous requests for help from attorneys around the country. Although they were unable to assist directly with most of them, they did make briefs and transcripts from Castro available through the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
The Castro case—along with the Schwartz case in Minnesota, in which Cellmark's techniques were challenged—also led the media to adopt some skepticism toward DNA evidence. While the cases did not disprove the potential power and reliability of DNA testing, they showed that the evidence must be carefully examined before being deemed admissible.
The debate between the two sets of scholars was fierce, but it was the circumstances surrounding the publications that really showed just how contentious things were. Lewontin and Hartl's article had been accepted by the respected popular journal first. When word of the upcoming publication got out, rumors flew that members of the FBI planned to halt publication of the paper. Prosecutor James Wooley called Hartl and expressed his concerns about the article being published. Lewontin wrote back to Wooley, suggesting that it was inappropriate for a state official to try to intimidate a citizen.
The editor of Science , Daniel Koshland, was aware of the controversy and took another look at the paper. He asked Lewontin for revisions, which upset the original authors. Koshland also solicited the rebuttal from Chakraborty and Kidd. Accusations were thrown from every direction. The scientists criticized one another, suggesting that philosophical and ideological beliefs were getting in the way of the science.
But the lawyers were also involved. Neufeld and Scheck accused numerous scientists and federal law enforcement officials of "meddl[ing] in the peer-review process at leading scientific journals" and suggested that the journal editors were in cahoots with the FBI.
They also accused Wooley of unethical behavior. Wooley's allies fired back, suggesting that the scientists supporting the defense were simply hired guns. The debate over DNA evidence remained heated, with Scheck testifying before several congressional committees in the early '90s. His remarks focused on the need for blind proficiency testing and suggested that the FBI could not be trusted to adequately regulate itself.
Soon the technology would be used by defense attorneys for the first time to prove that someone who had been convicted and incarcerated was actually innocent. Testimony Recanted On July 9, , Cathleen Crowell was standing on the side of a road in the Chicago suburb of Homewood when a police officer passed by. He noticed her dirty clothes, and the year-old recounted the story of being thrown into a car by three young men and raped as she was leaving work at a local mall. The rapist, she said, had scratched letters into her stomach using a broken beer bottle. Crowell was taken to a nearby hospital, and a rape examination was performed.
Clothing containing what was believed to be a seminal stain was collected, along with several pubic hairs and a vaginal swab. She worked with police to develop a sketch of the rapist. When shown a book of mug shots, she identified one Gary Dotson, who was arrested the next day and identified in a lineup. Dotson went to trial with two key witnesses against him. The first was Crowell, and the second was a forensic specialist who claimed that the stain from the victim's underpants came from a type B secretor, which the defendant was.
Since only about 10 percent of the population fits this profile, there was a good chance that Dotson was the source. The specialist also testified that the hairs recovered from the victim were "microscopically similar" to Dotson's; the prosecutor would later claim that they actually matched. The evidence was enough to persuade the jury.
Dotson was convicted of rape and aggravated kidnapping and given concurrent sentences of 25 to 50 years. With the case seemingly closed, the victim moved on. She married becoming Cathleen Webb and moved to New Hampshire. It was not until March —nearly eight years after the initial incident—that Webb expressed her guilt to her pastor.
She informed him that she had fabricated the rape allegation as a cover story because she and her boyfriend had feared she was pregnant. She contacted a lawyer, but the Cook County prosecutors wanted little to do with the old case.
She eventually went to the press, and the Chicago Sun-Times covered the story. A clemency hearing was forthcoming, but the decision was far from a sure bet, as witness recantations rarely resulted in overturned convictions. Some people in the legal community, while respecting the precedent for not believing recantations, questioned the court's logic in this case, which was different from similar scenarios, since there was neither a threat nor money involved. One prominent Chicago lawyer bluntly stated, "The law has made an ass out of itself and the judge has helped it out, if you want to know the truth.
The national media picked up the story. A New York Times article suggested that the case could have wide ramifications for the criminal justice system: "Confidence in American justice cannot rest easily when [Dotson] is sent back to jail on the word of a woman who is, one way or the other, an acknowledged liar.
Sections throughout examine the nature of expertise with a special focus on the role of subjectivity in the interpretation of forensic DNA evidence, emphasizing cognitive bias and extraneous context. DNA in "Minor" Crimes Yields Major Benefits in Public Safety Nov Findings that biological evidence collected from property crime scenes can prevent future property crimes and more serious offenses. Similarly, finding trace evidence from the victim or crime scene on a suspect can also have a strong impact on a case. At the end of the day it is all about the massive fight of right against wrong. In the past decade, documenting forensics scenes has become more efficient. The first was the main training center Forensic Centre for all but one police force in England and Wales, where he stayed, observed and completed the residential element of new CSE training. That also applies to a number of other areas.
Judge Richard Samuels, however, believed the recantation to be "implausible" and denied clemency after a three-day hearing. The governor commuted Dotson's sentence to time served as a matter of "basic justice" and placed him on parole. Journalist Civia Tamarkin recruited former assistant state's attorney Thomas Breen to take up the case.
Edward Blake, then described as "the number-one forensic geneticist in the country," was brought on, and a new test was conducted on the seminal stain and blood samples from Dotson. In August , the test results excluded Dotson as a potential source of the semen. His lawyers requested a new trial, and prosecutors ultimately dropped the charges against him in Dotson was finally exonerated 10 years after his original conviction. By most accounts, he is considered the first American to be cleared using DNA evidence, though this is debatable; earlier the same year, a man named David Vasquez was exonerated of a rape and murder due, in part, to DNA testing.
A Movement Is Born Although Neufeld and Scheck were on the side challenging the scientific evidence in the Castro case, they did so not out of an aversion to the technology but because they recognized its potential: "In terms of how the innocence movement, through at least our work, began to form," Scheck says, "there was a focus at the very beginning on…the power of DNA technology…not just to exonerate the innocent but to identify those who had committed crimes, and that would really begin to expose all these other causes of wrongful convictions.
They already believed that some types of evidence, such as eyewitness identifications, were not always reliable, and that this technology would allow them to go back and examine questionable cases. While they had issues with the ways DNA was being handled, they never doubted its utility for exonerating innocents who had been wrongly convicted. Just as DNA was a powerful investigatory tool that could be used to secure convictions, Scheck testified to Congress, it was also "an amazing tool to revisit old cases where people had been dragged out of the courtroom screaming, 'I'm innocent!
I'm innocent! This book is not available as a print inspection copy.
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