cinema_babe: (surveilence)
I think that DNA evidence is surer then a criminal defense attorney might like a jury to believe but I don't always think it's infallible. I think that virtually any evidence can be interpreted to say what a skillful person would like it to.

Case in point: Darryl Littlejohn.

Maybe he killed Imette St. Guillen that night when she left the bar. Maybe they left the bar together and he didn't just escort her to the street. But maybe not. I generally don't believe that the police tinker with forensic evidence (notice I did say generally) but for all the stuff they took from this man's house and person, there wasn't a lot of conclusive evidence found. Even the DNA they have was inconclusive at first and the test had to be run one or two more times before it matched his DNA.

Many of us grew up believing what we saw on TV: the cops followed the clues until they figured out who committed a murder. The actual process is bit less glamorous: figure out who committed the crime and then build a case to convict them.

When a petite, white college co-ed is found tortured and murdered and you are one of the last people known to have seen her alive *and* you are bulky looking, black, 7 time ex-con, with no alibi, it don't look too good for you, sunshine. This case plays on one of that most potent of racial stereotypes: The hulking black brute despoiling the virtue of the "flower of young white womanhood". I guess if you say that out loud you'll be hooted down for playing the race card.

I've got a handful of questions.......
Why did this woman decide to go to a bar in the wee hours of the morning alone? Was she going to meet someone? Did she already know the bouncer? Was she going to meet someone else? Is it possible that some or all of what is being attributed to torture was the remnants of a consensual, kinky, sexual encounter or transaction? It's a razor thin line between "blame the victim" and "get to the truth" but, what the hell, I'm not involved in this case, so a I'll walk it.

In the absence of a videotape showing the actual murder, I don't think we'll ever know with any certainty what happened.

So while I believe in DNA evidence, I also believe that yet another black man with a bad ass past is going to be convicted for the rape and murder of a young white woman. Maybe he did it and will get everything he deserves but, DNA or not, maybe he didn't do it after all.

March 2017

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