While DNA testing has proved to be precise in identifications, other types of forensic evidence have been determined to be unreliable. Many post-conviction matters that ultimately led to exonerations in Michigan and elsewhere included evidence that was based on bite mark comparisons. Yet, in a significant number of cases, prosecutors continue to present bite mark comparisons as crucial evidence.
Whenever someone is wrongfully convicted in Michigan, the real perpetrator often continues to threaten society. For those who have been convicted of a crime they did not commit, an attorney who has experience in dealing with post-conviction matters and DNA evidence may be helpful. Wrongful convictions are tragedies that devastate the individual convicted in error and his or her family and loved ones.
A report by the University of Michigan's National Registry of Exonerations shows that DNA evidence has led to more than 600 convictions to be overturned nationwide. One would think that if DNA tests could provide evidence that might exonerate someone facing a death penalty, it would automatically be allowed to form part of any other post-conviction matters. However, even if DNA testing is available, prosecutors might not allow submission of evidence for DNA testing.
The advances in DNA technology have given many convicted individuals hope of proving their innocence. A conviction does not close all the doors, and effective navigation of post-conviction matters could bring freedom. Convictions of decades ago have been overturned nationwide, including Michigan, based on DNA evidence.
A 29-year-old man who is serving time for the armed robbery in 2016 of a man who worked as a pizza deliveryman filed an appeal from his conviction. Along with challenging the eyewitness that identified him, the man claims that his appointed counsel had various shortcomings and provided an ineffective defense. However, the Michigan Court of Appeals denied his appeals application. Post-conviction matters are nevertheless an important aspect of the criminal judicial process after a guilty verdict has been returned.
Advances in science and technology allow for the possibility that certain criminal convictions in Michigan and other states may be subject to challenge. Post-conviction matters of this nature require the skills of a criminal defense attorney who has experience in dealing with DNA matters when it comes to a potential miscarriage of justice. In another state, a man has spent the past 33 years in jail for a murder that he claims he did not commit.
People in Michigan who believe they were wrongfully convicted might have opportunities to prove their innocence. Under federal and state laws, convicts may request the court to revisit their cases if new DNA evidence becomes available. Such post-conviction matters have led to the release of multiple prisoners who could prove wrongful convictions.
With the rapid advance of DNA technology, wrongly convicted people in Michigan and other states have the hope of finally convincing the courts of their innocence. However, such battles are best fought with the advocacy of an attorney with skills and experience in dealing with post-conviction matters. The recent exoneration of an accused killer underscores the fact that such a battle could be won and is certainly worth fighting.
Anyone in Michigan or elsewhere who believes he or she was wrongly convicted can file an appeal. However, if the conviction is affirmed on appeal, what other options remain? Post-conviction matters are complicated to navigate without the support and guidance of experienced legal counsel. A man on death row in another state is currently trying different avenues to prove his innocence.
Whether or not you believe that Bill Cosby was doomed to be convicted of aggravated indecent assault last week in Pennsylvania, one thing is certain. The legal battle over the evidence presented to the jury is not over. According to several media reports, Cosby’s legal team is likely to file an appeal.