[LINK] Tasmanians like Mass DNA testing
Wed, 31 Jan 2001 02:42:11 -0700 (MST)
[Tony, apologies for apparently straying off-topic; the only connection
with LINK business that I can think of is that the nice young man below
had many of the same characteristics as a stereotypical computer nerd.]
On Wed, 31 Jan 2001, Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
> I'm glad that the word criminals is enclosed in quotes.
> A person can only become a criminal if so judged as such in a court of
> law. Even the phrase "has committed a crime" has the same principle
> behind it. That means if DNA testing were to be restricted to
> criminals, only those who had already been found guilty of a crime
> would be tested. Seems a bit odd to me.
For "criminal", read "suspect".
For "suspect", read "one who looks suspicious to the police".
For "suspicious", read "not one that they would invite to a party",
or "not another police officer", "not of my tribe".
For example, the young single man in Saskatchewan who kept bees,
played piano, and lived in his parents' basement, on the same block as a
young girl who was murdered by a sexual predator.
Police were convinced that these characteristics indicated, without
a shadow of a doubt, that the guy was a vicious monster.
As it happens, DNA testing eight years after his conviction proved,
without a shadow of a doubt, that his main problems were that he had
aroused the odd sort of bigotry displayed by the investigating detectives,
and was thus labelled a "criminal" before any trial had taken place.
The prosecuting attorney even stated publicly that the test results
must be wrong, because the guy was obviously guilty, such was his faith
in police infallibility. The detectives have never apologised in any way.
DNA testing of this "criminal" soon after the police had identified
him as an undesireable would still have left him with a tainted
reputation in the eyes of the justice system and much of the general
public, despite its supposed accuracy.
On the other hand, testing of the man police had arrested several
times before in the area for acts of sexual deviancy and for violent
crimes associated with sexual acts, who was arrested for a violent
rape before the beekeeper was arrested, who was tried and sentenced
and was in prison before the beekeeper was, and who was tried and
convicted of the girl's murder after the beekeeper was released,
would have been nailed early by DNA testing, if only the police had
thought to question him as a suspect at the time.
You don't need mass testing, actually, if you test the available
Maybe that's how the Tazzies think.
P.S.: the murderer was probably not considered for this particularly
vicious crime because he was a "man's man", a likeable, gregarious
fellow whose main problem was that he needed (and got) more sex than
the average policeman. He did not seem "criminal" on the surface, at
least to a policeman.