When DNA Lies
The death penalty should face the death penalty in America, immediately.
Sure, science has come a mighty long way in past decades making it easier for criminals to get caught for their heinous crimes like murder and rape.
But what happens when DNA goes wrong?
People often say that men and women lie, but numbers never lie.
However, numbers can get taken out of context just like DNA.
Have you ever seen a quarterback racking up passing yards and then you think that this quarterback must have had a great game?
Nevertheless, you later discover that his team abandoned the running game early in the contest because they found themselves so far behind their opponent.
Since the team abandoned the running game, the quarterback had no choice but to have inflated passing statistics because the team had to pass to get back into the contest.
The same can hold true for DNA evidence.
Yes, if a man rapes a woman, he is bound to leave behind some DNA evidence.
But if the sexual encounter occurred because of an affair, then the rape allegation should get dismissed along with the DNA.
The biopic “Marshall” portrays a 1940 case in which a Black chauffeur gets accused of raping a rich White socialite.
The above sentence should have given White supremacists enough to justify a lynching because that is how they got down, especially in the 1940s.
But who knew that similar instances still happened in the 1990s and in the 21st century?
Anyone who pays attention to race relations in this country would know that we have not made as much progress over the last 80 years as we often think.
Rodney Reed, an African-American man, has denied that he had anything to do with the death of Stacey Stites, 19, murdered in 1996 in Bastrop, Texas.
Stites got strangled to death, with her body dumped on a rural road.
Prosecutors also said that the killer raped Stites.
Reed said that he and Stites had a secret affair, despite the fact that Stites had a fiancé.
Witnesses have corroborated Reed’s claim of an affair.
When the fiancé, former police officer Jimmy Fennell, found out about the affair between Stites and Reed, he allegedly killed her, later bragging about it in prison to members of the Aryan Brotherhood.
Fennell later pleaded guilty to kidnapping a woman in 2008 that he encountered while working.
The lady also said that Fennell raped her.
A man named Arthur Snow, Jr. who served time in prison with Fennell swore via an affidavit that he heard Fennell confess to killing his former fiancé.
Snow, who previously belonged to the all-White Aryan Nation prison gang, said that Fennell admitted to killing Stites because she had an affair with an African-American man.
Charles Fletcher, a friend of Stites and Fennell, said that the former police officer claimed that Stites had cheated on him.
A former insurance representative said that Fennell said that he would kill Stites if he caught her “messing around.”
Jim Clampit, a former sheriff’s deputy, claimed that Fennell said, “You got what you deserved,” while looking at Stites’ body in the casket.
Reed’s lawyers come from the Innocence Project, which aims to exonerate prisoners they claim have gotten wrongfully convicted.
In addition to witness statements, the lawyers also claim that the investigators made crucial errors when constructing the timeline of Stites’ killing.
Furthermore, the lawyers want a DNA test done on the murder weapon, Stites’ belt.
The testing has not happened as of RegalMag.com press time.
Additionally, the lawyers said that Reed’s execution got scheduled before he exhausted all of his appeal options.
However, Fennell’s lawyer Robert M. Phillips said that their client maintains his innocence and that the Innocence Project has just rehashed old courtroom testimony.
Phillips does not believe that witnesses would have stayed silent for so long if they knew Reed did not rape and kill Stites.
But maybe the fact that the case has gotten new media attention because of celebrities like Rihanna and Kim Kardashian has encouraged witnesses to come forward before it is too late?
Celebrities have started petitions asking that Texas Governor Greg Abbott to halt Reed’s execution date.
Maybe, the attention given Reed’s pending execution has allowed witnesses to remember what happened more clearly.
And maybe Reed is guilty, and maybe he is not.
But the serious doubt that exists is why the death penalty should get abolished, immediately.
First and foremost, how many innocent and poor African-American men have been sent to death row because of bad evidence, lying witnesses or court-appointed lawyers who did not care if they were innocent or guilty?
Once a life is taken, there is no bringing it back.
The prison system is set up for victims to receive justice.
But if an innocent person loses his life for a crime he did not commit, did the original victim receive justice?
Furthermore, how does Reed get justice if Texas puts him to death for a crime he did not commit?
If the wrong people go to jail or get executed, the real criminals often remain on the loose putting other people’s lives in jeopardy.
More importantly, punishment should serve as a deterrent.
And obviously, the possibility of death has not stopped people from murdering other people thus far.
When people are in control of something, mistakes are bound to happen.
Additionally, science can get taken out of context.
But bad science should not result in someone getting taken out, as in killed.