Man imprisoned for 26 years freed due to DNA evidence

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Man imprisoned for 26 years freed due to DNA evidence

Postby Ruutu15 » Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:29 pm

DALLAS, Texas (AP) -- -- Charles Chatman said throughout his 26 years in prison that he never raped the woman who lived five houses down from him.

Now 47, Chatman is expected to win his freedom Thursday on the basis of new DNA testing that lawyers say proves his innocence and adds to Dallas County's nationally unmatched number of wrongfully convicted inmates.

"I'm bitter. I'm angry," Chatman told The Associated Press during what was expected to be his last night in jail Wednesday. "But I'm not angry or bitter to the point where I want to hurt anyone or get revenge."

If released on bond at a Thursday court hearing as expected, Chatman will become the 15th inmate from Dallas County since 2001 to be freed by DNA testing. That is more than any other county nationwide, said Natalie Roetzel of the Innocence Project of Texas, an organization of volunteers who investigate claims of wrongful conviction.

Texas leads the country in prisoners freed by DNA testing. Including Chatman, the state will have released at least 30 wrongfully convicted inmates since 2001, according to the Innocence Project.

Mike Ware, who heads the Conviction Integrity Unit in the Dallas County District Attorney's office, said he expects that number to increase.

One of the biggest reasons for the large number of exonerations in Texas is the crime lab used by Dallas County, which accounts for about half the state's DNA cases. Unlike many jurisdictions, the lab used by police and prosecutors retains biological evidence, meaning DNA testing is a viable option for decades-old crimes.

District Attorney Craig Watkins also attributes the exonerations to a past culture of overly aggressive prosecutors seeking convictions at any cost.

Chatman's nearly 27 years in prison for aggravated sexual assault make him the longest-serving inmate in Texas to be freed by DNA evidence, Innocence Project lawyers said.

Chatman was 20 when the victim, a young woman in her 20s, picked him from a lineup. Chatman said he lived five houses down from the victim for 13 years but never knew her.

At the time the woman was assaulted, Chatman said he didn't have any front teeth; he had been certain that feature would set him apart from the real assailant.

"I'm not sure why he ended up on that photo spread to begin with," Ware said.

Chatman, who was convicted in 1981 and sentenced to life in prison, said his faith kept him from giving up.

Ware said Chatman would likely be released on a personal recognizance bond until the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals makes an official ruling.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/01/03/dna.ex ... index.html
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Postby SteveO » Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:22 pm

I'd be curious to hear the chick's reaction.
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Postby goon attack » Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:25 pm

Prngr44 wrote:I'd be curious to hear the chick's reaction.


oh snap.


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Postby Portland Blues » Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:22 pm

Hello giant settlement from the state of Texas!
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Postby Ruutu15 » Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:27 pm

I don't condone hitting women, but that guy ought to get 26 free cracks at that chick's face. He can use his fists or his ball bag.
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Postby glen a richter » Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:49 pm

Speaking of people who've been imprisoned for seemingly forever, there should be a decision coming up soon on local legend Marty Tankleff. The man spent 17 years behind bars, since he was 17 years old, for a crime that every sensible person knows he didn't commit. If I were him I'd be all over a lawsuit against the county for countless millions.
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Postby goon attack » Thu Jan 03, 2008 4:06 pm

This is a perfect case for anti-death penalty people to use for their cause.

I think DNA should absolutely have to present to execute somebody.
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Postby STL JA » Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:02 pm

He deserves to be set financially for the rest of his life for the shit he had to go through...

I hate cases like these...
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Postby WaukeeBlues » Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:11 pm

Chatman wrote:"But I'm not angry or bitter to the point where I want to hurt anyone or get revenge."


Good save :lol:
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Postby WaukeeBlues » Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:24 pm

goon attack wrote:This is a perfect case for anti-death penalty people to use for their cause.

I think DNA should absolutely have to present to execute somebody.


I don't think executions should happen at all; not because it is morally improper but because it costs taxpayers too much to do so.

Here goon- I scoured the internet for a source that would paint my statement in a positive light since you demand it :wink:

http://www.nyadp.org/main/faq#0 wrote:Isn't the death penalty cheaper than life in prison?

* No. It costs a great deal more.
* "Elimination of the death penalty [in California] would result in a net savings to the state of at least tens of millions of dollars annually, and a net savings to local governments in the millions to tens of millions of dollars on a statewide basis." (Joint Legislative Budget Committee of the California Legislature, 09/9/99)
* Total cost of death penalty is 38% greater than total cost of life without parole sentences. (Indiana Criminal Law Study Commission, January 10, 2002)
* Since its return to New York in 1995, $160 million has been spent. The New York Daily News estimates that before the first execution takes place, $238 million will be spent.
* In addition to the funds required to try death penalty cases, the New York Department of Correctional Services spent $1.3 million to construct New York's 12-inmate death row and pays nearly $300,000 per year to guard the unit. (New York Law Journal, April 30, 2002)


I still don't know if any of this is absolutely true though. this is why I hate internet sources :x
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Postby ohio BLUES » Fri Jan 04, 2008 1:16 am

Did someone say <a href="http://www.homestarrunner.com/DNA.html">DNA Evidence</a>?
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Postby marco » Fri Jan 04, 2008 1:29 am

WaukeeBlues wrote:
goon attack wrote:This is a perfect case for anti-death penalty people to use for their cause.

I think DNA should absolutely have to present to execute somebody.


I don't think executions should happen at all; not because it is morally improper but because it costs taxpayers too much to do so.

Here goon- I scoured the internet for a source that would paint my statement in a positive light since you demand it :wink:

http://www.nyadp.org/main/faq#0 wrote:Isn't the death penalty cheaper than life in prison?

* No. It costs a great deal more.
* "Elimination of the death penalty [in California] would result in a net savings to the state of at least tens of millions of dollars annually, and a net savings to local governments in the millions to tens of millions of dollars on a statewide basis." (Joint Legislative Budget Committee of the California Legislature, 09/9/99)
* Total cost of death penalty is 38% greater than total cost of life without parole sentences. (Indiana Criminal Law Study Commission, January 10, 2002)
* Since its return to New York in 1995, $160 million has been spent. The New York Daily News estimates that before the first execution takes place, $238 million will be spent.
* In addition to the funds required to try death penalty cases, the New York Department of Correctional Services spent $1.3 million to construct New York's 12-inmate death row and pays nearly $300,000 per year to guard the unit. (New York Law Journal, April 30, 2002)


I still don't know if any of this is absolutely true though. this is why I hate internet sources :x


Interesting. I bet Timothy McVeigh was a cheap one though :grin:
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Postby Storm13 » Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:00 am

WaukeeBlues wrote:
goon attack wrote:This is a perfect case for anti-death penalty people to use for their cause.

I think DNA should absolutely have to present to execute somebody.


I don't think executions should happen at all; not because it is morally improper but because it costs taxpayers too much to do so.

Didn't you know that the more the government spends, the better the economy gets?

WaukeeBlues wrote:Here goon- I scoured the internet for a source that would paint my statement in a positive light since you demand it :wink:

http://www.nyadp.org/main/faq#0 wrote:Isn't the death penalty cheaper than life in prison?

* No. It costs a great deal more.
* "Elimination of the death penalty [in California] would result in a net savings to the state of at least tens of millions of dollars annually, and a net savings to local governments in the millions to tens of millions of dollars on a statewide basis." (Joint Legislative Budget Committee of the California Legislature, 09/9/99)
* Total cost of death penalty is 38% greater than total cost of life without parole sentences. (Indiana Criminal Law Study Commission, January 10, 2002)
* Since its return to New York in 1995, $160 million has been spent. The New York Daily News estimates that before the first execution takes place, $238 million will be spent.
* In addition to the funds required to try death penalty cases, the New York Department of Correctional Services spent $1.3 million to construct New York's 12-inmate death row and pays nearly $300,000 per year to guard the unit. (New York Law Journal, April 30, 2002)


I still don't know if any of this is absolutely true though. this is why I hate internet sources :x

You never know about things like this though. Sure there's probably that much money being spent on security, housing, appeals, etc. for death row inmates, but nothing mentions if they considered how much of that would still be spent on them if they were just life-in-prison. I don't have facts to back it up, but I was thinking that MO spends about $25,000 annually per prisoner, which puts it right in line with the NY figure for their death-row unit. By eliminating the death-row unit, those prisoners would be re-absorbed into general population and increase the costs there accordingly.
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Postby goon attack » Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:56 am

WaukeeBlues wrote:
goon attack wrote:This is a perfect case for anti-death penalty people to use for their cause.

I think DNA should absolutely have to present to execute somebody.


I don't think executions should happen at all; not because it is morally improper but because it costs taxpayers too much to do so.

Here goon- I scoured the internet for a source that would paint my statement in a positive light since you demand it :wink:

http://www.nyadp.org/main/faq#0 wrote:Isn't the death penalty cheaper than life in prison?

* No. It costs a great deal more.
* "Elimination of the death penalty [in California] would result in a net savings to the state of at least tens of millions of dollars annually, and a net savings to local governments in the millions to tens of millions of dollars on a statewide basis." (Joint Legislative Budget Committee of the California Legislature, 09/9/99)
* Total cost of death penalty is 38% greater than total cost of life without parole sentences. (Indiana Criminal Law Study Commission, January 10, 2002)
* Since its return to New York in 1995, $160 million has been spent. The New York Daily News estimates that before the first execution takes place, $238 million will be spent.
* In addition to the funds required to try death penalty cases, the New York Department of Correctional Services spent $1.3 million to construct New York's 12-inmate death row and pays nearly $300,000 per year to guard the unit. (New York Law Journal, April 30, 2002)


I still don't know if any of this is absolutely true though. this is why I hate internet sources :x


I don't know what the obsession with cost is on the death penalty. It's the ultimate manifestation of state power concerning criminality and is largely symbolic.

Why the obsession with cost?
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Postby WaukeeBlues » Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:44 pm

goon attack wrote:
WaukeeBlues wrote:
goon attack wrote:This is a perfect case for anti-death penalty people to use for their cause.

I think DNA should absolutely have to present to execute somebody.


I don't think executions should happen at all; not because it is morally improper but because it costs taxpayers too much to do so.

Here goon- I scoured the internet for a source that would paint my statement in a positive light since you demand it :wink:

http://www.nyadp.org/main/faq#0 wrote:Isn't the death penalty cheaper than life in prison?

* No. It costs a great deal more.
* "Elimination of the death penalty [in California] would result in a net savings to the state of at least tens of millions of dollars annually, and a net savings to local governments in the millions to tens of millions of dollars on a statewide basis." (Joint Legislative Budget Committee of the California Legislature, 09/9/99)
* Total cost of death penalty is 38% greater than total cost of life without parole sentences. (Indiana Criminal Law Study Commission, January 10, 2002)
* Since its return to New York in 1995, $160 million has been spent. The New York Daily News estimates that before the first execution takes place, $238 million will be spent.
* In addition to the funds required to try death penalty cases, the New York Department of Correctional Services spent $1.3 million to construct New York's 12-inmate death row and pays nearly $300,000 per year to guard the unit. (New York Law Journal, April 30, 2002)


I still don't know if any of this is absolutely true though. this is why I hate internet sources :x


I don't know what the obsession with cost is on the death penalty. It's the ultimate manifestation of state power concerning criminality and is largely symbolic.

Why the obsession with cost?


Why NOT?

If it's such a controversial issue (which it is) and it's more expensive to carry out anyway (which, to the best of my understanding, it is) isn't it just easier to lock them away for life? That eliminates the controversy AND saves taxpayer dollars. That just makes more sense to me.
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Postby goon attack » Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:46 pm

Laws against having sex with children is controversial. Should we get rid of those too since housing pedophiles in prison is costing too much?
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Postby WaukeeBlues » Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:53 pm

goon attack wrote:Laws against having sex with children (ftfy)are controversial.


No they aren't :lol:
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Postby goon attack » Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:54 pm

WaukeeBlues wrote:
goon attack wrote:Laws against having sex with children (ftfy)are controversial.


No they aren't :lol:


NAMBLA doesn't exist?
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Postby WaukeeBlues » Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:09 pm

goon attack wrote:
WaukeeBlues wrote:
goon attack wrote:Laws against having sex with children (ftfy)are controversial.


No they aren't :lol:


NAMBLA doesn't exist?


exist? yes.

Worth a damn? no.

Look- long story short- kids under 16 are too young to know what the hell they are doing. My view is that even if it's consensual, kids don't know enough about themselves or people older than them to know what they are doing. The government apparently agrees and a few radical groups don't.

The death penalty isn't comparable because we're talking half the U.S. population roughly for and half roughly against. We're not talking ninety-percentiles here goon...

That and half of the organization's "who we are" statement is basically about getting rid of homosexual oppression. They don't say anything about "underage homosexual oppression."

apples to oranges goon.
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Postby goon attack » Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:30 pm

What do the numbers matter? Are you saying that for something to be acceptable, then close to fifty percent have to believe in it?
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