Saturday, April 18, 2009

Another Man Who Claimed DNA Testing Would Exonerate Him Proven To Be A Liar

From the Kansas City Star:


For 25 years, Huntley Ruff claimed he wasn’t the rapist who attacked a guest at a downtown Kansas City hotel. And after a long court battle, the Missouri Supreme Court last summer ordered the DNA testing that Ruff argued would prove his innocence.

Turns out he shouldn’t have bothered.

Jackson County prosecutors announced Friday that the testing Ruff sought has confirmed his conviction, and they are now seeking legal sanctions against him for filing what they say was a frivolous motion.

According to prosecutors, the testing of genetic material that had been preserved since 1984 showed that the odds of somebody else other than Ruff having been the donor were one in 103.7 quadrillion.

“It’s frustrating to use the financial resources for a defendant who clearly knows he’s guilty,” said Jackson County Prosecutor Jim Kanatzar.

These legal sanctions must be supported by all those who demand that women who lie about being rape victims must face legal sanctions. Both are rape lies and in both cases the liar is claiming to be a victim when that person is a perpetrator. The main difference is that this man is also in the set of violent perpetrators.

If the lies of a woman who fraudulently claims to be a rape victim harm real rape victims then this man's lies harm men who are real victims of wrongful identification.

The disappointment from Ellen Suni, dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, who represented Ruff in his appeals shows that she missed the main point of these results. Her efforts paid off. The forensic evidence was tested and the results are in.

If she's disappointed in anything it should be that she was suckered into believing that an inmate's consistent denial of guilt and convincing manner are evidence in themselves.

This result is good since it provides important evidence. To view this result as disappointing because the result upholds the accuracy and honesty of a rape victim who may have felt tainted by 25 years of false allegations against her shows that Suni lost perspective. There is a disturbing backlash against rape victims who are seen as being a party to a wrongful conviction.

Just as prosecutors should be seeking the truth rather than a conviction, those who take on the cases of convicted felons should be seeking the truth rather than working with the goal of overturning a conviction.

A previous story in the Kansas City Star by Laura Bauer looked at the statistics in this type of DNA testing.

In an era of DNA exonerations, where headlines scream of wrongful convictions and photos highlight vindicated inmates leaving prison, these aren’t the results destined for a made-for-TV movie.

Not as much is heard about the inmates who plead for DNA testing — and get it — knowing full well they’re guilty. “We’re obviously not going to put out a press release when we ask for DNA tests for somebody and it comes back nailing them,” said Rob Warden, executive director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Chicago’s Northwestern University School of Law. “It’s not news when the criminal justice system operates the way it’s supposed to.”

I disagree with Warden. This is news if what you are seeking is the truth no matter what that truth might be. By choosing not to send a press release when a client is reconfirmed as guilty, Warden is choosing to uphold a false and deceptive image of our criminal justice system. This false image can falsely undermine the credibility of criminal trials which don't have forensic evidence.

From later in the story about the rate of exonerations:
In the last five years, The Innocence Project out of New York exonerated 43 percent of the inmates whose DNA it tested. But almost as many inmates — 42 percent — had their convictions confirmed. The tests couldn’t exclude them.
This ratio is important news. Consistent claims of innocence can come from those who are innocent and they can come from those who are guilty. Neither possibility should be ignored.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:16 AM   9 comments links to this post

9 Comments:

At April 18, 2009 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

your claim is that a male suspected of rape should be presumed guilty, that any attempt of a male to defend himself is an attempt to justify rape. DNA testing by the innocence project shows a significant number of males are wrongfully convicted of major crimes, including rape.

Without DNA testing, a lot of innocent men would languish in prison after being wrongfully convicted. Do you think that is justice? How is convicting an innocent man going to help rape victims?

 
At April 18, 2009 10:52 AM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...

Anonymous South Carolina, you need to retake reading comprehension 101. Also it doesn't help your credibility when you make several false allegations in your comment.

A man, such as Huntley Ruff, convicted of rape has the status of guilty because the jury came back with the guilty verdict (proven to be a rightful verdict in this case) and is therefore not presumed guilty upon being charged by me or by our criminal justice system as you falsely allege.

Now maybe you are seeking to have all those accused and/or convicted of rape in a perpetual state of innocence. This wouldn't help those genuinely falsely convicted since it would make them inseperable from those who are guilty as charged.

Your allegation that I am opposed to DNA testing is false. Even when there is no credible reason to question the verdict in a case like Ruff's I support DNA testing. Without DNA testing a lot of guilty men could continue to con people that they have been wrongfully convicted and a lot of innocent women will continue to be falsely accused by people who claim to be against false accusations.

 
At April 18, 2009 6:23 PM, Blogger Rj said...

I really don't think Anonymous even read your post.

Excellent stuff though. I don't see (and won't see) the MRA's talking about stuff like this. And the point about the Innocence Project and the guilty still being guilty--that needs to be known to the public for sure.

 
At April 20, 2009 2:10 PM, Anonymous m Andrea said...

I can't even think about the Innocence Project without steam coming out my ears. The way they present themselves -- and more importantly the results -- only serves to perpetuate the myth that most men who are convicted are wrongly convicted.

Where on earth did you find that the Innocence Project confirmed 42% guilty? I believe you, but that isn't something they like anyone to know. They sure don't put that at the top of their website!

Another thing I don't like concerns the handling of ambivalent cases -- not only are the "his DNA doesn't match the DNA found on the victim" cases counted as wrongful convictions, but even those "well the DNA has degraded and we can't get a good test" cases are counted as "wrongful convictions" by slimey lawyers and rapist apologists.

 
At April 22, 2009 8:39 AM, Anonymous Kali said...

The Innocence Project has a very biased agenda - get as many rape convictions overturned as possible regardless of whether the convicted man is guilty or not. I remember reading somewhere that one of the men they defended was found by police in the act of raping a little girl but they got the conviction overturned because the DNA didn't match (probably because there was more than one rapist). At least one man they got freed went on to rape and murder again. As far as I know, they haven't changed their tactics at all after that.

 
At April 23, 2009 8:59 AM, Anonymous m Andrea said...

Very interesting Keli, thank you. Been wondering if I was the only one who found the Innocence Project to have a hidden agenda.

And I noticed the answer to my question was actually in Marcella's post. lol

 
At April 23, 2009 4:01 PM, Blogger Rj said...

Kali--can you find a link to that story?

 
At April 28, 2009 9:48 AM, Anonymous Kali said...

Rj, you can google "Steven Avery" for one of the men released by the Innocence Project who went on to murder a woman. I cannot find the link to the other story I read about the little girl's rape. I read about it several years ago.

 
At April 30, 2009 6:47 AM, Blogger Rj said...

thanks

 

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