The Innocence Project has a wonderful blog that posts stories about people who have been exonerated through DNA evidence. Many of the stories involve people who were convicted of criminal sexual conduct and have spent years in prison as a result. The story of Terrill Swift is particularly sad, however, as the DNA testing performed at the time of the investigation ruled him out as a potential suspect. Regardless, he was convicted of criminal sexual conduct and has spent fifteen years in prison as a result.
Swift was convicted after he “confessed” to the crime. I place quotes around the word confessed because he was young and believed if he told the police what they wanted to hear, he would be allowed to go home.
The victim in this case was interviewed and according to the article on the Innocence Blog, expressed “feelings of guilt and responsibility for his wrongful conviction.” Pennsylvania is considering a bill that would require pre-trial testing of DNA for people arrested. It is amazing to me that there is even a question this would be appropriate.
While crimes of criminal sexual conduct are undoubtedly among the worst things that can happen to a person, being mistakenly accused of criminal sexual conduct is just as bad. Having your life ripped away from you, including losing your job, freedom, children and more when you are actually innocent is among the worst nightmares one could imagine. It seems like an obvious necessity that laws like the proposed bill in Pennsylvania would be passed. Don’t we want to make sure that we are convicting the right people?
If you are accused of criminal sexual conduct in Michigan, don’t waste any time – please call for a consultation today. Whether your defense hinges on DNA evidence or perhaps the lack thereof, the lawyers at the Law Offices of Shannon M. Smith are experienced at handling all kinds of sex cases. The lawyers at our office routinely travel throughout Michigan to defend sex cases. In many cases, DNA is not involved. After a consultation with our office, you will see that there is hope, and there are a wide variety of defenses that might save your life.