Jim Dywer of the NYT reports on another DNA exoneration:
Was charged with a murder that this guy: actually committed.
But what I love about this piece is that it makes clear that prosecutors OPPOSED the DNA testing that eventually exonerated this guy and that the judge--one Francis A. Affronti refused to order it. Shame on both of them.
Here's an excerpt:
"For more than a decade, prosecutors in Rochester have maintained that the words of Douglas Arthur Warney — a man with a history of delusions, an eighth-grade education and advanced AIDS — proved that he had stabbed a prominent community activist to death.
Mr. Warney, they said, told a detective details only the killer could know: that the victim was wearing a nightgown and had been cooking chicken in a pot, and that the murderer used a 12-inch serrated knife, shedding some of his own blood in the frenzied stabbing, on New Year's Day 1996.
Charged initially with capital murder, which carried the possibility of a death sentence, Mr. Warney, who has been behind bars since January 1996, was ultimately convicted of second-degree homicide and sentenced to 25 years. He was not expected to live that long because of poor health.
Today, however, Mr. Warney is due to appear in a Rochester courtroom — he uses a wheelchair — and prosecutors have agreed that his conviction should be dismissed. A series of DNA tests, which prosecutors at first tried to block, have linked blood found at the scene to another man, who is in prison for a different killing and three other stabbings.
The district attorney's office opposed the testing, and the judge, Francis A. Affronti, ruled in 2004 that the possibility the blood might match that of a criminal already in the state databank was "too speculative and improbable" to warrant the tests."