The New York Times, on January 3rd, reported on the case of Joseph A. Buffey. Eleven years ago, Buffy was sentenced to 70 years for the robbery and rape of an 83 year old woman. According to the Times, Buffey confessed to the crime, but DNA tests prove his innocence. In fact, Buffey has an alibi – he was busy robbing a Salvation Army bell ringer at the time of the attack.
Buffey alleges that he was coerced into confessing and to taking a plea deal by his lawyer and the West Virginia interrogators assigned to the case. After more than a decade in maximum security, Buffey recently learned that DNA taken from the crime scene, reveals the true identity of the rapist. The culprit these tests show as guilty, is already behind bars at a different institution in West Virginia. And he has a record of sexual assault.
If exonerated, Buffey will be but one more in the hundreds of cases, nationwide – where a false confession, resulting in an unwarranted conviction – was overturned based on DNA test results. However, according to the Times article, it took 18 months of litigation to get Virginia to make these tests. The consensus is that this powerful new technology should be made available to defense council, and no longer be the exclusive domain of law enforcement and the prosecution.
Nine of the fifty United States allow defendants and their attorneys access to the national DNA database. They are Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas. As long as we have the propensity to falsely convict the innocent, and as long as Human beings have that undefinable and intangible need to falsely confess, that number needs to increase dramatically.
For the Times coverage of the Story, you can go here:
BitcoDavid is a blogger and a blog site consultant. In former lives, he was an audio engineer, a videographer, a teacher – even a cab driver. He is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and a Pro/Am boxer. He has spent years working with diet and exercise to combat obesity and obesity related illness.
- DNA Evidence proves Joseph Buffey´s Innocence (incaseofinnocence.wordpress.com)
- Law Enforcers Block Access To Exonerating DNA Evidence (thinkprogress.org)
- Valena Beety: Buffey case shows W.Va. must record police interrogations (wvgazette.com)
- DNA Evidence proves Joseph Buffey´s Innocence (inprisonedwomen.wordpress.com)
- The Law and Psychological Science (healthymemory.wordpress.com)
- Why do people falsely confess to crimes? (cbsnews.com)