A look back in time; when innocent suspects turned to culprits, when law abiding citizens were wrongly trashed in prison due to lack of concrete evidence, when parents lost their kids to wrong conviction and children lost their parents to erroneous judgments. A stop had to be put to the unfairness and DNA profiling was just the answer to the prayer. Since the inception of DNA profiling, crime solving has never been easier.
Wrongful imprisonment accounts for wasted youthful years, broken family relationships, damaged human potentials, truncated glory and embittered family members. Years back, before the introduction of DNA evidence, hundreds of innocent youths have had to live the worst nightmares of their lives for a crime they never committed. In most cases, wrong description or identification of a suspect was the major cause as there was no definite and reliable way of suspect identification. Nothing could have been worse; getting punished for a crime you never committed. Victims of wrongful conviction would collectively agree on the fact that; their reputations were destroyed, images were tarnished, self-esteems were lowered and family responsibilities were completely lost.
In 1983, James Curtis Guiles was wrongfully convicted of a brutal rape in Dallas, Texas. It would take a quarter-century to prove his innocence, but DNA testing finally led to his exoneration in 2007. He served 10 years in prison and 14 years as a registered sex offender on parole for a crime he didn’t commit; a typical example of a wrongful imprisonment cleared by DNA testing. Had they not devised the DNA testing system, James Curtis Guiles might have spent a full 30 years in prison for a crime he never perpetrated, what a vicious condemnation.
Another victim was Joseph Lamont Abbitt, who spent 14 years in prison for a wrongful conviction of two counts of First Degree Rape, one count of First Degree Burglary and two counts of First Degree Kidnapping, twenty years ago in North Carolina. He was sentenced to two liee imprisonments plus an additional 110 years for a crime he did not commit. It took the determined effort of The North Carolina Center on actual innocence and multiple DNA testing on the rape kit from the Winston-Salem police department to exonerate Abbitt of the wrongful conviction on September 2, 2009.
After many cases of conviction based on DNA evidence, lawyers, judges and the general public have come to trust in the reliability of DNA evidence. A new beacon of hope has been afforded all innocent convicts wrongfully convicted by DNA evidence clearing.