DNA Test clears rape accused

By Andre Bagoo
March 13, 2008

ViolenceA MAN who was charged with rape and who spent four years in prison after being identified by two women at a police identification parade, was yesterday set free and exonerated by DNA evidence which proved his innocence. It is the first time DNA has set an accused person free in a court of law in this country.

The man, who was arrested on November 19, 2003, had been charged with one count of rape, two counts of grevious sexual assault and two counts of robbery with aggravation in relation to an incident with two women on November 18, 2003 at a trail in Bon Air, just off the Priority Bus Route.

But yesterday, when his trial came up before High Court Judge Madame Justice Joan Charles at the Hall of Justice, the State was forced to discontinue its case in light of the results of DNA testing.
Full Article : newsday.co.tt

Test clears rape accused after five years in jail

By Denyse Renne

For the first time in this country’s history, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) has been used to exonerate a man who was charged with raping a woman.

Speaking with reporters after being released, Jeremy said he had asked the officers to take a DNA sample from him after being arrested and charged. He said he had lost five years of his life for a crime he never committed.

Williams [Jeremy’s attorney] said although he was grateful for the outcome, he remained baffled about the identification parade, where his client was pointed out by the victim and her relative.

“The integrity of the identification parade has now come into question. I really find it strange that if the witnesses were not coaxed and the identification parade fair, then how could people (the witnesses) have pointed out the wrong man,” Williams said.

Williams noted the frightening aspect of this case, adding that there could be “a lot of men charged for the same offence who pleaded innocence and they are currently spending time in jail”.
Full Article : trinidadexpress.com

DNA history in T&T: Man cleared of rape

By Jada Loutoo

A MAN who spent more than four years behind bars for the alleged rape of a woman at the back of a TSTT substation in Arouca, has become the first person in T&T to be cleared by DNA evidence.

Quincy Jeremy was charged with raping the woman and sexually assaulting her cousin as they exited a maxi taxi on the Priority Bus Route in Bon Air on November 18, 2003.

A DNA test of the rape kit taken from the victim proved he did not commit the rape.

Jeremy was yesterday exonerated by a judge, after the test conducted at the Forensic Science Centre on March 6, excluded him.

It is the first time the scientific technology was used in a rape trial and the test was done at the request of the accused himself.

Prosecutors Cheron Raphael and Renuka Rambhajan facilitated Jeremy’s request for the DNA analysis to be done and were commended, not only by the judge, but by Jeremy himself.
Full Article : guardian.co.tt

6 thoughts on “DNA Test clears rape accused”

  1. This is a good article for those who in the past on this Blog were so much in favor of the Death Penalty in Trinidad. How many innocent people are on Death Row because of questionable evidence and eye-witness testimony.

    That being said, I hope it wasn’t RFLP type testing done because a sample swabbed years ago may have degraded to such a point that it could return a negative result. Even the newer forms of testing are susceptible to contamination – causing a false result i.e. saying the two test samples don’t match….I personally have no faith in the Trinidad Police Service when it comes to collecting evidence properly from what I’ve see over time.

  2. “This is a good article for those who in the past on this Blog were so much in favor of the Death Penalty in Trinidad. How many innocent people are on Death Row because of questionable evidence and eye-witness testimony.”

    So we are going to use this one isolated rape case to determine the appropriateness of the Death Penalty in Trinidad and Tobago?

  3. There is a possibility that through the use of DNA examinations in past cases we could discover what the US discovered, and that is, some people are/were on death row but are/were innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted.

    This single case adds weight to those who oppose the death penalty. One of the primary arguments against the death penalty is that the state can execute someone who is completely innocent. The legal system is flawed; people can feel certain in a lineup that they are pointing out the right person and still be wrong (this lone case highlights that); police are corrupt and do railroad people; some people feel it is okay to set aside principles to get their desired outcome; and most people cannot afford competent lawyers. As bad as the crime situation is, I maintain that the death penalty is wrong. This single case helps expose some of the flaws in the system.

  4. Well I believe our society is structured on the legal principle that it is preferable for the guilty to go free rather than for the innocent to be punished. We cannot have it both ways. We can either choose to accept this, or determine that some innocent lives are expendable in the pursuit of security and justice.

    So, if I become a cop again in T&T I hope those who argue for the latter choice will forgive me when the bullet I fire to apprehend a criminal has to go through them first before it encounters the target. The bottom line would be that the perp is dead. That so too will them will be a matter of little significance.

  5. watch an see how many DNA gases get kicked out cuz ah ******* police cyah collect evidence properly and we will end up right where we are in crime fighting—the stone age.

    put ur faith in DNA is one thing…but who administering the evidence gathering and collection..ah set ah police who cyah read and write…….. they cyah even spell DNA

  6. It has never been seriously alleged, much less established, that an innocent person has been executed in Trinidad and Tobago, except in the case of Russel Sankerali, one of the Dole Chadee 9, and in that matter it was not alleged that he was innocent but that his role as driver of one of the getaway cars in the murders of the Baboolal family did not warrant the Death Penalty. Tuff luck! Jesus will reward him.

    Is the cliche “It is better that ten guilty go free than one inncocent be hanged” really valid? For the sake of argument how many people would have wanted the entire Dole Chadee gang to go free just to give Russel Sankerali the benefit of the doubt?

    Mistakes can happen. And while every possible doubt of a man’s guilt must be removed and every precaution taken against the possibility of error before he is executed, if such a travesty should occur monetary and other compensation to his next of kin should be prompt and adequate. It is a risk society must be willing to take for its own protection and for the preservation of its common good. No system in the world with a human component attached to it is perfect. The criminal justice system seems to be the only one of which absolute perfection is demanded, yet ironically, its imperfections are lauded and applauded when a guilty man beats the death penalty because of legal technicalities, loopholes or the protective safeguards and checks and balances of the legal system.

    Sacrifices are inevitable and sometimes necessary in practically every field of human endeavour which seeks to benefit mankind. Truly innocent people die needlessly every day through medical malpractice and mistakes in medical judgments and their next of kin are usually quite content to accept monetary compensation for their loss.

    With the introduction of DNA evidence there should now be less opposition to the Death Penalty.

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