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criminal defense Archives

The innocent waiting on death row

The death penalty, which typically involves lethal injection and is still legal in Tennessee, is used only for the most serious crimes. When a jury convicts someone and asks for the death penalty, that jury is saying not only that the person did commit the crime but that rehabilitation in prison is not possible. The inmate then goes to death row and may spend years waiting for the sentence to be carried out.

Ballistics testimony; a practice contributing to wrongful convictions

A man was shot. Police found a gun inside the yard of a nearby home. A lab tested the gun and compared the grooves and scratches of its interior to the casings found at the crime scene. According to the examiner, the gun conclusively matched "to the exclusion of every other firearm in the world." End of story. Guilty verdict.

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