Thursday, December 29, 2016

Another Radiolab review report what ever.

I like Radiolab but sometimes I don't particularly care for the topic.  I will avoid the one labeled, "quicksaaaand".  I used to have that nightmare as a kid but once I saw someone demonstrate how to get out.....

So the other night the topic was certainty, uncertainty.  The guest was a woman who had been assaulted behind a sand dune in the late 80's.  She got a good look at the man, he ultimately strangled her until she passed out.  When she awoke she noticed that her hands were covered with blood, so she carefully crawled to the top of the dune to preserve the evidence.  Her husband found her and then went to the police.  She described the guy.  The police assembled nine men with numbers hanging in front of them.  Number three made the hair lift on the back of her neck and she identified him.  They went to trial, the defendant presented a perfect alibi, he was helping pour cement with his family.  His clothes were examined and there were no cement particles on his clothes.  He was convicted on very strong circumstantial evidence.  He got 32 years without parole.  Seventeen years and some odd months later the woman's lawyer called her.  The DNA was in and he was not her assailant.  She was utterly crushed.  The man was exonerated. She eventually asked to meet him to apologize.  They met and talked and she asked to hug him.  Most of the time during the 17 years she had performed some volunteer work, particularly at the prison giving classes to the prisoners.  Her lawyer told her that there was a hit on the DNA.  Her real assailant was in the same prison for 60 years.  She wanted to see what he looked like and she had no visceral reaction to her real assailant.  A couple years later her lawyer called her to say that her exonerated assailant had been booked for murder.   Police found the body of a missing woman.  His nephew was questioned and confessed that he had gone to visit his uncle who answered the door.  He saw the woman tied up on the bed.  His uncle invited him in to rape her as well and they then killed her.  He was convicted and went to prison.  The woman was stunned and could no longer believe her own perceptions about people.  The retired judge of the case talked with her and said that her original assailant had a previous record and the police were actually watching him but did not follow him the day of her assault.  The judge also told her it was his opinion that he was an outlier for the situation.  To recap she was assaulted, convicted the wrong man her feeling fully engaged with his guilt, he was proven innocent, her DNA pointed out another man who did not engage her feelings and then the original guy committed murder.  Brrrrr.  You couldn't make this stuff up. 

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