The Denver Post reports that a man convicted and sentenced to life in prison for raping and murdering a young woman nearly twenty years ago has been cleared of that crime based on DNA evidence. While the DNA evidence was available at the original trial for the 1989 crime, advances in the ability to analyze and handle DNA in the intervening years allowed for a new examination of the evidence, which not only points away from the man originally convicted, but toward another man who is currently serving time for another similar crime. The defense attorney for Robert Dewey has said that his client is handling the situation extremely well, but that he is concerned for Mr. Dewey’s future. The man who the DNA evidence now points to would currently be eligible for parole from the other crime in 2035.
One of the most fundamental tenets of American criminal law is the presumption of innocence: the idea that every person accused of a crime is innocent until he or she has been proven to be guilty. This is why in a criminal trial, the defendant does not have to prove that he or she is innocent, they have only to provide a reasonable degree of doubt as to their guilt. The prosecution, however, has to prove that the defendant is guilty. If the jury is unsure, then the correct verdict is not guilty. Much of this is based on something called Blackstone’s formulation. In the 1760’s, English jurist William Blackstone made popular a much older idea that it is better for ten guilty people to go free than for one innocent to suffer.
If you have been charged with a crime in Colorado, you need to speak with an experienced Boulder criminal defense attorney immediately to protect your rights. Steven Louth is a former Boulder County prosecutor who has spent the past several years dedicated to protecting the rights of people charged with crimes. With sharp legal skills, a demanding courtroom presence, and a thorough understanding of how the prosecution assembles cases, Steven is a tremendous advocate for anyone facing criminal charges. Keeping up with current practices and technology is a vital part of being an effective Boulder criminal defense attorney. For more information and a FREE CASE EVALUATION if you have been charged with a crime, or are being investigated, contact the law office of Steven Louth today at (303)442-2297.