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Good news and bad news

I'm a sucker for those TV movies about innocent men wrongly convicted of crimes they didn't commit -- a promotional slogan I love, by the way. Are there innocent men rightly convicted?

Anyway, because of that, and because of my general libertarian distrust of government, I love the stories of DNA evidence being used to free innocent people from prison. The New York Times carried a story of this happening in Minnesota recently. A convicted rapist was exonerated after DNA evidence proved another had committed the crime. Reading further, though, tempered my excitement just a bit:

The man convicted of the rape, David Brian Sutherlin, is serving a life sentence for a double murder committed while he was out on bail on the rape charge. Prosecutors expect the lifting of the rape conviction to ease his path to parole, for which he became eligible this year.
Okay. So he didn't rape anybody; he just killed two people. While out on bail for the rape. Is this really the best use of government resources? To find out that a double murderer-rapist might "only" be guilty of double murder?


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