Forensic Evidence Admissibility For or Against in the Bloodsworth v. State Case

Forensic Evidence Admissibility For or Against in the Bloodsworth v. State Case

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In this position paper I have chosen Bloodsworth v. State ~ 76 Md.App. 23, 543 A.2d 382 case to discuss on whether or not the forensic evidence that was submitted for this case should have been admissible or not. To understand whether or not the evidence should be admissible or not we first have to know what the case is about.
This case started on July 25, 1984, with the death of a nine year old girl by the name of Dawn Hamilton. The story plays out as follows: Dawn approached two boys and an adult male that were fishing at a pond in a wooded area near Golden Ring Mall in eastern Baltimore, Maryland. Dawn asked the boys to help her find her cousin, they declined the adult male however agreed to help her look. This was the last time anyone saw Hamilton alive. Hamilton’s body was found to have been raped, strangled and beaten with a rock. The police collected a boot print at the scene and DNA that was found in Hamilton’s underwear. The police also relied on the witness testimonies and line-ups, which in this case was the photo array. With the five eye witness testimonies and a tip the believed to be suspect was found. Kirk Noble Bloodsworth a prior U.S. Marine with no prior criminal record was taken into custody and charged with intentional first degree murder, sexual assault and rape. Bloodsworth was basically convicted on the eye witness testimonies. The state requested the death penalty. Bloodsworth was sentenced to two consecutive life terms. (BLOODSWORTH v. STATE, 1988)
On Bloodsworth’s appeal he argued several points. First he argued that there was not sufficient evidence to tie Bloodsworth to the crime. The courts ruled that the ruling stand on the grounds that the witness evidence was enough for reasonable doubt that the c...


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...lice or lawyers used their integrity. The police skirted around the law and use evidence that the witnesses said was not correct. They had a description of the suspect that did not match Bloodsworth but, they went after him as well. They also used eyewitness testimony that could have been contaminated.



Works Cited

BLOODSWORTH v. STATE, 76 Md. App. 23 (Court of Special Appeals of Maryland July 8, 1988).
Jain, M. (2001). Mitigating the Dangers of Capital Convictions Based on Eyewitness Testimony Through Treason's Two-Witness Rule. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 761-790.
McNamara, J. M. (2009). Sketchy Eyewitness-Identification Procedures:A Proposal to Draw up Legal Guidelines For The Use of Facial Composites in Criminal Investigations. Univesity of Wisconsin Law School, 764-799.
Samaha, J. (2012). Criminal Procedure. Belmont: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

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