Tag Archives: DNA

The OJ Knife Dilemma

Posted by Luke Iorio.

It was deemed the trial of the century–a trial with so many twist and turns it has sparked books to be written about it as well as a TV mini series. It is the O.J. trial, and there was a recent discovery that could finally provide all the answers.

The one thing missing from the prosecutor’s case was the murder weapon. There is a chance that the weapon has been discovered 22 years after the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. A retired policeman has handed in a knife that was found by a construction worker in 1998 on Simpson’s property.  The knife is currently being tested for DNA.

There is still skepticism, amongst many people, that this knife will end up having anything to do with the murders. It is a little suspicious that this knife suddenly appears in the middle of the airing of the mini series that is based on the murders and trial.

The main question to be asked is: what happens if the knife is connected to the murder and the DNA comes back connected to OJ? Because of double jeopardy in the Fifth Amendment, OJ will be safe from being back on trial. Unless the trial goes to a federal court, the only problem is that there is a slim chance that a federal issue could possibly arise from a murder case.

The people that have a chance to face legal punishment if the knife is linked to OJ Simpson are the people that helped keep the knife hidden or, if his friends helped conceal any evidence. Those are the people that could end up going to jail not OJ.

It is important to conclude saying that it is very unlikely that the knife has any connection to the murders and it is just one of the hundred “murder weapons” that have been turned in over the years. But it is something to think about.

Luke is a sports management and finance major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2018.

First Federal Unit to Identify Wrongful Convictions

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington D.C. is the first federal office to set up a unit to identify anyone wrongfully convicted of a crime.  The Conviction Integrity Unit will review cases where defendants offer new evidence that was not available at the original trial, such as DNA evidence, to prove their innocence.  Ronald Machen, Jr., the U.S. Attorney of the Washington office said in a statement, “As prosecutors, our goal is not to win convictions, but to do justice.”  Machen further said, “This new unit will work to uncover historical injustices and to make sure that we are doing everything in our power to prevent such tragedies in the future.”

The Conviction Integrity Unit follows similar ones established in state offices.  The modus for the creation of a separate unit to review these cases arises from five convictions that were vacated by the court, including that of Donald Gates, who was convicted in 1982 of rape and murder based on hair evidence.  DNA testing made available in 2009 proved that he was innocent.

The office is working with defense lawyers and the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, a non-profit organization which fights wrongful convictions.  Over the last four-years, more than 2,000 files involving hair or fiber evidence have been reviewed by the FBI.