New Trial For Ralph Armstrong
Reversing decisions of a trial court and the state court of appeals, the Wisconsin Supreme Court today ordered a new trial for Ralph Armstrong, convicted of the 1980 rape and murder of Charise Kamps. While the prosecution clung to its theory that Armstrong was the rapist, it had difficulty explaining new DNA tests that excluded Armstrong as the source of the semen recovered from Kamps. It turned out that the semen belonged to Kamps' boyfriend.
The prosecution nonetheless argued that "head hairs found on a bathrobe belt draped over Kamps' mutilated body ... were similar to Armstrong's" hair, and hey, superficial similarity should be good enough to sustain a murder conviction, right? Wrong. New DNA tests revealed that the hairs didn't come from Armstrong.
The prosecution's shakey case was always controversial, given the decision police made to "reconstruct" events by hypnotizing a witness, and the witness' subsequent flip-flopping testimony.
|< Judith Miller: How Did They Know? | Update on Judith Miller: How Did They Know >|