DNA Frees Man After 28 Years for Rape and Murder

Donald Gates was convicted of rape and murder in 1981. After 28 years, DNA testing has exonerated him. A judge ordered him released today. Formal hearings to clear Gates will follow. The judge also criticized the Government for relying on an FBI analyst whose findings contributed to Gates' conviction:

Senior Judge Fred B. Ugast angrily criticized government officials who relied heavily on the testimony of an FBI analyst during Gates's trial. The analyst incorrectly linked Gates to two hairs from an African American male, found on the body of white college student Catherine Schilling, who was slain in 1981.

That FBI analyst, Michael P. Malone, was discredited in a 1997 review by the Justice Department along with 13 other analysts for making false reports and inaccurate tests.

What is the 58 year old getting?

He'll be given a bus ticket to Ohio, where he's from, winter clothes and $75.

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  • Display: Sort:
    This is an absolute (none / 0) (#1)
    by Zorba on Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 01:34:45 PM EST
    disgrace and a travesty, that it took so long (and that they relied on this "analyst" in the first place).  This man lost 28 years of his life.  Giving him a substantial amount of money and help in finding housing, plus counseling to help him get his life back together, won't give him those years back, but it would be far better than a bus ticket, pocket change, and some clothing.

    75 Bucks? (none / 0) (#2)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 01:40:31 PM EST
    Is there room in the budget for such a substantial award?

    We now know what the value of a life is (none / 0) (#3)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 01:54:23 PM EST
    to the folks in DC.

    I trust some lawyer is going to jump on this case and get him reasonable restitution.

    On the brightside... (none / 0) (#4)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 02:28:26 PM EST
    ...at least he wasn't castrated like some people around here advocate.  

    $75 for 28 years? My jaw has hit the foor. (none / 0) (#5)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 03:19:24 PM EST

    It's worse... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 03:26:28 PM EST
    than giving the poor guy zilch...an insult.

    Diogenes Theorem (none / 0) (#7)
    by diogenes on Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 06:49:21 PM EST
    "...Another witness testified that Gates had tried to rob her days before, and in the same location, as Schilling was killed..."

    From the Washington Post.

    Of course he didn't deserve 28 years, should at least have been freed in 1997, and should have compensation (since a now-discredited FBI witness did him in) but bad karma (attempted robbery and likely other crimes) took hold.  Not many Sunday School teachers are involved in these mistaken convictions.    

    Not many Sunday School teachers period... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 06:53:17 PM EST
    my friend...we can't have the authorities trying to be the authority on karma too....they don't call them higher powers for nothing.

    of course (none / 0) (#10)
    by Steve M on Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 09:43:40 PM EST
    it's entirely possible that said testimony was as baseless as the overturned conviction itself.  And I have no idea where "likely other crimes" even comes from.  You don't seem to realize that your thesis is circular.

    This is indeed a disgrace and a travesty (none / 0) (#9)
    by mcl on Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 09:22:14 PM EST
    The prosecutor in this case fell down on the job and somehow failed to prevent the convict from getting the DNA tested.

    Usually in these types of cases, the prosecutor successfully argues against retesting the DNA. prevents that crucial sense of "closure" for the victims, you see. Also casts doubt on the all-important judicial process.

    Prediction: someday soon (perhaps this year, perhaps next) we'll see a federal law that prohibits retesting DNA on any old felonies. That should solve these kinds of problems once and for all.

    Remember...if you can't get those botched prosecutions right, at least you can cover 'em up.