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Forensic Evidence Admissibility For Or Against In The Bloodsworth V. State Case

2496 words - 10 pages

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 crime was committed by Bloodsworth. Bloodsworth also argued that there was suppression of exculpatory evidence by the state. He argued this point because after he was found guilty and before the sentencing a psychiatrist, Dr. Gene Ostrom, who is the Director of the Eastern Regional Mental Health Center notified the judge that he had a patient that looked like the sketch and could possibly have committed the murder. The judge contacted the police who after interviewing Rehill, the police concluded he was not a viable suspect because the witnesses said the suspect was over six feet tall and Rehill was only 5’8”. The trial court denied Bloodsworth’s appeal. At Bloodsworth sentencing the judge sentenced him to life in prison instead of the death penalty. (BLOODSWORTH v. STATE, 1988)
Upon researching his case Bloodsworth found out that one of the two juvenile’s that picked him out of the lineup originally picked out someone else. It was not until the child got home that he told his mother that he was afraid and had picked the wrong person on purpose. The mother waited three weeks before she told the police what her son supposedly had done. (McNamara, 2009) Also of the two adults that supposedly saw him only one was able to...

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