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Man Jailed For 15 Years Is Set Free Thanks To Genealogical Website Data

Ricky Davis spent fifteen years after being wrongfully convicted in the slaying of his housemate. Thanks to data from publicly available genealogical websites, the authorities were able to use the data to arrest a new suspect in the murder of Davis’ housemate. The technological development improves the terrible justice system, as The Guardian details:  

The El Dorado county district attorney, Vern Pierson, would not go into detail on the newly implicated suspect, who was a juvenile at the time of the slaying and by law must make at least his first appearances in juvenile court even though he is now in his 50s, but said he was one of three young men who had been with the victim’s teenage daughter on the night of the slaying.
Pierson said the developments are “two of the most dramatic extremes that you can experience”.
“On the one hand, we have the system working in the worst possible way. On the other hand, we have the evolution of technology in terms of genetic genealogy” that led to Davis being freed and a new suspect arrested this week, he said. “It is a surreal thing in a sense.”

image via The Guardian


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A big part of this story for me is how the victim's 13 year old daughter was coerced into changing her testimony by police interrogators. That tainted the whole case from the beginning.
Secondly, the courts and prison system refused to let this guy out of even though they had already exonerated him until after they had a new suspect identified.
This entire case is a study of how the entire justice system failed at nearly every step in throwing an innocent person in prison and then keeping him there longer than he should have been.
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