Sometimes DNA tests prove guilt of inmates

The Kansas City StarApril 7, 2009 

Kansas inmate Charles Hunter insisted he was an innocent man, that the system got it wrong.

So did Charles Williams, a Texas prisoner convicted of three rapes that happened two decades ago.

Just do DNA testing, both pleaded with prosecutors and advocacy groups. Science would set them free, just like it had some 230 inmates before them.

Only one problem. Science didn't prove Hunter and Williams innocent last month.

It proved their guilt.

In an era of DNA exonerations, where headlines scream of wrongful convictions and photos highlight vindicated inmates leaving prison, these aren't the results destined for a made–for–TV movie.

Not as much is heard about the inmates who plead for DNA testing – and get it – knowing full well they're guilty.

"We're obviously not going to put out a press release when we ask for DNA tests for somebody and it comes back nailing them," said Rob Warden, executive director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Chicago's Northwestern University School of Law. "It's not news when the criminal justice system operates the way it's supposed to."

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