There is a quote, “Time is the fire in which we burn.” So it is for the victims, their friends and families in the case of the south Louisiana serial killer and no doubt a near endless line of other murder victims and their families.
DNA has proved Derrick Lee’s guilt, and he is sentenced to death.
The case has been appealed and upheld twice by the U.S. Supreme Court. That should be the end of it.
It should be, but it is not because Louisiana law, formulated in pre-forensic science times, allows for post-conviction appeals in capital cases, even those with overwhelming forensic evidence in support of guilt.
I contend that in cases where DNA — which, by the way, is considered absolutely certain proof by the Innocence Project — is available, there is no logic for post-conviction appeals.
The post-conviction process should be congruent with scientific fact. Clearly, if DNA evidence can conclusively establish someone’s innocence, the corollary should also be true, and DNA evidence should conclusively be allowed to establish someone’s guilt. In such a case, there should be no entitlement to post-conviction relief.
Make it so, Louisiana. Make it so.