DNA and Justice in China

DNA Testing in China vs in America

According to the Innocence Project, there are over 300 people in America that have been exonerated from a crime they have have convicted of, thanks to DNA testing.   18 from Death Row.

More detailed data is below.

I support the Death Penalty.    However to my surprise being found guilty of killing someone does not automatically carry a death sentence.   A relative of mine was murdered not so long ago, and to my surprise his killer was not given the death sentence.   Why?  His case did not meet one of the seven  criteria that would have qualified the killer for such a sentence.    This coming from a very RED state.
I was flabbergasted to hear my relative would not get the “justice” he so deserved.

I honestly believe that the legal process in America is the most time consuming, torturous process  internationally on Earth.  It strives for perfection.   It can take over a year just to try a murder case.   

The jury must unanimously reach a verdict.  Even the vote of one juror can make a person innocent, and keep the person from jail.   

And yet we make mistakes.  

How is this possible?

America is unique.  It is a country perhaps more than any other that is obsessed with the mythic chase of social perfection.   There is no place so self critical.   All we hear about in America is how defective we are as a society.   I swear that Americans who have never lived abroad would think their country is nothing if not dysfunctional, socially backward, and beyond all hope of progress.  At times it is depressing to watch the news, or catch up on current events online.    We are a nation obsessed with self improvement.  

The use of DNA is an excellent example of how America has used this philosophy to make itself a better place. 

Then I got to thinking about China.  Another nation that is very, very pro death penalty.(the sentiment is beginning to decline in America)

China is many things but cannot in the least be described as a process driven nation when it comes to Justice.    There are no juries.   No attorney client priviledge.

Where justice in America is a tool used to keep the power of the State at bay, in China it is a tool used to maintain the power of the State vis a vis the individual.

And there is actually a legal double standard in China for punishing lawbreakers.  One for Party members, and one for non Party members.

And now I’m left to wonder about the role of DNA in China today.  It is used primarily to conduct paternity testing.  But with the speed of the judicial process in China, isn’t it possible that mistakes have occurred?   How many people in China sit unjustly imprisoned today?    Executed?  Not by political fiat but by incompetence?    

If mistakes could take place in such a process driven and open society such as the United States, is it possible such a thing could occur in China?  And wouldn’t the use of DNA to vet against judicial error be a good thing?  

DNA testing in America has brought some confidence back into the American judicial system, and helped to ensure that bad practice does not creep back into how we try the accused.

Will we ever be able to say the same for China?


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