Judge In The Courtroom. Male Judge Striking The Gavel.
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The state Supreme Court on Friday ordered the acquittal of a Norwalk man who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for being a felon in possession of a gun, saying there was not enough evidence to have convicted him. …

Norwalk police arrested Dawson after finding a gun on the ground near Dawson and five other people who were sitting around a picnic table at a housing complex in August 2014. Testing on a small amount of DNA found on the gun, much less than what is considered an ideal amount to test, eliminated several people but not Dawson as sources of the sample, according to the ruling.

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  1. Let me get this straight. The original prosecutor determined that a lack of DNA evidence tying the man to the gun was evidence that he was the owner of the gun. Tell me again why the DA himself or herself is not being imprisoned for this?

    • If the DA thought they could convict you with no evidence they would try it. Their job isn’t justice. Their job is prosecution.

      • “Their job is prosecution.”

        Damn straight. He-she-it has to compile a ‘kill count’ of convictions so they can win an election.

        Besides, he *might* have done it… 🙁

        • This is usually done by charging a lesser crime, plea bargain, or nolle pros the case. Prosecutors do not want to go ahead with a case on weak evidence. Nothing for the W column.

      • “Their job isn’t justice. Their job is prosecution.”

        Unfortunately, correct. I know this first hand, in my multiple experiences in courts as both plaintiff and party to defendants. I have not yet encountered a single D.A. who has not been contemptible and self-serving.

        • Prosecutors are like surgeons.

          Surgeons wanna cut the problem out – prosecutors wanna convict the problem out. Both want to view the problem from the viewpoint of their specialty.

      • Anyone who has looked at a firearm with a magnify glass knows a firearm is a DNA magnet so all the talk about so called ghost guns being untraceable is hoopla. However when there are deranged busy body gun control zealots running around loose in society it is prudent to watch the bravado and moncho man adjectives for anything firearm related. If you fail to do that and advertise a finished firearm as “untraceable” then what you see with “untraceable ghost guns” and a certain “trigger” going on right this minute is what you get/got.

        Instead of people building from a 80% and being applauded for their machinist abilities and efforts to learn something positive they are thrown in the toilet with criminals thanks to genius advertising adjectives like, “untraceable.” With such stupidity going on inside the gun community that ranges from bigotry to untraceable to perpetual Trump Bashing to worthless fair weather friends jumping ship over a few rotten NRA apples why not just hand the keys to Gun Control Zealots and get it over with?

      • “Their job isn’t justice. Their job is prosecution.”


        The link above is to part two of a 1957 play from Studio One (yeah, I am that old). It stars Ralph Bellamy, Martin Balsam (with hair), a very young Steven McQueen (not Steve, Steven, as he was known back then), and an even younger William Shatner.

        Between 34:00 and 37:00 minutes, the Martin Balsam character sums it up nicely: “that’s the jury’s headache” — and this was back in 1957 — and they were portraying a prosecutor with some integrity.

    • “Tell me again why the DA himself or herself is not being imprisoned for this?”

      But the prosecutor was fighting the scourge of gun violence! He-she-it meant well!

      /sarc… 🙁

    • Sounds like there was not enough DNA to prove he did it but the DA argued that there was enough DNA to prove the other guys didn’t. Sort of like a guy in a yellow shirt drops a gun and runs round the corner and when the cop gets around the corner he sees you are the only guy there with a yellow shirt. Therefore you must be guilty. Same logic.

      • More like ran around the corner and saw a bunch of guys with red shirts, and one without a shirt and no yellow shirt to be seen. Since the red shirts don’t match, they said no shirt is yellow shirt. They didn’t bother proving no shirt is yellow shirt, or looking for someone else in a yellow shirt.

      • “Sounds like there was not enough DNA to prove he did it but the DA argued that there was enough DNA to prove the other guys didn’t.”

        The DNA testing excluded the others because their DNA was not on the gun. Dawsons DNA was on the gun, but the sample did not meet the legal standard for evidence thus was inconclusive.

    • “The original prosecutor determined that a lack of DNA evidence tying the man to the gun was evidence that he was the owner of the gun.”

      No, that’s not what this says. It says it “eliminated several people but not Dawson as sources of the sample.

      In other words it did not eliminate Dawson as a source of the DNA because his DNA was on the gun, just not enough to indicate he had possessed the gun and for a reliable test thus not conclusive (under standards prescribed by law – for example it could have been something like 98% conclusive but the law requires 99% conclusive). But just being a source of the DNA is not enough to convict, there needed to be direct evidence to back that up. He could have touched it or even held it at some point and gotten DNA on it, but not actually “possessed” it (under law) and there was no direct evidence to back up the DNA but there was indirect “evidence” by inference from the DNA test which although inconclusive is what the prosecutor used and it resulted in the conviction that should not have taken place because there was no direct evidence and the DNA was not conclusive.

      So what the Supreme Court actually said was there was no direct evidence that Dawson actually possessed the gun and the DNA evidence was not conclusive.

      • if the gun was found on the ground…dawson was not in possession of it. The LEO likely just charged him with since he was (the only?) felon there?
        Sounds like “we tried to send one back, regardless if he was guilty or not” to me. The firearm could have belonged to anyone of the 5 otheres there.
        He shouldn’t have had to do the 4 yrs. I’d sue the hell out of the city/state if I were him, for false imprisonment. A few million should suffice I’d say. Lawyer Up!

    • The problem is not the conviction or the reversal. The problem is the life sentence given to felons.
      Do the time to repay society and your rights should be restored.

      • Pardon or espongement are the only options thus far. You’re right. If one is sent to prison to “pay his debt to society”…once he’s paid he should get his rights back. There’s lots of “felonies” that shouldn’t be exempt the felon from gun ownership after he’s paid his debt by jail. However….maybe exceptions for robbery/rape/murder/ with firearm ?

    • Key word in the story is “felon”. Probation/parole can be revoked if the probation officer has a headache. Even if you are no longer on parole/probation, judges just kinda assume that a felon is guilty as charged. As for the DA – few of them are accountable for anything. Just like cops they have “qualified immunity” which means they can do whatever they like.

      In this case, there was a gun, so SOMEONE has to go to prison.

  2. The process is the punishment! Guilt or innocence is irrelevant. Are you registered to vote for the wrong party? Have you publicly spoken out against any local elected official? Have you attended any ‘right wing’ civil rights rally?
    If so, you are a ‘marked’ individual.

  3. Bad cases make bad case law. Most DA’s would attempt to convict you of breaking environmental laws for the act of breathing if they could.

  4. What must be done away with is the belief that having a gun is a crime. If the only reason the system notices you is a gun the system is wrong. There must be a crime occurring other than having a gun. Having a gun is not a crime regardless of your past record. It is not a criminal act to exercise a natural and civil right in and of itself.

  5. Oh, CT. You rascal.
    Pro tip for anyone still living there: leave now before the state railroads the shit our of you because sooner or later it will come for you.

  6. I bet there’s more to the story.

    What did the prosecutor present to the jury to get them to convict with little or no DNA evidence?

    I don’t think the DA went into court and said, “We don’t have jack-shit, but find him guilty anyway.”

        • This is the ruling that released the guy, not a transcript of the trial that put him away.

          Again, why did the jury convict if there was zero evidence?

          Nice try though.

        • “Again, why did the jury convict if there was zero evidence?”

          Not ‘zero’, just pathetically weak evidence.

          And anyone familiar with ‘The System’ knows that kind of crap happens all the damn time. Overwhelmed public defenders don’t have the time or the inclination to give a shit about their ‘clients’.

          There is the way that things should be, and the way that things actually are. Two different planets.

          Welcome to reality… 🙁

        • 1. In a criminal trial a verdict of guilty can only be rendered when the jury is convinced ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ (not pathetically weak). I just want to know what was presented to meet that standard (that the judge agreed with) in this case. Do you know or not?

          2. You act as if the verdict was bad and YOU are smart enough to figure that out and would have voted not guilty based on the lack of evidence. Do you really believe you are smarter than the 12 jury members and judge that were on this case?

          I don’t.

        • “I just want to know what was presented to meet that standard (that the judge agreed with) in this case. Do you know or not?”

          I do know, because I read the transcript that TFred provided, and it’s summarized in there as a necessary part of the ruling. All you had to do was stop being an obstreperous jackwagon for five minutes and read something.

  7. I’m surprised more overzealous prosecutors aren’t targets for assassination…just say in.

  8. Before the DA charged Dawson, the cops arrested him — for nothing.

    Great police work, boys. No wonder cops are so highly trusted.

  9. The Right to Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed.
    Freedom isnt free.
    Dawson might get 4 years back pay but he’ll never get 4 years of his life back.
    All because of exercising an ammendment in the bill of rights.

    • Properly done, DNA evidence is valid. The problem is prosecutors who try to make too much out of a marginal sample and a CSI who won’t stand his ground and refuse to certify that the sample matches the defendant.

      Another risk is a CSI who falsifies evidence. There was a CSI in Omaha who was eventually convicted of this. The final straw was his claim of finding a pristine DNA sample at the bottom of a dumpster that had been in continuous use for six months after the crime. Nobody was dumb enough to believe that.

  10. Prosecutors should not have any kind of immunity. They should be held to the letter of the law. They refuse to turn over evidence to the defense. They outright lie. On the flip side not prosecuting, or reduced charges for repeat offenders and just refusing the case because its not a sure win. A$$holes one and all.

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