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Exoneration (Essay Sample)
Chaunte Ott: Research this person, background, legal circumstances, and media coverage. Cover the following: Summary of the individual's life circumstances prior to wrongful conviction Description of the alleged crime and circumstances of arrest and prosecution.Information about the incarceration situation including length, location, and experiences Summary of the exoneration and the individual's current status source..
Chaunte Ott a typical American character involved in drugs, alcohol and other petty crimes such as mugging. He was arrested and found guilty with the crime of murdering one Jessica Payne on the night of August 27, 1995. His murder conviction was purely based on a testimony delivered against him by Richard Gwin who was in his company on the fateful day of the crime (Centre on Wrongful Convictions, 2012). In his testimony, Gwin corroborated the claim launched by the prosecution that the victim’s throat was slit by the defendant (Graves, 1998, p.2). Chaunte Ott was found guilty as charged and handed a life sentence with a possibility of parole after fifty years. However, the accused served time for a period not exceeding thirteen years in Wisconsin prisons.
While serving his time, Ott launched an appeal against his sentence on several grounds including the manner in which the accomplish evidence was handled, the inefficiencies relating to his own attorney and the use of hearsay evidence against him (Graves, 1998, p.2). Ott further questioned the validity of part of the evidence, which included a knife and a box cutter and argued that the testimonies against him were given under undue pressure from the police (Hall, 2010). The media on the other side generated immense debates on the case with a section questioning various gaps in the allegations against the defendant such as the fact that DNA found on the victim had an exact match to eight other women whose murders were of similar circumstances (Bence, 2009).
The DNA test carried out on semen samples collected from Ott did not match that found in the victim’s body. Fortunately, for him, the same DNA collected in Payne’s post mortem report matched another sample collected from two separate rape cases, which all occurred as he was in prison and with the help of an organization known as The Innocence Project, all charges were dropped and Ott became a free man and was awarded USD 25000 compensation (Sherrer, 2010). Further investigations into the murder led to the arrest of Walter E. Ellis who was the real perpetrator of the offence (AP, 2009).
The wrongful conviction of Chaunte Ott is just a one example of the mistrials within the American judicial system where many people have been sentenced and incarcerated for crimes they did not commit based on false testimonies and incomplete of biased investigations. In order to ensure a fair dispensation of justice for all, there is a dire need to reform not only the judicial system, but also the police department as it the authority charged with collection and collation of evidence and witness testimonies.
AP. (September 10, 2009). Man Freed after Thirteen Years is Suing Milwaukee Police, New York Post. Retrieved from HYPERLINK "/p/news/national/item_cm5B17iQiTLfrp711e9qHP" /p/news/national/item_cm...
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