It’s not just television drama anymore. It’s the real stuff. And it should be a statement of what our justice system should take note of and what jurors and the public should demand — good police work and the implementation of all possible forensic devices in felony cases.

After spending a quarter of a century in jail, a Georgia inmate is going free. DNA testing has proved that Robert Clark did not kidnap and rape an Atlanta woman. And, that evidence has pointed to another person who has a criminal background. Clark had no criminal background.

Now the big question is, if DNA bearing samples were available in this case, why did it take so long to bring about the truth?

The fact that 164 convicted persons have been exonerated after-the-fact with DNA testing — five of them in Georgia — should underline the need for all possible DNA testing to be exhausted before their lives have been wrecked. DNA testing must be a fundamental, not a luxury.

It might be pointed out that DNA testing is very costly and time consuming. So ask Robert Clark what 25 years of his life is worth. If it is costly and timing consuming, then our system must develop this science to be more readily applicable to our cause of jurisprudence.

It’s often been said that it’s better for 10 guilty people to go free than for one innocent person to go to jail. Some may argue the law of averages against that perception, but one can safely bet their feelings would tilt 180 degrees if they were the affected person.

Our justice system must not be about convictions. It must be about truth. And whatever it takes to reveal that truth, we must afford.

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