By Jason Wieder
The use of DNA in criminal cases was a key topic at a recent panel of law experts debate at Loyola University Chicago.
A crowd of 44 people gathered at Loyola University Chicago’s Corboy Law Center for “The Prosecutor’s Duty To Seek Justice.”
The law professionals speaking at the event included Thomas Sullivan, a former United States attorney and partner at Jenner & Block ; former Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission administrator Mary Robinson; visiting Northwestern University law professor Joshua Tepfer; and John Conroy a member of the Better Government Association and writer for The Chicago Reader. Robert Mogul of the Illinois Academy of Criminology and professor emeritus of the City Colleges of Chicago, moderated the panel.
One of the most discussed topic of the evening was the use of DNA evidence to free wrongfully convicted people from jail.
Thomas Sullivan spoke in favor of using DNA.
“I never understood why prosecutors never followed up on evidence,” Sullivan said. “If it was your brother or child being wrongfully convicted, how would you feel?”
John Conroy also condoned the use of DNA.
“These people are being sent to jail without any chance of being cleared by science,” Conroy said.
Audience members seemed to agree with the panelist’s views.
“It comes to a matter of personal integrity,” said Marienne Branch, 58, an assistant public defender from Chicago. “How can you do otherwise?”