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System Variables in the Ronald Cotton Case - Essay Example

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System Variables in the Ronald Cotton Case Name Institution Introduction Analysis Ronald cotton case: In July 1984, on two occasions an assailant broke into two apartments, robbed and raped the two women with whom he came in contact. Through a series of bad luck and errors by the police and the judicial system, Ronald Cotton was found guilty of both crimes…
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System Variables in the Ronald Cotton Case
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Download file to see previous pages During the introduction, Cotton complicated the case by being nervous and mixing his dates while having an inconsistent alibi. The damning evidence was found in the form of foam which Cotton was missing that resembled the one found in Jennifer’s apartment. Analysis Throughout the entire period, Ronald Cotton proclaimed his innocence; unfortunately it fell on deaf ears. However, two years into his prison sentence he found out there was a fellow inmate, Bobby Poole, who was boasting to have committed the crimes that had been levelled against Ronald Cotton. In learning, of this, he endeavoured to have another trial. However, due to court errors, he was found guilty for the second time. This was regardless of the reality that the other victim was unable to identify him in the line-up. This was coupled by the court’s decision to exclude the testimony expounding on Bobby Poole’s admission of having committing the two accounts of rape. This time round, Cotton was imprisoned for two successive life sentences (RICHARD A. WISE, 2009). Cotton did not give up hope of being free once again. He spent the next eight years writing to anyone and everyone who could help him with his predicament. Eventually, the case caught the eye of Richard Rosen, who at the time was a law professor and attorney. In partnership with another attorney, they filed for appropriate relief. They cited the lack of proper presentation in the cotton Case. Additionally, they filed for DNA testing. The results showed that the Cotton was not indeed the rapist. Further investigation pointed to Bobby Poole as the rapist. Consequently, the district attorney moved to dismiss all charges against Ronald Cotton. He was subsequently released after serving approximately eleven years in jail (RICHARD A. WISE, 2009). Systematic variables are certain factors of case that are at the control of the justice system. Examples of system variable can vary from the way line-ups are presented to the eye witness, photo arrays to how the police interact with the eye witness. On the other hand, estimator variables are those factors of a case that are not in the control of the justice system. An example of this can be the locality of the crime and visibility amongst others. One system variable that was present in the Cotton case was the way the line up was presented. Judging by the numerous literatures available, it seems the line up was biased. If not so, then the fillers that were employed created a biased environment. This is because, Jennifer is quoted as saying that Cotton just stood out. Her utterances must have alerted the officers of the bias present in the line-up. However, the officers were either unaware of this or opted to down play this valuable sentiment. Thus, it is arguable that her conjecture on the appearance of the perpetrator overrode that of reason. This might play a significant role in why Jennifer believes, to this day, that the man she encountered in her apartment, that fateful day, was Ronald Cotton. An additional system variable present in the case was that of double blind administration. The officers handling the case lied to Jennifer that the other rape victim had also picked Cotton out of the line up. This might have convinced Jennifer further that indeed Cotton was the perpetrator. Double billing entails the information provided by the police officers to the witness pertaining to the case. This is usually before or ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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