Patrick Edward MisnerAfter he was arrested for the alleged brutal rape of his then-girlfriend's 4-year-old girl, Tommy Braden was placed in jail for 84 days. The entire time he was in prison, he begged authorities to conduct a DNA test to prove his innocence, but they refused to do so, based on the fact that they felt the test was a waste of taxpayers' money. Finally, three months after he was admitted, a DNA test was administered, and guess what? Braden was telling the truth: He didn't do it.
Branden found the little girl the morning after the horrifying incident and immediately called the police. The cops arrested Braden on the basis that they felt the scene looked staged; he failed a lie-detector test; and -- worst of all -- the fact that the little girl identified him. The DNA match belongs to Patrick Edward Misner, a convicted felon who lived in the same mobile home park as the little girl. Misner had fled from Oklahoma, where he was living, to Portland, Oregon, where he was arrested for something else. He's since been brought back to Oklahoma and is being held on $750,000 bond on charges of burglary, rape, and lewd molestation.
Based on everything the police found, how could one not initially think that Branden was guilty? Especially after the little girl IDed him? It seemed like a fairly cut and dried case, but clearly, when dealing with something as serious as the rape of a small child, more steps need to be taken.
Not only was Braden accused of one of the most heinous crimes, completely tarnishing his name, Misner went free. I'm not sure what's more sickening. Could you imagine the world thinking you did something so atrocious, when really, you were the person who called for help? And could you imagine what it must have been like for Braden when the little girl pointed at him as the suspect?
It's a good thing thing the court decided to go ahead with a DNA test -- not only to clear Braden's name, but to make sure the sick individual who did this never sees the light of day.
Maybe DNA tests, in cases like these, should be something we resort to sooner. A mistake like this is unacceptable.
What do you think of this?