"Test for the truth," is the Akron Beacon Journal editorial signed by Michael Douglas, the Journal's editorial page editor.
If Tyrone Noling faced trial today, he would be found not guilty. Actually, the strong likelihood is, a trial would not go forward, prosecutors left with the conclusion drawn more than two decades ago by the Portage County sheriff: The idea that Noling and three other young men were responsible for the murders of Cora and Bearnhardt Hartig in Atwater Township in April 1990 “just didn’t fit.”
Yet Noling has been sitting on death row since 1996. His case has evolved into another frustrating judicial chapter of form trumping substance. Common sense indicates the case against him has collapsed. Still, his attorneys must find a path through the law before the courts will declare as much.
On Thursday, his attorneys will be part of a hearing conducted by Judge John Enlow of the Portage County Common Pleas Court to weigh Noling’s request for DNA testing of potentially decisive evidence — a cigarette butt, shell casings and ring boxes. These items have not been subjected to the current more sophisticated DNA testing. The results could change the outcome of the case.
Or, put a different way, the request for testing reflects just what state lawmakers intended when they rewrote the law not too long ago to take better advantage of new technology in helping ensure that justice is achieved.
Earlier coverage of Tyrone Noling's case begins at the link.