WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS & EXONERATIONS
After 9 Years, Wrongfully Convicted Man Set to Get New Trial: After nine years behind bars for a murder he says he didn’t commit, a Missouri man could be on the brink of freedom as an appellate court hears arguments later today in a case where the state’s two key witnesses have recanted their testimony, and there is no DNA linking the convicted killer to the crime scene.
After 40 Years, Wrongfully Convicted Arizona Man is Set Free: What is it like to be thrown behind bars when you’re 16 and told you’ll languish there for the rest of your life, all for a crime you adamantly maintain you didn’t commit?
9 Years Later, Freed Man Wins $3.5 Million Judgement: The total awards in thus case of a wrongful conviction reach $6 million. Nearly nine years after being freed from prison, where he served 17 years for a double murder in the central Illinois city of Paris before being freed for lack of evidence, Gordon “Randy” Steidl has won a second multi-million-dollar judgment in his case against the people who put him behind bars.
Innocent Man Freed After 23 Years in Prison: A man who spent more than two decades behind bars was freed by a judge after a re-investigation of his case cast serious doubt on evidence used to convict him in the cold-blooded shooting of a Brooklyn rabbi. Prosecutorial misconduct, bordering on criminal, appears to have been the cause of this wrongful conviction but prosecutors deny this.
Multi-Million Dollar Wrongful Conviction Awards Should Be Taxpayers’ Call to Action: Massive pay-outs to wrongfully convicted should be a wake-up call to Americans that the justice system has become little better than a conviction machine with an unacceptable percentage of “collateral damage” or innocents serving long sentences or even being executed.
Oakland, California Man’s Conviction Tossed, After 14 Years in Prison:For the second time in just two weeks, in Alameda County, (see story below), a defendant who serve a long prison sentence was cleared on DNA evidence.
Innocent Man is Freed After 7 Years: Alameda County prosecutors agreed with defense attorneys that Ross’ conviction should be thrown out. Rolefson did just that Wednesday, vacating Ross’ 25-years-to-life sentence for attempted murder and assault with a firearm.
The Innocence Project: The Innocence Project was founded in 1992 by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University to assist prisoners who could be proven innocent through DNA testing. To date, more than 300 have been exonerated, some off of death row.
Former prosecutor apologies to a man wrongly convicted and sent to prison for 25 years: Former prosecutor issues tearful apology to a man wrongly convicted of slaying his wife and sent to prison for 25 years…but insists his office got it as right as humanly possible.
Frank O’Connell, Convicted Murderer Who Maintained Innocence, Released From Prison After 27 Years Despite being convicted of the 1984 shooting of a South Pasadena, Calif. man, Frank O’Connell always maintained his innocence throughout the 27 years he’s been in prison. Now, O’Connell is getting a second chance to prove it. Last month, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled that he was entitled to a new trial because the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department failed to disclose evidence pointing to another potential suspect.
More than 2,000 Wrongfully Convicted People Exonerated in 23 Years: No matter how tragic they are, even 2,000 exonerations over 23 years is a tiny number in a country with 2.3 million people in prisons and jails,” says a report released by the authors. “If that were the extent of the problem we would be encouraged by these numbers. But it’s not. These cases merely point to a much larger number of tragedies that we do not know about.
Exonerations in the United States, 1989 – 2012: An extremely detailed downloadable report, 108 pages, on wrongful convictions in the U.S.
Exonerations by State and County: This document, an expansion of the above, gives numbers of exonerations by county in each U.S. state.
Calif. Study: Prosecutors’ Misconduct Reverses 18 Convictions in 2010: California prosecutors committed 130 instances of misconduct last year, some of which were so egregious that they resulted in the reversals of 18 convictions, including eight for murder, a new study reports.
5,000 – 10,000 Wrongful Convictions per Year: The ultimate question is whether the prospect of, at a minimum, 2,000 innocent defendants going to prison every year (with capital murder defendants a disproportionately higher part of this total as their wrongful conviction rates are demonstrably higher than 0.5%), and another 3,000 receiving lesser felony sentences, should move the innocence reform agenda.
Supreme Court Overturns New Orleans Man’s Murder Conviction: The Supreme Court ruled that a New Orleans man’s murder conviction must be reversed because prosecutors failed to reveal that the sole eyewitness to the crime had earlier said he could not identify the killer.
San Francisco Man Wrongly Convicted of Murder is Cleared After Serving 18 Years in Prison: A San Francisco judge ruled Tuesday that a man imprisoned for 18 years was wrongfully convicted in a double-murder case in which San Francisco authorities failed to tell the defense that they paid thousands of dollars to the star witness.
Framed for Murder: That’s the view of five federal judges in a case involving Kevin Cooper, a black man in California who faces lethal injection next year for supposedly murdering a white family. The judges argue compellingly that he was framed by police.