- CCRC’s referral of George case back to court of appeals a boost for the university-based Innocence Projects in the UK
- Pending bill in Scotland could increase wrongful convictions
- Exoneree Dwayne Dail gets $7.5 million compensation from state
- The last of the Scottsboro boys exonerated
- Derrick Deacon’s first days of freedom
- Exoneree Christopher Scott uses compensation money to build a business, help others
- Arizona adopts wrongful conviction provision of ethical rules for prosecutors
- In New Jersey, DNA test results exonerate Gerard Richardson in bite mark murder case
- Colorado begins compensation payments to exoneree Robert Dewey
- Illinois exoneree Carl Chatman briefly jailed when police mistakenly believe he was unregistered sex offender
- A Connecticut judge on Wednesday ordered a new trial for Michael C. Skakel, a nephew of Ethel Kennedy who was convicted in 2002 of bludgeoning a neighbor with a golf club in 1975, saying his original lawyer had not represented him effectively.
- Two men exonerated by DNA evidence in the rape of a Washington woman have reached a $10.5 million settlement with the county that wrongly imprisoned them for 17 years. Larry Davis, 57, and Alan Northrop, 49, were falsely convicted of raping a housekeeper in 1993, victims of technological limitations that prohibited the use of DNA testing on the small samples collected in the case. Ordered since then by a judge, and aided by the Innocence Project Northwest, to do conduct post-conviction DNA testing, Clark County (WA) retested the samples and found that neither belonged to the two men. Since their release, Davis and Northrop have fought Clark County in pursuit of restitution, citing negligence by the sheriff’s office and the lead detective on the case, Don Slagle. Davis and Northrop were accused based on sparse details provided by a victim who was blindfolded throughout the crime. The county finally decided to settle once Slagle took the stand when it was revealed that he not only had other leads, but he completely neglected them to pursue Davis and Northrop. Keep reading original story….
- Baltimore police implement “double blind” lineup procedure
- A federal judge has entered a default judgment against former Douglas County crime scene investigator David Kofoed in two wrongful prosecution lawsuits. Matthew Livers and Nicholas Sampson sued several Nebraska law enforcement agencies and officials, including Kofoed, who spend two years in prison for evidence tampering in the case. Prosecutors said Kofoed planted blood evidence in a car to bolster a case against Livers and Sampson, who were later exonerated. The other defendants agreed to pay a total of $2.6 million to the men to settle the suits. Continue reading…
- Three men who were sentenced to death only to be exonerated years later have a message for Ohio and the rest of America: Abolish the death penalty because the judicial system doesn’t work. Delbert Tibbs, Joe D’Ambrosio and Damon Thibodeaux, who collectively spent almost 40 years on death row before being set free, are giving 10 talks in five days in Ohio this week in hopes of persuading people to oppose the death penalty. Continue reading....
Anthony Graves spent 18 years in prison – 12 years on death row – for a murder he did not commit.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of his attorney, Nicole Casarez, and her students at Houston’s University of St. Thomas, he was eventually exonerated. He was awarded $1.4 million by the state of Texas for wrongful incarceration.
Anthony wanted to recognize her efforts with something that would “live on,” and so created an endowed scholarship at the University of Texas Law School in her name.
Read the full story here.
Strict new rules which will severely restrict the ability to obtain compensation for those who have had convictions overturned in the courts of England and Wales, look set to be passed. Earlier blog posts have detailed these changes (here….and here…) and now, former ‘Birmingham Six’ member, Billy Power, has spoken out. It is very rare for Mr Power to speak to the media, and his clear concerns about the new rules are prompting him, and others, to try and raise the issue, which seems to be entirely evading any political or public debate at all. Read Mr Power’s views here…
And more reaction here:
- Washington state exonerees Alan Northrop and Larry Davis settle their federal wrongful conviction lawsuit for $10.5 million
- The city of Peekskill has approved a $5.4 million settlement with a man who spent 16 years in prison for a killing he didn’t commit. The Journal News (http://lohud.us/18CSmN5 ) says the Peekskill Common Council approved the settlement with Jeffrey Deskovic (DEH’-skoh-vihch) on Tuesday night. Deskovic was 16 when he was charged with the November 1989 killing of a 15-year-old Peekskill High School classmate. He was freed from prison in 2006 after DNA linked the killing to another man. Deskovic previously received $8.3 million from New York state and Westchester County. He used some of the money to start the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice to help other innocent people get out of prison. In May, he received a master’s degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
- Another Texas arson case getting scrutiny
- The Irish Innocence Project may be on the verge of its first exoneration
- Chicago taxpayers will spend $12.3 million to compensate two more exonerated inmates who claim they were tortured into false confessions by convicted former Area 2 Cmdr. Jon Burge, keeping former Mayor Richard M. Daley off the hot seat. The identical $6.15 million settlements will go to Ronald Kitchen and Marvin Reeves, who spent more than two decades in prison for the 1988 murders of five they did not commit. It marks the third time that cases settled by Mayor Rahm Emanuel have spared Daley from answering questions under oath about allegations that — as state’s attorney and as mayor — he failed to investigate police torture allegations against Burge and participated in a conspiracy to cover it up.
- In Illinois, DNA that exonerated one man points to a new suspect
- In Virginia, lawmakers consider moves that would speed up exoneration process and rate at which exonerees obtain their compensation
Getting a job with prison on your resume isn’t easy. That’s an understatement, but tomorrow ex-offenders in Ohio will get free advice—including information on starting a business and finding the resources to return to school—and even free proper business clothing to help them get back into the workplace. The event, free and open to ex-offenders, will be held at Columbus State Community College. Thanks to several government agencies involved and to Ohio Development Director David Goodman for this initiative. Goodman also sponsored Senate Bill 77, the bill that enacted best practice reform aimed at reducing wrongful conviction.
Which brings to mind the peculiar place of the exonerated. One would presume that tomorrow’s program would also welcome those wrongfully convicted, because, unfortunately, many still face the stigma of prison even though they did not deserve to be there. Continue reading
- Kenya scarred by wrongful convictions (and the government’s refusal to acknowledge them)
- Was the Stanley Wrice wrongful conviction hearing in Illinois subverted by politics?
- RIP exoneree Forest Shomberg, found dead in Wisconsin of apparent drug overdose
- The Alaska Supreme Court is considering proposed rule changes that would require lawyers in the state to disclose evidence that suggests a person has been wrongly accused or convicted of a crime. Alaska state prosecutors and defense lawyers are currently not required to turn over exculpatory evidence – facts that point toward a defendant’s innocence. For the past four years, the Alaska Bar Association has called on the court system to add rules to the Alaska Rules of Professional Conduct, which govern lawyers across the state. The American Bar Association has promoted similar state-level rules around the country. “This is designed to encourage lawyers to think about the consequences of not doing anything,” said Steve Van Goor, counsel for the Alaska Bar Association. “When you’re in a position to report evidence and don’t, an innocent person sits in prison.”
- Clerk fired for helping wrongfully convicted man said she would do the same thing all over again
- New newsletter of Innocence Network UK available here
As several of my blog posts have pointed out (here…. and here…. and here…), seeking compensation for a wrongful conviction in the UK is becoming nigh on impossible. Recent decisions to severely restrict compensation to only those who can demonstrate … Continue reading
- The National Center for Reason and Justice’s response to DA Kathleen Rice’s self-serving report on the Jesse Friedman case.
- Irish Innocence Project students intern in the U.S.
- A killer from Ipswich, England, who spent a decade claiming he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice has finally admitted his guilt. Simon Hall, 35, was convicted and jailed for life in 2003 after murdering Joan Albert, 79, in her home in Capel St Mary, Suffolk. She was found in her hallway on December 16, 2001, after being stabbed five times. He had protested his innocence ever since, launching a series of appeals, winning the backing of MPs and appearing in the BBC documentary Rough Justice. But now it has emerged Hall, previously of Hill House Road, Ipswich, had admitted his guilt to prison authorities, bringing his campaign to an end.
- An exonerated Durham man said Monday that the State Bureau of Investigation has agreed to pay him $4.6 million after he was wrongfully convicted of murder and spent 17 years behind bars. Greg Taylor sued the agency after an independent review found questionable practices at its state crime lab. Taylor’s conviction was bolstered in part by blood evidence analysis from the lab that has since been discredited.
- In New Orleans, police avoid turning over public records to Innocence Project New Orleans
- Exoneree Brian Banks cherishes preseason debut with Atlanta Falcons
- Arizona prosecutor opposes ethical rule requiring prosecutors to disclose evidence of a wrongful conviction
- Dallas DA Craig Watkins, champion of the wrongfully convicted, draws challenger for 2014 election
- Oklahoma Innocence Project files brief to free to men featured in John Grisham’s book The Innocent Man and in the book The Dreams of Ada
- Colorado exoneree Robert Dewey may receive $1.2 million in compensation
- Wisconsin exoneree Joseph Frey sadly now homeless
- Taxpayers will pay nearly $500,000 for legal fees in the Michael Morton case
- The Innocence Project (Cardozo), the National Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and its partners announced a groundbreaking and historic agreement with the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review more than 2,000 criminal cases in which the FBI conducted microscopic hair analysis of crime scene evidence.
- Andrew Johnson exonerated by DNA in Wyoming
Two rulings in the last couple of weeks in the English Court of Appeal and the European Court of Human Rights have dealt a blow for those trying to obtain compensation for their wrongful convictions. In previous posts (here…. and here…) I have detailed the efforts of Barry George (wrongly convicted of the murder of Jill Dando who served 8 years in prison) and Lorraine Allen (imprisoned for killing her son before being exonerated having serving 3 years in prison). However, both have had their appeals rejected.
At the Court of Appeal, Barry George was refused the right to appeal the decision in January 2013 that the State need not compensate George because he could not demonstrate that he was completely innocent. See latest decision here:
In a further blow to victims of miscarriages of justice, Lorraine Allen lost her case at the European Court of Human Rights. The Court repeated the mantra now emanating from policy makers and judges, that you do not deserve compensation unless you can prove your innocence – so compensation can be denied to those ‘not innocent enough’. The Court concluded that “the existence of a miscarriage of justice had not been established beyond reasonable doubt”. Thus denying her any right to compensation. Read more here:
Wrongly jailed woman loses Europe fight for compensation