Today, the Irish Court of Criminal Appeal declared that the 1972 conviction of Martin Conmey for manslaughter was a miscarriage of justice. Conmey had been acquitted in 2010 but has served three years in jail. Read more about this case in the Irish Times’ write-up here. The Irish Times reports that the Court’s miscarriage of justice decision was based on the fact that Conmey had been convicted for his involvement in a joint enterprise, but there was no incriminating evidence against him about this. It found that three original statements of other parties “were suppressed by a person unknown, but connected with the prosecution”. Conmey’s lawyers will be lodging a claim for compensation.
As reported this morning in the Chigago Tribune (here), the Illinois State Police has agreed to pay the state’s highest wrongful conviction compensation to date to five men wrongfully convicted of the 1991 rape and murder of Cateresa Matthews in Dixmoor, Illinois.
The five men — Robert Veal, Robert Taylor, James Hardin, Jonathan Barr, and Shainnie Sharp, who became known as “The Dixmoor Five”— were teens when arrested for the crime and were exonerated when DNA testing linked to another known felon. Two of the five had served sentences of ten years and three served nearly two decades before their release.
The federal lawsuit alleged that both State and Dixmore police ignored evidence of another perpetrator and coerced a confession that implicated the four others from 15-year-old Robert Veal, who “had an IQ of 56 and developmental disabilities.” The lawsuit alleged that the police “threatened and abused” some of the other teens, including beating 15-year-old Robert Taylor into confessing. Continue reading
Victor Nealon’s conviction was overturned by the British Court of Appeal last year, but his compensation claim for 17 years of imprisonment has been turned down by the British Ministry of Justice.
The Guardian reports that the “MoJ told Nealon’s lawyers that the justice secretary, Chris Grayling, had reviewed the information and ‘concluded that your client has not suffered a miscarriage of justice as defined by section 133 of the 1988 Act’.” (read the full Guardian piece here)
“[...] in turning down Mr Nealon’s claim for compensation, the MoJ said the owner of the DNA could not be identified, and added it could not be established that it ‘undoubtedly belonged to the attacker’.” (read the BBC report here)
This case was previously blogged about on this blog here and here.
From the New York Daily News:
Five black and Latino men — wrongfully convicted 24 years ago in the sensational Central Park jogger case that whipped New York into a racial frenzy — have reached a $40 million settlement with the city, a source familiar with the terms said Thursday.
Now middle-aged, the men were teens when they were arrested in 1989 amid a wave of corrosive and polarizing outrage over the savage rape of a 28-year-old woman.
David Ranta spent 23 years in prison for a murder he did not commit – as a consequence of false eyewitness identification, a bogus lineup, a jailhouse snitch, and police tunnel vision.
The David Ranta case has been previously reported on this blog here, here, here, and here.
The David Ranta family is now suing the NYPD for $15 million for their suffering. See the Huff Post story here.
- Man exonerated of rape charges in Sweden after 10 years in prison; now Sweden’s long-serving exoneree
- In China, a long road to justice in recent double exoneration case
- Rob Warden writes that the death April 20 of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, middleweight prizefighter, heavyweight champion of the wrongfully convicted, is a vivid reminder of a plague that has long corrupted the criminal justice system — perjury by prosecution witnesses who have ulterior motives to lie. Article….
- Alaska Innocence Project gearing up for May hearing in the Fairbanks Four case
- Article on how bad science leads to wrongful convictions
- New judges’ training program in Bangladesh warns new judges to be vigilante against wrongful convictions
- More strange twists and turns in the Montana case of Cody Marble
A jury in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, New York, yesterday awarded John Restivo, 56, and Dennis Halstead, 59, $18 million each—$1 million for every year they spent in prison—following their wrongful convictions in the 1984 rape and murder of 16-year-old Theresa Fusco. All charges had been dismissed in 2003 after DNA testing of evidence, which was conducted over ten years, excluded the men and implicated another, unidentified perpetrator.
After a four-week trial in the federal civil rights lawsuit, the jury concluded that Nassau County lead detective, Joseph Volpe, now deceased, had engaged in official misconduct, including fabrication of hair evidence and withholding of exculpatory evidence in the case. Continue reading