- In Ukraine, many questions of innocence present in church bombing case
- Last week a New Orleans judge reversed his March decision to grant Booker Diggins a new trial, citing “newly discovered evidence.” A DNA analyst testified in court that Diggins was a high probability match to DNA found in a long-lost rape kit that resurfaced last year. Diggins was sentenced to spend his life in prison for the rape and robbery of a restaurant manager in a Riverwalk storage shed in 1987. The Innocence Project worked for years to exonerate Diggins. The rape kit was assumed lost and they said that there was not enough evidence to link Diggins to the crime.
At long last, the University of Cincinnati Law Review symposium issue stemming from the 2011 International Innocence Conference in Cincinnati is finally in print. The edition contains articles discussing and summarizing the causes and extent of wrongful conviction in countries across the globe. You can find the entire volume here. Congrats to all involved on completing this important work.
Posted in Africa, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Eastern Europe, Inquisitional and adversarial systems of justice, Latin America, Middle East, North America, Scholarship, United Kingdom, Western Europe
- Exoneree Brian Banks at rookie camp of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons
- Although most in the Czech Republic are in favor of reinstating capital punishment, risk of wrongful convictions is the leading factor citing against it
- More on last week’s Perkins decision by SCOTUS
With recent posts on this blog detailing further great news from Europe on developing Innocence Projects (see here… on France, see here… on Belgium, here… on Netherlands), it certainly feels like the ambition of those in the US to spread the word of innocence internationally is proving fruitful. South Australia is celebrating (finally) getting a body to investigate miscarriages of justice – the first in Australia. There have been notorious miscarriages of justice in that State, and many others waiting to see the light of day. They may now have a chance – let’s hope it’s not too long before the other States and Territories follow suit:
Meanwhile, just in the last few weeks I have read the following news items from around the world – perhaps the media is starting to get with the programme?
In China, authorities have apologised ‘deeply’ for wrongly convicting 2 men of rape and murder (including a death sentence that was commuted). They have ordered inquiries into the investigation and conviction of the men. DNA testing led to another man who was executed in 2005 for another killing. Read here:
and: Zhejiang plans to probe men’s wrongful conviction.
There are hopes that the revelation of wrongful convictions – including the execution of innocence individuals – in China will lead to the cessation of the death penalty
In Israel, an interesting and detailed article looks at the re-opening of the notorious murder of a child at school (the Zadorov case). It re-caps on previous high-profile miscarriages of justice in Israel and their causes:
In New Zealand, calls are being made by political party leaders for a pardon in an infamous case where a 17 year old was questioned by police for five days without a lawyer. Teina Pora has spent 20 years in prison for murder – a murder where another man was convicted (on DNA evidence) of raping, but not killing, the victim. The case has always attracted accusations of racism in the treatment of Pora.
One can only hope that the spread of media interest in, and political motivation to tackle wrongful convictions, continues.