Posted in AEDPA, Capital punishment, China, civil litigation, Compensation/Exoneree compensation, death penalty, death row, Editorials/Opinion, Exonerations, forensic science, New Evidence, North America, Uncategorized
Tagged compensation, Death Penalty, exoneree, new trial, wrongful conviction, wrongful conviction compensation
Posted in Access to DNA testing, Compensation/Exoneree compensation, Conviction Integrity Units, DNA, Exonerations, False confessions, wrongful conviction
Tagged compensation, Conviction Integrity Unit, DNA, DNA testing, exoneree, false confession, wrongful conviction
- Jarrett Adams who was wrongly convicted of sexual assault in 1997, now clerks at court that gave him freedom…
- Steven Mark Chaney who was imprisoned for 28 years for the 1987 slayings of two people in Dallas was released Monday after his conviction based on now-discredited bite-mark analysis was overturned…
- Officers investigating murder of Lynette White, which saw three men wrongfully convicted, say they were made ‘scapegoats’ by their force…
- Lynne Blanchard recently published a book highlighting the issues in the Brad Cooper wrongful conviction…
- Al Newton, who spent 21 years behind bars after being wrongfully convicted of rape, robbery and assault during the 1980s, hopes a bill currently making its way through Albany could help others avoid the same fate…
- Time Simply Passes is a film about James Joseph Richardson, an orange picker in Florida who was wrongfully convicted of murdering his seven children in 1967. He spent 21 years in prison, until he was released in 1989 when the conviction was overturned due to miraculous circumstances. Since then, he’s been surviving on donations from friends while attempting to receive compensation from the State…
- Chicago based firm, Loevy & Loevy, is helping Jamie Lee Peterson, who was convicted of rape and murder in 1996 but was exonerated of the charges against him 17 years later by DNA evidence, sue those responsible for the wrongful conviction…
Posted in Bite Mark Evidence, Book recommendations/discussion, Compensation/Exoneree compensation, documentary, Exonerations, forensic science, Police conduct (good and bad), Prosecutorial conduct (good and bad), wrongful conviction
Tagged Bite-Mark Evidence, compensation, documentary, exoneration, exoneree, police misconduct, prosecutorial misconduct, wrongful conviction
Posted in Access to DNA testing, DNA, Exonerations, False confessions, Forensic controls, Forensic Scicence, New Evidence, shaken baby, Wrongfully Convicted Women
Tagged compensation, DNA, DNA testing, exoneree, exoneree compensation, false confession, False Justice, forensic science, new trial, shaken baby, wrongful conviction
Posted in Commissions/Innocence Commissions/Governmental Case Review Agencies, Conviction Integrity Units, DNA, Exonerations, Forensic controls, Forensic Scicence, wrongful conviction
Tagged Conviction Integrity Unit, DNA, DNA testing, forensic science, overturned conviction, wrongful conviction
The case of Andrew Mallard (pictured here) will be well known to those in Australia – he was wrongly convicted in 1995 of the murder of two women in Western Australia, spending 12 years in prison before his conviction was overturned. Mallard was eventually awarded AU$3.25 for his 12 years wrongly imprisoned, but the litany of ‘errors’ during the police investigation continue to come to light.
The real perpetrator was never convicted of the murders, he committed suicide in 2006 after being named as prime suspect by the police subsequent to a cold case review. However, during this review, and other subsequent inquiries into the policing handling of the murders, many questions have been raised about the police handling of evidence and exhibits – with many being claimed to be “lost”, now appearing on exhibit lists during a police audit – at the same time the police claimed to have lost the exhibits. Is this incompetence of malfeasance?
The whole investigation, the police handling of the evidence, the wrongful conviction and the ongoing shambles – should leave all Western Australia police and judicial system ashamed. There is a wealth of material to read on the Mallard case, as there have been so many official inquiries into the case. For more on the media coverage of recent revelations read here:
New Haven Prosecutors made a rare request today that resulted in Bobby Johnson’s release from prison.
In a motion filed earlier this week, New Haven State’s Attorney Michael Dearington and Assistant State’s Attorney Timothy J. Sugrue, asked that Johnson’s 2007 murder conviction be set aside, explaining that the state no longer felt confident in the judgement.
The totality of the information developed to date, and presently available, while falling short of proof of actual innocence, has sufficiently undermined the state’s confidence in the judgment of conviction that justice is best served by setting that judgment aside and restoring the case to the Superior Court docket.
Dearington also agreed that Johnson’s confession, given when he was only 16 years old, “may not have been voluntary.” According to Johnson’s attorneys, Kenneth Rosenthal and Darcy McGraw of the Connecticut Innocence Project, Johnson’s confession was coerced by detectives who falsified documents and suppressed evidence of alternate suspects. Now 25-years-old, Johnson served nearly a decade in prison before being released. He was sentenced to serve 38 years.
Posted in Commissions/Innocence Commissions/Governmental Case Review Agencies, Compensation/Exoneree compensation, Conviction Integrity Units, Exonerations, New Evidence, Prosecutorial conduct (good and bad), wrongful conviction
Tagged compensation, Conviction Integrity Unit, exoneration, exoneree, exoneree compensation, new evidence, new trial
Alex Kozinski is a judge on the U.S. Ninth Circuit. He has recently authored an article for the Georgetown Law Journal, which he simply titles “Criminal Law 2.0.” It is a comprehensive review and critique of the flaws and shortcomings of the current US justice system. My opinion is that this article is a masterpiece, a classic. Here is an experienced, seasoned, knowledgable justice system “insider” who has “figured it out.” And not only has he figured it out, but he also has some very good ideas about fixing the problems, or at least some of them. You can see the full text here: Kozinski, Criminal Law 2. I strongly encourage reading the full article.
Here is a topical summary: (Please see the full article for Judge Kozinski’s discussion of each point.)
A. The myths that cause us to think that the justice system is fair and just, when it’s really not.
- Eyewitnesses are highly reliable.
- Fingerprint evidence is foolproof.
- Other types of forensic evidence are scientifically proven and therefore infallible.
- DNA evidence is infallible.
- Human memories are reliable.
- Confessions are infallible because innocent people never confess.
- Juries follow instructions.
- Prosecutors play fair.
- The prosecution is at a substantial disadvantage because it must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Police are objective in their investigations.
- Guilty pleas are conclusive proof of guilt.
- Long sentences deter crime.
B. Recommendations for reform – Juries
- Give jurors a written copy of the jury instructions.
- Allow jurors to take notes during trial and provide them with a full trial transcript.
- Allow jurors to discuss the case while the trial is ongoing.
- Allow jurors to ask questions during the trial.
- Tell jurors up-front what’s at stake in the case.
- Give jurors a say in sentencing.
C. Recommendations for reform – Prosecutors
- Require open file discovery.
- Adopt standardized, rigorous procedures for dealing with the government’s disclosure obligations.
- Adopt standardized, rigorous procedures for eyewitness identification.
- Video record all suspect interrogations.
- Impose strict limits on the use of jailhouse informants.
- Adopt rigorous, uniform procedures for certifying expert witnesses and preserving the integrity of the testing process.
- Keep adding conviction integrity units.
- Establish independent Prosecutorial Integrity Units.
D. Recommendations for reform – Judges
- Enter Brady compliance orders in every criminal case.
- Engage in a Brady colloquy.
- Adopt local rules that require the government to comply with its discovery obligations without the need for motions by the defense.
- Condition the admission of expert evidence in criminal cases on the presentation of a proper Daubert showing.
- When prosecutors misbehave, don’t keep it a secret.
E. Recommendations for reform – General
- Abandon judicial elections.
- Abrogate absolute prosecutorial immunity.
- Repeal AEDPA § 2254(d). (Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act)
- Treat prosecutorial misconduct as a civil rights violation.
- Give criminal defendants the choice of a jury or bench trial.
- Conduct in depth studies of exonerations.
- Repeal three felonies a day for three years. (Refers to the fact that there are too many vague, overlapping laws on the books.)
I would add two more to the General category:
• Have all trial counsel, prosecution and defense, sworn in at the beginning of every trial.
• Abandon political election of prosecutors.
Posted in Conviction Integrity Units, Editorials/Opinion, Exonerations, expert testimony, Eyewitness identification, eyewitness reliability, False confessions, Forensic controls, Forensic Scicence, informant testimony, investigations and investigation techniques, Junk science, Legislation, miscarriage of justice, Police conduct (good and bad), Prosecutorial conduct (good and bad), Reforming/Improving the system, Scholarship, Snitching, wrongful conviction
Posted in Asia, Compensation/Exoneree compensation, death penalty, Exonerations, False confessions, Middle East, Pakistan, wrongful conviction, Wrongfully Convicted Women
Tagged central park five, Death Penalty, donald trump, false confession, miscarriage of justice, motherjones, pakistan, wrongful conviction, wrongful conviction compensation, wrongfully convicted women
Sam Gross, editor of the National Registry of Exonerations, recently wrote an editorial for the Washington Post: The Staggering Number of Wrongful Convictions in American
In Hawaii, attorneys say they can prove that the investigation and prosecution resulting in Taryn Christian 1995 murder conviction were rife with fraud…
Illinois exoneree Alprentiss Nash who was convicted of murder in 1995 and released in 2012 after DNA tests proved his innocence, was fatally shot Tuesday after an argument…
New York’s highest court denies State’s appeal of 2014 court decision overturning the 1993 kidnapping convictions of Everton Wagstaffe and Reginald Connor…
New Conviction Integrity Unit formed in Orange County, New York…
Posted in Conviction Integrity Units, Editorials/Opinion, Exonerations, Life after exoneration, Post-conviction relief, Prosecutorial conduct (good and bad), wrongful conviction
Tagged Brady Violation, Conviction Integrity Unit, exoneration, exoneree, National Registry of Exonerations, Prosecutorial immunity, prosecutorial misconduct, Sam Gross, The National Registry of Exonerations, wrongful conviction
The Oklahoma Innocence Project continues to battle for Malcolm Scott’s freedom…
Robert W. Wood of Forbes Magazine discusses why “Taxing Wrongful Conviction Money Is Wrong“…
The National Law Review covers the root causes of wrongful conviction…
In Chicago, DNA proves Daniel Andersen’s innocence in 1980 stabbing…
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals refuses to grant immunity to former Pennsylvania prosecutors in civil suit filed by David Munchinski who spent 24 years wrongfully imprisoned…
Posted in Access to DNA testing, DNA, Exonerations, Life after exoneration, Prosecutorial conduct (good and bad), taxes
Tagged compensation, DNA, DNA testing, exoneration, exoneree, exoneree compensation, Prosecutorial immunity, taxing wrongful conviction, wrongful conviction, wrongful conviction compensation
Wisconsin Innocence Project client Dan Scheidell’s 1995 conviction for sexual assault was vacated last week after DNA evidence implicated another individual…
Texas exoneree Anthony Graves who spent 12 years on death row before being exonerated in 2006, has been appointed to the board of directors for the Houston Forensic Science Center…
Former President of Ireland Mary McAleese and many others attended and spoke at the first International Innocence Conference held in Dublin, Ireland last weekend…
A Michigan man has been cleared of a 1992 rape after serving 17 years in prison for the crime…
According to LA District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Conviction Integrity Units are needed in order to preserve the integrity of prosecutor’s offices across the country…
Posted in Compensation/Exoneree compensation, Conviction Integrity Units, DNA, Editorials/Opinion, Events, Exonerations, Griffith College, Inquisitional and adversarial systems of justice, ireland, wrongful conviction
Tagged Anthony Graves, compensation, Conviction Integrity Unit, Dan Scheidell, DNA, International Innocence Conference, Irish Innocence Project, Mary McAleese, sexual assault, vacated, Wisconsin Innocence Project, wrongful conviction