News and Updates

National Registry Of Exonerations: More Than 2,000 People Freed After Wrongful Convictions

By: Michael McLaughlin
Huffington Post
Monday, May 21, 2012

 

Some tales of wrongful conviction are well known, like the case of amateur boxer Dewey Bozella.

Bozella was found guilty in 1983 for the murder of an elderly woman. New York police and prosecutors pressed second-degree murder charges propped up by the testimony of witnesses who eventually recanted their testimony. It wasn't until 2007 that Bozella's attorneys discovered major discrepancies and evidence pointing to another suspect, leading to Bozella's release in 2009.

But many stories involving tainted evidence, malingering law enforcement and mistaken eyewitness identification never become common knowledge. The cases outlined on the new National Registry of Exonerations are likely just a fraction of the wrongful imprisonment cases in the United States, researchers told The Huffington Post.


The Death Penalty is the Tip of America's Human Rights Iceberg


By: David A Love, Executive Director, Witness to Innocence
Huffington Post
Wednesday, May 16, 2012

There's a buzz about the death penalty in America these days. And nearly all of the conversation focuses not on how to maintain the practice, but rather on abolition.

Connecticut just decided to repeal the death penalty, following the lead of Illinois, New Mexico and New Jersey in recent years. Meanwhile, California voters will vote on a ballot measure that would eliminate one-quarter of the nation's death row.


Yes, America, We Have Executed an Innocent Man


Credit: (Corpus Christi Police Department)
Carlos De Luna
By: Andrew Cohen
The Atlantic
Monday, May 14, 2012

Carlos DeLuna was put to death in December 1989 for a murder in Corpus Christi. But he didn't commit the crime. Today, his case reminds us of the glaring flaws of capital punishment.

THE JUDGE


Countless Mothers To Spend Day In Prison

By: Diane Dimond
Albuquerque Journal Online
Saturday, May 12, 2012

Hi everyone,

As we honor our mothers this year, it's important to remember the mothers and children who will spend this Sunday apart because of the criminal justice system. Our thoughts are with the mothers who are in prison and those mothers on the outside who have sons and daughters locked up.


Jury Foreman in McKinney Case: "Justice Was Perverted"

By: David Protess, President of the Chicago Innocence Project
Huffington Post
Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It is a saga of murder and injustice that spans three decades, and even now a surprising new chapter is being written.

Anthony McKinney, a black teenager, was convicted of the 1978 shotgun slaying of white security guard Donald Lundahl in South Suburban Harvey. Prosecutors sought the death penalty, but McKinney had no history of violence and the judge sentenced him to life without parole.


Exonerees, supporters rally for Ben Spencer, who has served 25 years in prison


Credit: Rex C. Curry/Special Contributor
Exoneree Richard Miles held the microphone for Lucille Spencer Greene to talk about her imprisoned son, Benjamin Spencer, during a rally in front of the Frank Crowley Courts Building on Saturday.
By: MATTHEW HAAG
Dallas Morning News
Saturday, May 5, 2012

Ben Spencer has sat in an East Texas jail cell waiting for the call.

For more than 25 years, Spencer has been serving a life sentence for the fatal robbery of a clothing-firm executive found beaten to death in West Dallas. Hope emerged for Spencer four years ago when a Dallas County judge ruled that he was innocent and deserves a new trial.


Texas Lawman to High Court: DNA Testing "Frivolous" in Death Penalty Case

By: David Protess
Huffington Post
Friday, May 4, 2012

Texas law enforcement officials have come up with some mighty creative legal arguments over the years to justify executing Hank Skinner without first testing evidence that could prove his innocence -- or confirm his guilt.

At times, they claimed the tests would be costly to the taxpayers. Then Skinner's legal team agreed to pay for the tests.


Editorial: Exonerations point at urgency of reform

Dallas Morning News
Friday, May 4, 2012

DNA technology has cast its magic again, clearing the names this week of two more innocent Dallas men who were railroaded in a rape case based on mistaken eyewitness testimony.

Let them hear it again, right here: Raymond Jackson and James Williams are innocent. Repeating that sweet truth is the least we can do for them.


It's time to abolish the death penalty


Credit: File Photo, San Antonio Express-News / EN
There is no evidence that the death penalty deters murders. Here, a warden in 2000 is shown with the gurney in Texas' death chamber in Huntsville.
By: Fred Williams
San Antonio Express-News
Thursday, May 3, 2012

Last week, Connecticut joined with 16 other states and with the rest of the civilized world when it abolished the death penalty. But the very next day, Texas chose to remain in darkness when it executed Beunka Adams, making him the fifth victim this year of the state's anachronistic practice of killing people. If not for a last-minute stay, on Wednesday Texas would have put another human being to death.


Put To Death For Being Black: New Hope Against Judicial System Bias

North Carolina's Racial Justice Act finally acknowledges that there is a huge bias in who gets the death penalty


Credit: Shawn Rocco / Raleigh News & Observer / Landov
Death row inmate Marcus Robinson smiles toward his family after Cumberland County Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Greg Weeks found that racial bias played a role in his trial and sentencing on Friday, April 20, 2012, in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
By: Touré
Time
Thursday, May 3, 2012

The wind of revolution is beginning to blow through the halls of justice. It’s a small breeze now and the impact of what many consider one of the worst Supreme Court decisions of the 20th century still weighs heavily, but in North Carolina something called the Racial Justice Act is suggesting that a change is gonna come.