AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The House has approved the Michael Morton Act, mandating that prosecutors share more case files with defense attorneys in an effort to prevent wrongful convictions.
The measure is named in honor of Morton, an Austin resident who spent nearly 25 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit.
It creates... Read more
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Attorneys for death row inmate Willie Jerome Manning asked the Mississippi Supreme Court on Monday to stop his execution and allow him to seek post-conviction DNA testing of evidence from the investigation into the slayings of two college students.
Manning and his attorneys also are awaiting a decision from Gov. Phil... Read more
NEWPORT, Ky. (AP) — A man who has served 26 years in prison for a 1987 murder in Kentucky will have a hearing to argue for DNA testing on evidence that he thinks will clear him.
Campbell Circuit Judge Fred Stine on Friday scheduled arguments for May 24 in the motion by William “Ricky” Virgil,... Read more
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Connecticut Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on whether the state’s repeal of the death penalty for future crimes violates the constitutional rights of the 11 men on the state’s death row.
Justices are scheduled to hear the case Tuesday.
The arguments come in the case of former Torrington... Read more
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — For Janet Spears, the waiting is the hardest part.
Her only son, Keith, and his girlfriend, Melanie King, were robbed, murdered and set afire in their Wakulla County home in 1997. Two of the three men convicted in the deaths, Jason Looney and Guerry Hertz, have been on death row since... Read more
OLYMPIA — Alan Northrop anxiously waits outside a Senate committee hearing, his girlfriend rubbing his shoulders and whispering words of support as he prepares to sign in to testify about nearly two decades of freedom lost.
“Oh boy, here we go,” he says as the door opens.
Northrop has been here before, but he’s nervous... Read more
URBANA, Ill. (AP) – A federal judge signed off on a $3.5 million settlement in a lawsuit filed by 1 of 2 men wrongfully convicted of killing newlyweds in eastern Illinois in the 1980s.
The settlement OK’d by U.S. District Judge Harold Baker last week ended the last of the lawsuits filed by Randy Steidl... Read more
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A man who has spent more than four decades in prison for a Tucson hotel fire that killed 29 people, including some who jumped from windows to escape the searing heat, is expected to be released Tuesday as part of a deal with prosecutors.
Louis Cuen Taylor was convicted of murder... Read more
By Associated Press
RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Supreme Court has exonerated a man who was convicted of abducting a woman and her two children from an Interstate 95 rest stop in Prince William County in 1976.
The justices granted a writ of actual innocence to Garry Diamond after DNA testing eliminated him as the... Read more
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Justice Wallace Jefferson of State Supreme Court called for a commission to investigate wrongful convictions, suggesting on Wednesday that faith in the legal system might be undermined given that Texas leads the nation in prisoners set free by DNA testing. Addressing the Legislature, the chief justice of Texas’ highest civil court... Read more
A volunteer advisory panel to take a look at potentially wrongful convictions in Lake County is sworn in Waukegan, Ill. Read the full story here.Read more
By WILL WEISSERT Associated Press
GEORGETOWN, Texas February 9, 2013 (AP)
A former Texas district attorney whose prosecution led to an innocent man spending 25 years in prison for his wife’s murder looked the man in the eye Friday and said “the system obviously screwed up” but offered no apology.
Now a judge in... Read more
Federal Innocence Hearing Reopened After Medill Justice Project Uncovers New Evidence
Rare decision in Chicago-area day care worker’s shaken-baby syndrome murder case
By Alison Flowers
The Medill Justice Project
Published: April 24, 2013
In a rare move, a federal judge in Chicago is reopening a hearing to examine an imprisoned day care worker’s claim that she is innocent of murder, in light of new evidence recently uncovered by The Medill Justice Project.
Read the full story here.
Chicago-Area Day Care Owner Seeks Clemency from Governor
Prisoner’s attorney cites Medill Justice Project revelatory findings
By Alison Flowers
The Medill Justice Project
Published: April 25, 2013
A Chicago-area day care owner who says she is wrongfully imprisoned for an infant’s death has filed a clemency petition with the governor, citing medical experts and revelatory findings from a recent Medill Justice Project investigation that raises questions about her conviction.Read the full story here.
Who We Are
The Medill Justice Project, founded in 1999 at Northwestern University, is an investigative journalism enterprise that examines potentially wrongful convictions. As journalists, we advocate only for the truth.
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Medill Justice Project Wins Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism
Medill Justice Project Wins National Journalism AwardIn August 2012, the national Society of Professional Journalists honored the Medill Innocence Project, now called The Medill Justice Project, with the Sunshine Award for our investigation of Donald Watkins’ first-degree murder conviction. The Medill Innocence Project was recognized alongside two other recipients of the award, Bloomberg News and the Republican-American, a media outlet in Connecticut. The SPJ board of directors and Freedom of Information Committee honor people or organizations each year for their notable contributions to open government.
Medill Justice Project Announcements
In April 2013, a panel of Medill professors selected The Medill Justice Project’s published investigative articles and multimedia spotlight on shaken-baby syndrome to be featured at the Medill Student Showcase.
In April 2013, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) selected The Medill Justice Project to conduct a panel session on teaching journalism students how to investigate potentially wrongful convictions and teaching teachers how to teach such investigations. The session will be held in Washington, D.C., at the AEJMC’s annual conference.
In March 2013, the Alumnae of Northwestern University's Gifts and Grants Committee awarded The Medill Justice Project a generous grant to support our research on the creation of a national database on shaken-baby syndrome cases.
In March 2013, the Society of Professional Journalists’ Chicago Chapter and the Chicago Headline Club named The Medill Justice Project a finalist for a Peter Lisagor Award for our spotlight on shaken-baby syndrome.
In 2012, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication recognized the Medill Innocence Project, now called The Medill Justice Project, with third place for the national Journalism Project Award for our Donald Watkins investigation.
In 2012, the Society of Professional Journalists’ Chicago Chapter and the Chicago Headline Club named the Medill Innocence Project, now called The Medill Justice Project, a finalist for a Peter Lisagor Award for our Donald Watkins investigation.
In 2012, a panel of Medill professors selected the published investigations of the Medill Innocence Project, now called The Medill Justice Project, of the Donald Watkins case to be featured in the Medill Student Showcase.
March 19, 2013: The Jennifer Del Prete Case: How a Murder Case Hinged on Expert Witnesses: Medill Justice Project investigation of shaken-baby syndrome case raises questions about the role of expert testimony
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MissionThe Medill Justice Project supports the research of Northwestern University journalism classes on investigative reporting in which students look into cases that potentially involve miscarriages of justice, with priority given to murder cases and with a commitment to transparency and publication.
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[Read the full Medill Integrity Code]
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Publications by The Medill Justice Project
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Press About The Medill Justice Project
Medill dean Bradley Hamm discusses The Medill Justice Project’s work with the Northwestern Chronicle. Read the full story here.
WNUR reporter Taylor Thomas speaks with The Medill Justice Project Director Alec Klein about investigating potentially wrongful convictions. Listen to the story here.
Fox Chicago’s Anna Davlantes features The Medill Justice Project’s investigation into former Chicago-area day care worker Jennifer Del Prete’s murder conviction. Watch the story about the shaken-baby syndrome case here.