Criminal-Justice News

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The latest developments in potentially wrongful convictions, public policy and more.



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U.S. Prison Population Grew in 2013

While the number of federal prisoners decreased, the number of inmates in state prisons increased, according to a report by the Justice Department. Read the full story here.

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Nevada Woman Released from Prison

A judge granted a new trial for Cathy Woods, who was convicted of murder and imprisoned for more than 30 years, after new DNA evidence from the scene of the crime matched another inmate. Read the full story here.

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Wrongly Accused Chicago Man Sues City, Detectives

After spending almost three years in jail before he was acquitted of murder charges, Deven Kimberly filed a federal lawsuit against Chicago and the detectives on his case. Read the full story here.

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Wrongly Convicted Half Brothers Released from Prison

Due in part to new DNA evidence, a judge overturned the convictions of two North Carolina men after they spent more than 30 years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit. Read the full story here.

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Wrongly Convicted North Carolina Man Freed

A judge dismissed all charges and vacated the sentence of Michael Alan Parker, who was convicted in a child sex abuse case in 1994. Read the full story here.

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Judge Orders New Trial for Michigan Inmate

Due in part to new DNA evidence, a judge vacated the conviction of Jamie Lee Peterson who was serving a life sentence for the 1996 rape and murder of an elderly woman. Read the full story here.

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Wrongly Convicted New York Man to Receive Compensation

Jabbar Collins, who was released four years ago after serving more than 15 years in prison for a 1994 murder he didn’t commit, will receive $10 million from Brooklyn in a wrongful conviction settlement. Read the full story here.

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New Illinois Law Allows DNA Tests for Defendants who Plead Guilty

The law, which took effect immediately after it was signed by Gov. Pat Quinn, will be used in cases when DNA evidence was not available when defendants pleaded guilty. Read the full story here.

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Judge Vacates Pennsylvania Inmate’s Arson Conviction

Due in part to the evolving science of arson, a federal judge vacated the conviction of an inmate accused of setting a fire that killed his mentally ill daughter in 1989. Read the full story here.

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Wrongly Convicted New York Man Sues Vermont

After serving nearly 18 years in prison before his conviction was overturned in 2012 due to new DNA evidence, John Grega filed lawsuits against the police and prosecutors who accused him of murdering his wife on vacation. Read the full story here.

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Brooklyn Prosecutors Add Cases to List of Convictions to Re-Examine

The Conviction Review Unit in the Brooklyn district attorney’s office will review 14 additional cases handled by retired police detective Louis Scarcella. Read the full story here.

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Wrongly Convicted Connecticut Man Seeks Compensation

After being imprisoned for 21 years for a murder and rape he didn’t commit, Kenneth Ireland is asking for millions of dollars under the state’s wrongful incarceration law. Read the full story here.

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Wrongly Convicted D.C. Man Exonerated

Due to new DNA evidence that revealed errors were made by an FBI forensic unit, Kevin Martin’s conviction in a 1982 murder case was vacated. Read the full story here.

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Wrongly Convicted Chicago Man Freed

After serving 20 years of an 80-year sentence for a murder he maintained he didn’t commit, Rodell Sanders was found not guilty by a jury in a retrial. Read the full story here.

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Kentucky Woman Wins New Trial

A state Court of Appeals panel granted a retrial for Susan Jean King, who pleaded guilty to a 1998 murder she said she didn’t commit. Read the full story here.

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Massachusetts Ex-Inmate Seeks Compensation

After a second trial acquitted him of murder in 2013, Charles Wilhite filed a lawsuit against the state seeking $500,000 for his wrongful conviction. Read the full story here.

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Texas Prosecutor of Ex-Death Row Inmate Under Review

Former Burleson County District Attorney Charles Sebesta, Jr. faces disbarment as the State Bar of Texas found “just cause” to review claims of prosecutorial misconduct filed by Anthony Graves, an ex-death row inmate. Read the full story here.

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Wrongly Convicted Louisiana Man Freed

New DNA evidence prompted a judge to vacate the attempted rape conviction of Nathan Brown, who served nearly 17 years of a 25-year sentence. Read the full story here.

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Death Row Inmate’s Conviction Overturned

The Florida Supreme Court overturned a death row inmate’s 1986 first-degree murder conviction after DNA evidence pointed to his innocence. Read the full story here.

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Wrongly Convicted New York Men To Receive Settlement

Five men wrongly convicted in a 1989 beating and rape in Central Park have agreed to settle a civil rights lawsuit against New York City for about $40 million. Read the full story here.

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New York Man Found Not Guilty at Second Trial

After about a seven-hour deliberation, jurors acquitted Adrian Thomas, who was convicted in 2009 of second-degree murder in his 4-month-old son’s death. Read the full story here.

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