The latest developments in potentially wrongful convictions, public policy and more.
Police Departments Urged to Adopt New Investigation Guidelines
Police chiefs, the Justice Department and the Innocence Project encourage police nationwide to employ new investigative practices to prevent wrongful convictions. Read the full story here.
Authorities Searching for Killer After Wrongful Conviction in New York State
The Oneida County District Attorney’s Office has adopted the state District Attorneys Association’s “best practices” for identifying suspects and created a conviction integrity unit to review assertions of innocence. Read the full story here.
Ex-Chemist Admits to Faking Test Results, Sentenced to Prison
A former Massachusetts crime lab chemist pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and other charges after an investigation by the state attorney general’s office uncovered her misconduct involving thousands of criminal cases. Read the full story here.
‘Scottsboro Boys’ Receive Pardons
Under a new state law that allows posthumous pardons, Alabama’s parole board approved pardons for three of the Scottsboro Boys more than 80 years after their wrongful convictions. Read the full story here.
San Antonio Women Seek Exoneration After Prison Release
Imprisoned for the sexual assault of two young girls in 1994, members of the “San Antonio 4” were released on bond after recent science findings discredited an expert’s testimony that led to their convictions. Read the full story here.
Brooklyn District Attorney Forced to Provide Judge with Case Files
A state Supreme Court justice will review documents from about 40 cases to inspect for any wrongdoing by a Brooklyn detective during the investigations. Read the full story here.
Texas Prosecutor Sentenced and Disbarred for Wrongful Conviction
A former prosecutor will serve 10 days in jail after being charged with failing to share information favorable to the defendant in a trial that sent an innocent man to prison for 25 years. Read the full story here.
New Orleans Judge Orders Release of Records, Fines Police
After police failed to respond to a public records request by Innocence Project New Orleans in accordance with state law, a judge ordered the records be released and awarded the project more than $8,000 in fees. Read the full story here.
Superior Court Judge Overturns Conviction Based on New DNA Evidence
A New Jersey man’s 1995 murder conviction was overturned after DNA from a bite mark on the victim’s back matched another man. Read the full story here.
Baltimore Police Implements New Way to Identify Suspects
The department now uses a double blind lineup, meaning neither the person presenting the lineup nor the eyewitness knows which photo is the real suspect. Read the full story here.
Exonerated Texas Man Creates Scholarship
With money awarded for his wrongful incarceration, Anthony Graves establishes a law school scholarship in the name of the attorney who fought for his freedom. Read the full story here.
Philadelphia Judge Grants Convicted Murderers New Trials
After hearing new evidence from a 1995 robbery-murder case, a judge ruled for new trials for two Pennsylvania men who have served 15 years of their life sentences. Read the full story here.
Kansas Supreme Court Expands Post-Conviction DNA Analysis
A state statute that limited post-conviction DNA testing to only first-degree murder or rape convictions was ruled in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Read the full story here.
Former Prisoner Dies Days After Prison Release
Herman Wallace, an “Angola 3” member who spent more than 40 years in solitary confinement after being convicted of killing a Louisiana prison guard, died less than a week after a judge ordered his release from prison and a new trial. Read the full story here.
Wrongly Convicted Washington Men Receive $10.5 Million
Clark County settles a civil-rights lawsuit filed by two men who spent 17 years in prison for a rape they didn’t commit. Read the full story here.
Alaska Innocence Project Files Post-Conviction Relief for Fairbanks Four
After new evidence emerged raising questions about the conviction of Marvin Roberts and his co-defendants in a 1997 murder of a Fairbanks teenager, the Alaska Innocence Project submitted paperwork asking for their release from prison. Read the full story here.
Wrongly Convicted Chicago Man Receives Certificate of Innocence
Seven years after DNA cleared him of a 1986 sexual assault and freed him from prison, Bennie Starks was issued a certificate of innocence from a Lake County judge. Read the full story here.
Virginia Attorney General Asks the Court of Appeals to Exonerate Man
Ken Cuccinelli is taking the defense’s side to prove the innocence of a man who was wrongly convicted of sex crimes after a woman falsely accused him of sexually abusing her. Read the full story here.
Federal Appeals Court Upholds Decision to Free Los Angeles Man
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was not persuaded by prosecutors’ argument about a missed paperwork deadline by the defense and said the former prisoner had a strong case that pointed to his innocence. Read the full story here.
Juveniles More Likely Than Adults to Falsely Confess to Crimes
A new database shows 38 percent of exonerations for crimes committed by juveniles involved false confessions, compared to 11 percent of exonerations for crimes committed by adults, raising questions about why youth are more at risk for falsely confessing. Read the full story here.
Delaware Receives Federal Funding to Process DNA Evidence
The U.S. Department of Justice awarded more than $400,000 to help the state’s medical examiner alleviate problems stemming from a backlog of DNA evidence. Read the full story here.