Entries tagged with “Beatrice Six

Policy Issues

Costs

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Innocence

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Nov 14, 2008

EDITORIAL: Death Penalty Distorts the Criminal Justice Process

A recent edi­to­r­i­al in The Journal Star (Lincoln, Nebraska) expressed the paper’s shock at how the death penal­ty dis­tort­ed a state crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion to the extent that six inno­cent peo­ple were con­vict­ed of a mur­der they did not com­mit. Defendants were pres­sured to offer erro­neous tes­ti­mo­ny through the threat of fac­ing the death penal­ty. The wrong­ful con­vic­tions show how the death penal­ty can dis­tort the search for jus­tice,” the edi­to­r­i­al stat­ed. Investigators sup­plied sus­pects sug­ges­tions on what could have hap­pened. They showed pho­tos of the crime scene. Under pres­sure, suspects…

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Recent Legislative Activity

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Feb 01, 2012

EDITORIALS: Mistakes are made”

A recent edi­to­r­i­al in Nebraskas Journal Star urged sup­port for a bill to replace the death penal­ty with a sen­tence of life in prison. Among the rea­sons cit­ed for its posi­tion was the risk of exe­cut­ing an inno­cent per­son. The edi­to­r­i­al not­ed that advance­ments in DNA test­ing have shown the fal­li­bil­i­ty of the cur­rent sys­tem: Seventeen peo­ple who were on death row have been set free after DNA test­ing proved they were wrong­ly con­vict­ed.” The edi­to­r­i­al also point­ed to more than 250 con­vic­tions that have been over­turned nation­wide because of…

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

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Innocence

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Jan 28, 2009

Five Innocent People Exonerated in Nebraska; Defendants Were Threatened with Death Penalty

Five peo­ple in Nebraska were recent­ly par­doned for a 1985 mur­der after new DNA evi­dence exclud­ed their par­tic­i­pa­tion in the crime. The group was also known as the Beatrice Six.” The sixth man, the only one who had insist­ed on a jury tri­al, was exon­er­at­ed in October 2008 when pros­e­cu­tors declined to seek a new trial.

Policy Issues

Costs

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Innocence

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Oct 15, 2018

Nebraska County Raises Property Taxes, Seeks State Bailout to Pay Wrongful Conviction Compensation

A Nebraska coun­ty has raised prop­er­ty tax­es on its res­i­dents and asked the state leg­is­la­ture for a bailout to help pay a $28.1 mil­lion civ­il judg­ment it owes to six men and women wrong­ly con­vict­ed of rape and mur­der after hav­ing been threat­ened with the death penal­ty. The so-called Beatrice Six” (pic­tured) suc­cess­ful­ly sued Gage County for offi­cial mis­con­duct that led to their wrong­ful con­vic­tions in the 1985 rape and mur­der of Helen Wilson. The large dam­ages award exceeds Gage County’s entire annu­al bud­get by $1 mil­lion. This year, Gage…