Entries tagged with “forensic science

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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United States Supreme Court

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Aug 03, 2022

Amicus Groups Ask Supreme Court to Overturn Texas Appeals Court Refusal to Grant New Trial to Death-Row Prisoner Convicted Based on DNA Testimony Prosecutor and Trial Court Agree Was False

Three groups of fair jus­tice advo­cates have filed friend-of-the-court briefs ask­ing the U.S. Supreme Court to review and over­turn a Texas appeals court rul­ing that denied a new tri­al to a death-row pris­on­er who pros­e­cu­tors and the tri­al court agree was con­vict­ed based on false DNA tes­ti­mo­ny by a dis­graced police crime lab.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Race

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Oct 22, 2021

Attorneys Present Closing Arguments in Rodney Reed Innocence Hearing

A Bastrop, Texas tri­al court heard clos­ing argu­ments October 18, 2021 on whether Texas death-row pris­on­er Rodney Reed should be grant­ed a new tri­al in the April 1996 mur­der of Stacey Stites. The argu­ment con­clud­ed the adver­sar­i­al por­tion of an extra­or­di­nary evi­den­tiary hear­ing ordered by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (TCCA) to review Reed’s claims that pros­e­cu­tors secured his con­vic­tions for rape and mur­der by sup­press­ing excul­pa­to­ry evi­dence and pre­sent­ing false testimony.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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United States Supreme Court

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Jan 13, 2023

Supreme Court Reverses Texas Court Decision Based on Prosecutor’s Admission About Flawed Forensic Evidence

The U.S. Supreme Court has reversed the denial of relief to a Texas death-row pris­on­er whose request for new tri­al is sup­port­ed by local pros­e­cu­tors. In a two-sen­tence deci­sion, the Court grant­ed cer­tio­rari to Areli Escobar, vacat­ed the judg­ment of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (TCCA), and sent the case back for recon­sid­er­a­tion. The Court’s sum­ma­ry rever­sal relied on Travis County pros­e­cu­tors’ admis­sion that Escobar’s con­vic­tion is based on flawed and mis­lead­ing foren­sic evidence.”

Policy Issues

Intellectual Disability

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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Oct 10, 2018

Texas Courts Rule for Two Death-Row Prisoners on Intellectual Disability, Junk-Science Claims

Two Texas pris­on­ers took steps away from death row as state courts ruled in their favor on issues involv­ing false or faulty sci­en­tif­ic evi­dence and argu­ment. On October 5, 2018, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) grant­ed a stay of exe­cu­tion to Juan Segundo (pic­tured, left), direct­ing a Tarrant County tri­al court to recon­sid­er a claim of intel­lec­tu­al dis­abil­i­ty that the courts had pre­vi­ous­ly reject­ed based on an uncon­sti­tu­tion­al, unsci­en­tif­ic stan­dard for mea­sur­ing his func­tion­ing. Four days lat­er, an El Paso tri­al judge found that pros­e­cu­tors had pre­sent­ed false…

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Upcoming Executions

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Aug 21, 2019

Texas to Execute Larry Swearingen Based on Forensic Quackery,” Lawyers Say

With seri­ous doubts swirling as to vir­tu­al­ly every piece of foren­sic evi­dence in his case, Texas plans to exe­cute Larry Swearingen—who has always main­tained his inno­cence in the mur­der of Melissa Trotter — on August 21, 2019. His attor­neys say his con­vic­tion is ground­ed in junk sci­ence that has been repu­di­at­ed by numer­ous foren­sic experts, includ­ing false tes­ti­mo­ny regard­ing panty­hose used to stran­gle Trotter, blood found under her fin­ger­nails, and the time of her death. Even after the Texas Crime Lab dis­avowed por­tions of its foren­sic technician’s tes­ti­mo­ny in the case, the…

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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United States Supreme Court

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Nov 11, 2022

U.S. Supreme Court Asks for Record of Texas Case Where Relief Denied Despite Agreement of Prosecutor and Trial Judge that Death-Row Prisoner Should Get New Trial

The United States Supreme Court has request­ed the pro­duc­tion of the appel­late record of a death penal­ty case in which the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (TCCA) refused to grant a new tri­al to a death-row pris­on­er despite the agree­ment of coun­ty pros­e­cu­tors that the use of faulty foren­sic evi­dence from a dis­cred­it­ed crime lab to con­vict Areli Escobar (pic­tured) denied him a fair trial.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Foreign Nationals

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Apr 18, 2018

Vicente Benavides, Sentenced to Death by False Forensics, to Be Freed After 26 Years on Death Row

Mexican nation­al Vicente Figueroa Benavides (pic­tured), wrong­ly con­vict­ed and sen­tenced to death in Kern County, California for sup­pos­ed­ly rap­ing, sodom­iz­ing, and mur­der­ing his girlfriend’s 21-month-old daugh­ter, will soon be freed after near­ly 26 years on death row. He will be the 162nd per­son and fifth for­eign nation­al exon­er­at­ed from a U.S. death row since 1973.