Entries tagged with “Jimmy Dennis

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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Jan 19, 2018

Innocence Deniers” and Coercive Plea Agreements Impede Death-Row Exonerations Across the U.S.

A pros­e­cu­tor’s duty, the U.S. Supreme Court wrote in 1935, is not that it shall win a case, but that jus­tice shall be done.” Yet pros­e­cu­tors across the U.S. have refused to acknowl­edge the inno­cence of defen­dants who have been wrong­ful­ly con­vict­ed, obstruct­ing release by retry­ing death-sen­tenced defen­dants despite exon­er­at­ing evi­dence, or con­di­tion­ing their release upon Alford pleas,” which force defen­dants to choose between clear­ing their names or obtain­ing their free­dom. In an arti­cle for Slate, Lara Bazelon chron­i­cles cas­es of pros­e­cu­tors whom she calls inno­cence deniers,” and the exonerations…

Policy Issues

Innocence

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May 03, 2024

Articles of Interest: Former Pennsylvania Death Row Prisoner Jimmy Dennis Awarded Compensation After Years-Long Legal Battle

On April 25, 2024, a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania jury award­ed $16 mil­lion to for­mer death row pris­on­er Jimmy Dennis (pic­tured), who was wrong­ful­ly con­vict­ed and spent 25 years in prison. Following nine days of tri­al, jurors deter­mined that the city of Philadelphia owes Mr. Dennis $10 mil­lion, and the two detec­tives who engaged in mali­cious or wan­ton mis­con­duct” owe him an addi­tion­al $3 mil­lion each. Mr. Dennis was sen­tenced to death in 1991 for a mur­der he main­tained he could not have com­mit­ted, and in 2013, a fed­er­al judge over­turned his…

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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Representation

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Dec 29, 2016

First-Degree Murder Charges Dropped Against Two Former Pennsylvania Death Row Prisoners With Innocence Claims

On December 22, 2016, Pennsylvania pros­e­cu­tors dropped first-degree mur­der charges against two for­mer Pennsylvania death row pris­on­ers who have assert­ed their inno­cence for decades. In court­rooms 100 miles apart, Tyrone Moore and James Dennis entered no-con­test pleas to charges of third-degree mur­der, avoid­ing retri­als on the charges that had ini­tial­ly sent the men to death row and paving the way for their release.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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Aug 24, 2016

Pennsylvania Death Row Inmate Granted New Trial on Innocence-Related Claims; Capitally-Charged Inmate Exonerated

Two Philadelphia, Pennsylvania cap­i­tal cas­es involv­ing men who have long assert­ed their inno­cence reached major mile­stones on August 23, with one win­ning an appeal grant­i­ng him a new tri­al and a jury acquit­ting a sec­ond in his retri­al. Both cas­es involved alle­ga­tions of seri­ous police and pros­e­cu­to­r­i­al mis­con­duct. James Dennis (pic­tured), who has been on the Commonwealth’s death row for near­ly 25 years, was grant­ed a new tri­al by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit after pros­e­cu­tors with­held evi­dence that sup­port­ed his claims of inno­cence. Anthony Wright,…

Death Row

Conditions on Death Row

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Nov 20, 2019

Pennsylvania Settles Death-Row Conditions Lawsuit, Ends Mandatory Permanent Solitary Confinement

Pennsylvania has agreed to end its pol­i­cy of manda­to­ry incar­cer­a­tion of death-row pris­on­ers in per­ma­nent soli­tary con­fine­ment. The pol­i­cy change was part of a pro­posed set­tle­ment agree­ment of a fed­er­al class action law­suit brought by a coali­tion of pris­on­ers’ rights orga­ni­za­tions on behalf of the Commonwealth’s 136 death-row pris­on­ers, most of whom are housed in the State Correctional Institution-Greene (pic­tured from Google Earth image).

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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May 16, 2017

Two Philadelphia Detectives, Three Wrongful Capital Prosecutions

On May 13, 2017, James Jimmy” Dennis (pic­tured, cen­ter, with some of his defense team) was released from prison after more than 25 years on Pennsylvanias death row. His release marked the cul­mi­na­tion of three unre­lat­ed wrong­ful cap­i­tal pros­e­cu­tions in Philadelphia in the ear­ly-1990s, with the com­mon thread a pat­tern of mis­con­duct by the same two Philadelphia homi­cide detectives.