Entries tagged with “Police Misconduct

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Race

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Representation

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Upcoming Executions

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Feb 28, 2020

Alabama Set to Execute Nathaniel Woods Despite Claims of Innocence, Police Misconduct

Nathaniel Woods (pic­tured, left) did not shoot Alabama police offi­cers Charles Bennett, Carlos Curly” Owen, and Harley Chisholm III (pic­tured left to right, below). But because of alleged police mis­con­duct, incom­pe­tent rep­re­sen­ta­tion, and Alabama law allow­ing death ver­dicts based on non-unan­i­mous jury votes, he faces exe­cu­tion on March 5, 2020 for their deaths.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Jun 01, 2021

California Gov. Gavin Newsom Orders Investigation into Kevin Cooper Capital Murder Conviction

California Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered an inde­pen­dent inves­ti­ga­tion into the case of Kevin Cooper, who has con­sis­tent­ly main­tained his inno­cence in the 1983 quadru­ple-mur­der for which he was sen­tenced to death. Newsom’s May 28, 2021 exec­u­tive order appoints the law firm Morrison and Foerster, LLP as Special Counsel to the California Board of Parole Hearings and directs the firm to con­duct a full review of the tri­al and appel­late records in [Cooper’s] case and of the facts under­ly­ing the conviction.”

Jun 14, 2021

Capital Case Roundup — Death Penalty Court Decisions the Week of June 72021

NEWS (6/​9/​21) — Nebraska: A pan­el of three judges has sen­tenced Aubrey Trail to death for the 2017 killing of Sydney Loofe. In a state­ment to the court before the pan­el pro­nounced sen­tence, Trail admit­ted to the killing but said that his co-defen­dant, Bailey Boswell, who faces cap­i­tal sen­tenc­ing hear­ing lat­er this month, was not involved in the killing. Trail is the 12th per­son on Nebraska’s death row.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Race

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Sep 13, 2021

Death-Row Exoneree Curtis Flowers Sues Mississippi Prosecutor Who Prosecuted Him Six Times

Former Mississippi death-row pris­on­er Curtis Flowers (pic­tured), who was exon­er­at­ed in 2020, is suing the offi­cials whose mis­con­duct led to his arrest and repeat­ed wrong­ful con­vic­tion. Flowers was tried six times and spent 23 years wrong­ful­ly incar­cer­at­ed for a quadru­ple mur­der in a white-owned fur­ni­ture store in Winona, Mississippi. In a com­plaint filed September 3, 2021 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Flowers alleges that his tri­al pros­e­cu­tor, an inves­ti­ga­tor in the prosecutor’s office, and two police offi­cers involved in the inves­ti­ga­tion engaged in per­va­sive misconduct…

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Mar 01, 2024

Death-Sentenced Philadelphia Prisoner Daniel Gwynn Exonerated After Nearly 30 Years

On February 27, 2024, Common Pleas Court Judge Barbara A. McDermott approved a motion from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office to dis­miss first-degree mur­der, arson, and aggra­vat­ed assault charges against 54-year-old death-sen­tenced pris­on­er Daniel Gwynn. Mr. Gwynn is the 197th per­son exon­er­at­ed after being sen­tenced to death since 1973, accord­ing to DPIC’s Innocence Database. Today is most­ly for us a day of tremen­dous relief and sad­ness, a guy like him, an inno­cent soul spent that amount of time wait­ing for his exe­cu­tion lan­guish­ing in jail,” said Mr. Gwynn’s defense attorney…

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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Aug 06, 2021

DPIC Analysis: 13 Exonerated in 2020 From Convictions Obtained by Wrongful Threat or Pursuit of the Death Penalty

A Death Penalty Information Center analy­sis of data from the National Registry of Exonerations has found that law enforce­ment use or threat of cap­i­tal pros­e­cu­tion against sus­pects or wit­ness­es con­tributed to the wrong­ful con­vic­tions of 10% of the peo­ple exon­er­at­ed in the United States and more than one-fifth of all mur­der exon­er­a­tions in 2020.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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Clemency

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Jan 11, 2023

Illinois Commutations Twenty Years Ago Marked Turning Point in Death-Penalty Abolition

January 11, 2023 marks the twen­ti­eth anniver­sary of for­mer Illinois Governor George Ryan’s deci­sion to grant clemen­cy to every death row pris­on­er in Illinois, the largest blan­ket clemen­cy in the mod­ern era of the death penal­ty. It was a water­shed moment in both Illinois’ crim­i­nal jus­tice his­to­ry and in the ongo­ing nation­al con­ver­sa­tion about the death penalty.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Aug 16, 2021

NBC’s Dateline’ Investigates the Wrongful Capital Conviction of Death-Row Exoneree Walter Ogrod

NBC’s true crime series, Dateline, fea­tured an episode on August 13, 2021 on the wrong­ful con­vic­tion and even­tu­al exon­er­a­tion of for­mer Philadelphia death-row pris­on­er Walter Ogrod (pic­tured). The episode, enti­tled The Investigation,” is part of an NBC News series called Justice for All” that reports on wrong­ful con­vic­tions and the U.S. crim­i­nal legal system.

May 20, 2021

NEWS BRIEF — Georgia Capital Defense Investigator Files Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Prison Officials After Videotape Clears Her of Felony Charges of Passing Illegal Contraband to Capital Defendant

A for­mer mit­i­ga­tion inves­ti­ga­tor for the Georgia Office of the Capital Defender has filed a fed­er­al civ­il rights law­suit against two Georgia Department of Corrections inves­ti­ga­tors and the war­den of the state’s max­i­mum secu­ri­ty prison, after she was cleared of charges of pass­ing ille­gal con­tra­band dur­ing a meet­ing with a cap­i­tal­ly charged defendant.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Mar 13, 2020

News Brief — North Carolina Innocence Commission Orders Review of Murder Convictions of Teens Falsely Threatened With Death Penalty

NEWS (3/​13/​20): The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission vot­ed 5 – 3 on March 13, 2020 to empan­el a three-judge review com­mit­tee to deter­mine whether four men con­vict­ed as teens should be exon­er­at­ed of the mur­der of NBA star Chris Paul’s grand­fa­ther, Nathaniel Jones. A fifth teen con­vict­ed in the mur­der died before he could sub­mit his case for review by the Commission.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Intellectual Disability

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May 17, 2021

North Carolina Jury Awards Death-Row Exonerees Henry McCollum and Leon Brown $75M for Their Wrongful Capital Convictions

In a case the late Justice Antonin Scalia tout­ed as a jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment, a North Carolina fed­er­al jury has award­ed two intel­lec­tu­al­ly dis­abled death-row exonerees $75 mil­lion for the police mis­con­duct that sent them to death row. On May 14, 2021, half-broth­ers Henry McCollum (pic­tured, left) and Leon Brown (pic­tured, right) were each award­ed $31 mil­lion, $1 mil­lion for each year they spent in prison, plus an addi­tion­al $13 mil­lion in puni­tive damages.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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May 12, 2020

Ohio Death Row Exonerees Reach $18 Million Settlement with City of Cleveland

The city of Cleveland will pay a record $18 mil­lion dol­lars to set­tle a civ­il rights law­suit by three for­mer death-row pris­on­ers who, as a result of police mis­con­duct, spent more than a com­bined 80 years impris­oned for a mur­der they did not com­mit. Kwame Ajamu (pic­tured, left), his broth­er Wiley Bridgeman (pic­tured, cen­ter), and Rickey Jackson (pic­tured, right) were con­vict­ed in 1975 of the rob­bery and mur­der of Harold Franks based on the coerced false tes­ti­mo­ny of a 12-year-old boy, Eddie Vernon. Police also fab­ri­cat­ed evi­dence and with­held evidence…

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Jun 21, 2004

POSSIBLE INNOCENCE: Newspaper Explores Case of Pennsylvania Death Row Inmate

In an exclu­sive two-part series titled Snitch Work,” Philadelphia’s City Paper explores the pos­si­ble inno­cence of Pennsylvania death row inmate Walter Ogrod. Investigative writer Tom Lowenstein describes Ogrod’s first tri­al, which result­ed in a mis­tri­al when 11 of the 12 jurors vot­ed for acquit­tal. In Ogrod’s sec­ond tri­al in 1996, the state employed a noto­ri­ous jail­house snitch, John Hall, to strength­en their case against Ogrod, who con­tin­ued to main­tain his inno­cence. Lowenstein’s Snitch Work” series exam­ines Ogrod’s case, includ­ing an alledged coerced con­fes­sion and police mis­con­duct, the fail­ure to find…

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Race

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Sentencing Alternatives

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Sep 19, 2022

Texas Prosecutors Drop Death Penalty Against African American Man Held Eight Years Without Trial in Death of White Police Officer During Botched No-Knock Raid

Bell County pros­e­cu­tors have dropped their efforts to impose the death penal­ty on Marvin Guy (pic­tured), an African American man who has been held eight years with­out tri­al in con­nec­tion with the death of a white police offi­cer dur­ing a botched no-knock raid in Killeen, Texas in May 2014.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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Dec 01, 2022

Utah Court Grants New Trial to Death-Row Prisoner Convicted in 1985 by False Testimony Coerced by Police

A Utah judge has grant­ed a new tri­al to death-row pris­on­er Douglas Carter, find­ing that pros­e­cu­tors know­ing­ly with­held from the defense evi­dence that police coerced false tes­ti­mo­ny from two key wit­ness­es, coached them to lie, pro­vid­ed them thou­sands of dol­lars in finan­cial ben­e­fits” to impli­cate Carter, and threat­ened them with depor­ta­tion and loss of their son if they did not cooperate.