Entries tagged with “Wrongful capital prosecutions

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Nov 12, 2019

Unrequited Innocence” with Rob Warden and John Seasly

Rob Warden and John Seasly speak with Anne Holsinger about their law review arti­cle and pro­file series, Unrequited Innocence,” which exam­ine death-penal­ty cas­es in which pris­on­ers have not been exon­er­at­ed, despite strong evi­dence of inno­cence. Warden, the Executive Director Emeritus of the Center on Wrongful Convictions and a co-founder of both the National Registry of Exonerations and Injustice Watch, and Seasly, a reporter at Injustice Watch, pro­filed 24 cas­es involv­ing 25 defen­dants with com­pelling evi­dence of inno­cence.” In the pod­cast, they dis­cuss why they chose to focus on unre­dressed wrongful…

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Oct 01, 2019

After Nearly Six Years in Jail Because of Unaffordable Bail, Kentucky Man Acquitted of Capital Murder

A Kentucky man who lan­guished in jail for near­ly six years because of bail he could not afford has been acquit­ted of cap­i­tal mur­der and relat­ed charges. Eugene Red” Mitchell (pic­tured) faced the death penal­ty on charges that he had raped, sodom­ized, and mur­dered Sheila Devine, a Louisville grand­moth­er. On September 18, 2019, a Jefferson County jury found Mitchell not guilty of all charges against him. He had spent five years, eight months and ten days in pre­tri­al cus­tody, unable to post a quar­ter-mil­lion dol­lar cash bond.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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Jan 30, 2018

Colorado Supreme Court Overturns Prison-Murder Conviction, Says Prosecutors Withheld Evidence in Death-Penalty Case

The Colorado Supreme Court has upheld a tri­al court rul­ing over­turn­ing the first-degree mur­der con­vic­tion of David Bueno (pic­tured) after Arapahoe County pros­e­cu­tors who sought the death penal­ty against him in a prison killing hid evi­dence that point­ed to anoth­er sus­pect. The January 22 rul­ing comes in the wake of a tri­al court rul­ing that pros­e­cu­tors in the state’s 18th Judicial District, which includes Arapahoe County, also sup­pressed more than twen­ty pieces of evi­dence that should have been dis­closed to the defense in the cap­i­tal tri­als of death-row pris­on­ers Sir…

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

Innocence

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Mar 25, 2019

Florida Man Who Took Plea to Avoid Death Penalty Posthumously Exonerated of 1983 Rape-Murder

Broward County, Florida pros­e­cu­tors moved to posthu­mous­ly exon­er­ate Ronald Stewart (pic­tured) of a rape and mur­der he did not com­mit. Stewart pled no con­test to the 1983 rape and mur­der of Regina Harrison after he was threat­ened with the death penal­ty. The actu­al killer, whose guilt has since been con­firmed by DNA test­ing, went on to mur­der at least two more women after Harrison.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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Oct 23, 2019

Louisiana Man Freed 42 Years After Wrongful Conviction in Death-Penalty Trial

A Louisiana pris­on­er wrong­ful­ly pros­e­cut­ed for cap­i­tal mur­der has agreed to a plea deal that secures his free­dom after spend­ing 42 years in prison for a crime he says he did not com­mit. With the assis­tance of the Innocence Project New Orleans, Elvis Brooks (pic­tured) suc­ceed­ed in over­turn­ing his 1997 con­vic­tion and agreed to plead guilty to less­er charges in exchange for his release on October 152019.

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…

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,…

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Aug 29, 2019

Samuel Bonner freed 37 years after wrong­ful cap­i­tal pros­e­cu­tion in Los Angeles

Thirty-sev­en years after his wrong­ful cap­i­tal pros­e­cu­tion and con­vic­tion for a mur­der he did not com­mit, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has set Samuel Bonner free. Citing gross pros­e­cu­to­r­i­al mis­con­duct” that he said shocks the con­science,” Judge Daniel J. Lowenthal(pic­tured) on July 11, 2019 ordered Bonner released from California state prison.

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.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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Prosecutorial Accountability

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Apr 23, 2019

Wrongful Use or Threat of Capital Prosecutions Implicated in Five Exonerations in 2018

At least five peo­ple were exon­er­at­ed in 2018 after hav­ing been wrong­ful­ly con­vict­ed in cas­es that involved the mis­use or threat­ened use of the death penal­ty, a DPIC analy­sis of data accom­pa­ny­ing a new report by the National Registry of Exonerations has shown. The National Registry’s annu­al report on wrong­ful con­vic­tions, Exonerations in 2018, record­ed a record 151 new exon­er­a­tions across the United States in 2018, includ­ing 68 exon­er­a­tions result­ing from wrong­ful homi­cide con­vic­tions. Two of those exon­er­a­tions freed death-row pris­on­ers Vicente Benavides and Clemente Aguirre.