News 08.17.09

An Indiana Man’s Fight for Freedom

Willie T. Donald has been behind bars in Indiana for 17 years for a murder and robbery he says he didn’t commit.  Mounting evidence of his innocence, including a recantation from a central eyewitness, will be argued before an Indiana judge in October. The Medill Innocence Project at Northwestern University has investigated Donald’s case for two years and the work of journalism students has turned up significant evidence that another man committed the crimes for which Donald was convicted in 1992.


A new multimedia series from the Times of Northwest Indiana

explores the case in depth, including a video interview with Donald in prison and another with a victim who now says she was “pressured and intimidated” by investigators to identify Donald as the man who robbed her.

Donald told the Times that he is hopeful he will be cleared:

“During the early stages of my incarceration, I wanted to give up, but something kept encouraging me to fight,” Donald, 41, wrote in a letter last week to The Times. “I guess it was my family, my conscience or the fact that I knew I was totally innocent of the crimes in which I was convicted of. Maybe that was the motivating factor. Luckily, I continue to believe that one day I would be vindicated.”

 

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