News 05.21.07

Exoneree and victim families call for Oklahoma Innocence Commission

At the state capitol in Oklahoma City on Friday, family members of exonerees and crime victims called for the state to form an Innocence Commission. The panel, which would review the causes of wrongful conviction and potential criminal justice reforms, has been proposed during the last two years but failed to pass.

Legislation to establish an exoneration review commission has scarcely been addressed by lawmakers during the past two years, said Christy Sheppard (whose cousin was killed in a 1982 murder for which Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz were wrongfully convicted). "We didn't even get a hearing… It didn't even get out of committee.”

“This is not just about wrongful conviction. It’s about failure to convict the guilty,” Sheppard said. “I think it’s really important that we take a look at all aspects of these cases.”

Also speaking Friday were the families of death row exonerees Curtis McCarty and Greg Wilhoit.

Read media coverage of Friday’s event:

The Oklahoman:

Families of wrongfully convicted ask for review

Associated Press:

Oklahoman freed from prison after 16 years on death row

Associated Press Photo:

Christy Sheppard and Joe McCarty speak on Friday

Read more about the cases of

McCarty

,

Fritz

and

Williamson

.


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