News 08.28.09

Friday Roundup: Arson, ID and Exoneration

An independent investigator delivered a report this week to the Texas Forensic Science Commission finding

serious flaws in the evidence used to convict Cameron Todd Willingham

, who was executed in 2004 in Texas for an arson murder he always said he didn’t commit. The investigator’s report is consistent with the findings of a panel of arson experts commissioned by the Innocence Project to review the case in 2006. We’ll have much more on Willingham’s case next week.


Richard Sturgeon was freed in Houston after nearly 11 years in prison for a crime he has always said he didn’t commit

. He was convicted based in part on an eyewitness identification resulting from an improper lineup including three suspects. The two other men implicated in the crime have said Sturgeon was innocent.

A North Carolina man serving life in prison for a murder he says he didn’t commit will have a

hearing next week before the state’s innocence commission

. An investigator has said DNA from the crime scene doesn’t match the prisoner’s profile.

Matthew Gerrie, a researcher at New Zealand’s Victoria University and a manger at the Innocence Project of New Zealand, was

named a “Young Scientist of the Year”

for his work examining eyewitness identification practice and the decision-making processes of witnesses.

Tennessee exoneree Clark McMillan said this week that he is

struggling to make ends meet under the annuity he receives as part of his compensation from the state

.

Connecticut lawyer Karen Lee Torre wrote a

column praising the work of the Connecticut Innocence Project

, which represented Kenneth Ireland, who was cleared by DNA and freed this month after two decades in prison.

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