News 02.06.09

Friday Roundup: Coming Together in Texas

 

Exonerees and advocates were working around the world this week to spread the word about wrongful convictions and reforms to prevent injustice. Here are some stories we didn’t get to on the Innocence Blog:

Two posts yesterday on the Huffington Post called for federal legislative and legal reforms. Constitution Project Founder Ginny Sloan and George Mason Professor Jon Gould wrote that  “Only by

investing in reasonable criminal justice reforms now

can we avoid enormous human and financial costs later.” Center on Wrongful Conviction Director Rob Warden wrote about the Innocence Project’s upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case and the opportunity for the new U.S. Solicitor General-designate to

change the administration’s position on the constitutional right to DNA testing

.

We wrote this week about the hearing in Texas to posthumously clear the name of

Timothy Cole

, who died of an asthma attack in prison while serving time for a rape he didn’t commit. Thirteen exonerees joined lawmakers, representatives of the Innocence Project of Texas and Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck at the state legislature yesterday to

call for eyewitness identification reforms

. The photo above, from left to right, Thomas McGowan, Stephen Phillips, Patrick Waller, Johnnie Lindsey, James Woodard, Eugene Henton, Keith Turner,

Charles Chatman, James Waller, Larry Fuller and Billy Smith. (Photo, Clay Graham)

Exonerees elsewhere were also hard at work this week mentoring young people and educating the public about wrongful convictions.

Illinois exoneree Dana Holland is working with at-risk youth

in Chicago. And New York exoneree Jeff Deskovic wrote an article last week for the Westchester Guardian

about three exonerees who passed  away in recent years

. (PDF)

Reader’s Digest this week published a

profile of Joseph Salvati

, who served 30 years in Massachusetts prison for a murder he didn’t commit.

New Jersey Senator Raymond Lesniak

spoke about Innocence Project client Byron Halsey on Sunday

at an International Human Rights event. Lesniak won the event’s top prize for his speech and $10,000 for his organization, the Road to Justice and Peace.

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