News 06.18.10

Friday Roundup: Defending Their Innocence

It took an Illinois man two decades to prove through DNA tests that he was wrongfully convicted of raping his neighbor, and authorities now say

DNA has linked another man

to the 1987 crime.

A New Orleans state judge

ruled against releasing George Toca

, who has been in prison for nearly three decades for a shooting murder he says he did not commit.  Innocence Project New Orleans, which represents Toca, says he was convicted based on misidentifications by two witnesses, who described the shooter as taller and heavier than Toca. The group will continue to appeal the decision.

Lawyers and students at the Wisconsin Innocence Project have discovered new evidence of innocence in the case of a man who has been in prison for 20 years for a murder he says he didn’t commit.

A judge heard evidence this week

in his motion for a new trial. “After Innocence,” the award-winning documentary film about life after exoneration, inspired author Cammie McGovern to write a new novel titled, “

Neighborhood Watch

” about a librarian who has been exonerated from prison through post-conviction DNA evidence 12 years after the conviction.

A Houston Chronicle investigation found that the city’s police department

misidentified a suspect

in 1996 based on faulty fingerprint analysis. The Houston City Council is deciding whether to renew its contract with a private firm that operates the city’s fingerprint lab.

Prosecutors in New York’s Erie County are

reviewing 42 sexual assault investigations

or prosecutions that involved the testimony of a discredited forensic nurse whose findings have been questioned by national experts.

Get more forensic news from the last week on

the Just Science Coalition website

.

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