News 04.16.10

Friday Roundup: DNA Testing That Has Lead to Exonerations

In Detroit, Kenneth Wyniemko who spent nearly nine years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit saw justice served yesterday when

Craig Gonser, the man police now believe committed the crime was sentenced to 10-25 years

for an unrelated sex crime.  The DNA evidence that proved Wyniemko was innocence and implicated Craig Gonser was discovered after the statute of limitations had expired.

As organizations devoted to overturning wrongful convictions and eyewitness identification experts work together to appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court on behalf of a man sentenced to execution in September,

an op-ed in the Columbus Dispatch praised Ohio’s Governor Ted Strickland

for passing a landmark criminal justice reform package and showing his commitment to preventing wrongful convictions.  Kevin Keith was convicted of murder and sentenced to death for killing three people, including a 7-year-old girl, in a 1994 shooting in northern Ohio that wounded three others.  Based on new non-DNA evidence that carries the probability of altering the trial result, Keith is fighting to win a new trial.


A new book by Jon B. Gould, describes how the first commission stabled to reinvestigate wrongful convictions, the Innocence Commission for Virginia, operates

.  Gould, an associate professor and director of the Center for Justice, Law and Society at George Mason University details how advancement in forensic science and access to DNA testing has led to numerous exonerations nationwide.

Alan Beaman, who served 13 years in prison before the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the conviction for a murder he did not commit,

asked for an official document confirming his innocence at his clemency hearing in front of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board yesterday

. Beaman’s 1995 murder conviction in the death of his ex-girlfriend, Jennifer Lockmiller, in Normal, Illinois was overturned by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2008. He is now seeking a pardon from the governor.

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