News 03.06.09

Friday Roundup: Fighting for Freedom

News from around the country that we didn't get to on the Innocence Blog this week:

An Ohio man could be freed as early as Tuesday, nearly 25 years after being convicted of a rape DNA now proves he didn’t commit. A joint project between the

Ohio Innocence Project

and the

Columbus Dispatch

led to DNA testing in the case of Joseph R. Fears, Jr., who was convicted of an Ohio rape in 1984. A judge today called for a hearing in his case Tuesday. Stayed tuned to the Innocence Blog for developments.

Innocence Project Staff Attorney Craig Cooley argued this week in a Pennsylvania court

for DNA testing in the case of client Robert Conway

.

A federal judge in California said Bruce Lisker was wrongfully convicted of stabbing his mother in 1983 and

should be set free or retried

.

The Innocence Project of Florida is

seeking a new trial

on behalf of Billy Joe Holton after DNA results in the case excluded him as a possible contributor of evidence at the crime scene.

And a Detroit man who has spent 36 years in prison for a murder he says he didn’t commit is

seeking a new trial

with the help of Proving Innocence and the Association in Defense of the Wrongly Convicted.

The systemic failures that caused many of these wrongful convictions are still present today and continuing to cause injustice. Exonerees, organizations and lawmakers were working this week to fix the system:

An editorial in Colorado called on lawmakers to

protect the advances they made last year

on the preservation of DNA evidence.

The Pennsylvania Innocence Project has

officially opened its doors

at Temple University School of Law – filling a crucial need in planning to handle wrongful conviction cases in the state.

Just 16 days after he was released from prison,

Joshua Kezer told an audience at the University of Missouri about his wrongful conviction and release

. He was joined by exoneree Dennis Fritz.

Recent exoneree William Dillon will

speak tomorrow in Florida

.

New York DNA Exoneree Steven Barnes

began this week working for Oneida County Workforce Development

, helping released prisoners find work and housing. He told WKTV that “to come out into the community and try to get out on the right foot sometimes…you need assistance and help."

 

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