News 07.10.09

Friday Roundup: Freed, and Still Fighting

There’s freedom in the air this week after Independence Day. Two men – an uncle and nephew – were granted a new trial in Michigan today, and two others were freed Tuesday in Chicago after two decades in prison. Even after exoneration, however, some former prisoners find a hard road. Here’s a roundup of news from the week:

DeShawn Reed and his uncle Marvin Reed were

granted a new trial in Michigan today

, more than eight years after they were convicted of a shooting they say they didn’t commit. The case was the first legal victory for the new Innocence Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School.

Ronald Kitchen and Marvin Reeves were freed in Chicago after two decades in prison when the state Attorney General’s office opted not to press charges. Kitchen says he confessed to murders he didn’t commit after detectives beat him.

Meanwhile, Missouri became the 16th state to mandate recording of interrogations by law enforcement agencies.

We reported on the Kitchen/Reeves case and advances in recording of interrogations here

. More on Kitchen and Reeves from the Chicago Tribune is

here

.

But even after earning freedom, some exonerees find little support in the outside world. Arthur Whitfield was exonerated in 2004 in Virginia,

but told a Virginian-Pilot reporter this week

: "I understand that life isn't easy, but I thought it would be a little bit better than what it is."

A New York City detective wrote in a New York Times blog Q & A that

detectives need to be aware of the possibility of a false confession when conducting an interrogation

.

Author John Grisham, a member of the Innocence Project Board of Directors, announced this week

he’s working on a screenplay about the Norfolk Four case

, and documentarian Ken Burns is making a film about the Central Park jogger case,

in which five teenagers spent years in prison for a rape they didn’t commit

.

The Innocence Project of Florida and local attorneys

continued to call for an investigation of dog scent cases in Florida

.

California Innocence Project Director Justin Brooks

discussed a recent case

on a new podcast.

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