News 04.24.09

Friday Roundup: From California to Rhode Island


Alton Logan was fully cleared in Chicago

after serving 26 years in prison for a crime another man committed. "This is not a time for anger. This is a joyous time. I've now got my life where I can live again," Logan said.

The U.S. Supreme Court

will hear another case next term

on the limits of prosecutorial misconduct, after issuing ruling this term in


Goldstein v. Van de Kamp


case that a wrongfully convicted man couldn’t sue the former Los Angeles Prosecutor.

We’re continuing to watch crime lab issues closely around the country – from backlogs and budget crunches to shutdowns and allegations of mistakes and misconduct.

Officials in Detroit say the shuttered crime lab is

causing a public safety problem and lengthening criminal investigations

. The lab was closed a year ago after an audit found a 10 percent error rate in ballistics testing. County Prosecutor Kym Worthy

said this week

that the lab should never again be run by the police department and should instead be managed by state police.

Defense attorneys in Southern Calfornia

called for reviews in thousands of criminal convictions

after a former technician admitted to falsifying lab reports.

Meanwhile, the Mesa, Arizona crime lab

has cleared up its backlog

.

Following last week’s report on failing indigent defense systems from the Constitution Project came reports this week that public defense is near its breaking point. A column in New York

tied wrongful convictions to inadequate defense

and public defenders in

Rhode Island

and

Missouri

are seeking to put a limit on caseloads.

Wrongfully convicted individuals continued speaking around the country about their cases –

Kirk Bloodsworth and Darryl Hunt spoke in upstate New York

and Johnny Savory, who was cleared last year in Illinois,

spoke to students at Northwestern

.

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