News 03.27.09

Friday Roundup: Hearings on the Horizon

A federal appeals court

granted review this week

in the case of Innocence Project client Kevin Siehl. Innocence Project attorneys are seeking DNA testing on a washcloth, knife and cigarette butt from the scene of a murder for which Siehl says he was wrongfully convicted.

The Detroit Free Press reported on

the case of Temujin Kensu

, who has served more than two decades in Michigan prison for a murder he says he didn’t commit. His appeals have been repeatedly denied and there’s no biological evidence that could prove his innocence. Six people, however, testified at his trial that he was 400 miles away at the time of the shooting.

A Texas judge

scheduled a two-day hearing

in May in the infamous 1991 “yogurt shop murders” in Austin. New DNA testing on crime scene evidence in the case has revealed profiles that exclude two men in prison for the murders, which they say they didn’t commit.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch checked in with recent exonerees and found that

the path to restoring lost lives after exoneration is a difficult one

.

A crime lab employee in upstate New York was fired for

allegedly falsifying documents and failing to follow lab procedures

. Reason Magazine continued its coverage of

a case of possible forensic misconduct

in Mississippi. An Ohio coroner said

crimes are going unsolved

because of growing lab backlogs. And an audit found that the Illinois State Police

sat on money intended to reduce the state’s crime lab backlog

.

The new book “Picking Cotton” continues to garner rave reviews and strong sales. The book is number 20 on the

New York Times bestseller list

, and is number six on Amazon.com’s true crime bestseller list.

But your copy here and a portion of proceeds will go the Innocence Project

.

 

Author Dave Eggers

talked to Mother Jones this week about “Surviving Justice,”

a book of first-person stories from exonerees that he edited with Lola Vollen.

And Innocence Project Co-Directors Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld will be

awarded the prestigious Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Law

from the University of Virginia next month for their contributions to criminal justice and legal reform.

 

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