News 04.17.09

Friday Roundup: Identification and Informants

A Georgia death row inmate lost his federal appeal this week and a Chicago man goes to trial next week for the third time for a murder he says he didn't commit. Here are stories of injustice and reform from the week:  


A federal court rejected Troy Davis’ appeal

this week and announced a 30-day stay of execution so he could appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Davis has been on Georgia’s death row for two decades for a murder he says he didn’t commit and has come within hours of execution three times before receiving stays.

Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn wrote that

Juan Rivera’s third trial

for a murder he says he didn’t commit – set to begin on Monday – sounds eerily similar to the wrongful conviction and repeated trials and appeals of exoneree Rolando Cruz.

The Texas Senate

passed bills this week

requiring law enforcement agencies in the state to establish written identification procedures, and requiring corroboration for testimony from jailhouse informants. Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail reported that

Ontario has nearly phased out the use of jailhouse informants

.

The Constitution Project released a groundbreaking report on the state of indigent defense in America. The report, “

Justice Denied

,” says that public defense systems are struggling across the country, and that many are failing. Read more about the effects of

bad and overburdened lawyers

in wrongful conviction cases.

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