News 11.21.08

Friday Roundup: Seeking New Trials

Lots of case news and events around the U.S. to cover this week:

Innocence Project client Anthony Wright has been in Pennsylvania prison for 15 years for a murder he has always said he didn’t commit. He is seeking DNA testing on evidence in the case, but the Philadelphia District Attorney is fighting his requests for testing and courts have denied his appeals. This week, the

Philadelphia Inquirer said “the best and only way to resolve the dispute is to proceed with the DNA test.

DNA tests in the Norfolk Four case have already implicated the real perpetrator of the crime, but three men who say they had nothing to do with the murder are still behind bars. More than two dozen FBI agents called for a pardon last week, and the

New York Times joined them this week

.

A federal appeals court will hear arguments in the case of Troy Davis on December 9, and former FBI Director

William Sessions wrote in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

this week that Davis deserves another day in court.

Police interrogation of juveniles was in the news this week, with the high-profile case of an eight-year-old boy charged with shooting his father and a neighbor. Prosecutors released the videotaped interrogation of the boy, and

experts around the world are saying

that the police procedure in questioning an eight-year-old without a parent or lawyer was inappropriate.

A federal appeals court yesterday

tossed out the conviction

of a man found guilty in 1994 of killing nine people at a Buddhist temple in Arizona. Jonathan Doody was 17 when arrested, and his conviction rested on his alleged confession after 12 hours of interrogation.

"In short," the ruling says, "Doody paints an overall picture of downplayed warnings, a softly induced waiver of rights and conduct conveying the message that Doody would not be left alone until he confessed, all targeted at an unsavvy, increasingly sleep-deprived teenager."

And innocence organizations around the world held events and rallies in the last week:

The Center on Wrongful Convictions in Chicago celebrated its tenth anniversary. The group is one of the pioneers of the innocence movement and has exonerated dozens of wrongfully convicted Americans across the country. The Chicago Tribune calls the group the “

the heroes of the wrongfully convicted

.”  Watch a video looking back at the Center’s incredible

first 10 years here

.

William & Mary held its

first annual Innocence Symposium

and students from the University of Bristol Innocence Project in the United Kingdom

took to the streets

to educate the public about the problem of wrongful convictions.

Finally, we extend a warm welcome to the

Montana Innocence Project

, which opened its doors this year.

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