News 12.19.08

Friday Roundup: Two Are Freed, While Three Continue to Fight

Friday Roundup: Two Are Freed, While Three Continue to Fight

Two people were freed from prison this week as new evidence cast doubt on their convictions and three others were fighting to overturn convictions for crimes they say they didn’t commit.

Miguel Roman was freed today in Connecticut after 20 years in prison for a crime he says he didn’t commit.

See today’s blog post on his case for more

.

Jimmy Ates, who served ten years in prison for allegedly killing his wife, was

released in Florida after a prosecutor requested his conviction be tossed

. Ates’  conviction was based in part on FBI bullet lead analysis tests, which have since been shown to be unreliable. His is the first conviction nationwide overturned based on this evidence.

A Colorado man, Timothy Kennedy,

was in court this week

fighting to overturn his conviction in a 1991 double murder he says he didn’t commit. DNA evidence from the crime scene proves Kennedy’s innocence, his attorneys say.

In Michigan,

Efren Paredes is seeking a commutation from Gov. Jennifer Granholm

for a murder he says he didn’t commit. Paredes, who was 15 when he was arrested, told a parole board: "I will not take responsibility for a crime I did not commit. I never will do that even if it meant I could leave today."

A Chicago man

is suing for damages

based on the two years he spent in prison for a robbery he says he didn’t commit. Michael Glasper, 39, served two years of a life sentence before an appeal he wrote himself led to a new trial, which ended in acquittal.

Crime labs were also making news this week:

Detroit Prosecutor Kym Worthy

created a panel to review convictions involving ballistic evidence dating back to 2003

. The lab’s firearms testing division was closed in September after an audit found a 10% error rate.


An editorial in the Athens Banner-Herald called for the state to address a 10,000-case backlog

to stop delays in criminal cases.

The dispute over control of the Orange County (California) crime lab

continued this week

, as experts warned that having a district attorney control a crime lab is a conflict of interest.

And the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

launched the first issue of Justice Magazine

, focusing on crime scene investigation and “junk science.”

 

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