News 12.12.08

Friday Roundup: Walking Free

DNA testing cleared three people this week – in Florida, Texas and Connecticut. We reported on all three, but here are quick updates on their case:

In Florida, prosecutors dropped charges against William Dillon, who served 27 years for a murder he has always said he didn’t commit. Dillon was represented by the public defender’s office and the Innocence Project of Florida.

His attorneys announced today that he will seek compensation from the state

.

Ricardo Rachell was freed today in Houston after serving five years for a rape he didn’t commit.

See today’s blog post for more

.

And Miguel Roman is still behind bars tonight in Connecticut, four days after prosecutors charged another man in the murder for which Roman has served 20 years. Roman is represented by the Connecticut Innocence Project, which is seeking his release and exoneration.

More on his case is here

.

An op-ed in the Hartford Courant said Roman’s case makes it clear that

Connecticut needs criminal justice reform to protect the innocent

.

James Lockyer, the founder of the Association in Defense of the Wrongfully Convicted, an innocence organization in Toronto, was

nominated for the Globe and Mail Nation Builder award

for his commitment to freeing the innocent from Canada’s prisons.

While the

Alabama Attorney General sought to prevent DNA testing

in the case of death row inmate Tommy Arthur, the

Tuscaloosa News called for a moratorium on executions while the process could be studied

.

And a Mississippi Supreme Court Justice wrote in an unrelated opinion that the exonerations of Innocence Project clients Kennedy Brewer and Levon Brooks

point to the strong likelihood that innocent people have been executed in the state

.

“Just as a cockroach scurrying across a kitchen floor at night invariably proves the presence of thousands unseen,” he wrote, “these cases leave little room for doubt that innocent men, at unknown and terrible moments in our history, have gone unexonerated and been sent baselessly to their deaths.” 

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