News 04.03.09

Friday Roundup: What’s Next?

Miguel Roman was officially exonerated in Connecticut this week, and there are dozens of additional cases around the country in which exculpatory evidence – DNA or otherwise – has surfaced and may lead to exoneration. Here’s a roundup of cases and other news that we’re watching closely:

A comprehensive review of thousands of Virginia cases is ongoing, and

testing has uncovered evidence of innocence in at least two additional cases there

. Victor Anthony Burnette is seeking a pardon from Gov. Tim Kaine and lawyers for Thomas Haynesworth say DNA clears him as well.

Articles in the Wall Street Journal and Slate considered

new forensic research aiming to determine physical characteristics from DNA tests

. While investigators say this could be a helpful tool to corroborate other evidence, others worry that this discipline, which is not 100% accurate, could lead to wrongful convictions.

The new Pennsylvania Innocence Project

officially opened this week

and has begun working to uncover injustice in the state.

Mississippi adopted a new exoneree compensation law this week, and Georgia lawmakers

awarded $500,000 to John Jerome White

, who spent 22 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted. There’s momentum in several other states

to pass compensation laws

– will your state be next?

The exonerated continued working to raise awareness of wrongful convictions and press for criminal justice reform this week.

Several exonerees

, including Innocence Project client James Waller, testified on behalf of a package of reforms in the Texas legislature.

Marty Tankleff, who was freed in 2007 after serving 17 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit,

spoke about a new book on his case

in a City University of New York podcast. And British exoneree Michael O’ Brien will discuss his book “

The Death of Justice

” at a festival in May in the United Kingdom.

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