News 09.06.07

Mississippi man awaits a new trial after his release from death row

Innocence Project client Kennedy Brewer has been on Mississippi’s death row for almost 15 years for the 1992 rape and murder of a young girl that DNA testing now shows he didn’t commit. Brewer was released from prison on bail on August 31 after DNA results showed he was not the source of evidence collected from the victim’s body. Prosecutors, however, have refused to compare the DNA from the crime scene to the state’s database and plan to retry Brewer for this crime. Innocence Project Co-Director Peter Neufeld tells the New York Times today that Brewer’s case illustrates a justice system slow to adapt to the hard science of DNA testing.

"The Brewer case illustrates that there are two Mississippi criminal justice systems,” Mr. Neufeld said. “There’s the old system that hasn’t changed at all and the new system that is trying to take the Bill of Rights seriously."

Modern forensic tools do not appear to carry much weight in Noxubee County. (Prosecutor Forrest) Allgood said DNA reversals — there have been more than 200 nationwide — did not prove innocence.


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. (New York Times, 09/06/07)

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