Friday Roundup: Convictions Questioned Across the Country
A landmark New Yorker report this week showed that
Texas executed an innocent man
North Carolina freed Joseph Abbitt
on Wednesday after he spent 14 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit, and
a Georgia man settled a lawsuit
after spending 17 months in a New York jail due to a fingerprint mistake. These weren’t the only wrongful convictions in the news this week, however. Here are some stories we didn’t get to on the blog:
The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission considered this week
Greg Taylor’s claim that he was wrongfully convicted of murder
A New York judge heard evidence this week
that Fernando Bermudez is in prison for a murder he didn’t commit
. The Innocence Project filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case.
DNA tests in Florida
threw the conviction of Anthony Caravella into question
. Caravella has spent 25 of his 41 years behind bars for a murder he says he didn’t commit.
Suzanna Holdsworth spent three years in a U.K. prison for a child murder she didn’t commit before she was freed last year based on evidence that the boy’s death was accidental.
She speaks in a new Guardian video
this week about the help from legal aid and her partner that set her free, and the dangers posed by cutbacks in legal aid.
Editorials and columns continued to pop up around the country this week in response to the news that Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in 2004 in Texas, was innocent.
• John Feehery wrote on The Hill’s Pundits Blog that
the case and should lead us to question the death penalty
• Byron Williams wrote in the Oakland Tribune says
the Willingham case proves that the system will never be perfect
• The Charlotte Observer wrote in an editorial today that the Abbitt and Willingham cases are proof
the system makes too many mistakes to risk executions
• Dahlia Lithwick wrote in Newsweek about that
the Constitution sat idly by while an innocent man was executed
A new feature on the Innocence Project website examines
the role of exonerees in passing critical reforms to prevent future wrongful convictions
. Another new article – posted today –
profiles exoneree Thomas McGowan, who met recently with the original investigating officer in his case and the victim who misidentified him
. “We still have an opportunity to make things right,” McGowan said.
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