Op-Ed: New York needs to preserve evidence


In today’s Buffalo News, 2006 exoneree

Alan Newton

writes that a wrongful conviction condemned him to a cage for the prime years of his life, and that his incarceration lasted longer than it should have due to mistakes in cataloguing of evidence by the New York City Police Department.

The DNA evidence that eventually proved my innocence was initially reported as lost or damaged. For years before my exoneration last July, I asked the State of New York and the New York Police Department to produce the evidence they had collected. I requested a search for the evidence three times; each time I was told that it could not be found.

In 2004, the Innocence Project accepted my case and requested one final search for the evidence. Imagine my surprise when I learned that the rape kit was found in the exact spot where it was supposed to be all along. There are hundreds of others like (Anthony) Capozzi and me — people with credible claims of innocence that could be proven by DNA, but in many cases, the biological evidence will never be found. In a sense, we are the lucky ones.

Read the full article here

. (Buffalo News, 06/15/07, Payment required for full article)

Newton also writes about Buffalo exoneree

Anthony Capozzi

, whose evidence was found this year in a hospital drawer, leading to DNA testing that proved his innocence after he had served 20 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

Issue in focus:

Evidence Preservation Reforms Nationwide

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