Scheck calls for reforms in Tennessee


Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck testified yesterday before a panel of Tennessee lawmakers on critical reforms to prevent wrongful convictions in the state.

In calling for a moratorium on the death penalty, Scheck highlighted the case of Sedley Alley, who was executed in Tennessee in 2006 after requests for DNA testing on Alley’s behalf were repeatedly denied.

Calling the Alley case a criminal defense lawyer's "worst nightmare," Scheck said Alley's earlier defense attorneys never tried to use the evidence to prove his innocence because they were focusing on his claims of mental illness as a defense.

… Scheck also encouraged the committee to standardize police procedures such as taping confessions, taking eyewitness statements and preserving crime scene evidence. Some of the evidence in the case against Sedley Alley was destroyed years after his original trial.

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. (Associated Press, 09/10/08)

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