This Week in Innocence News – April 21, 2017

04.21.17 By Innocence Staff

This Week in Innocence News – April 21, 2017

Here are some of this week’s news highlights:

Massachusetts Supreme Court will vacate 21,578 drug convictions
On Wednesday, the Massachusetts Supreme Court announced it would vacate 21,587 drug convictions in what will be the largest dismissal of wrongful convictions in U.S. history. The decision was made in response to a massive drug-testing scandal involving former chemist Annie Dookhan who was convicted of tampering with and fabricating drug tests in criminal cases. Read more

Supreme Court: states must refund exonerees’ criminal fines
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Colorado law on Wednesday that prevented exonerees from being refunded fines and restitution they paid when they were wrongfully convicted. The New York Times

Arkansas Supreme Court issues stay of execution for Stacey Johnson for DNA testing
The Arkansas Supreme Court issued a stay of execution for Innocence Project and Jeff Rosenzweig client Stacey Johnson. The Court ruled that Johnson has the right to a full evidentiary hearing on his request for DNA testing to prove his innocence. The Associated Press

Arkansas executes Ledell Lee despite appeals for stay
Ledell Lee was executed late Thursday night despite appeals from his legal team at the Innocence Project and the ACLU to stay his execution so that DNA evidence which may prove his innocence could be tested. Before Lee’s death warrant expired at midnight, the Supreme Court voted to 5-4 to allow the execution to proceed. Lee was one of seven Arkansas men scheduled die within 10 days before the expiration of lethal injection drugs on April 30th. Read more

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Patrisha April 22, 2017 at 1:25 am Reply   

Dear Innocence Project,

I am deeply moved by your project and wanted to know if you will still review DNA after a person is executed? What happens if the person is proven innocent?

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