News 08.25.09

Seeking Justice in New Zealand

A group of attorneys in New Zealand is seeking a pardon for a man convicted 25 years ago of a crime he has always said he didn’t commit. Alan Hall spent eight years in prison and the last 16 years on parole after he was convicted of a 1985 Auckland murder, based mostly on a questionable eyewitness identification.

The New Zealand Innocence Project, a member of the

Innocence Network

, has been re-examining the case with an investigative journalist and has turned up significant evidence of Hall’s innocence. New evidence shows that initial witness descriptions of the perpetrator didn’t match Hall’s appearance, but this evidence wasn’t presented before the jury at trial. After the case was featured on TV in June, former police officers came forward to express concerns about how the case was handled before trial.

New Zealand Innocence Project Director Maryanne Garry said she hopes the new evidence and appeals lead to Hall’s exoneration.

"I think the real issue is if he has been wrongfully convicted the real murderer has been roaming the streets all this time, free and able to kill,” Garry said. “That's a tragedy."


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