News 01.20.17

This Week in Innocence News: January 20, 2017

Here are some of this week’s news highlights:

Bill would award exoneree $1.45 million
A bill pending in the Virginia General Assembly would award $1.45 million in compensation to Keith Allen Harward, who served 33 years in prison for a rape and murder he did not commit. The Richmond Times-Dispatch

Louisiana man claims prosecutor withheld evidence of innocence in trial
Innocence Project New Orleans client Wilbert Jones, who is serving a life sentence for a 1971 rape, claims authorities concealed evidence that the crime was committed by another man linked to two similar attacks. The Associated Press

Illinois budget impasse hinders exoneree compensation
Illinois’ budget impasse is preventing exonerated defendants from collecting their wrongful conviction compensation. Currently 14 men are owed a combined total of $2.5 million as compensation for the years they wrongfully served in prison. Illinois News Network

Texas commission calls for end of field drug testing
After an exposé by ProPublica on the $2 roadside drug tests that have sent thousands of innocent people to jail on false drug charges, the Timothy Cole Exoneration Review Commission called for an end to the use of the tests in its final report, due to their “questionable reliability.” ProPublica

Man convicted of killing family continues fight for exoneration
Jeffrey MacDonald was convicted in 1979 for the murder of his pregnant wife and two young daughters which he maintains he did not commit. His case will go before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals next week. People Magazine

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