Fresh doubts over Cameron Todd Willingham's execution (Previously)
For more than 20 years, the prosecutor who convicted Cameron Todd Willingham of murdering his three young daughters has insisted that the authorities made no deals to secure the testimony of the jailhouse informer who told jurors that Willingham confessed the crime to him.
Since Willingham was executed in 2004, officials have continued to defend the account of the informer, Johnny E. Webb, even as a series of scientific experts have discredited the forensic evidence that Willingham might have deliberately set the house fire in which his toddlers were killed.
But now new evidence has revived questions about Willingham’s guilt: In taped interviews, Webb, who has previously both recanted and affirmed his testimony, gives his first detailed account of how he lied on the witness stand in return for efforts by the former prosecutor, John H. Jackson, to reduce Webb’s prison sentence for robbery and to arrange thousands of dollars in support from a wealthy Corsicana rancher. Newly uncovered letters and court files show that Jackson worked diligently to intercede for Webb after his testimony and to coordinate with the rancher, Charles S. Pearce Jr., to keep the mercurial informer in line.
posted by daHIFI
on Aug 4, 2014 -
I had never been so confident of a convicted defendant’s innocence. And I never imagined nearly 12 years would pass before Cook County prosecutors would admit the truth and dismiss his conviction. But it finally happened. On June 28, 2013, Daniel, who was arrested at age 17, was released at age 38, having spent more than 20 years behind bars. [more inside]
posted by AceRock
on Sep 3, 2013 -
'On April 12, 1987, Michael Morton sat down to write a letter. “Your Honor,” he began, “I’m sure you remember me. I was convicted of murder, in your court, in February of this year.” He wrote each word carefully, sitting cross-legged on the top bunk in his cell at the Wynne prison unit, in Huntsville. “I have been told that you are to decide if I am ever to see my son, Eric, again. I haven’t seen him since the morning that I was convicted. I miss him terribly and I know that he has been asking about me.” Referring to the declarations of innocence he had made during his trial, he continued, “I must reiterate my innocence. I did NOT kill my wife.
' [more inside]
posted by mahershalal
on Nov 20, 2012 -
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films
were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating
, preparing for being drafted
, and shyness
, as well as to children on following the law
, the value of quietness in school
, and appreciating our parents
. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health
, what kind of people live in America
, how to keep a job
, supervising women workers
, the nature of capitalism
, and the plantation System in Southern life
. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives
as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Nov 1, 2012 -
In 2002, Brian Banks
was a sought-after high school football phenom
until he was accused of kidnapping and raping a female student. On the advice of his lawyers, he pleaded no contest and served 6 years in prison. Then his accuser recanted
. That's when the Innocence Project stepped in
to help exonerate
Brian Banks. CA Innocence Project filing here; informative if you skip right to the "Statement of Facts" part.
posted by lalex
on May 25, 2012 -
Zhang Peng’s elaborate photographs have been called both "beautiful" and "disgusting". You can see some of them here
posted by chiraena
on Mar 22, 2009 -
, falsely imprisoned for ten years by Australian authorities for heroin smuggling, and never pardoned, tells her story in her own words [Real Audio]
in this Walkley Award
-nominated documentary. This is a wrenching story of incompetence by the federal police, legal aid services, media-influenced juries and the problem of translation in legal investigations. Listen to her story and decide on her innocence for yourself.
posted by DirtyCreature
on Jan 16, 2005 -
"Taryn Simon: The Innocents"
Is an exhibition
at MOMA's P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center, of large color photographs of innocent men jailed for crimes they did not commit, exonerated by DNA evidence. For most of the photographs Ms. Simon posed each man at the scene of the arrest, the scene of the crime, the scene of misidentification or the scene of the alibi.
posted by jdaura
on Jun 24, 2003 -
The JWC company, maker of sewage equipment, wishes to issue a press release informing small children everywhere that contrary to scenes in the hit Disney movie, flushing fish down a toilet drain will not set them free in the ocean, but rather melt them with chlorine disinfectant before shredding them into particles with processing machinery. Have a great weekend.
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Jun 6, 2003 -
"Mr. Banks, a man with no prior criminal record, is most likely innocent of the charge that put him on death row. Fearing a tragic miscarriage of justice, three former federal judges (including William Sessions, a former director of the F.B.I.) have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to block Wednesday's execution."So far, no one seems to be listening." [via atrios]
posted by donkeyschlong
on Mar 11, 2003 -
The Morality Police.
"Our hysterical attempts to shield kids from images of sex and violence are stunting young lives -- and trapping us all in a Big Lie." A well-argued piece, more of an op-ed than a straight-up book review. As a scientist I only quibble with the author's musing that "if there really were a cause-and-effect link between real violence and media violence, then it would have been proven by now."
posted by topolino
on Jun 11, 2001 -