“This court cannot think of a more intentionally harmful act than a prosecutor’s conscious choice to hide mitigating evidence so as to create an uneven playing field for a defendant facing a murder charge and a life sentence." A Texas court finds probable cause
that ex-District Attorney Ken Anderson intentionally hid evidence to secure a 1987 murder conviction against the now-exonerated Michael Morton
. (Previously.) [more inside]
'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]
After 18 years in prison on false charges, Anthony Graves
walked out a free man
yesterday. This recent Texas Monthly article by Pamela Colloff
played a major role in bringing awareness to his case. [more inside]
The Arizona Clemency Board says that William Macumber, convicted of murder in 1975, is the victim of a "miscarriage of justice."
But Arizona's governor, Jan Brewer
, declined to follow the Board's unanimous recommendation that Macumber be freed. She also declines to explain why. Another man confessed to the murders, but although Macumber has been tried twice, neither jury was told of the confession
Texas definitely a leader among the states, now leading in exonerations in wrongful conviction cases
and also a leader in executions
. One hopes there isn't too much overlap.
DNA frees 3 convicts after 17-year incarcerations
--Barry Scheck and The Innocence Project
have struck again. Thus far, they have used DNA to free 128 wrongly convicted people.
Read Frontline's interview
Learn about a sister organization, Northwestern's Center on Wrongful Convictions
, which has freed nine Illinois men who were once sentenced to death
For those sentenced to time in the can, prison can be a rough place
How can we prevent innocent people from being put to death? Or fates worse than death