Searching for Evidence, Uncovering Misconduct :)

Searching for Evidence, Uncovering Misconduct   🙂
This Action, on Change.org, the url   🙂
innocence project   🙂
 
Evidence and Injustice in New Jersey
Wisconsin Man Cleared After Three Decades
Innocence and the U.S. Constitution
Houston Man Freed, Forensic Questions Persist
Why I Give: A Donor Profile
 
News from the innocence movement around the United States
Partial Pardons in ‘Norfolk Four’ Case
Three of the `Norfolk Four’ defendants received conditional pardons this month
from Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, a decade after they were convicted of a murder
another man says he committed alone. One of the four defendants was freed in
2005 and not pardoned this month. Lawyers for the group said they were
disappointed that the conditional pardons did not fully exonerate the men.
Read more.
Freed After 21 Years
Kenneth Ireland served more than two decades in Connecticut prisons before DNA
testing obtained by the Connecticut Innocence Project proved his innocence and
led to his release. He was officially cleared on August 19 when prosecutors
announced they were dropping all charges against him.
Read more.
The Fight for Freedom
Willie T. Donald has been behind bars for 17 years in Indiana for a murder he
says he didn’t commit. The Medill Innocence Project at Northwestern University
has investigated Donald’s case for two years and the work of journalism students
has turned up significant evidence that another man committed the crimes for
which Donald was convicted in 1992.
A new multimedia series from the Times of Northwest Indiana investigates the
case in depth, and Donald’s appeal will be considered by a judge in October.
Read more.
A Crime Victim Calls for Reform
In 1985, when Michele Mallin was a sophomore at Texas Tech University, she was
abducted and raped near campus. She identified Timothy Cole as her attacker and
he was convicted of the crime. Cole died in prison of a heart attack in 1999,
trying to fight his conviction for a crime he said he didn’t commit.
Earlier this year, DNA testing posthumously exonerated Cole, and Mallin was
shocked to learn that the wrong man had been imprisoned for attacking her. She
has now become an advocate for reforms to prevent wrongful convictions, and
wrote this month in the Houston Chronicle about proposed reforms to prevent
injustice.
Read her op-ed here.
Freed in L.A., Facing Retrial
Bruce Lisker was freed this month after spending 26 years in California prisons
for the murder of his mother, a crime he says he didn’t commit. A judge freed
Lisker because he had been convicted based on "false evidence." Los Angeles
prosecutors announced August 21 that they plan to retry him for the crime.
Read more.
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We welcome your feedback. Please contact us at the address below. Cases for
review must be submitted via postal mail.
The Innocence Project
Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva Unversity
100 Fifth Ave., 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10011
info@innocenceproject.org
 
Evidence and Injustice in New Jersey
At a hearing in New Jersey on Monday, a state judge said he would order police
to conduct a thorough search for evidence connected to the case of Stephen
Brooks, an Innocence Project client who has been in prison for more than 20
years for a rape he says he didn’t commit.
Brooks was convicted based mainly on eyewitness identification, and he has been
seeking DNA testing since 1988. His case is an example of the difficulties in
finding evidence from old cases in Essex County, New Jersey. Innocence Project
Staff Attorney Vanessa Potkin said recently that evidence in Essex County is in
‘unique disarray,’ and a Star Ledger editorial this week said the situation is
"not just sloppy record keeping" but "sloppy justice." Learn more about Brooks’
case here.
Brooks is not alone in his struggle to locate the evidence that could prove him
innocent. More than 20% of cases closed by the Innocence Project since 2004 were
closed because of lost or missing evidence. Often, DNA testing is the last
resort for these prisoners, and the loss of evidence means never having a chance
to prove their innocence, spending additional years in prison and possibly dying
behind bars. In other cases, DNA evidence has at first been reported missing but
later found after a more thorough search was conducted.
More than 30 states have passed laws requiring that at least some evidence be
preserved in criminal cases. New Jersey has no such law, but the state Attorney
General has the authority to issue a mandate to clean up evidence storage
facilities across the state as an interim step while stakeholders develop a
policy.
Find out about evidence preservation laws in your state with our interactive
map.
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Wisconsin Man Cleared After Three Decades
A judge this month dismissed all charges against Ralph Armstrong, who has spent
nearly 30 years in Wisconsin prisons for a murder he has always said he didn’t
commit. The Innocence Project has worked with Armstrong’s attorneys since 1993,
one year after Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld founded the organization. (Above,
left to right, Scheck and Armstrong) Prosecutors announced last week that they
would not appeal the decision, meaning Armstrong was fully cleared of this
crime. He remains in custody and may be transported to New Mexico because he was
on parole there when he was wrongfully arrested in the Wisconsin case.
The prosecutorial misconduct in this case is among the worst the Innocence
Project has ever witnessed. Prosecutors received evidence that Armstrong was
innocent — and that his brother was the actual perpetrator — in 1995 and hid
that evidence even though Armstrong’s case was on appeal at the time. His
conviction was overturned in 2005 based on DNA testing that confirmed his
innocence, but he remained in prison for four years while prosecutors sought to
retry him. During those four years, prosecutors deliberately violated a court
order and sabotaged additional evidence in the case.
Read more about Armstrong’s case here.
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Innocence and the U.S. Constitution
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a lower court to review new evidence
of innocence in the case of Georgia death row prisoner Troy Davis. The Innocence
Project filed a friend-of-the-court brief on Davis’ behalf. The Supreme Court’s
decision illustrates a growing national awareness of the shortcomings of
eyewitness identification and the need to fully review new evidence of
innocence. Innocence Project Staff Attorney Ezekiel Edwards discussed the Davis
case shortly after the decision came down — watch the video here.
The Davis decision came in the wake of the court’s 5-4 ruling in June that
Innocence Project client William Osborne was not entitled to DNA testing that
could prove him innocent of a 1993 rape. Osborne is imprisoned in Alaska, one of
three states without a law providing at least some prisoners with access to DNA
testing when it has the potential to prove innocence. The Innocence Project has
argued that prisoners have a constitutional right to DNA testing that can prove
them innocent.
These two cases have led to different results at the Supreme Court. But both
have stirred uproar from liberal and conservative editorial boards and legal
observers alike, all expressing outrage that the Supreme Court has not been
clearer on the right to prove innocence. Indeed, Justice Antonin Scalia
specifically noted in his dissent in the Davis case: "This court has never held
that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who had a
full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is
`actually’ innocent." The majority, however, clearly found that the risk of
executing an innocent man was intolerable.
For updates on both cases as they develop, subscribe to the Innocence Blog’s
daily email digest or RSS feed.
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Houston Man Freed, Forensic Questions Persist
Ernest Sonnier spent 23 years in Texas prisons for a rape he didn’t commit
before DNA testing obtained by the Innocence Project proved his innocence — and
implicated two other men as the real perpetrators of the crime. When he was
freed earlier this month, he was greeted at the courthouse by five generations
of relatives and two other Innocence Project clients who had been exonerated
before him and came to support him on his first day of freedom.
Sonnier was wrongfully convicted in 1986 based on a questionable eyewitness
identification as well as improperly conducted and presented forensic tests. His
is the latest in a string of cases where DNA testing has overturned a wrongful
conviction caused by faulty forensics in the Houston Police Department Crime
Lab. An independent audit found extensive problems, and many of the cases
identified in the audit have yet to be reopened. The audit did not examine cases
the lab handled after 2002, but sections of the lab have been shut down multiple
times since then, affecting an unknown number of cases.
Read more about Sonnier’s case, and take action to support federal forensic
reform.
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Why I Give: Freida Orange
Marketing & Communications Vice President
New York, NY
I’m a member of the Innocence Project’s Young Professionals Committee, which
helps raise funds and awareness for the organization through events and
outreach. I followed this movement for years before I joined the committee, but
I was never sure how I could help. These cases are so complex, it can seem
daunting for non-lawyers to get involved. Since I started, however, I’ve learned
that there are lots of opportunities to advocate on behalf of the wrongfully
convicted. All of our voices count, and as our calls to free the innocent and
reform the system grow louder, judges, prosecutors and lawmakers are taking
notice.
As I’ve told friends about this work and invited them to become involved, almost
all of them are shocked at the injustice and eager to help. People connect with
different aspects of the issue, and they can focus their advocacy on specific
parts of the work. It’s easy to get involved — check out the Innocence Project’s
"Ten Things You Can Do" page to get started. You can volunteer, share
information about this issue with lawmakers or spread the word in your community
through house parties or other events.
One of the most critical needs is often overlooked — securing compensation for
exonerees and providing services immediately upon their release. It’s painful to
think about people who should never have been in prison being freed without any
support. I was shocked to learn that many states don’t have systems in place to
support the exonerated. Although about half of the states have some kind of
compensation law, not one of them gives exonerees any immediate assistance after
their release. In 2008, the Young Professionals Committee held an event to
support the Innocence Project’s Exoneree Fund, which provides clients with basic
necessities like food and housing immediately after their release. The
exonerated deserve another chance at life, and we can help make this happen.
Please consider making a gift to the Exoneree Fund today to help make a new life
possible.
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About reality

Also, thanx for signing my petitions, et al, please consider sharing them. Also, since Admin. of change.org aren't allowing me to invite people to do my actions lately and are switching my urls for my petitions so when I invite people off their site they can't get to the petition either (ergo 3 possible urls for each petition), here's a few of my latest actions; do as few or as many as you'd like (there are 3 linx for each petition because admin. switches between the 3 of them so people trying to sign the petition can‘t get to it): This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Haiti disaster anniversary, please, do what you can: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9033 This petition on change.org: Haiti disaster anniversary: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/haiti_disaster_anniversary_2?share_id=yIpWHEHxri&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/haiti_disaster_anniversary_2 http://www.change.org/petitions/view/haiti_disaster_anniversary_2   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Green, Indigenous, Native American, etc., actions: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9026 This petition on change.org: Green, Indigenous, Native American, acts: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/green_indigenous_native_american_acts?share_id=NHvTtQadfP&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/green_indigenous,_native_american_acts http://www.change.org/petitions/view/green_indigenous,_native_american_acts   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Art/Act: celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, holiday: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9024 This petition on change.org: Art/Act: celebrate Dr. M.L. King, Jr.'s holiday: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/artact_celebrate_dr_ml_king_jrs_holiday?share_id=QjOkAUGeBQ&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/art_act_celebrate_dr_ml_king_jr_s_holiday http://www.change.org/petitions/view/art_act_celebrate_dr_ml_king_jr_s_holiday   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Green; NA; the evolution; Civil, Human, LP, Prisoner's Rights; Poverty; etc..: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9022 This petition on change.org: Economically empower through advocacy: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/economically_empower_through_advocacy?share_id=WZNqBQWcXE&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/economically_empower_through_advocacy http://www.change.org/petitions/view/economically_empower_throug
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