Category Archives: Innocence Project

In an Apparent First, Genetic Genealogy Aids a Wrongful Conviction Case

It started as a way to trace family history. It evolved into a tool to help solve decades-old cold cases. Now, for apparently the first time, a genealogy database is expected to lead to charges being dropped against an Idaho man convicted in a decades-old rape and murder case.

Snoop Dogg joins SVU star Ice-T in calling for Delaware County District Attorney to allow DNA testing that could overturn murder conviction

One of America’s most recognizable faces, Snoop Dogg, sent a powerful message to Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland Monday, intensifying the push to give a Chester man who has been sitting in prison for over 39 years a DNA test.

Two men from Texas wrongfully convicted of stabbing a man to death declared innocent after 19 years

After nearly two decades of being wrongfully convicted, two men from Texas are finally seeing their day in the sun. Stanley Mozee and Dennis Lee Allen have been declared “actually innocent” as of May 11, 2019 after being wrongfully convicted of murder in 2000. Although there was no physical evidence that connected them to the murder, they were still convicted and sentenced to a life imprisonment.

Family of executed man seeks to have DNA in case tested

April Alley watched as her father was executed by lethal injection in 2006 for raping and murdering a 19-year-old Marine in 1985.
Now, she is fighting to find out if her father, Sedley Alley, committed the crime. She has petitioned Shelby County Criminal Court to test the DNA evidence in the case. The petition for post-conviction testing of the DNA was filed April 30.
The case is a first of its kind, using DNA evidence in an attempt to clear someone already executed.

Court battle to test evidence for DNA in 35-year-old Missouri murder case

HOLDEN, MO (KCTV) — Patty Prewitt is serving a life sentence for the murder of her husband, Bill Prewitt.
She swears she’s innocent and has since the morning her husband was shot. Her legal team is hoping old evidence will provide new information and prove Patty has been telling the truth all along.
A court battle is currently underway for DNA testing on items collected at the murder scene. DNA testing wasn’t a possibility back in 1984 so that never took place.

Exonerated of murder after 16 years in prison, Jeffrey Deskovic will soon be a lawyer

It seems both improbable and inevitable that Jeffrey Deskovic would be among the 2019 graduates of Pace University Elisabeth Haub School of Law.
The legal system destroyed Deskovic’s life. At 17, he was found guilty of the rape and murder of a classmate, crimes he didn’t commit.
Then lawyers saved him. After years of rejections, the Innocence Project won a recheck of DNA evidence that was matched to the real killer.

Wrongly convicted, exonerated man visits prison to help inmates

Nine years ago Sunday, a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge gave Towler his life back. Towler was formally exonerated after serving nearly three decades in prison because of a September 1981 verdict. At the time of his release, only a few people across the country had served more time for a wrongful conviction.

Hawaii Innocence Project Gains New Director

The Hawaii Innocence Project, a troop of attorneys and University of Hawaii law students striving to exonerate innocent prisoners, has a new top litigator.
Longtime Hawaii attorney L. Richard “Rick” Fried Jr. has joined HIP as a volunteer co-director, a role he now shares with faculty specialist Ken Lawson.

Adnan Syed’s Lawyer Says He’ll Take High-Profile Case to Supreme Court

Adnan Syed’s supporters do not seem to be backing down without a fight.
After Maryland’s highest court ruled that the “Serial” subject would not get a new trial, Syed’s lawyer tweeted that he’ll take the case to the highest court in the land.
“We will petition to the Supreme Court,” Justin Brown tweeted Friday.

Man convicted of rape in 1976 is cleared by DNA retesting

A former Fairfax County, Va., man convicted of rape in 1976 and imprisoned for 4½ years despite conflicting physical evidence and multiple alibi witnesses has had his conviction erased by the Virginia Supreme Court.
Winston L. Scott, now 63 and living in Indiana, spent 43 years as a convicted rapist. “It ruined his life,” said Shawn Armbrust of the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, which handled Scott’s appeal. “It ruined his relationship, it ruined his career plans, it ruined his job prospects. Living for 43 years as a convicted rapist is not something any of us would want to do.”

Justices: Nebraska county owes $28M for wrongful convictions

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a rural Nebraska county’s appeal of a $28 million court judgment aimed at compensating six people wrongfully convicted of a 1985 slaying.
The justices turned away Gage County’s last-ditch effort to avoid the hefty judgment, after a federal appeals court in St. Louis found the award was justified because of egregious law enforcement conduct. In August, the county raised its local property tax levy as high as state law allows to pay off the debt — a move that could become a major drag on the local economy.

Man Cleared Of Charges In Bossier After 37 Years In Prison

Given the new DNA evidence plus the weaknesses of the evidence used to convict Prudholm, the Bossier Parish District Attorney’s office and Prudholm agreeded to Alford plea, allowing him to maintain his innocence in exchange for immediate release.

The lingering case of Tommy Zeigler and how Florida fights DNA testing

Dale Recinella steeled himself as he entered Florida’s death row and the rank smell of men who lived year-round with no air conditioning. The electronic door grinded as it closed behind him.
The Catholic chaplain’s Rockports squeaked on the concrete corridor as he walked from cell to cell, on that day in 1999.
Recinella had been a Wall Street finance lawyer before deciding the work wasn’t meaningful enough. He now served as a voluntary chaplain to hundreds on death row and another 1,500 in solitary confinement. It was the hardest thing he’d ever done, but it had given him peace.

DNA Evidence Exonerates a Man of Murder After 20 Years in Prison

The headlines are disturbingly familiar: A person, usually male and often black, who has spent a substantial stretch of his life behind bars is freed after DNA evidence shows that he is innocent.
That was the case for Horace Roberts, 60, who was released from a California prison on Oct. 3 after DNA evidence exonerated him in the 1998 killing of his former girlfriend and co-worker.

After three decades in prison, man welcomed home after sentence commuted

Thirty-six years and ten days, that’s how long Rodney Lincoln was in prison before his sentence was commuted for a crime he still says he never committed.