Category Archives: Innocence Project

Senator vows to expand DNA testing in innocence claims

justice and DNA2Arguing that the state’s highest criminal court watered down a law designed to free innocent people from prison, a state senator vowed Wednesday to introduce, and pass, legislation allowing for expanded DNA testing of crime-scene evidence.
Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, said a February ruling by the Court of Criminal Appeals interpreted the 2011 law too narrowly, “making it difficult for folks to secure DNA testing that can prove their innocence and identify actual perpetrators.”

Assembly bill aims to facilitate the use of DNA to exonerate the wrongfully convicted

MainorA bill sponsored by assemblymen Charles Mainor (D-Hudson) and Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen) aimed at making it easier for the wrongfully convicted to be exonerated using DNA evidence has been approved by an assembly panel.
Mainor noted the recent case of North Carolina half-brothers released after serving 13 years in prison for a crime they did not commit.

Working to exonerate innocent people in American prisons

Prisons of the WorldAMERICA HAS MORE prisoners than anywhere else in the world.
Currently there are 2.2 million prisoners in America. That is 1.6 million more than in Russia, 2.1 million more than the UK and 600,000 more than China.

Man exonerated by DNA – and he didn’t even request it

Justice and DNAMichael Phillips had long ago given up trying to clear his name. At 57, he was a registered sex offender, living in a nursing home, wheelchair-bound from severe sickle cell anemia.
Then in May, two police officers delivered news that Phillips says only God could have ordained: Dallas County, Texas, prosecutors had proved through DNA testing that he had spent 12 years in prison for a rape he hadn’t committed.

DNA Evidence Exonerates D.C. Man Convicted Of Murder, Rape After FBI Error 30 Years Ago

justicescalesA D.C. man convicted of raping and murdering a woman in 1982 has been exonerated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office due to new DNA testing that proved his innocence.

Mississippi man gets charges in 1982 Oklahoma rape

DNA and justiceNORMAN — The Cleveland County district attorney’s office has charged a suspect in a 32-year-old case of rape for which another man was wrongfully convicted and spent more than 13 years in prison.

Open Society Announces $5 Million Challenge Grant to Innocence Project

fenceThe Open Society Foundations has announced a $5 million challenge grant to bolster a campaign to establish a $20 million reserve fund for the Innocence Project.
Based in New York City, the criminal justice advocacy organization is dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing and reform of the criminal justice system. Since 1992, a total of three hundred and seventeen people, including eighteen who served time on death row, have been exonerated by DNA evidence; the Innocence Project was involved in a hundred and seventy-three of those cases.

Wrongly imprisoned man: Fix New Jersey’s DNA testing law (Opinion)

DNA Helix 2Imagine spending 19 years in prison for a murder you did not commit. Imagine enduring the indignities of life behind bars, and missing out on the lives of your children and grandchildren, knowing that you are innocent. Imagine that while you sit in a cell, the real killer is somewhere out there, possibly destroying other lives.

Texas Sees Rise in Overturned Sexual Abuse Convictions from DNA Testing

DNA_TestingHouston, TX — (SBWIRE) — 05/22/2014 — Being accused of a crime you haven’t committed can be devastating. Unfortunately, several wrongly convicted individuals are just now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel after years behind bars. Falsified claims are a serious threat and this issue is quickly becoming recognized by mainstream media. In particular, false allegations involving child sexual abuse or child abuse can wreak havoc to family relations and cause lingering stress. Recently thousands of untested DNA rape and sexual abuse kits were sent to a third party crime lab for testing after decades collecting dust in Harris County evidence rooms. Fortunately, a few cases have already been turned over after DNA evidence proved their innocence.

How DNA Forever Changed Forensic Science

pipetteThroughout the 1970s and 1980s, the FBI relied heavily on hair detectives. Before developing DNA analysis, hair analysis played a key role in identifying and convicting crime suspects, and that’s the subject of this week’s Retro Report.
Once DNA tests proved that two seemingly identical pieces of hair could come from different people, the FBI had to re-examine its past. And now exonerations are forcing the criminal justice system to confront the limitations of hair analysis from days past.

Boxer on death row for 48 years proven innocent after a DNA test

Justice and DNA1A former professional boxer who was on death row for 48 years has been freed after DNA tests undermined a key piece of evidence against him.
Iwao Hakamada was released after the tests proved blood-stained clothing used in his prosecution did not belong to him. The 78-year-old has a Guinness world record as the longest-serving death row inmate of all time.

Nebraska Supreme Court denies convicted man’s request for DNA testing of evidence in his case

CourtOMAHA, Nebraska — The Nebraska Supreme Court on Friday nixed a request for DNA testing of evidence gathered in the case of a man serving life in prison for shooting another man to death at an Omaha restaurant drive-thru.

Wyoming House throws hurdle in front of exonerated man

Scales of JusticeCHEYENNE — Andrew Johnson may have to go back to court if he wants the state to compensate him for the 23 years he wrongfully spent behind bars.
The House passed Senate File 30 today, which requires individuals exonerated based on DNA evidence to return to court to prove their innocence in return for compensation. In the original version of the bill, anyone exonerated as a result of DNA evidence would have been eligible for up to $500,000 without having to return to court. But an amendment added the requirement that the exonerated prisoner return to court.

Innocence Project’s Barry Scheck gets on board 20-year-old Tulsa infant-murder case

DNA4A national organization that assists convicted prisoners in efforts to prove their innocence based on DNA testing has entered post-conviction proceedings in a Tulsa County murder case in which a teenage mother was convicted of murdering her infant son almost 20 years ago.

State agrees to some DNA testing in 1998 murder case

DNA imageBLOOMINGTON — Lawyers for a Bloomington man convicted in 1999 of killing his daughter said Wednesday they will expand their request for DNA testing of evidence they believe will point to the child’s real killer: a woman serving 55 years for killing her mother-in-law in 2012.