BOISE, Idaho – An Idaho man who experts say was coerced into a false murder confession was freed Wednesday after spending half of his life behind bars.
A judge released Christopher Tapp after vacating his rape conviction and resentencing him to time served for the 1996 killing of Angie Dodd.
The release came after years of work by Tapp’s attorney, public defender John Thomas, and advocates, including Judges for Justice, the Idaho Innocence Project and the victim’s mother, Carol Dodge.
MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee man who has served 24 years in prison for sexual assault and burglary of has been exonerated — and on Wednesday, October 5th, he walked out of prison.
“I did 24 and some odd years for something that I believe they knew I didn’t do it. I came in mid-20s. I’m almost 50 now. My whole life has changed. They had old-school telephones back then. Now they’ve got computers. I don’t know nothing about this!” Daryl Holloway said.
OKLAHOMA CITY — After 32 years, he’d forgotten what she looked like.
The last time Thomas Webb III had seen her, she’d glared at him from across a courtroom with a hatred that still haunted him.
He’d spent more than half his life wondering why she’d picked him from photo lineups and pointed him out to a 1983 jury as the man who’d raped her. After more than 13 years in prison, and an even longer descent into addiction and homelessness, he’d learned to accept that he may never know the answer.
And now here she was.
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CN) – A law firm that defended three men who were imprisoned 18 years for a murder they didn’t commit got a $5 million payday from a federal judge on Monday. U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert granted the payout to the legal team of Neufeld Scheck & Brustin, who represented John Restivo, Dennis Halstead and John Kogut.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man imprisoned 16 years for rape and sex assault convictions was exonerated Monday and ordered freed after DNA evidence linked the crimes to a serial rapist on the FBI’s most wanted list.
LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) – Nearly three decades after he was jailed for the brutal murder of a Veterans Administration nurse in Newport, recently tested DNA evidence proves William “Ricky” Virgil was wrongly convicted, according to the Kentucky Innocence Project.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Supreme Court will allow Joseph Anthony Buffey to withdraw his guilty plea to the rape of an elderly woman 14 years ago, citing new DNA evidence showing he was not the attacker.
OKLAHOMA CITY — The city of Tulsa has agreed to pay $8 million to a man wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for 16 years after his lawyers accused police and a crime lab of covering up evidence that exonerated him, authorities said Friday.
DALLAS – Imagine you are on a jury, and are told that the suspect is the source of DNA found at a crime scene.
It’s a one-in-a-billion match.
But then, a different, more “conservative” interpretation takes that number down to just 1-in-100. The defense could call that reasonable doubt.
It’s a question of math that is putting thousands of cases across Texas under the microscope, and could lead to convictions being overturned.
After they were wrongfully convicted for the murder of an 11-year-old girl and subsequently forced to spend over 30 years in prison, 51-year-old Henry McCollum and his 47-year-old half-brother Leon Brown have been freed and compensated for the life-changing mistake.
I’ll never forget how lonely I felt when the jury announced its guilty verdict and the courtroom erupted in applause. I thought, how could this happen? It felt surreal, but soon after reality sunk in: I could spend the rest of my life in prison until the state of Maryland executed me. I spent eight years, 11 months and 19 days locked away — two of those years on death row — for a rape and murder that I did not commit, before post-conviction DNA testing proved my innocence.
The project, started in 1992, has already freed 300 innocent people in the US
Kirk Odom was convicted of a 1981 rape and robbery after a woman identified him as her attacker and an FBI specialist testified that hair on her nightgown was consistent with hair on Odom’s head.
But DNA testing some 30 years later affirmed what Odom long had maintained: The hair wasn’t his; neither was the semen left on a pillowcase and robe. A felony conviction that imprisoned him for decades was overturned in 2012 by a judge who declared it a “grave miscarriage of justice.”
Imagine being convicted of a crime for which you are not guilty—not some minor crime, but one of the most heinous crimes imaginable: the rape and murder of a young girl. Would you feel shock and anger at the injustice? Disappointment in the legal system that could make such a horrible error? Sadness and depression at the thought of spending time imprisoned for a crime that someone else committed? Probably all of those emotions and more. At your sentencing hearing, the situation gets worse; you are sentenced to death. Now, this horrible crime will prematurely claim the life of two innocents: the young girl and you.
John Hanlon, executive director and legal director at the Illinois Innocence Project at the University of Illinois Springfield, remembers going to an Illinois county to look at evidence in a sexual assault case.
He was presented with a bag that contained not only the clothing of the victim but also the clothing of a second suspect in the case. Because of the contamination, he wasn’t able to use DNA evidence in an effort to clear his client, who had been convicted of the crime.
“We would like to address the status of biological evidence after a conviction,” Hanlon told The State Journal-Register editorial board Wednesday. Hanlon appeared before the board along with Larry Golden, founding director of the project.