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Maine DA Sued for Malicious Prosecution by “Absolute immunity” typically allows prosecutors to escape liability in the event of malicious prosecutions. Even when prosecutorial misconduct is exposed, the punishment is usually far less severe than that experienced by the victim of the state’s wrongdoing – such as spending many years ...
Study: 95 Percent of Elected Prosecutors are White by Joe Watson A recent study illustrates just how racially skewed the U.S. criminal justice system is with respect to its most powerful participants: prosecutors. Of 2,437 elected state and local prosecutors holding office in 2014, 95 percent were white and 79% ...
A Story of Racial Bias, the Absence of Mercy, and a Death in Prison by By Equal Justice Initiative Forty-five years after Phillip Chance traveled from his home in Detroit, Michigan to visit family in rural Choctaw, Alabama, he died in an Alabama prison. During that visit in 1971, 15-year-old Phillip ...
Texas: “San Antonio Four” Exonerated after Two Decades by In 1997, Elizabeth Ramirez, Kristie Mayhugh, Cassandra Rivera and Anna Vasquez were convicted of sexually assaulting two young girls. The women came to be known as the “San Antonio Four.” With help from the Innocence Project of Texas, all four were ...
Illinois: DNA Evidence Exonerates One Man, Implicates Another by On September 28, 2016, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office announced charges against convicted murderer Osborne Wade, 42, in connection with the brutal sexual assault and murder of a child in 1992. The charges followed an extensive investigation by the State’s ...
$28.1 Million Jury Award after Eighth Circuit Allows Conspiracy Claims in Nebraska Wrongful Conviction Suit by Matthew Clarke On December 31, 2015, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held that six wrongfully convicted former prisoners could sue Gage County, Nebraska for conspiring to manufacture false evidence; further, law enforcement officials ...
Too Little, Too Late: Prosecutor Remorseful for Sending Innocent Man to Death Row by David Reutter The district attorney who prosecuted Glenn Ford, a Louisiana man exonerated after spending 30 years on death row, called capital punishment “an abomination that continues to scar the fibers of this society.” That statement ...
Kansas Supreme Court Modifies “Exoneration Rule” by Matthew Clarke In an opinion handed down on December 31, 2015, the Supreme Court of Kansas modified the requirement that a criminal defendant be exonerated prior to suing the attorney who represented him (the “exoneration rule”). Under the modification, reversal of a conviction ...
Article • December 8, 2016 • from PLN December, 2016
Pennsylvania: DA Apologizes for Undisclosed Gifts by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams belatedly reported $160,050 in gifts from political and legal connections, raising conflict of interest concerns and prompting an August 19, 2016 apology from the prosecutor to his staff. In an email, Williams apologized for any “distractions” created by ...
Ferguson, Missouri Under Fire for Revenue-based Criminal Justice System by Christopher Zoukis Following 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri ignited by the killing of an unarmed black youth by a white police officer, some local law enforcement practices have been changed. The reforms were spurred, in large part, by a U.S. ...
Tennessee District Attorney Ends Sterilization in Plea Bargains; Prosecutor Fired by David Reutter The District Attorney for Davidson County, Tennessee has banned the practice of seeking sterilization as part of plea bargains in criminal cases. The policy was implemented after an assistant prosecutor refused to discuss a plea unless a ...
Widespread Failures at Crime Labs Continue to Plague Criminal Justice System by Derek Gilna Crime labs nationwide continue to face seemingly intractable problems – particularly in terms of unreliable forensic evidence testing and being influenced by law enforcement and prosecutorial bias. Despite efforts at reform, and efforts to implement technological ...
Alabama Prisoner Exonerated after Serving 30 Years on Death Row by After almost 30 years, Alabama death row prisoner Anthony Ray Hinton was freed on April 3, 2015 – at the age of 58 – when prosecutors dropped the charges against him. At the time of his release, Hinton, who ...
Wayward Prosecutors Go Unpunished as Prison Time for Victims Piles Up by by Brooke Williams & Shawn Musgrave Massachusetts prosecutors have violated defendants’ rights to a fair trial regularly and without punishment, even as wrongfully convicted victims of tainted prosecutions have spent years in prison before being freed, decades of ...
AL: Insurance Company Required to Pay $2.3M Award in Wrongful Imprisonment Suit by Lonnie Burton Robert Garland and John Tatum were convicted and sentenced in 1991 on federal drug charges. They were later released when, in 1992, Captain Jerry Newton of the Andalusia, Alabama police department admitted to a fellow ...
Few Oklahoma Exonerees Paid for Their Wrongful Incarceration by Matthew Clarke Despite Oklahoma having a wrongful-conviction compensation statute on the books since 2003, few exonerees in that state have received payment. One example of the battles exonerees face is the case of Greg Wilhoit, who was sentenced to death for ...
“Demons” Push Chris Conover to Suicide 12 Years after Release by Release from prison is a great relief, and that is especially so for wrongfully convicted persons. The future, however, is wrought with difficulties, obstacles, and prejudice. For Chris Conover, it was a burden that overwhelmed him, pushing him to ...
Article • October 3, 2016 • from PLN October, 2016
Oregon Post-conviction Judgment Violates State Law by Mark Wilson Last year the Oregon Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s judgment denying a prisoner’s collateral appeal, because the judgment violated state law. Following the direct appeal of a conviction and sentence to the Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court, ...
Judge Orders End to Recording of Attorney-Client Meetings at CCA’s Leavenworth Detention Center by Derek Gilna The Kansas Federal Public Defenders’ Office has challenged a scheme whereby officials at a detention center in Leavenworth, Kansas operated by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) secretly video-recorded confidential attorney-client meetings. As a result, ...
Illinois: Exonerated Prisoner Calls $80,000 Award a Travesty, Retrial Ordered by Gary Hunter Nathson E. Fields spent 18 years in prison due to a conveniently “lost” file that would have cleared him. Fields was a member of the El Rukn street gang when he was convicted of a double homicide ...
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