Truth in Justice
Newsletter - April - May, 2006
judge threw out the conviction of a man after he spent five years in
prison on charges of sodomizing his teenage daughter, who had claimed
of a childhood attack.
Judge Patricia Summe found that Timothy Smith might well have been
acquitted if his lawyer had challenged a prosecution expert who had
backed up Katie Smith's story.
years after Drew Whitley was imprisoned for life in the 1988 murder of
McDonald's night manager Noreen Malloy, prosecutors are prepared to
free the former West
Mifflin man after a second round of DNA tests indicated he was not
responsible for the killing.
New York State
Supreme Court justice Thomas
Strydonck has freed an AIDS-stricken man who has been imprisoned a
decade for a murder prosecutors now say he did not commit.
DNA testing showed that Douglas Warney, 44, is innocent of the 1996
slaying of civil rights activist William Beason, prosecutors
acknowledged in state Supreme Court. Warney was convicted in 1997 of
the slaying. The case against him was largely based on a confession he
gave in 1996. His lawyers contended that the admission was riddled with
errors, and were the rambling of a man with an IQ of 68 who suffered
from AIDS-related dementia.
Orlando came to the
in 1980, part of the Mariel boat-lift. In 1982, he was convicted
of raping a Key West, FL woman, a crime he did not commit, and
sentenced to 55 years in prison. He escaped in 1985 and was
captured 10 years later. Three months later, he escaped again and
stayed out for a year. Now, DNA has proven Orlando innocent of
the 1982 rape. The judge has set him free. The prosecutor
has apologized. And U.S. Immigration has thrown him into jail,
intending to deport him because while he was on the run, he failed to
register and properly pursue citizenship.
INNOCENT and still IMPRISONED
Sept. 28, 2000, Kim Camm and her two children were victims of a triple
murder in New Albany, Ind. They were found shot to death at home in
their garage. But
just hours after the memorial service, police arrested their prime
suspect, David Camm, for murdering his wife and two children.
Camm, who claims his innocence, has a very good alibi. Eleven witnesses
say they were with him at the time of the murder. Nonetheless, he
convicted. His conviction was overturned in August, 2004, and at
retrial, on March 3,
2006, David Camm was again found guilty of
murdering his family.
UPDATE: Camm and
Family Speak Out at Sentencing
Kemper, a suspect in an alleged arson that took the life of her son,
denied nine times that she had anything to do with the fire. Then the
St. Louis County police detective resorted to one of the oldest tricks
in the book -- he told Kemper that she had failed a lie detector test.
Later that day, Kemper admitted that she set the fire to get out from
under the burden of being the sole provider to her family and to
collect insurance proceeds. But the confession did not fit the facts of
the crime, the motive evidence was weak, and Sandra had passed the lie
detector test with flying colors. The trial judge declared a
mistrial on issues related to the polygraph, and Missouri's high court
has now ruled that Sandra cannot be retried.
HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS
Wisconsin (and the rest of the US): Three days into Evan Zimmerman's
murder retrial, Eau Claire County DA Rich White threw in the
towel. He told the court he could not prove the case against
Zimmerman and moved for dismissal.
drove the case against Evan Zimmerman is the same phenomenon that drove
the cases against Scott Hornoff, John Maloney and so many of the other
innocent men and women -- those who have been cleared and those who
languish in prison -- tunnel vision on the part of investigators and
prosecutors. Even when proven to be absolutely wrong, they cling
theories that keep dangerous criminals on the street and put us all at
correctional officials -- already facing a surge of
unwelcome scrutiny in the wake of the forced resignation of former
commissioner James Crosby, nine firings of high ranking officials by
Crosby’s successor, and the release of a videotape showing the fatal
beating of a fourteen year old boy -- have been put on notice by former
inmate Thomas Craig: I
know where the bodies are buried. Payback Time.
Wisconsin: Two years after Winnebago County DA
Joe Paulus pled guilty to taking bribes to fix cases, his iron-fisted
approach is still practiced by local politicos. The Legacy of Joe
Paulus Lives On.
Capital Punishment in America
by V. Wayne Sorge
is a unique collection of observations with additional research about
the ultimate punishment. For ten years, Wayne Sorge observed executions
in Texas while working as news director of KSAM AM/FM in Huntsville. He
was the official reporter representing United Press International to
witness executions during that period of time. He also witnessed
executions in Mississippi later and covered different aspects of the
capital punishment debate earlier as he worked in Kansas. While in
Huntsville, Wayne witnessed 183 lethal injections, including two women.
He witnessed two men who were put to death in the state of Mississippi.
During all that time, he has observed the debate of those who support
or oppose the death penalty whether it be for political, religious or
personal reasons, and he studied the concerns that prompted leaders in
Illinois and elsewhere to challenge their system of capital punishment.
Sorge covers the final moments of those on death row as well as
background on cases and the impact of capital punishment on communities
Projects provide representation and/or investigative assistance
to prison inmates who claim to be innocent of the crimes for which they
convicted. There is now at least one innocence project serving each
Most of these innocence projects are new and overwhelmed with
so waiting time between application and acceptance is long. Wrongfully
convicted persons should not be dissuaded from applying to Innocence
Projects because of this, but should have realistic expectations
regarding acceptance and time
lags. Check the list for the innocence project in your area; we
The links pages at Truth in Justice are frequently updated. Be
to check them for resources, "must" reading, websites of inmates with
innocence claims and more. Start at
SITE SEARCH ENGINE
There are now over 1,200 pages at Truth in Justice. The site
search engine on the main page can make it faster and easier to find
what you seek.
And remember, YOU can make a difference!
Sheila and Doug Berry