|Truth in Justice Newsletter - October, 2003
more than 20 years behind bars, Calvin Willis
was set free Friday after DNA tests showed he did not rape a
10-year-old girl. Louisiana does not compensate the wrongly
convicted. It's a slap in the face.
A. Avery was a 23-year-old
father of five, including 6-day-old twin boys, when he was arrested for
July 1985 at his rural Manitowoc County, Wisconsin home. As
many as 16 witnesses eventually
would say that Avery could not have been
on the beach at the time. But the victim was sure Avery was the man who
raped her; a jury found him guilty of sexual assault
and attempted murder, and a judge sentenced him to 32 years in
prison. At long last, he's been cleared by DNA.
Jimmy "Spunk" Williams, 32,
was freed from prison after 10 years when a
woman recanted testimony identifying him as the man who raped her when
she was 12 years old. He agreed Monday to a $750,000 settlement. The
state also will pay about $84,600 in fees to two lawyers -- Ohio's
largest award for wrongful conviction.
was released from prison 18 years after being wrongly
KIRK BLOODSWORTH --
WHAT TOOK SO LONG?
In a plot twist few involved
could have imagined, the Baltimore County
state's attorney's office now believes the killer in the 1984 slaying
has been hiding behind bars since a month after the crime. Kirk
arrested, convicted and sentenced to death. His sentence was
overturned in 1987, but he was convicted again and given life without
parole. After his pardon and release -- his was the first DNA
exoneration in this country of someone who had been on death row -- a
growing cadre of supporters urged Baltimore County prosecutors to use
the same scientific technology to try to identify the true
DEATH PENALTY ISSUES
HENRY LEE HUNT
State of North Carolina remained utterly determined to kill Henry
Lee Hunt. Since 1989, the state has had a sworn confession from
one of the four men responsible for the murders for which Hunt was
condemned, clearing Hunt of any involvement. But it took until
2002 for the state to turn it over to Hunt's lawyers. On
September 13, 2003, North Carolina killed him.
first, Verlie Hicks of Peoria, Illinois was frightened and confused
when she was
arrested, held naked in a mental health unit at the Peoria County Jail
because she refused to remove braids from her hair, and falsely accused
of burning a baby in her care with cigarettes. Now she's angry and is
looking for a lawyer. Guilty Until
A woman convicted of killing her husband of 17 years was cleared
yesterday after the Pima County Attorney's Office admitted its
prosecutor intentionally withheld documents that could have helped her
the request of Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall, Superior Court
Judge Virginia Kelly dismissed Carolyn June Peak's case with prejudice,
meaning she can never be tried for her husband's death. Dan White's Legacy
Gaylord, MI, three men have been convicted, imprisoned and subsequently
exonerated in the death of Jerry Tobias in 1986 -- all on the coached,
perjured testimony of a mentally ill woman. She committed crimes,
faked her own kidnapping and had sex with a state trooper sent to
"protect" her while in witness protection. One member of the
3-judge Court of Appeals panel that overturned the first conviction
charged the prosecutor -- now a judge -- and police with "severe and
reprehensible misconduct". The judge is still on the bench, the
police retired with full pensions, the state paid millions to settle
lawsuits by the wrongfully convicted men -- and still no one knows what
really happened when Jerry Tobias died. No
Accountability, No Justice
ANOTHER UPDATE ON
HOUSTON POLICE CRIME LAB
Small wonder the DNA
analysts at the Houston Police Crime Lab did such a poor job.
None of them were qualified by education and training to do their
jobs. The founder of the DNA lab, James Bolding, retired rather
than be fired. Among
other things, he failed
both algebra and geometry in college, though he later passed both, and
he never took statistics.
Since leaving the Los Angeles
Police Department in disgrace after O.J.
Simpson was acquitted of murder, homicide detective Mark Fuhrman has
evolved into a prolific author with a one-track mind.
Fuhrman's previous three
use the word "murder" in the title: Murder in Brentwood, Murder in Spokane and Murder
in Greenwich. The new book does not use that word in the title, but
murder is very much on Fuhrman's mind.
Death and Justice is a transformative book for Fuhrman and
important book for his considerable audience. He takes readers on his
first-person journey from death-penalty advocate to death-penalty
opponent, using Oklahoma City as his backdrop.
Click HERE for Steve
The links pages at Truth in Justice are frequently
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websites of inmates with compelling innocence claims and more.
Start at http://truthinjustice.org/links.htm
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Sheila and Doug Berry