On the day Lamonte McIntyre was sentenced to consecutive life terms in prison, he said just 13 words to the court:
“Judge, I would like to tell the court that I’m innocent. That’s all.”
On Thursday, more than two decades later, McIntyre’s family and friends poured into a Wyandotte County courtroom for a hearing that has called into question his conviction.
McIntyre, now 41, smiled at the approximately 50 friends and relatives who had assembled in the courtroom as he entered.
He’s an innocent man who has languished in prison for 23 years, his loved ones say. In a rally outside the courthouse beforehand, they cried: “I say free, you say Lamonte.”
Read more at: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article178461766.html
Moreover, we had an expert perform what is called photogrammetry. There was a surveillance video of the robbery, but you couldn’t see the perp’s face. With photogrammetry, the expert goes into the store and measures the height of everything in the store that shows up on the surveillance tape — the counter, the top of the cash register, the windows, everything. And from that, and some simple geometry applied to each frame of the video, you can determine the exact height of the perpetrator. The perp in this case was five inches shorter than Kevin, without a doubt.
So we had DNA evidence, and we had rock solid photogrammetry evidence, and presented this in court many years ago. But the court denied Kevin, even though it acknowledged the strength of our evidence. And so did the court of appeals.
Read more at: http://www.salon.com/2017/09/24/mark-godsey-is-an-american-superhero-he-gets-innocent-people-out-of-prison/
AUSTIN – John O’Brien worked in the Tarrant County jail library in 1997, and befriended a fellow inmate who asked for his advice. One day as they chatted about John Nolley’s legal woes, the pet store clerk and small-time pot dealer confessed to savagely stabbing to death Sharon McLane in her Bedford apartment.
That’s the story O’Brien told jurors at Nolley’s 1998 trial, anyway. He also assured them that prosecutors hadn’t promised him anything in exchange for his testimony and that he had never before snitched on a fellow inmate.
Almost none of O’Brien’s story was true, particularly the bit about Nolley’s confession. But the jury didn’t know that, and they sentenced Nolley to life in prison for the crime. He spent 18 years in prison before investigators uncovered new evidence pointing to his innocence.
Nolley’s out of prison now, starting a new life and waiting for a final court ruling in
Read more at: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2017/09/20/snitch-testimony-sent-innocent-fort-worth-man-prison-18-years-lawmakers-hope-last
Lamar Johnson was led into the Baltimore courtroom Tuesday with his arms and legs in the shackles worn by convicted murderers, but with a wide smile across his face.
For more than 13 years, through two failed appeals and countless crushed hopes, the West Baltimore man had waited for these moments in court.
Circuit Judge Charles Peters, without comment, granted Johnson a new trial on evidence that three new witnesses said Johnson wasn’t the gunman from a 2004 killing in East Baltimore. Then prosecutors dropped the old murder charge against him.
After spending more than a decade in prison for a murder that prosecutors now say he didn’t commit, Johnson was set free.
His mother, Kathy Taylor, seated in the courtroom, held crumpled tissues to her eyes. His attorneys, grinning, patted Johnson, 33, on his shoulders. He had been sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison.
KALKASKA — Jamie Lee Peterson lives about a mile from the courtroom where he was wrongfully convicted of murder. He said it’s not his first choice but he doesn’t have too many options.
Everyday life can be a struggle after spending nearly two decades in prison for crimes he didn’t commit, he said. Medical issues hold him back from full-time employment. His $700 Social Security check hardly covers the rent. And food assistance doesn’t quite float the grocery bills.
“I just want to get my house and my girlfriend from downstate and start a new life together,” he said.
Peterson, 42, nearly 20 years ago was convicted of the murder of Kalkaska resident Geraldine Montgomery, 68, who had been raped and left to die in the trunk of her car. DNA testing later vindicated Peterson and he was released three years ago this month after serving 17 years in prison.
The tattered walls of
Read more at: http://www.record-eagle.com/news/local_news/i-knew-he-was-innocent/article_916f837e-5283-582b-ba09-fee941abb1f4.html
This story was co-published with The Atlantic.
On Oct. 15, 2008, James Owens shuffled, head high despite his shackles, into a Baltimore courtroom, eager for his new trial to begin. Two decades into a life sentence, he would finally have his chance to prove what he’d been saying all along: The state had the wrong man.
Owens had been convicted of murdering a 24-year-old college student, who was found raped and stabbed in her home. Then he’d been shunted off to state prison until DNA testing — the scientific marvel that he’d watched for years free other men — finally caught up with his case in 2006. The semen that had been found inside the victim wasn’t his. A Maryland court tossed his conviction and granted Owens a rare do-over trial.
State prosecutors balked, insisting they still had enough evidence to keep Owens locked away and vowed to retry him.
Read more at: https://www.propublica.org/article/what-does-an-innocent-man-have-to-do-alford-plea-guilty
“He had done his homework. He knew the case, factually better than anybody and he knew the law,” Findley told Holt. “He said, ‘Look, the issue we’re going to win on is that ineffective assistance of counsel claim. You’ve got to lead with that. You’ve got to argue that.’”
Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/wrongfully-convicted-man-becomes-lawyer_us_59834785e4b0fa1575fc6bd6
Shutterstock photo illustration
Currently, 24 states have court statutes or laws requiring recording of interrogations for some, if not all, major crimes. It is at the states’ discretion to agree on what types of crimes will warrant the recording of the interrogation. That number has increased dramatically from just two states requiring the measure 15 years ago.
Monday, July 31, 2017 | 2 a.m.
NEW YORK — In a black T-shirt, hair cropped short, with a wedding ring visible on his finger, Ted Bradford hunched over a microphone in a legislative hearing room in Carson City.
In a public video of the meeting, Bradford can be seen speaking to the assembled senators representing the nearly 2.9 million Nevada residents. “I lived through the nightmare of wrongful conviction,” he says. “It was a horrible crime, a crime of rape and burglary.”
On the day
Read more at: https://lasvegassun.com/news/2017/jul/31/making-the-case-to-record-police-interrogations/
In September 1991, Greg Taylor, a Greensboro native, got his Nissan Pathfinder stuck in mud on an evening when he was smoking crack with a friend. When a prostitute was found dead nearby, Taylor became an immediate suspect. He was convicted in 1993 largely on the strength of testimony from two jailhouse informants. In 2010, DNA evidence overturned Taylor’s conviction and he walked out of prison a free man. The state of North Carolina eventually paid Taylor a $4.6 million settlement.
Considering the inherent unreliability of testimony from informants who are incentivized to give false witness by to get their own sentences reduced, lawmakers should be eager to implement reforms on the use of so-called “snitch testimony” to prevent innocent people from going to prison, to ensure that the actual perpetrators of heinous crimes don’t remain on the loose and
Read more at: https://triad-city-beat.com/innocent-people-will-locked-unless-raleigh-takes-action/