Friday Roundup: Freedom and Reform, from Coast to Coast
Posted: February 19, 2010 2:00 pm
Gregory Taylor was freed in North Carolina this week after serving 17 years in prison for a evidence shows murder he didn’t commit, and we posted Ted Bradford of Washington to our database as the nation’s 251st DNA exoneree (and the first in Washington state). Their cases underline the need for reforms nationwide to help free the innocent and prevent wrongful convictions.
A comprehensive package of reforms with bipartisan support in Ohio has stalled just short of the finish line. Activists across Ohio are sending emails to their representatives this week urging a vote on the bill. If you’re in Ohio, send your letter here. If you’re not, ask your friends in Ohio to take action now.
New York City will begin recording complete interrogations in a pilot project in some precincts. Innocence Project Policy Analyst Rebecca Brown told WNYC that surveys of 238 police departments found that the reform is well received among law enforcement:
“They find that these are airtight confessions that they can use in court,” Brown said. “Nobody will question them. It prevents disputes about how officers conducted themselves. It creates a record of statements made by the suspect. It permits officers to concentrate on the interview rather than being distracted by the note taking.”
A Pennsylvania editorial called for DNA testing in the case of Innocence Project client Scott Oliver.
The Innocence Project of Texas filed a pardon application this week on behalf of Timothy Cole, who died in prison in 1999 while serving time for a rape DNA now shows he didn’t commit.
Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, who served 20 years in New Jersey prisons before he was cleared based on evidence of his innocence, is in Australia this week speaking about issues surrounding wrongful convictions.
Artist Dan Bolick’s portraits of exonerees are on display this month at Penn State University.
There’s plenty of interesting conversation on the Innocence Project’s Facebook page this week — share your views and connect with fellow advocates here.