Integrity Unit Investigates Wrongful Conviction
Posted: November 1, 2012 1:40 pm
Three years after a Kentucky man was exonerated of a murder and robbery he did not commit, the Louisville police chief ordered an investigation to learn what led to his wrongful conviction.
Edwin Chandler spent 17 years behind bars before the Kentucky Innocence Project uncovered new evidence that led to his exoneration. When the crime occurred, Chandler was on a work release for a misdemeanor and failed to return to jail as required. He was misidentified by a neighbor and falsely confessed after a long interrogation where police threatened to arrest his sister for harboring a fugitive. Despite another witness testifying that the perpetrator was not Chandler, he was convicted and sentenced to 30 years.
Attorneys for the Kentucky Innocence Project uncovered fingerprints on crime scene evidence that excluded Chandler and implicated a known felon who has since been indicted.
On Tuesday, Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad announced that the department’s Public Integrity Unit will investigate Chandler’s case before turning its results over to the commonwealth’s attorney’s office who will determine if charges should be filed. The investigation, which could take up to six months, will review the conduct of former detective Mark Handy who may have coerced Chandler’s confession and fed him information that would have only been known to the real perpetrator. It will also review testimony from Chandler’s criminal trial and his civil suit that was settled last month for $8.5 million, reported the Courier-Journal.
This the second time a review of Chandler’s case has been announced. According to his attorney, Nick Brustin, the previous police chief ordered a review the same year Chandler was exonerated but nothing ever materialized.
Conrad also ordered an internal review of policies and training to ensure that investigations meet best practices.
Chandler served nine years in prison and seven on parole before being fully exonerated on October 13, 2009.
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