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Innocence Project of Florida Client Granted New Trial by Federal Judge

Posted: Jul 28, 2015 05:23 PM

Last week a federal judge granted Innocence Project of Florida client Jules Letemps a new trial. Letemps has been in prison for 26 years for a rape he insists he did not commit. Letemps’ attorneys say he was walking to work when the victim identified him as her attacker, but two alibi witnesses placed him at his home at the time of the crime.
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System Pressures the Innocent to Plead Guilty

Posted: Jul 27, 2015 03:44 PM

In an opinion piece published on Friday in the Washington Post, Sam Gross—a law professor at the University of Michigan and the editor of the National Registry of Exonerationswrites that recent statistics and exonerations reveal that too many people are pleading guilty to crimes that they didn’t commit. According to Gross, a full range of flaws within the criminal justice system, including a lack of investment in justice, are to blame. “We can do better,” demands Gross.

He writes:

How many people are convicted of crimes they did not commit? Last year, a study I co-authored on the issue was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It shows that 4.1 percent of defendants who are sentenced to death in the United States are later shown to be innocent: 1 in 25. . . .

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Exonerees Use Their Music to Shine Light on Wrongful Convictions

Posted: Jul 24, 2015 12:25 PM

For many exonerees, the Innocence Network Conference provides a unique chance to connect with other men and women who have been confronted with and survived the unimaginable experience of being wrongfully convicted. For one group of exonerees, however, the conference has also served as a jumping-off point for a special musical collaboration that they’re using to spread the word on injustice in the criminal justice system.

According to an article published on Thursday on Ohio.com, six exonerees—Raymond TowlerWilliam Michael DillonAntoine DayEddie LoweryAlan Northrop and Ted Bradford—are members of the Exoneree Band. A creative vehicle for the men’s shared love of music, the band also “provides an outlet for the emotions that come from their struggles as innocent men incarcerated. It's a way to explain how they survived and continue to deal with their lost youths, adjusting to life in a changed world and for some, to be properly compensated for the injustice they suffered,” reports Ohio.com. Collectively, the men spent more than 100 years in prison for crimes other people committed.

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Kirk Bloodsworth Urges Support of DNA Testing and Innocence Programs at Summit

Posted: Jul 23, 2015 03:09 PM

Kirk Bloodsworth, the first person in the United States to be exonerated from death row through DNA testing, joined criminal justice system leaders in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday at the Coalition for Public Safety Bipartisan Summit on Fair Justice and called on Congress to support efforts to address and prevent wrongful convictions.

“Congress’ support of these programs with annual appropriations has proved critical to achieving dozens of exonerations, as well as providing essential forensic testing,” Bloodsworth said. “I urge Congress to help ensure that wrongful convictions become rare and that our criminal justice system does everything possible both to prevent and swiftly remediate them.”

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Eyewitness Recants Identification of Andre Bryant, Putting His Conviction into Question

Posted: Jul 22, 2015 05:17 PM

The Innocence Project of Florida has filed an updated motion based on newly discovered evidence, requesting that the court vacate Andre Bryant’s conviction and 30-year sentence for a 2006 armed robbery in Manatee County, Florida, reports the Herald-Tribune. The new motion highlights an eyewitness in the case who has recanted her identification of Bryant, which challenges the credibility of pivotal evidence in this case.
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