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Innocence Network Week in Review: March 29, 2013

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Posted: March 29, 2013   3:25 PM

A jailhouse informant recants, an exonerated death row inmate wins a judgment against his prosecutors and new evidence could lead to possible exoneration in a shaken baby syndrome case in Illinois. Those stories and more in this week’s Innocence Network Week in Review:
In another encouraging development for North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence client Joseph Sledge, one of two jailhouse informants who testified against him has recanted, saying that he lied to collect reward money and was fed details of the crime by investigators.  In December of last year, DNA testing showed that hairs from the crime scene that were used to convict Sledge of two 1976 murders did not belong to him.
Illinois Innocence Project client Anthony Murray, who was freed from prison last year after taking an Alford plea, spoke out for the first time about his wrongful imprisonment.  Murray had been through two previous trials, both of which resulted in convictions that were later overturned, and took the plea to avoid the ordeal of a third trial.
The Duke Chronicle ran a feature story this week about LaMonte Armstrong, a client of the Duke Wrongful Convictions Clinic who was exonerated after serving 17 years of a life sentence for a murder he didn’t commit.
Innocence Project of Texas client Ed Graf has won a new trial after the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals found that conclusions of forensic scientists who testified in his trial were based not on science, but “old wives’ tales.”   Graf was convicted of arson and murder in the fire death of his two stepsons.
Nearly nine years after being released from prison, Center on Wrongful Convictions client Gordon "Randy" Steidl has won a second judgment in a long-running wrongful conviction and malicious prosecution case against the State’s Attorney and police. Steidl was sentenced to death for a 1986 double murder and served 17 years before being exonerated in 2004.
The attorney for Jennifer Del Prete, a day care worker convicted of murdering a child in her care in a shaken baby syndrome case, has filed a motion to overturn her conviction based on evidence uncovered and published by the Medill Justice Project.
California Innocence Project client Brian Banks, who was exonerated after the woman he was convicted of raping confessed she had made up her story, was featured on 60 Minutes this week.  The story covered Banks’ struggle to get his life back and his ongoing efforts to play for the NFL.

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