Innocence Cases

Oct 13, 2009
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April 4, 2009 Mumia Abu-Jamal by J. Patrick O'Connor Since his conviction in 1982 for the murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, Mumia Abu-Jamal, through his numerous books, essays and radio commentaries, has become the face of the anti-death penalty...
Oct 13, 2009
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March 29, 2009 Wrongly accused? Omar Raddad stands outside the courthouse. French justice can be quite curious. After being pardoned but not exonerated in the murder of his employer, Omar Raddad risked being re-imprisoned by asking for a new trial to clear his name....
Oct 13, 2009
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Updated January 14, 2007 Kelly Michaels The Wee Care case that sentenced Kelly Michaels to prison for 47 years was typical of the child-abuse hysteria that gripped the United States in the 1980s. At the peak of the frenzy of the great day-care witch hunt, it was the day-...
Oct 13, 2009
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March 14, 2005 Leo Frank (photograph c. 1915) Virulent anti-Semitism led directly to the arrest, prosecution, conviction, and lynching of the innocent, but Jewish, Leo Frank. Police and prosecutors fabricated evidence to win a death by hanging verdict. When the...
Oct 10, 2009
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Updated Oct. 16, 2006 Mary and Robert Halsey The courtroom testimony of twin 8-year-old boys – a concoction of fantasy and fear – led to a life sentence for Robert Halsey in 1993. In 2004 the National Center for Reason and Justice took up his case, but all of its appeals...
Oct 9, 2009
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July 22, 2007 Updated November 12, 2013 Ryan Ferguson  In a case rife with DNA and other physical evidence, not one shred of evidence linked 17-year-old Ryan Ferguson to the murder of Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune sports writer Kent Heitholt in 2001. Ferguson's...
Oct 9, 2009
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South Kansas City Blast Site Five innocent people were convicted in February 1997 in the deaths of six Kansas City firefighters in 1988.  These two stories run a total length of 20,000 words, and won the Missouri Bar Association's annual "Excellence in Legal Journalism...
Oct 5, 2009
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Sept. 30, 2009 Updated June 25, 2010 Caryl Chessman Convicted in 1948 as “The Red Light Bandit,” Caryl Chessman would become an internationally known “Death Row” author and make the cover of Time Magazine. His appeal attorney came within minutes of preventing his wrongful...
Sep 12, 2009
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May 1, 2009 Mumia Abu-Jamal Not even the U.S. Supreme Court is immune from “the Mumia Exception.” On April 6, 2009 the high court denied Abu-Jamal’s request for a Writ of Certiorari, scuttling his last chance for justice. by J. Patrick O’Connor Since his conviction in...
Sep 12, 2009
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December 6, 2002 Updated: June 7, 2013 Nancy Smith, center, with her four teenage children.  The ritual abuse hysteria that swept across the United States in the 1980s and early 1990s resulted in hundreds of innocent people being wrongfully convicted of committing a...

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