CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Monday, November 15, 2004

Exoneration Roundup

A British convict was exonerated 50 years after the crime; an eyewitness recanted.  In October, a Pennsylvania man was sentenced to 5 to 10 years in prison in spite of a recantation by the complainant at sentencing; the issue will evidently be revisited in a post-conviction hearing.  The Washington Post editorializes about a settlement in a case where three Arizona women were arrested after America's Most Wanted showed video of them allegedly using the ATM card of a recently murdered person; they supposedly confessed, but were released after one of the arrestee's parents obtained bank records showing they had used their own ATM card, and therefore there was no evidence connecting them to the crime.  The Virginian Pilot profiles the late Mary Jane Burton, whose careful preservation of evidence while working with the Virginia Division of Forensic Science led to the exoneration of three long-term convicts, when scientific tests were developed that could prove their innocence.  Peter Rose, a California man convicted of raping a 13 year old  in 1994 was released after being exonerated by a DNA test; the San Diego Union Tribune posted the first of a two-part story on a similar case.  The New York Times reports on a juror's effort effort to overturn a conviction she now believes was mistaken, and on Robert McLaughlin's struggle to adjust, two decades after spending 6 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit.  The St. Petersburg Times has a similar story on another former inmate.  A Louisiana man, exonerated by DNA in a 1987 rape, pleaded guilty to a 1985 rape but the plea bargain provides he will serve no time, getting credit for the 17 years he served on the vacated conviction. Jack Chin

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