CrimProf Blog

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

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Monday, November 22, 2004

Exoneration Roundup

Cuff5 Citing a poll indicating that 70% of Texans believe innocent people have been executed, a Texas representative proposed a moratorium on executions pending study of the DNA and capital punishment system; attending the press conference was Kirk Bloodsworth, the first death row inmate exonerated by DNA.  Another bill will be introduced in Texas to allow compensation for the wrongfully convicted.  The Maryland Board of Public Works has approved $1.4 million for Michael Austin, who spent 27 years in prison for a murder he did not commit.  In Michigan, Kenneth Wymienko was exonerated by DNA after being sentenced to 40-60 years for rape.  According to a Detroit Free Press report on his civil suit against the authorities, a police informant who was a key witness at the criminal trial admitted that he was part of a police set-up.   More here. Cardozo CrimProf Peter Neufeld criticized the Monroe (NY) County prosecutor for objecting to DNA testing in two murder cases.  More here. The family of Welshman Timothy Evans, executed in 1950 for a double murder, won a judicial declaration of innocence.  Evans, an adult with a mental age of 11, confessed to killing his daughter and wife but the actual perpetrator was John Christie, a downstairs neighbor who was a key witness against him.  Christie killed at least six other women before confessing in 1953. The story was made into the movie Ten Rillington Place starring Richard Attenborough, and Evans' wrongful execution contributed to the abolition of the death penalty in the UK. [Jack Chin]

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