Thursday, April 13, 2006
On Tuesday, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled that Kentucky exoneree William Gregory, who spent seven years in prison for rape before a DNA test exonerated him, may sue the city and several police officers who put him behind bars, for their actions leading up to his wrongful conviction. The court also questioned whether Louisville's police department used an unconstitutional practice of having witnesses identify suspects in one-on-one settings instead of in a lineup.
Gregory, 58, of Louisville, was released from prison in 2000 after DNA tests showed that hairs found at the rape scene could not have come from him. He sued the city and police department, but a federal judge in 2004 threw out most of the lawsuit. His attorney, Deborah Cornwall of the Innocence Project, said the ruling shows Gregory's arrest and conviction were not a case of sloppy police work or of a witness being wrong, but rather a result of active misconduct. Louisville police kept preprinted waivers, allowing police to show a suspect to a victim or witness without putting the person in a lineup featuring multiple people. More. . . [Mark Godsey]