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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

UK College of Law Helps Host Adancing Justice Conference

The University of Kentucky College of Law together with the University of Louisville's Brandeis School of Law, Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, and Eastern Kentucky University's College of Justice and Safety present the Advancing Justice Conference. The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 16, at the Brandeis School of Law on the campus of the University of Louisville.

The Advancing Justice Conference hopes to bring together individuals invested in the integrity and reliability of the criminal justice system in the Commonwealth. National experts on eye witness identification, preservation of evidence and innocence confessions will share their experiences.

[Mark Godsey]

November 10, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, November 9, 2007

CrimProf Weekly Spotlight: Michael Moore

Mmoore This week, the CrimProf Blog spotlights University of Illinois College of Law CrimProf Michael Moore

One of the country's most prominent authorities on the intersection of law and philosophy, Professor Moore joined the faculty in 2002 as the Charles R. Walgreen, Jr. Chair, the first university-wide chair for University of Illinois' three campuses. He is jointly appointed as Professor of Law in the College of Law and as Professor of Philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He also holds an appointment as a Professor with the Center for Advanced Studies, an honor bestowed on faculty on the basis of their outstanding scholarship and among the highest forms of campus recognition. Professor Moore is just the second UI law school faculty member to hold such an appointment.

Before coming to Illinois, Professor Moore served as the Warren Distinguished Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Institute for Law and Philosophy at the University of San Diego. From 1989-2000, he was the Leon Meltzer Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, where he co-founded and directed the University of Pennsylvania Institute for Law and Philosophy.

Over the course of his career, he also has been a Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Southern California, and the University of Kansas. In addition, he has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, Northwestern University Law School, Stanford Law School, the University of Iowa Schools of Law and Medicine, Tel Aviv University, di Tella University in Buenos Aires, and the Universität Erlangen in Germany.

He has held a number of fellowships, including those in the Law and Humanities Program of Harvard University and the Humanities Research Institute of the University of California. From January-June 2002 and again in the spring of 2004, he was a Visiting Research Fellow in the Law Program of Australian National University's Research School of Social Sciences in Canberra, Australia.

In addition to eight books, Moore has published some 60 major articles, which have appeared in the country's top law reviews including Stanford, Berkeley, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Cornell, as well as peer reviewed journals in philosophy and psychiatry. He is the author of Placing Blame, a General Theory of the Criminal Law (Oxford University Press, 1997), widely regarded as the leading modern statement of the retributivist theory of punishment and of that theory's systematic application to criminal law doctrine. In Act and Crime: The Philosophy of Action and its Implications for Criminal Law (Oxford University Press, 1993), Moore provided a unified theory of action that underlies English and American criminal jurisprudence. Earlier in his career, he authored Law and Psychiatry: Rethinking the Relationship (Cambridge University Press, 1984), which explored, in detail, the tension that often exists between legal and mental health theories.

Professor Moore has presented more than 150 lectures and papers in law, jurisprudence, political theory, legal philosophy, political science and economics, philosophy, psychology, and psychiatry to audiences in the United States, Canada, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and Australia. He is a member of several philosophical and legal associations, and has served on the board of editors for Legal Theory, the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, the Buffalo Criminal Law Review, and as Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Law and Philosophy.

He regularly rotates his law teaching between first-year courses of criminal law, torts, contracts, property, and constitutional law, and upper-year courses in jurisprudence and legal philosophy. In philosophy he teaches undergraduate courses in the philosophy of law and political philosophy, and he teaches graduate seminars in ethics, the theory of action, and the metaphysics of causation. [Mark Godsey]

November 9, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Another Boston Cop Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking

From NYTimes.com: A third Boston police officer pleaded guilty Thursday to drug trafficking charges for protecting truckloads of cocaine during an FBI sting operation.

Roberto Pulido, 42, entered the plea following two days of damaging testimony at his federal trial.

Authorities said Pulido was the ringleader of a group of three officers who received thousands of dollars from men they believed were drug dealers, but were actually undercover FBI agents. The officers escorted two truckloads of cocaine into Boston in 2006. They were arrested in July 2006 in Miami, where they went to collect $35,000 for protecting a drug shipment a month earlier.

Prosecutors played recordings of conversations in which Pulido was heard discussing the drug protection, as well as other criminal activities he was allegedly involved in, including the sale of steroids and the buying and selling of fraudulent store gift cards. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

November 8, 2007 in Drugs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wife of Execute Man Who Was Denied Appeal Files Federal Lawsuit

From chron.com: The wife of executed killer Michael Richard filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday accusing Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Presiding Judge Sharon Keller of causing the inmate's Sept. 25 lethal injection.

Marsha Richard of Houston claims Keller had no authority to prevent what would have been a successful appeal to stay her husband's execution.

The lawsuit says Keller violated Michael Richard's due process rights when she ordered the court clerk's office to close promptly at 5 p.m. on Sept. 25 before his lawyers could file an appeal. Houston attorney David Dow had asked for more time after having computer problems.

The suit names Keller in her individual and official capacity, as well as other unnamed defendants in their individual and official capacities.

Through her secretary, Keller said she had no comment. The judge has served on the Court of Criminal Appeals since 1994.

Marsha Richard seeks a federal order that bars Keller, the Court of Criminal Appeals and its clerk from stopping emergency death penalty appeals from being filed in either paper or electronic form. She also seeks unspecified financial damages, attorneys' fees and court costs.

"He was on death row, so chances are he was going to be executed. But to have your appeal denied for no rhyme or reason? That's wrong," Marsha Richard, 43, said during a news conference outside the Houston federal courthouse Wednesday. The home health aide married Michael Richard in 2002. "No matter what side of the death penalty you fall on, we're still dealing with human beings. Their lives are in the balance."

This week, the state criminal appeals court said it would accept emergency e-mail filings in death penalty cases in order to avoid a repeat of Michael Richard's nationally controversial execution.

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

November 8, 2007 in Criminal Justice Policy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wife of Execute Man Who Was Denied Appeal Files Federal Lawsuit

From chron.com: The wife of executed killer Michael Richard filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday accusing Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Presiding Judge Sharon Keller of causing the inmate's Sept. 25 lethal injection.

Marsha Richard of Houston claims Keller had no authority to prevent what would have been a successful appeal to stay her husband's execution.

The lawsuit says Keller violated Michael Richard's due process rights when she ordered the court clerk's office to close promptly at 5 p.m. on Sept. 25 before his lawyers could file an appeal. Houston attorney David Dow had asked for more time after having computer problems.

The suit names Keller in her individual and official capacity, as well as other unnamed defendants in their individual and official capacities.

Through her secretary, Keller said she had no comment. The judge has served on the Court of Criminal Appeals since 1994.

Marsha Richard seeks a federal order that bars Keller, the Court of Criminal Appeals and its clerk from stopping emergency death penalty appeals from being filed in either paper or electronic form. She also seeks unspecified financial damages, attorneys' fees and court costs.

"He was on death row, so chances are he was going to be executed. But to have your appeal denied for no rhyme or reason? That's wrong," Marsha Richard, 43, said during a news conference outside the Houston federal courthouse Wednesday. The home health aide married Michael Richard in 2002. "No matter what side of the death penalty you fall on, we're still dealing with human beings. Their lives are in the balance."

This week, the state criminal appeals court said it would accept emergency e-mail filings in death penalty cases in order to avoid a repeat of Michael Richard's nationally controversial execution.

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

November 8, 2007 in Criminal Justice Policy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Innocent Former Death Row Inmate to Speak at Vermont Law School

Shabaka Shabaka WaQlimi, who spent 13 years on Florida’s death row before his wrongful conviction was overturned just 15 hours before his execution, will detail his experience and discuss the dangers of capital punishment during a Nov. 13 visit to Vermont Law School.

The program, “Witness to Innocence,” will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held in the Chase Community Center. It is sponsored by the VLS chapters of the National Lawyers Guild, the Black Law Students Association, the Latin American Law Students Association, the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, and Amnesty International (Burlington).

In 1974, Shabaka WaQlimi, known then as Joseph Green Brown, was convicted of rape and murder and sentenced to death. Thirteen years passed before his pro bono attorneys obtained a stay from the 11th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals.

VLS Professor Michael Mello, who wrote about the case in his 2002 book, “Deathwork: Representing the Condemned” (University of Minnesota Press) noted that Brown had eaten his “last meal” and had been measured for the suit he would have worn for his funeral before the Circuit overturned his conviction based on prosecutorial misconduct. The court found the prosecutor had knowingly allowed and exploited perjured testimony from the state’s star witness. [Mark Godsey]         

November 8, 2007 in Symposiums | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

NY's Oldest Inmate was Granted Parole

From washingtonpost.com: New York's oldest prisoner _ an 89-year-old former heart surgeon convicted of killing his wife more than 30 years ago _ has been granted parole.

Charles Friedgood, serving a 25-years-to-life sentence, was tentatively scheduled for release Dec. 18 after a parole board met with him Tuesday and voted 2-1 to free him.

The Long Island doctor was convicted in 1976 of injecting his wife, Sophie, with a fatal dose of the painkiller Demerol the year before. He was arrested at Kennedy International Airport as he attempted to flee the country with more than $450,000 in cash, securities and valuables from his wife's estate.

Friedgood, who has terminal cancer, had been denied parole five times, most recently last month. But the Division of Parole, in an unusual move, ordered a new hearing, citing a pending court case regarding Friedgood's denial of parole in 2005. The board that paroled him was not the same one that rejected his plea for release in October.

Board members who voted to release him cited his good prison record and support from some family members and the prosecuting attorney. The dissenting board member, Chris Ortloff, said the deadly injection was especially heinous because Friedgood was a doctor sworn to save lives.

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

November 7, 2007 in News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

ACLU Will Monitor Guantanamo Bay Hearing

From aclu.org: The American Civil Liberties Union will be at Guantánamo Bay Thursday to monitor the military commission hearing of Canadian national Omar Ahmed Khadr. The proceeding follows months of disarray and uncertainty about the U.S. government’s system of prosecuting prisoners held at Guantánamo Bay without charges or trial. The ACLU is one of four organizations that have been granted status as human rights observers at the military commission proceedings and has observed the tribunals since they began in 2004.

“The Guantánamo proceedings must be changed so that they are consistent with constitutional and international law, and we will continue to do our part by monitoring them and documenting the problems,” said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. “So far, the proceedings have failed miserably to uphold America’s commitment to due process and the rule of law.”

Khadr, now 21, was 15 years old when he was captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan. He is the first detainee to face a military commission since June when charges against him and a Yemeni prisoner, Salim Hamdan, were thrown out by military judges who said the commission lacked proper jurisdictional authority to prosecute them. The military judges ruled that the two defendants had not been designated “unlawful enemy combatants” as required under the Military Commission Act signed into law by President Bush in October 2006.

The U.S. government appealed the dismissal of the cases, and the newly established U.S. Court of Military Commission Review – a panel of three military officers appointed by the Pentagon – reinstated the charges in September by deciding that the military commission judges have the authority to decide whether detainees should be deemed “unlawful” enemy combatants. Despite an appeal filed by Khadr’s lawyers with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the military judge in Khadr’s case, Col. Peter Brownback, will hear the case Thursday. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

November 7, 2007 in International | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

International CrimProf Mark Drumbl Discusses His Book "Atrocity, Punishment, and International Law"

Drumbl_2724 The international tribunals formed in response to crimes in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia have failed to effectively deter war crimes and punish perpetrators, said Washington and Lee School of Law International CrimProf Mark Drumbl during a talk at the Law School Nov. 1. Drumbl recently penned a book on the subject, “Atrocity, Punishment, and International Law,” which aims to reveal the weaknesses in the current international criminal tribunals and offer more effective strategies to prosecute those who commit mass atrocities such as genocide.

 

“War crimes target everyone,” Drumbl said. “We are all victims.…We need to set up a system in these states where oppressors bear personal burdens for crimes.”

After the Rwandan genocide and the conflict in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, the United Nations established two international criminal tribunals to prosecute those who participated in genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in each of the conflicts. Drumbl explained that the tribunals had two goals: to hold individuals accountable for participating in mass atrocities, and to deter others from committing similar crimes in the future by demonstrating that they would be prosecuted. Both tribunals are still prosecuting individuals for the crimes.

Drumbl said that in “Atrocity, Punishment, and International Law,” he wanted to explain “how, why, and through what method should we prosecute crime such as genocide.” His book also criticizes the current international criminal tribunals for only having jurisdiction to prosecute individuals rather than governments or organizations. Additionally, Drumbl said that the tribunals fail to deter war crimes because they have been unable to adequately convict and punish criminals. [Mark Godsey]

 

November 7, 2007 in CrimProfs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Egyptian Judge Sentences Officers in Torture Case

From washingtonpost.com: An Egyptian judge sentenced two police officers Monday to three years in prison for presiding over the 2006 torture of a 21-year-old minivan driver in a Cairo police station.

The abuse of Emad el-Kabir became a landmark in Egyptian rights cases -- not because of the police torture, which rights groups say occurs daily here, but because police recorded the torture on a cellphone video camera.

Egyptian bloggers obtained the clip and posted it on the online video site YouTube spurred greater reporting of torture in Egypt and heightened international criticism of human rights abuses by Egyptian authorities.

Kabir, now 22, thrust his hands in the air in victory when court officials announced the conviction and sentence Monday. "Thank God!" he shouted.

"I've regained my rights," Kabir said. "I don't want anything more than that."

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

November 6, 2007 in International | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Two Students Charged with Beating and Burning a Man With Baked Goods

From USATODAY.com: Two students at Southern Illinois University in this St. Louis suburb kidnapped, paddled and burned a young man with freshly baked cookies after a drug deal went bad, prosecutors said.

Madison County prosecutors on Monday charged Rosario James, 23, and Jordan Sallis, 20, each with two counts of aggravated kidnapping and one count of robbery and aggravated battery.

Both were jailed Tuesday on $150,000 apiece.

Sheriff's Capt. Brad Wells said that Friday night, three men went to James' house to buy marijuana, but two of them grabbed the drugs and fled, leaving the third behind. The suspects held that man, who is in his late teens, and told him he needed to find $400 for the drugs, Wells said.

The suspects beat the man with a wooden paddle, burned his neck and shoulders with cookies immediately after taking them from the oven, shaved off some of his hair and poured urine over him from a soda bottle, Wells said. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

November 6, 2007 in News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Science Casts Doubt on Famous British Murder Case

From physorg.com: Dr. Hawley Crippen was hanged for murdering and dismembering his showgirl wife, then fleeing with his mistress across the high seas with the police in hot pursuit. Loaded with enough sordid details and twists to eventually fuel more than 40 books and several movies, this London case is second only to Jack the Ripper in its sensational notoriety.

Back in 1910, it was forensic evidence that brought Crippen down. Now, David Foran, a forensic biologist and director of MSU’s forensic science program, partnering with clinical and forensic toxicologist John Harris Trestrail III, managing director of the regional poison center in Grand Rapids, is combining state-of-the-art DNA analysis with solid sleuthing to show the remains buried in Crippen’s basement couldn’t have been his wife.

“This can’t be Cora Crippen,” Foran said. “We’re certain of that.”

For nearly a century, Crippen, a homeopathic physician, was thought to have poisoned his flamboyant and domineering wife with an obscure toxin, dismembered her body and buried little more than tissue in his London cellar. Crippen was labeled “one of the most dangerous and remarkable men who have lived in this century.”

Trestrail has been engrossed by the case for 40 years. One of the nation’s leading experts in poisoning, he knew dismemberment and poisoning don’t go together.

“There were no identifying parts of the remains found, no head, no bones, no organs of gender. I’ve always wondered who is that under the steps?” Trestrail said. “Was he telling the truth? Now we have the possibility to bring the science of DNA up against actual specimens from the trial to answer the question: ‘Was that her under the steps or wasn’t it?’” Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

November 6, 2007 in DNA | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Police Arrest top Mafia Dons in Sicily Raid

From latimes.com: Police raided a summit of Mafia dons in Sicily on Monday, arresting a longtime fugitive authorities say was revitalizing Cosa Nostra's ties with U.S. mobsters and vying to become the crime syndicate's next "boss of bosses."

The capture of Salvatore Lo Piccolo after more than a decade on the run dealt another blow to the Sicilian Mafia, already weakened by several recent arrests, outmuscled by other underworld groups and facing an unprecedented challenge to the extortion racket that has been one of its main sources of income.

"It's a tough blow ... because they (the Lo Piccolo family) were in charge of restructuring the Mafia," said Francesco Forgione, head of Italy's anti-Mafia parliamentary commission.

Lo Piccolo, sentenced to life in prison for murder and on the run since 1993, was captured in a morning raid on a house in the countryside outside Sicily's capital, Palermo, police said.

Also arrested were Lo Piccolo's 32-year-old son Sandro -- another top Mafia figure sentenced to life in prison and wanted since 1998 -- as well as two men accused of being local bosses, both on Italy's list of 30 most-wanted fugitives, officials in Palermo said.

Investigators believe Lo Piccolo, 65, could have eventually emerged from a power struggle to be the Mafia's new "capo di tutti i capi" following the capture of top boss Bernardo Provenzano, the reputed No. 1 of the Cosa Nostra crime syndicate. Provenzano, who was on the run for more than 40 years, was arrested on a farm near Corleone, Sicily, in April 2006.  Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

November 5, 2007 in Organized Crime | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

SCOTUS Accepts Death Penalty Case

Court_front_med From NYTimes.com: The SCOTUS agreed today to review the case of an Idaho death row inmate who was condemned after following his lawyer’s advice to reject a plea bargain that would have spared his life.      

Maxwell Hoffman was sentenced to death after being convicted of taking part in the murder of Denise Williams, a police informant in a drug deal, in 1987. Mr. Hoffman slit the victim’s throat and left her in a cave at a remote campsite, according to court papers.

When Ms. Williams tried to crawl to safety, she was stabbed by one of Mr. Hoffman’s accomplices. A third accomplice then joined with Mr. Hoffman in burying Ms. Williams under rocks, documents state. The victim died of a blow from a rock.

The justices will weigh whether the advice of Mr. Hoffman’s lawyer was so bad as to render it unconstitutionally ineffective. Courts have long held that a defense lawyer’s work need not be perfect, or anything close to it, and that a lawyer is entitled to wide latitude on trial tactics, even if they appear questionable in the clarity of hindsight.

Mr. Hoffman was sentenced to death in 1989. The Idaho state courts upheld the conviction and sentence, so the defendant turned to the federal courts. The case the justices accepted today is an appeal by the state of Idaho of a 2006 ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. That court held that because of the ineffectiveness of Mr. Hoffman’s lawyer in the sentencing phase of the trial, the defendant should be released or allowed to accept the plea-bargain he originally rejected.

Five weeks before the trial began, prosecutors said that they would not seek the death penalty if Mr. Hoffman pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, but that they would seek a death sentence if he chose to go to trial.

Mr. Hoffman’s lawyer, William Wellman, believed at the time that Idaho’s death penalty-sentencing procedures would soon be declared unconstitutional because they were similar to those in Arizona, which had been voided by the Ninth Circuit. In particular, the lawyer was confident that the Idaho system of having a judge, not a jury, decide whether to impose a death sentence would be struck down.

In fact, several years after Mr. Hoffman’s conviction the Idaho procedure was changed to give jurors the final say on whether someone should be sentenced to death. And a 2002 Supreme Court decision, Ring v. Arizona, held that sentencing by judges alone is unconstitutional in death-penalty cases.

But, the Ninth Circuit noted, the Supreme Court “has also held that Ring is not to be applied retroactively.” Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

November 5, 2007 in Capital Punishment | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

CrimProf Chris Hutton Discusses Coercion in the Klaudt Case

Hutton_chris From argusleader.com: University of South Dakota School of Law CrimProf Chris Hutton discusses the case of the former state Rep. Ted Klaudt with concern to a phony scheme to sell reproductive eggs, foster daughters submitting to breast exams and vaginal stimulation by a former House member, a boyfriend performing an ovary check on his girlfriend while Klaudt watched, and references to thousands of pages of sometimes violent and sexually explicit e-mails and messages, the first three days of the case have been bizarre and disturbing.

Klaudt's defense does not rest on denying the alleged acts. The key point that has emerged is whether Klaudt coerced the teens into allowing him to perform those acts.

Klaudt, 49, a Corson County farmer and rancher, is charged with four counts of second-degree rape involving two foster daughters. The state corrections department placed the girls in the home. Klaudt's wife, Connie, held a state license for foster care.

Klaudt's lawyer, Tim Rensch, told jurors in his opening statement that the case didn't involve forcible rape. Each of the girls was older than 16, South Dakota's age of consent, he said, and no force was used in the egg-donation exams that involved penetration with fingers and instruments.

Chris Hutton of the University of South Dakota School of Law said it's possible a jury instruction already has been developed to set out what coercion means in the case. Essentially, "If you have someone who says the word 'yes,' but it's basically because the person is, even if not physically being forced, said to be deprived of their will, then that person might be said to be coerced," Hutton said.

A knife to the throat and sexual intercourse is forced rape, she said. If a person breaks into a home, grabs a mother and tells her to submit or he'll hurt her daughter sleeping in the next room, that's a form of coercion, she said.

"You can also get that from a relationship," Hutton said. "If you have a parent and a child, it could be something like, the parent says to the kid, 'You do this, or you're not going to get any more food. You do this or you're not sleeping in the house anymore, you're going to be sleeping out in the shed.' It's that kind of thing where they don't actually physically harm the person, but because they are in such a powerful position, the kid ... is going to feel coerced." Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

November 5, 2007 in CrimProfs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Female Teacher Accused of Running to Mexico with 13 Year-Old Boy in FBI Custody

From latimes.com: A female teacher was in FBI custody Saturday as federal and local prosecutors sought to determine how they would handle charges alleging that she ran away with a 13-year-old boy, taking him across the border into Mexico.

Kelsey Peterson, a 25-year-old sixth-grade math teacher and basketball coach at Lexington Middle School, was turned over to the FBI early Saturday after being arrested the night before in the border city of Mexicali.

The boy, Fernando Rodriguez, was reported in the care of relatives in Mexico, and his family in Nebraska was trying to contact him.

"I need to find out what's next," said the boy's aunt, Laura Rodriguez, who said she still had not talked to him about seven hours after learning he had been recovered.

Peterson and Fernando were apprehended by Mexican authorities without incident. Her car had been spotted crossing into Mexico on Tuesday.

"I'm really relieved, especially that the individuals are well and unharmed," Dawson County Attorney Elizabeth Waterman said.    Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

November 4, 2007 in News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Inmates Agree to Have Cases Reopened Due to Bad Blood Analysis Work

From dallasnews.com:All but four of 160 inmates who were questioned over the last two weeks have agreed to have their cases reopened because of shoddy blood analysis work by the Houston Police Department crime lab, attorneys said Thursday.

Since Oct. 22, the inmates have been gathered each day at prisons around the state so a Houston courts panel could tell them via videoconference that their convictions could have been influenced by the flawed lab work. They were told that if they wanted their cases reviewed, a lawyer would be appointed for them.

While some of the inmates simply said "yes" before shuffling back to their cells, for others it was more emotional.

"Some of them wanted to start talking about their case right away," said Bob Wicoff, a Houston defense lawyer assigned to lead the review. "One of them told me, 'I've been waiting for this day. I love you.' And you know what, he may be guilty, but if he was innocent, that may be the way you'd expect somebody to react. We shall see."

Last month, Harris County judges announced plans to review 180 cases identified as having "major issues" in body-fluid analysis in a final report this year from a special investigator hired by the city of Houston to investigate the lab.

Of the 180 cases, 160 inmates were still in prison. Of the remaining 20 cases, half are inmates who have been executed while the other half are inmates who've been freed from prison. Rest of Article. . .

[Mark Godsey

November 4, 2007 in DNA | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

CrimProf Joseph Metcalf to Speak at "Execution" Panel

Jmetcalfe "Execution," a film about the final seven days of a man on death row, will be shown at the University of Oregon School of Law on Thursday, Nov. 8. A panel discussion featuring William Neal “Billy” Moore, who spent 16 years on Georgia’s death row and has a part in the production, will take place after the film.  The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Room 175, William W. Knight Law Center, 1515 Agate St. The film and the panel discussion are free and open to the public. A reception will follow in Morse Commons.

The movie is a drama about two fictitious documentary filmmakers who memorialized the last week of a condemned man’s life and portrays their efforts to bring the application of the death penalty into public view. Moore, who plays the condemned man, is one of the only men in America released from death row-- even though he was convicted of a capital crime. Moore was freed after members of victim’s family, who forgave him, spoke on his behalf at his parole hearing.

Members of the panel include Moore, his wife, Donna Jo Jacks Moore; "Execution" director Steven Scaffidi; and School of Law Professor Joe Metcalfe. Professor Barbara Aldave will moderate the discussion.  Aldave and The National Lawyers Guild are sponsors of the event. [Mark Godsey]

November 4, 2007 in CrimProfs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)