June 12, 2008
Scheck speaks, raises funds for Innocence Project
Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck said in a speech last night that West Virginia – and dozens of other states – were ready for bipartisan criminal justice reforms to prevent future wrongful convictions. Scheck spoke at an Innocence Project fundraiser in Charleston last night and this afternoon at a West Virginia lawyers’ conference.
We are heading into (a judicial reform) era right now," Scheck said. "The Innocence Project is something Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives can both support.
"It's all about public safety and all about getting things right."
One of the events sponsors, attorney Troy Giatras, said he was proud to help the organization, which he called a worthy cause.
"It's a shame that there needs to be such an organization, but the Innocence Project does great work," Giatras said. "It helps address one of the worst nightmares a victim of the American legal system can face, being wrongfully convicted." [Mark Godsey]
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Scheck's work gives people back their lives. Innocent people in West Virginia have had little hope until recently when West Virginia University opened it's own Innocence Project under the Clinical Law Program. Funds are always scarce in the mountain state. With sparce resources but big hearts, law students and their mentors are wading through deserving cases. Included is the case of Russell Phillips, convicted of the 1982 murder of his young friend Timothy Roberts in Tucker County on nothing but circumstantial evidence. A new book, The Chaparral Murders: Dollar Store Justice studies the evidence and comes to the startling conclusion that Roberts may have killed himself. Phillips' defense was limited by a $1000.00 budget. He received dollar store justice.
Posted by: M M Stoddart | Jun 18, 2008 12:36:23 PM