Sunday, June 22, 2008
Ronald Gene Taylor on Thursday broke free of the bonds of the wrongful rape conviction that has defined his life for 15 years after receiving news of a pardon confirming his innocence."It's been hard to get restarted," Taylor said in a telephone interview from Atlanta. "Little things, like filling out a job application or renting an apartment are hard when you have to say you are a convicted felon. Now, I am officially a free man. I am so relieved."
For the second time in less than 18 months, a Cayuga County murder conviction has been thrown out after DNA testing cast doubt on the trial verdict. Thursday, County Judge Thomas G. Leone tossed out Sammy Swift's 1995 conviction and ordered a new trial for the Auburn man. Last year, Roy Brown, who had served 15 years of a life sentence for murder, was freed from prison after DNA showed he wasn't at the scene of the crime.
Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, criminal law, religious freedom law, and church-state relations law at UCLA Law School, where he has also often taught copyright law and a seminar on firearms regulation policy. Before coming to UCLA, he clerked for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court and for Judge Alex Kozinski on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.