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THE INNOCENCE PROJECT IN PRINT


BENJAMIN N. CARDOZO SCHOOL OF LAW, YESHIVA UNIVERSITY VOLUME 6 ISSUE 1 SUMMER 2010
IN THIS ISSUE
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
FEATURES
Michelle Adams FALSE CONFESSIONS: A NEW YORK STORY..........................................4
Professor, Benjamin N. Cardozo
School of Law FRIEND OF THE COURT, FRIEND OF THE INNOCENT ............................9
Gordon DuGan
President and Chief Executive THE LUCK OF THE DRAW: EXONEREE COMPENSATION
Officer, W.P. Carey & Co.
IS OFTEN LEFT TO CHANCE...........................................................12
Senator Rodney Ellis
Texas State Senate, District 13

9
Board Chair IN THEIR OWN WORDS:
Jason Flom Q & A WITH MIKE WAGNER AND
President, LAVA Records GEOFF DUTTON, INNOCENCE NETWORK
John Grisham JOURNALISM AWARD RECIPIENTS .............................................16
Author
Calvin C. Johnson, Jr.
Former Innocence Project
client and exoneree;
Supervisor, Metropolitan DEPARTMENTS
Atlanta Rapid Transit
Authority LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR..............................................3
Dr. Eric S. Lander
Director, Broad Institute of EXONERATION NATION ..........................................................................18

21
MIT and Harvard
Hon. Janet Reno INNOCENCE PROJECT NEWS..................................................................20
Former U.S. Attorney General
Rossana Rosado INNOCENCE BY THE NUMBERS:
Publisher and CEO of THE FIRST 250 ...............................................................................22
El Diario La Prensa
Matthew Rothman
Managing Director and Global
Head of Quantitative Equity
Strategies, Barclays Capital
Stephen Schulte
Founding Partner and Of
Counsel,Schulte Roth & Zabel
Board Vice Chair
Bonnie Steingart ON THE COVER: FREDDIE PEACOCK OF ROCHESTER, NEW YORK, ON HIS EXONERATION DAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2010.
Partner, Fried, Frank, Harris,
Shriver & Jacobson
PHOTO CREDITS: COVER, ©Gary Walts; PAGE 3, www.heatherconley.com; PAGE 4, www.democratandchronicle.com; PAGE 6, ©Gary Walts;
Andrew H. Tananbaum PAGE 9, Marc A. Hermann; PAGE 12, Clay Graham; PAGE 14, AP Photo/Alan Diaz; PAGE 15, Dan Gair/Blind Dog Photos, Inc;
President and CEO, Capital
PAGE 16, Reprint courtesy of The Columbus Dispatch; PAGE 18, Reprint courtesy of The Columbus Dispatch; PAGE 19 FROM TOP TO SECOND FROM
Business Credit
BOTTOM, ©Gary Walts, ©Curtis201, Lou Toman/Sun-Sentinel; PAGE 21, ©Curtis201
Jack Taylor
Global Head of High Yield
Debt, PREI
Board Treasurer THE NAMES THAT FOLLOW BELOW ARE THOSE OF THE 254 WRONGFULLY CONVICTED PEOPLE WHOM DNA
HELPED EXONERATE, FOLLOWED BY THE YEARS OF THEIR CONVICTION AND EXONERATION.

Gary Dotson David Vasquez Edward Green Bruce Nelson Charles Dabbs Glen Woodall Joe Jones Steven Linscott Leonard Callace Kerry Kotler Walter Snyder
1979 to 1989 1985 to 1989 1990 to 1990 1982 to 1991 1984 to 1991 1987 to 1992 1986 to 1992 1982 to 1992 1987 to 1992 1982 to 1992 1986 to 1993
FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 3

CONFRONTING WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS FROM


EVERY ANGLE
Since our founding in 1992, freeing convicted and yet innocent prisoners through
DNA testing has been at the heart of the Innocence Project’s work. The 254 people
exonerated through DNA testing serve as irrefutable proof that the criminal justice
system is flawed and must be reformed. This is why we limit our cases to those in which
DNA testing could prove innocence, and it’s why we have had such success with our
reform agenda.

The Innocence Project approaches the problem of wrongful conviction from several
different angles. In this issue of The Innocence Project In Print, we highlight two
important, though less well known, areas of our work – the amicus program and the
social work program.

Filing amicus, or “friend-of-the-court,” briefs allows us to help shape policy by weighing


in on state and federal cases that could have a broad impact on the criminal justice
system – even when we aren’t acting as the attorney of record. For an example, read
“Friend of the Court, Friend of the Innocent” starting on page 9, which describes a New
Jersey case that could improve the way that eyewitness evidence is handled statewide.

Our social work program, developed in 2006, helps exonerees transition to life after
exoneration and continues to provide support for as long as the exonerated person
needs it. Our two social workers establish a release plan for every client freed from
prison, parole, or even if they are no longer on parole. This release plan connects them
to local support services, transitional housing, mental health counseling, and other
services as needed. Meanwhile, the Exoneree Fund provides our clients with financial
assistance for emergency needs like clothing, housing, transportation and health care.

Four exonerees from four different states share their stories and struggles of life after
exoneration in “The Luck of the Draw,” starting on page 12. Compensation for
exonerees varies widely among these four states – and throughout the nation – and the
Innocence Project is simultaneously working to persuade states to help the exonerated
by passing or improving compensation laws.

Whatever the task at hand, whether we’re working on an individual case or developing
a strategy for systemic reform, it all contributes to advancing our mission of protecting
the innocent and making the criminal justice system more fair and more reliable.
Wherever people are at risk of wrongful conviction, prisoners are fighting to prove their
innocence, or exonerees are struggling to adjust to the free world, we reach out to help.

Maddy deLone
Executive Director

Kirk Bloodsworth Dwayne Scruggs Mark D. Bravo Dale Brison Gilbert Alejandro Frederick Daye Edward Honaker Brian Piszczek Ronnie Bullock David Shephard Terry Chalmers
1985 to 1993 1986 to 1993 1990 to 1994 1990 to 1994 1990 to 1994 1984 to 1994 1985 to 1994 1991 to 1994 1984 to 1994 1984 to 1995 1987 to 1995
4

FALSE CONFESSIONS:
A NEW YORK STORY
A pattern of false confessions in New York State reveals the fallibility
of police interrogation procedures and the need for broad, statewide
criminal justice reform.
One of the hallmarks of a reliable confession is that it includes details about the crime
that no one else knows, and these details should be corroborated by the crime scene
evidence. What weapons did the perpetrator use? Where was the body left? What
happened to the weapon? A recent Innocence Project exoneration shows how police
investigations can veer tragically off course when interrogators ignore the warning signs
FRANK STERLING (CENTER) CATCHES UP WITH FELLOW of a false confession.
NEW YORK EXONEREE JEFFREY DESKOVIC (RIGHT) AND
INNOCENCE PROJECT CO-DIRECTOR PETER NEUFELD ON THE DAY
During an interrogation video from 1991, two Monroe County investigators ask Frank
THAT HE WAS RELEASED FROM PRISON AND EXONERATED,
APRIL 28, 2010. Sterling what he did with the BB gun that was used in the assault of 74-year-old Viola

Ronald Cotton Rolando Cruz Alejandro Hernandez William O. Harris Dewey Davis Gerald Davis Walter D. Smith Vincent Moto Steven Toney Richard Johnson Thomas Webb
1985, 1987 to 1995 1985 to 1995 1985 to 1995 1987 to 1995 1987 to 1995 1986 to 1995 1986 to 1996 1987 to 1996 1983 to 1996 1992 to 1996 1983 to 1996
FALSE CONFESSIONS: A NEW YORK STORY 5

Manville. “Threw it,” he says. They press him for details – did he throw it in the woods,
in the water, where? “I don’t know. I don’t remember. I just gave it a throw.” Sterling
also doesn’t remember what he was wearing or if he had any blood on his clothes or
how he would have disposed of those clothes. He doesn’t know where the victim was
shot or how many times.

Sterling’s “confession” occurred after a 36-hour trucking shift followed by a 12-hour


interrogation. It was not the first time that Sterling had been questioned about the
Manville murder. In 1988, shortly after the murder, Sterling voluntarily reported to
the police station for questioning. His older brother was incarcerated for attempting
to sexually assault Manville, but Frank Sterling himself had no criminal record and no
history of violent behavior. He denied any involvement with the crime and offered a
solid alibi.

However, when investigators failed to solve the case over two years later, they again
returned to Sterling as a potential suspect. In doing so, they ignored key evidence that
another man might have committed the crime. Mark Christie, a high school student in ALTHOUGH HE RECANTED
1988, was absent on the morning of the murder. Authorities were alerted that Christie
ALMOST IMMEDIATELY,
owned a BB gun, that he often walked the path where Manville was murdered, and that
he was under investigation for an unrelated assault. STERLING’S CONFESSION WAS
Shortly after Sterling’s conviction, but before his sentencing, friends and acquaintances THE CENTRAL EVIDENCE USED
of Christie’s came forward and said that Christie told them he committed the murder.
But Christie was not apprehended and he remained free to commit another murder. AGAINST HIM; THERE WAS NO
In 1994, in a highly publicized case, Christie killed four-year-old Kali Ann Poulton. The
EYEWITNESS IDENTIFICATION
crime could have been prevented if authorities had paid more attention to Christie as
a suspect in the 1988 murder instead of convicting an innocent man. AND NO PHYSICAL EVIDENCE.

Although he recanted almost immediately, Sterling’s confession was the central


evidence used against him; there was no eyewitness identification and no physical
evidence. Sterling was convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life. The Innocence
Project eventually secured his release along with local attorney, Donald Thompson.
“Touch DNA,” or testing on skin cells, was performed and implicated Christie as the
actual perpetrator while clearing Sterling. After nearly 18 years in prison, Sterling was
exonerated.

IN THE AFTERMATH OF A FALSE CONFESSION


A disturbing pattern has emerged in New York State: 12 wrongful convictions
overturned through DNA testing have involved false confessions. Freddie Peacock of
Rochester, exonerated by the Innocence Project in February, was wrongfully convicted
of raping his neighbor in 1976. Police claimed that he confessed. However, Peacock
couldn’t say where, when or how his neighbor had been raped. According to police,
he could only say that he did it and that he was sorry. Furthermore, he acknowledged
during the interrogation that he had a history of mental illness and had been
hospitalized several times. The interrogation was not recorded, nor did Peacock sign a

Kevin Green Verneal Jimerson Kenneth Adams Willie Rainge Dennis Williams Fredric Saecker Victor Ortiz Troy Webb Timothy Durham Anthony Hicks Keith Brown
1980 to 1996 1985 to 1996 1978 to 1996 1978, 1987 to 1996 1978, 1987 to 1996 1990 to 1996 1984 to 1996 1989 to 1996 1993 to 1997 1991 to 1997 1993 to 1997
6 THE INNOCENCE PROJECT IN PRINT

confession statement. He was exonerated earlier this year after over five years in prison
and two decades on parole.

Douglas Warney, an Innocence Project client exonerated through DNA testing in


2006, was also convicted of a crime based on a false confession. Warney, a man with a
history of mental health issues and advanced AIDS, confessed to the murder of William
Beason after a 12-hour interrogation. The interrogation was not recorded; instead, the
investigator typed a statement that Warney signed. Warney was wrongfully convicted
in 1997 and served nine years in prison. Meanwhile, the real perpetrator, who was
identified post-conviction through a DNA database hit, attempted to murder two other
people while Warney was imprisoned.

Wrongful convictions often lead to more crimes because the real perpetrator remains
free while the wrong person is behind bars. Matias Reyes, the real perpetrator from the
“Central Park Jogger” case, went on to commit one murder and four rapes before he
FREDDIE PEACOCK POSES WITH FAMILY MEMBERS AFTER HE was apprehended and convicted. In that case, five teenagers falsely confessed after
WAS OFFICIALLY EXONERATED THROUGH DNA TESTING IN
prolonged periods of police interrogation. They have since been exonerated through
FEBRUARY 2010. PEACOCK WAS RELEASED IN 1982 BUT
CONTINUED FIGHTING FOR 28 YEARS TO CLEAR HIS NAME. DNA testing, and Reyes is serving a life sentence for the Central Park Jogger crime.

Marvin Mitchell Chester Bauer Donald Reynolds Billy Wardell Ben Salazar Kevin Byrd Robert Miller Perry Mitchell Ronnie Mahan Dale Mahan David A. Gray
1990 to 1997 1983 to 1997 1988 to 1997 1988 to 1997 1992 to 1997 1985 to 1997 1988 to 1998 1984 to 1998 1986 to 1998 1986 to 1998 1978 to 1999
FALSE CONFESSIONS: A NEW YORK STORY 7

KEEPING FALSE CONFESSIONS FROM BECOMING


WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS
In order to prevent wrongful convictions and get real perpetrators off the streets, the
Innocence Project advocates that all interrogations be recorded from beginning to end.
In Sterling’s case, only the 20-minute confession was recorded, not the interrogation
that led up to it. Fragmented recordings don’t help prevent false confessions. Even if
the interrogation lasts many hours, the judge and jury need to see what transpired from
start to finish.

Law enforcement officials nationwide have embraced the practice of recording


interrogations, with over 500 jurisdictions now adopting this reform voluntarily.
Detective Jim Trainum, a retired investigator from the Washington, DC, police
department became an advocate for recording interrogations after discovering that
he had unintentionally elicited a false confession. The suspect, it turned out, had an
iron-clad alibi. Because he had video-recorded the entire interrogation, he had the
opportunity to learn from his mistake. To his astonishment, he found that he had
inadvertently revealed confidential details of the crime to the suspect throughout the
interrogation, which she simply parroted back in her confession.

In a Los Angeles Times op-ed, Trainum writes: “The only police officers I’ve met who
don’t embrace recording interrogations are those who have never done it. Too many
KOREY WISE.
police officers still wrongly believe that recording interrogations will be logistically
difficult and expensive, and that guilty suspects won’t confess if they know they are
being recorded.”

The benefits of recording interrogations far outweigh the logistical difficulties.


The practice protects police from false allegations of coercion, while also helping to
establish a strong case against a suspect with a reliable confession. Eighteen states and

NEW YORK FALSE CONFESSION CASES:


Twenty-six New Yorkers have been exonerated through DNA testing, and 12 of those wrongful convictions involved false confessions. Besides
Frank Sterling and Freddie Peacock, both exonerated in 2010, they are:

2002 2005 2006 2006


Five defendants from the “Central Three defendants convicted of a Douglas Warney is proven Jeffrey Deskovic is proven
Park Jogger” case are proven Long Island rape and murder are innocent of the 1996 murder of innocent of the rape and murder
innocent: Antron McCray, Kevin proven innocent. Dennis Halstead, a Rochester-area man. of his Westchester County high
Richardson, Yusef Salaam, John Restivo and John Kogut school classmate after over 15
Raymond Santana and Korey served a combined 49 years in years in prison.
Wise. They served a combined prison.
33.5 years in prison for the brutal
rape of a female jogger.

Habib W. Abdal Anthony Gray John Willis Ron Williamson Dennis Fritz Calvin Johnson James Richardson Ronald Jones Clyde Charles McKinley Cromedy Larry Holdren
1983 to 1999 1991 to 1999 1993 to 1999 1988 to 1999 1988 to 1999 1983 to 1999 1989 to 1999 1989 to 1999 1982 to 1999 1994 to 1999 1984 to 2000
8 THE INNOCENCE PROJECT IN PRINT

the District of Columbia now require at least some interrogations to be recorded, but
New York is not one of them.

SLOW TO REFORM
Recording interrogations is one of a number of criminal justice reforms that has
stalled out in the New York State Legislature for years. Besides Illinois and Texas,
New York leads the nation in the number of wrongful convictions overturned through
DNA testing. In addition to false confessions, the factors that led to these wrongful
convictions include eyewitness misidentification, forensic science problems, bad defense
lawyering, government misconduct and more.

Each year, the Innocence Project gains more traction with criminal justice professionals
and policymakers in New York, but progress has been achingly slow. In 2008, the New
York State Bar Association created a Task Force on Wrongful Convictions with members
from law enforcement, academia, government advocacy groups and more. The Task
Force held a series of public hearings to study the state’s wrongful convictions cases
and analyze their causes. Several local exonerees, including Doug Warney, spoke at the
hearings, along with Innocence Project Co-Directors Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck.
The group then issued its findings and recommendations for improvement, such as a
recommendation that felony-level interrogations be electronically recorded in their
DOUGLAS WARNEY.
entirety, that eyewitness identification procedures be improved to enhance their
reliability, and that forensic science training be provided to prosecutors, defense
attorneys and judges.

Although none of these recommendations have passed as legislation yet, the work of
“THE ONLY POLICE OFFICERS the Task Force on Wrongful Convictions has not gone unnoticed. In 2009, the chief
judge of New York’s highest court created a new permanent task force to examine
I’VE MET WHO DON’T EMBRACE
causes of wrongful convictions – including false confessions – and recommend reforms
RECORDING INTERROGATIONS to prevent them. Then, shortly after Peacock’s exoneration in early 2010, newly elected
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., announced the creation of a Conviction
ARE THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER Integrity Program. The program will seek to prevent wrongful convictions and address
claims of innocence. Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck will join the
DONE IT.”
Conviction Integrity Policy Advisory Panel, which will advise the District Attorney’s
Retired Detective Jim Trainum, Office on national best practices and the issues relating to wrongful convictions.
Washington, DC.
Each of these measures are a step in the right direction, but in order for New York
State to really ensure the integrity of its criminal justice system, systemic reforms
must become law. In the years ahead, the Innocence Project will continue to work
with the Governor, the Attorney General, and the Legislature to adopt meaningful,
lasting improvements to the system. It is our promise to the 26 DNA exonerees in
the state, to their families and to those men and women still wrongfully imprisoned
in New York. ▲

Larry Youngblood Willie Nesmith James O’Donnell Frank L. Smith Herman Atkins Neil Miller A.B. Butler Armand Villasana William Gregory Eric Sarsfield Jerry Watkins
1985 to 2000 1982 to 2000 1998 to 2000 1986 to 2000 1988 to 2000 1990 to 2000 1983 to 2000 1999 to 2000 1993 to 2000 1987 to 2000 1986 to 2000
9

FRIEND OF THE COURT


FRIEND OF THE INNOCENT
By filing amicus briefs on important legal issues, the Innocence Project
sparks criminal justice reform and protects the innocent.
The Innocence Project’s amicus, or “friend of the court,” brief in People v. Henderson
has helped turn the case into a comprehensive review on eyewitness evidence and
police lineup procedures across New Jersey. This single appellate case could change
the way that cases involving eyewitness identification are litigated in New Jersey and
could ultimately compel reform in other states as well. Exonerating innocent people
FERNANDO BERMUDEZ WEEPS AFTER A NEW YORK STATE
through post-conviction DNA testing remains at the heart of the Innocence Project’s SUPREME COURT JUSTICE DECLARES HIM TO BE INNOCENT.
work, and the Henderson case shows how our amicus program presents other critical BERMUDEZ’S CONVICTION WAS OVERTURNED IN NOVEMBER
2009 WITH THE HELP OF THE INNOCENCE PROJECT’S AMICUS
opportunities to improve the criminal justice system. BRIEF ABOUT THE CASE.

Roy Criner Anthony Robinson Carlos Lavernia Earl Washington Lesly Jean David S. Pope Kenneth Waters Danny Brown Jeffrey Pierce Jerry F. Townsend Calvin Washington
1990 to 2000 1987 to 2000 1985 to 2000 1984 to 2000 1982 to 2001 1986 to 2001 1983 to 2001 1982 to 2001 1986 to 2001 1980 to 2001 1987 to 2001
10 THE INNOCENCE PROJECT IN PRINT

Larry Henderson, convicted of manslaughter and weapons possession, argues that


police officers tainted the photo lineup procedure that led to his conviction. The
identification procedure was interrupted by two investigating officers who said that
they thought the witness was hesitating to identify anyone because he was scared.
The two officers entered the room and spoke to the witness, after which he identified
Henderson.

The procedure violated New Jersey guidelines on collecting eyewitness evidence, which
were largely based on federal recommendations and adopted in 2001. According to the
New Jersey guidelines, all eyewitness identification procedures should be administered
by an officer who doesn’t know the identity of the suspect. The practice prevents law
enforcement from intentionally or unintentionally cueing the witness about whom to
pick, and it is one of a series of guidelines that have been proven to reduce the rate of
misidentifications.

In its brief, the Innocence Project describes each of these guidelines and offers
recommendations for how the court should handle eyewitness testimony if any one of
the guidelines has not been followed. The New Jersey Supreme Court responded by
deciding to examine the issue more thoroughly and invited the Innocence Project,
along with the parties involved in the case, to present a range of testimony and research
LARRY HENDERSON.
on eyewitness evidence. Over the course of several days in September, the nation’s top
experts on eyewitness evidence were called to testify about the science of memory and
why eyewitnesses sometimes get it wrong. The judge’s ruling, expected this summer,
could help motivate law enforcement to consistently practice eyewitness identification
THE INNOCENCE PROJECT’S procedures that follow the state guidelines – and, by extension, it could prevent future
wrongful convictions involving eyewitness misidentification.
AMICUS WORK HAS HELPED
People v. Henderson is only one of more than a dozen amicus briefs filed by the
INFLUENCE JUDICIAL DECISIONS Innocence Project and Innocence Network in state and federal courts each year.
ABOUT FORENSIC SCIENCE The Innocence Network is a consortium of groups doing innocence-related work, and
the Innocence Project is a founding member. Each case has the potential to set legal
EVIDENCE, POLICE AND precedent and change laws. Weighing in as “amici” allows the Innocence Project to
offer its expertise on post-conviction DNA testing and the causes and remedies of
PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT,
wrongful conviction over a broad range of legal issues. Over the years, amicus work
ACCESS TO DNA TESTING, FALSE has helped influence judicial decisions about forensic science evidence, police and
prosecutorial misconduct, access to DNA testing, false confessions and more.
CONFESSIONS AND MORE.
The amicus program would not be possible without pro bono legal assistance from
some of the nation’s top law firms, whose input and collaboration are essential to these
cases. For example, Gibbons, a leading law firm in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia
and Delaware, helped the Innocence Project draft its amicus brief to the New Jersey
Supreme Court in the Henderson case. What follows are just a few examples of other
recent cases in which the Innocence Project and the Innocence Network have
submitted amicus briefs. ▲

Eduardo Velasquez Charles I. Fain Anthony M. Green John Dixon Calvin Ollins Larry Ollins Marcellius Bradford Omar Saunders Larry Mayes Richard Alexander Mark Webb
1988 to 2001 1983 to 2001 1988 to 2001 1991 to 2001 1988 to 2001 1988 to 2001 1988 to 2001 1988 to 2001 1982 to 2001 1998 to 2001 1987 to 2001
FRIEND OF THE COURT, FRIEND OF THE INNOCENT 11

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE INNOCENCE PROJECT’S


AMICUS PROGRAM IN 2010:
Kevin Keith v. State of Ohio
Issues: Prosecutorial and Police Misconduct
Filed with: U.S. Supreme Court
Pro Bono Legal Partner: Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
The Innocence Network argues that Kevin Keith, scheduled for execution in
September, has been denied a fair trial because evidence of his innocence was
suppressed. It was not until Keith had already been convicted that new evidence
implicating an alternate suspect was uncovered. Because of the prosecution’s
failure to turn over the evidence of Keith’s innocence, he should be granted a
new trial. Keith was convicted of murder in the 1994 shooting deaths of three
Ohio people in which three others were wounded.

Larry Ray Swearingen v. Rick Thaler


Issues: Access to Courts
Filed with: Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
Pro Bono Legal Partner: Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher &
Flom LLP
Larry Swearingen was convicted of capital murder in Texas in 1998. However,
new scientific evidence suggests that Swearingen was in jail when the victim
died and therefore could not have committed the murder. The Innocence
Network brief argues that Swearingen should receive a stay of execution and
a new trial. In January, the Fifth Circuit ruled that Swearingen’s execution be
delayed in order for the court to consider his appeals.

Kimberly Hurrell-Harring et al. v. State of New York


Issues: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
Filed with: New York Court of Appeals
This Innocence Project brief on behalf of indigent defendants across New York
State argues that the county-based system of public defenders in New York is
disparate, inequitable and ineffective and does not meet basic constitutional
standards for providing effective legal representation for the poor. The brief
uses DNA exoneration cases to highlight bad lawyering as one of the major
causes of wrongful conviction. The Court of Appeals ruled in May to reinstate
a lawsuit challenging the state’s system for representing poor defendants in
criminal cases.

Leonard McSherry Ulysses R. Charles Bruce Godschalk Ray Krone Hector Gonzalez Alejandro Dominguez Clark McMillan Larry Johnson Christopher Ochoa Victor L. Thomas Marvin Anderson
1988 to 2001 1984 to 2001 1987 to 2002 1992 to 2002 1996 to 2002 1990 to 2002 1980 to 2002 1984 to 2002 1989 to 2002 1986 to 2002 1982 to 2002
12

THE LUCK OF
THE DRAW
EXONEREE COMPENSATION IS OFTEN LEFT TO CHANCE
An exonerated person’s ordeal doesn’t end with exoneration.
Unfortunately, the state assistance they receive often depends more
on geography and politics than on their own unique needs.
Twenty-seven states have laws to compensate the wrongfully convicted, but vast
inequities exist among those laws. The Innocence Project and its partners around the
country – including exonerated men and women – work together to create or improve
compensation laws so that exonerees can get the financial assistance and support
TEXAS EXONEREES, AND FORMER INNOCENCE PROJECT
CLIENTS, HELPED PASS A GENEROUS COMPENSATION PACKAGE services they need to transition from prison life to freedom. In the meantime, the
FOR THE STATE’S WRONGFULLY CONVICTED. FROM LEFT, Innocence Project social work program steps in to help address exonerees’ many needs.
JAMES GILES, LARRY FULLER, THOMAS MCGOWAN, JAMES
WALLER, BRANDON MOON AND RONALD TAYLOR. During their years of wrongful imprisonment, they have lost financial and career

Eddie J. Lloyd Jimmy R. Bromgard Albert Johnson Samuel Scott Douglas Echols Bernard Webster David B. Sutherlin Arvin McGee Antron McCray Kevin Richardson Yusef Salaam
1985 to 2002 1987 to 2002 1992 to 2002 1987 to 2002 1987 to 2002 1983 to 2002 1985 to 2002 1989 to 2002 1990 to 2002 1990 to 2002 1990 to 2002
THE LUCK OF THE DRAW 13

opportunities, quality medical care, a sense of identity, a place in society and more.
Here are some of their stories:

GEORGIA: Samuel Scott, Still Waiting to Be Compensated


On his exoneration day in 2002, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted Scott as
saying, “I feel vindicated.” In 2005, the Legislature awarded him over $1 million
through a special bill, but the money never materialized. Today, Scott’s feelings have
changed. “I did a whole 360. What happened to me should never have happened. I’m
being punished twice.”

The influential District Attorney Spencer Lawton, who prosecuted the case and is
still not convinced of Scott’s innocence, fought the legislation. Since Georgia has
no compensation law, the Legislature sometimes awards funds on a case-by-case
basis. But the amounts appear to be arbitrary; some Georgia exonerees receive
twice as much as others. Georgians are left to question if compensation is based on
the number of years served, the amount of the state’s budget that year, or worse –
the popularity of the exoneree and the lawmaker sponsoring the bill.

Scott has struggled to keep even low-paying jobs because of the wrongful conviction
and the 16-year hole in his employment history. His last job, as a dishwasher at a pub,
ended when his employer found out that he had been incarcerated. “They never
expunged my record. And when I applied for a job, that wrongful conviction would
pop up and nobody would hire me. So I had to start doing for myself,” he says.

Two years ago, he started a landscaping business called Extra Mile Landscaping, but the
business floundered and Scott had to sell off his landscaping equipment. He is now 54
years old. He has no retirement income and no health insurance. He says, “Legislators
know what they should do.” SAMUEL SCOTT.

FLORIDA: William Dillon, Denied State Compensation


Two years ago, just before Bill Dillon was released and exonerated through DNA
testing, the Florida Legislature passed a law to provide compensation for the wrongfully
convicted – $50,000 per year of wrongful imprisonment with a maximum of $2 million.

The timing was perfect for Dillon, who would have been eligible for about $1.3 million
– except for one thing. The Florida statute includes a “clean-hands provision,” making
exonerees with any prior felony convictions ineligible. After 26 years in prison for a
murder he didn’t commit, Dillon was prevented from receiving any restitution because
of a teen drug conviction. “They’re saying that the joint and the Quaalude that I had in
my pocket at 19 makes me ineligible,” he says.

Dillon could have benefitted from the state’s assistance – financially, medically and
emotionally. “I have high blood pressure and a thyroid condition. A lot of these medical
tests that I haven’t had in years are very expensive. I’ve been diagnosed with post-
traumatic stress disorder, so I should’ve been allowed Supplemental Security Income,

Raymond Santana Korey Wise Paula Gray Richard Danziger Julius Ruffin Gene Bibbins Eddie J. Lowery Dennis Maher Michael Mercer Paul D. Kordonowy Dana Holland
1990 to 2002 1990 to 2002 1978 to 2002 1990 to 2002 1982 to 2003 1987 to 2003 1982 to 2003 1984 to 2003 1992 to 2003 1990 to 2003 1995 to 2003
14 THE INNOCENCE PROJECT IN PRINT

but they’re not seeing it. Exonerees should be compensated the day that they’re
released in order to get their lives back on track.”

None of Florida’s 12 DNA exonerees have received compensation through the new law,
and no other state has a clean-hands provision. Florida exoneree Alan Crotzer had
previous felonies for stealing beer as a minor and incurring a drug conviction while he
was in prison. He, too, was denied compensation despite having spent 24 years in
prison for a rape and kidnapping that DNA testing proved he didn’t commit. The
Florida Legislature ended up passing a special bill just to compensate Crotzer and may
ultimately make the same concession for Dillon. Meanwhile, Dillon is faced with the
awkward task of defending himself against the state again.

WISCONSIN: Fredric Saecker, Making Do with $25,000


“I just felt so lost that everything felt like too much,” Fred Saecker says of the early days
after his release. “I had a lot to deal with. I didn’t want to go across the street. I didn’t
want to go into stores. You don’t know where that fear comes from. It’s just there.”

Saecker was wrongfully convicted of a 1989 rape and exonerated through DNA testing
in 1996. “The good thing was getting exonerated, but the compensation was a joke.”
According to the Wisconsin compensation law, Saecker was eligible for a maximum of
$25,000. It barely scratched the surface of the income he’d lost over seven years.

WILLIAM DILLON TALKS TO REPORTERS ABOUT STATE


COMPENSATION AT HIS MOTHER’S HOME IN SATELLITE
BEACH, FLORIDA.

Kenneth Wyniemko Michael Evans Paul Terry Lonnie Erby Steven Avery Calvin Willis Nicholas Yarris Calvin L. Scott Wiley Fountain Leo Waters Stephan Cowans
1994 to 2003 1977 to 2003 1977 to 2003 1986 to 2003 1985 to 2003 1982 to 2003 1982 to 2003 1983 to 2003 1986 to 2003 1982 to 2003 1998 to 2004
THE LUCK OF THE DRAW 15

The 59-year-old Saecker, who works in a factory driving trucks and forklifts, would be
contemplating retirement if it wasn’t for those lost years. “I was making about $20,000
when I went in. If I even had $20,000 multiplied by seven, that would be minimal. I already
paid once for something I didn’t do. Why should I have to pay again when I’m 65?”

With its miserly financial assistance and no social services, Wisconsin’s compensation
law is one of the worst in the nation. Saecker, who would have liked to learn a trade
or get a degree, could not afford the education. Montana offers educational aid to
people exonerated through DNA testing, but no financial compensation. New
Hampshire offers a maximum of $20,000. These three states are among the 27 that
have compensation laws, although the practical impact of those laws is negligible.

TEXAS: Larry Fuller, Compensation Helps Fulfill His Goal


Texas leads the nation in wrongful convictions later overturned though DNA testing,
but the state has also made a strong commitment to assisting exonerees after their
release. Larry Fuller is one of 40 people proven innocent through DNA testing in the
state. Fuller is a decorated Vietnam war veteran and former student of the Art Institute
of Dallas. He served nearly 20 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit.

Both the judge and the prosecutor offered their apologies to Fuller at his exoneration
in 2007, and he received an official pardon from the Governor. That same year, Fuller
was awarded $1 million from the state, and he knew just what to do with it. “I’m giving
tribute to the house where I grew up,” he says.

Fuller’s childhood home had fallen into disrepair during the years that he was gone.
His elderly father couldn’t keep it up, and his mother had passed away while he was in
prison. “Roofing, plumbing, remodeling the kitchen, fixing the garage…We’ve shaped
it up from top to bottom.” Fuller has also resumed his interest in drawing and painting
FREDRIC SAECKER.
and has recently purchased an easel, a sketchbook and other art supplies.

Fuller, as well as many other Texas exonerees, helped lobby for criminal justice
reforms to improve compensation and social services for the recently exonerated.
Partly as a result of these efforts, the Texas Legislature passed the most comprehensive
compensation package in the nation in 2009. The state now offers $80,000 per year of
wrongful imprisonment plus $25,000 per year spent on parole or as a registered sex
offender. Social services provided by Texas are the most comprehensive in the nation,
including job training, tuition credits and access to medical and dental treatment.

No state compensation package, no matter how good, could repair the harm or
make every exonerated person feel whole again. But the state can certainly avoid
compounding the injustice by repaying exonerees the money and resources they lost
during their years of wrongful imprisonment. The state has an obligation to provide
critical assistance. While the Innocence Project presses states to meet that obligation,
the organization is dedicated to providing social work support one month, one year,
even ten years after release. Working together, we can help exonerees and their families
build a future. ▲

Anthony Powell Josiah Sutton Lafonso Rollins Ryan Matthews Wilton Dedge Arthur L. Whitfield Barry Laughman Clarence Harrison David A. Jones Bruce D. Goodman Donald W. Good
1992 to 2004 1999 to 2004 1994 to 2004 1999 to 2004 1982, 1984 to 2004 1982 to 2004 1988 to 2004 1987 to 2004 1995 to 2004 1986 to 2004 1984 to 2004
16

IN THEIR
OWN WORDS
As reporters at The Columbus Dispatch, Mike Wagner and Geoff Dutton didn’t just
cover DNA exonerations, they also helped exonerate people. Through a joint project
with the Ohio Innocence Project, Wagner and Dutton’s work led to the exonerations of
three men who had spent a combined 70 years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit.
For their work on “Test of Convictions,” a series of articles about DNA access for
prisoners with claims of innocence, they received the Innocence Network Journalism
Award in April. (The Innocence Project is a founding member of the Innocence
Network, a consortium of groups dedicated to exonerating the innocent and improving
the criminal justice system.) The Innocence Project In Print recently spoke with
Wagner and Dutton to discuss their work and its impact on the Ohio criminal justice
system. (To read “Test of Convictions,” see www.dispatch.com/dna)

The Innocence Project In Print: You identified over 300 cases in which Ohio
prisoners had requested post-conviction DNA evidence, and very few of those requests
had been granted. Focusing on 30 of those cases, you helped the prisoners continue
their pursuit of DNA testing. How did you get involved in covering this issue?

Mike Wagner: Every paper in the state was writing run-of-the-mill stories saying that
the post-conviction DNA access law was flawed, but the stories never said why.

Geoff Dutton: Once we gathered all the legal materials for the 312 cases together
it was pretty striking what we found. In many cases, the judge never did issue a ruling,
MIKE WAGNER (LEFT) AND GEOFF DUTTON IN THEIR OFFICES
AT THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH.
or the prosecutor never responded. The DNA request fell into a black hole and never
reappeared again. We knew anecdotally that 12 to 14 people had been granted DNA
testing. What we didn’t realize is that half of those people never got the testing anyway.
After we got the full picture, we devised a strategy for the stories and approaches for
how to explain it.

IP: You were interviewing prisoners who had been fighting for years to prove their
innocence and talking to the families of the wrongfully convicted as well as some of
the crime victims and their families. Were there difficult moments?

MW: I personally told several inmates that their evidence had been thrown away; you
can imagine the reaction. There was an inmate named Ceasar Vines, who was a real
candidate for DNA testing. So we dug through his file and we found paperwork saying

Darryl Hunt Brandon Moon Donte Booker Dennis Brown Peter Rose Michael A. Williams Harold Buntin Anthony Woods Thomas Doswell Luis Diaz George Rodriguez
1985 to 2004 1988 to 2005 1987 to 2005 1985 to 2005 1996 to 2005 1981 to 2005 1986 to 2005 1984 to 2005 1986 to 2005 1980 to 2005 1987 to 2005
IN THEIR OWN WORDS 17

that his evidence had been destroyed. When I told Ceasar, he slammed his hands down
on the table and said, “This is my last chance! This is my life!” That day, in that prison,
his despair set in.

GD: I was surprised that, with the victims we spoke to at least, they were open and
supportive to the idea of DNA testing. Usually they didn’t doubt the conviction, they
just felt that the testing would show what they knew already.

IP: In April, Ohio passed a massive criminal justice reform bill that will bring
important improvements to several aspects of the state’s criminal justice system.
What are some positive outcomes that you anticipate with the new reforms?

MW: Our legislators and the Governor were incredibly open-minded and supportive
of the bill, and they recognized its importance. The new DNA access statute and
the evidence preservation statute will help make DNA testing more available. Police
lineup procedures have been improved. As we all know, the leading cause of wrongful
convictions is eyewitness misidentification. So law enforcement deserves a lot of credit
for accepting the bill. It was a big leap forward.

IP: Are there other reforms that you would like to see in Ohio or nationally?
MW: Exoneree compensation. Robert McClendon waited nearly two years after his
exoneration to get compensation from the state. Ray Towler, exonerated in May, is
currently sleeping on an air mattress in the computer room at his brother’s house.
And it’s a small house as it is. It could take years for Ray to get his money, and what
does he do in the meantime?

IP: Has your work covering wrongful convictions ended, or how do you plan to
continue?

MW: We started working on this project in January 2007 and it could go to 2012, so
that’s five years worth of work invested. When you’re a projects reporter eventually
you’re forced to cut ties to that project and move on to the next thing. This can’t be
like that. I don’t want to move on. I know there are other inmates we’ve talked to who
potentially are innocent. But it’s not just about getting innocent people out, it’s also
about making sure that the system is fair.

IP: You both recently attended the Innocence Network Conference in Atlanta to
receive the first-ever Innocence Network Journalism Award. What was that experience
like?

GD: It was a great feeling, but also a funny feeling to receive the award. Although
we’re proud of our work, here we were in a room full of people who had devoted their
entire careers and many years of their lives. So it was little funny to be recognized for
the little bit that we did.

MW: It was an honor to play a small role in helping to give someone their life back,
and maybe just as importantly to help prevent more people from having their lives
taken. ▲

Robert Clark Phillip L. Thurman Willie Davidson Clarence Elkins John Kogut Entre N. Karage Keith E. Turner Dennis Halstead John Restivo Alan Crotzer Arthur Mumphrey
1982 to 2005 1985 to 2005 1981 to 2005 1999 to 2005 1986 to 2005 1997 to 2005 1983 to 2005 1987 to 2005 1987 to 2005 1981 to 2006 1986 to 2006
18

EXONERATION
NATION
Since January 2010, five more innocent people have been exonerated
through DNA testing. The Innocence Project congratulates these
inspiring individuals, as well as our colleagues who fought to help
prove their innocence.
FREDDIE PEACOCK was wrongfully convicted of raping his Rochester, New York,
neighbor in 1976. Two hours after the attack, he was arrested and interrogated. During
the interrogation, Peacock explained that he had a history of mental illness and had
been hospitalized several times. Police claimed that he confessed, although he could
ABOVE: RAYMOND TOWLER HOLDING UP THE CLEVELAND
CAVALIERS JERSEY HIS OHIO INNOCENCE PROJECT ATTORNEYS not tell officers where, when or how his neighbor had been raped. He spent over five
GAVE HIM TO CELEBRATE HIS EXONERATION, MAY 5, 2010.
years in prison before being paroled. He requested to remain on parole for fear that he
OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP TO BOTTOM: FREDDIE PEACOCK,
TED BRADFORD, ANTHONY CARAVELLA AND FRANK STERLING. would never be able to clear his name if he was released from state supervision. For 28

Drew Whitley Douglas Warney Orlando Boquete Willie Jackson Larry Peterson Alan Newton James Tillman Johnny Briscoe Scott Fappiano Allen Coco James Ochoa
1989 to 2006 1997 to 2006 1983 to 2006 1989 to 2006 1989 to 2006 1985 to 2006 1989 to 2006 1983 to 2006 1985 to 2006 1997 to 2006 2005 to 2006
EXONERATION NATION 19

years, he fought to prove his innocence even though he was no longer incarcerated. On
February 4, 2010, with the help of the Innocence Project, Peacock became the 250th
person exonerated through DNA testing.

TED BRADFORD was wrongfully convicted of the rape of a Yakima, Washington,


woman in 1995. The assailant broke into the woman’s home, handcuffed her in the
basement and put a Lone Ranger-style mask over her face. The perpetrator covered
the eyeholes of the mask with adhesive tape to prevent the victim from being able to
identify him. The Innocence Project Northwest helped Bradford prove his innocence
through post-conviction DNA testing of the adhesive tape, but prosecutors insisted on
retrying him. With overwhelming evidence pointing to another perpetrator, Bradford
was acquitted by a jury on February 11, 2010.

Fifteen-year-old ANTHONY CARAVELLA confessed to the rape and murder of a


Miramar, Florida, woman after a lengthy and coercive interrogation. He was sentenced
to life in prison. Caravella’s brothers and sisters followed their mother’s dying wish
and fought to prove Caravella’s innocence. An initial DNA test was inconclusive, but a
second test excluded Caravella. On March 25, 2010, Caravella was exonerated after 26
years in prison at the age of 41. Caravella was reunited with his siblings who had always
believed in his innocence.

FRANK STERLING had just finished a 36-hour trucking shift when police approached
him for questioning about the murder of an elderly woman in Rochester, New York.
Police suspected Sterling because his brother was incarcerated for attempting to
sexually assault the victim. After a 12-hour interrogation that included hypnosis,
Sterling confessed. He recanted almost immediately but was convicted in 1992. Post-
conviction DNA testing linked Mark Christie to the crime. Christie, one of the original
suspects, is currently incarcerated for murdering a 4-year-old in 1994. Sterling was
exonerated, with the help of the Innocence Project, on April 28, 2010, after nearly 18
years in prison.

In 1981, an armed gunman raped an 11-year-old girl in a Cleveland park and forced
her cousin to watch. A few weeks later, RAYMOND TOWLER was stopped for a traffic
violation by a park ranger who believed that Towler resembled a drawing of the rape
suspect and subsequently arrested him. Police said the victim and witnesses identified
Towler from a photo array. He was found guilty and convicted of rape, assault and
kidnapping. Towler, 24 years old at the time, was sentenced to life in prison. Towler
petitioned for post-conviction DNA testing in 2004, and years later it was finally granted
with the help of the Ohio Innocence Project. Towler was proven innocent and
exonerated on May 5, 2010, after 29 years in prison. ▲

YEARS OF WRONGFUL INCARCERATION ENDURED BY


ALL 254 EXONEREES 3,240
Jeffrey Deskovic Marlon Pendleton Billy J. Smith Billy W. Miller Eugene Henton Gregory Wallis Larry Fuller Travis Hayes Willie O. Williams Roy Brown Cody Davis
1990 to 2006 1996 to 2006 1987 to 2006 1984 to 2006 1984 to 2006 1989 to 2007 1981 to 2007 1998 to 2007 1985 to 2007 1992 to 2007 2006 to 2007
20

IP NEWS
EYEWITNESS IDENTIFICATION PROCEDURES ARE SUBJECT OF BROWN UNIVERSITY SUMMIT
Brown University’s Taubman Center for Public Policy recently sponsored an Eyewitness
Identification Summit to examine the current state of eyewitness identification
procedures from a variety of perspectives. Innocence Project Policy Director Stephen
Saloom addressed the common factors that lead to misidentifications and the policies
that can be implemented to improve the accuracy of the identification process.
Massachusetts exoneree Dennis Maher spoke about his experience of being
misidentified by three different witnesses, wrongfully convicted of rape, and finally
exonerated through DNA testing after serving 19 years in prison. The event was
conceived and organized by Innocence Project supporter Reade Seligmann, who was
himself a victim of faulty lineup procedures and wrongfully accused in the “Duke
Lacrosse” case of 2006. Other panelists at the summit included Jennifer Dysart, Professor
of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice; George Kelley, Pawtucket Chief
of Police; and Gerald Coyne, Deputy Attorney General of Rhode Island.

MOMENTUM BUILDS NATIONWIDE TO IMPROVE FORENSIC ANALYSIS IN FIRE INVESTIGATION CASES


Innocence Project Policy Director Stephen Saloom joined leaders in arson science for
a gathering at a Georgetown University Law Forum in Washington, DC, in March to
discuss standards for determining when a fire has been intentionally set. For decades,
unreliable techniques were used widely, contributing to an unknown number of
wrongful convictions. The issue has become prominent, in part, because of growing
concerns about the case of Cameron Todd Willingham in Texas. Willingham was
executed in 2004 for allegedly setting a fire that killed his three children.
PRESIDENT AND CEO OF MÖET HENNESSY USA, The Innocence Project requested a formal investigation of the Willingham case through
MARC CORNELL, RECEIVES THE “FREEDOM AND JUSTICE
AWARD” FROM EXONEREE ALAN NEWTON (LEFT), ON BEHALF the Texas Forensic Science Commission in 2006. The Commission’s expert report was
OF THE INNOCENCE PROJECT.
set to be the subject of the commission’s meeting in October until Governor Rick Perry
abruptly replaced several members of the commission, including the chair. At the
commission’s April 2010 meeting, the case was finally discussed; however it has been
reassigned to a four-member subcommittee, created so that discussions of the case could
be kept private behind closed doors. The Innocence Project is working to bring more
transparency to the process. In the meantime, other states are taking action to improve the
standards of arson science. Oklahoma, Arizona and Nebraska have introduced resolutions
that make it clear that fire investigators should rely on scientifically sound practices.

INNOCENCE PROJECT SUPPORTERS AND HONOREES CELEBRATE AT FOURTH ANNUAL BENEFIT


The Innocence Project 2010 Benefit, “A Celebration of Freedom & Justice,” recognized
several honorees whose outstanding contributions have made a special impact on the

James Waller Andrew Gossett Antonio Beaver Anthony Capozzi Jerry Miller Curtis McCarty James C. Giles Byron Halsey Dwayne A. Dail Larry Bostic Marcus Lyons
1983 to 2007 2000 to 2007 1997 to 2007 1987 to 2007 1982 to 2007 1986, 1989 to 2007 1983 to 2007 1988 to 2007 1989 to 2007 1989 to 2007 1988 to 2007
IP NEWS 21

Innocence Project’s work. On May 18 at Cipriani Wall Street, the Innocence Project
honored Mark Cornell, President and CEO of Moët Hennessy USA; the leading law
firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; and David Grann and The New Yorker.
Cornell helped make possible the education of exoneree Alan Newton. Newton
completed his degree in business administration from Medgar Evers College in June
2008 just two years after his exoneration. David Grann wrote, and The New Yorker
published, a groundbreaking piece of investigative journalism about a wrongful
execution in Texas. The Innocence Project also bestowed a “Freedom and Justice
Award” to Skadden for its extraordinary pro bono legal assistance. (See “Friend
of the Court, Friend of the Innocent,” page 9, for more about Skadden's work with the
Innocence Project.) The benefit raised over $1 million for Innocence Project programs
and operations.

INNOCENCE NETWORK CONFERENCE OF 2010 HOSTS THE LARGEST GATHERING OF EXONERATED MEN
AND WOMEN EVER
At least 86 people who each served years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit
gathered in Atlanta this April for the tenth annual Innocence Network Conference.
The Innocence Network, a consortium of organizations providing pro bono legal
and investigative services to prisoners with claims of innocence, has grown to over
60 organizations from all over the country and around the world. Hundreds of
practitioners, academics, students and advocates attended the conference to reconnect
and strategize about legal casework and criminal justice reform efforts. Hosted by the
Innocence Project of Georgia, the gathering also sought to provide support services
and networking opportunities to the many exonerated men and women. The 2011
Innocence Network Conference will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 8-10 and
hosted by the Ohio Innocence Project.

OHIO ENACTS HISTORIC REFORMS


Ohio passed one of the nation’s most comprehensive criminal justice reform bills
in April when Governor Ted Strickland signed the legislation in a public ceremony. TREENA BOZELLA, WIFE OF RECENTLY EXONERATED DEWEY
The Innocence Project worked closely with the Ohio Innocence Project to build BOZELLA, SPEAKS AT A SESSION FOR EXONEREES AND THEIR
FAMILY MEMBERS AT THE 2010 INNOCENCE NETWORK
legislative support for the bill over the last two years. The law will improve police CONFERENCE.
practices in several areas, including eyewitness identification procedures, preservation
of DNA evidence, recording of interrogations and more. These reforms will help
apprehend the guilty, prevent wrongful convictions and help the wrongfully convicted
prove their innocence. A joint project of the Ohio Innocence Project and The
Columbus Dispatch helped expose the inadequacy of the state’s approach to addressing
and preventing wrongful convictions. (See “In Their Own Words,” page 16, for an
interview with Columbus Dispatch journalists.) Nine Ohioans have been exonerated
through DNA testing, including most recently, Raymond Towler, who was released in
May after 29 years in prison. ▲

Chad Heins John J. White Rickey Johnson Ronald G. Taylor Kennedy Brewer Charles Chatman Nathaniel Hatchett Dean Cage Thomas McGowan Robert McClendon Michael Blair
1996 to 2007 1980 to 2007 1983 to 2008 1995 to 2008 1995 to 2008 1981 to 2008 1998 to 2008 1996 to 2008 1985, 1986 to 2008 1991 to 2008 1994 to 2008
22

INNOCENCE
BY THE NUMBERS
THE FIRST 250
PERCENTAGE OF THE FIRST 250 PEOPLE EXONERATED THROUGH DNA:*

Who are African American 60%

Who are Latino 8%

Who are Caucasian 29%

Who were under the age of 18 when they were wrongfully


convicted 6%

Who were under the age of 22 when they were wrongfully


convicted 21%

Who served at least one-third of their lives in prison before they


were exonerated 47%

Average age at time of wrongful conviction 27

Average age at time of exoneration 42

Who were convicted of sexual assault 84%

Who were convicted of murder 29%

Who were convicted of both sexual assault and murder 16%

Number who pled guilty to crimes they did not commit 19

Number who served time on death row 17


*Percentages are based on cases where information is available to make a determination.

Patrick Waller Steven Phillips Arthur Johnson Joseph White William Dillon Steven Barnes Ricardo Rachell James Dean Kathy Gonzalez Debra Shelden Ada J. Taylor
1992 to 2008 1982, 1983 to 2008 1993 to 2008 1989 to 2008 1981 to 2008 1989 to 2009 2003 to 2009 1990 to 2009 1990 to 2009 1989 to 2009 1990 to 2009
The Innocence Project was founded in 1992 by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld at the
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University to assist prisoners who could be
proven innocent through DNA testing. To date, 254 people in the United States have been
exonerated by DNA testing, including 17 who served time on death row. These people
served an average of 13 years in prison before exoneration and release. The Innocence
Project’s full-time staff attorneys and Cardozo clinic students provided direct
representation or critical assistance in most of these cases. The Innocence Project’s
groundbreaking use of DNA technology to free innocent people has provided irrefutable
proof that wrongful convictions are not isolated or rare events but instead arise from
systemic defects. Now an independent nonprofit organization closely affiliated with
Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, the Innocence Project’s mission is nothing
less than to free the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated and
to bring substantive reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.

OUR STAFF
Olga Akselrod: Staff Attorney, Angela Amel: Director of Social Worker and Associate Director of Operations/ Litigation
Department, Corinne Audet: Finance and Human Resources Associate, Elena Aviles: Documents Manager, Rebecca
Brown: Policy Advocate, Loretta Carty: Legal Assistant, Sarah Chu: Forensic Policy Associate, Kayan Clarke: Paralegal,
Scott Clugstone: Director of Finance and Administration, Craig Cooley: Staff Attorney, Valencia Craig: Case
Management Database Administrator, Jamie Cunningham: Policy Associate, Huy Dao: Case Director, Maddy deLone:
Executive Director, Anamarie Diaz: Case Assistant, Ezekiel R. Edwards: Staff Attorney/Mayer Brown Eyewitness Fellow,
Eric Ferrero: Director of Communications, Nicholas Goodness: Case Coordinator, Edwin Grimsley: Case Coordinator,
Caitlin Hanvey: Development Assistant, Nicole Harris: Policy Analyst, Barbara Hertel: Finance Associate, William
Ingram: Case Assistant, Jane Jankie: Paralegal, Jeffrey Johnson: Office Manager, Matthew Kelley: Online
Communications Manager, Jason Kreag: Staff Attorney, Christopher Lau: Paralegal, Audrey Levitin: Director of
Development, David Loftis: Managing Attorney, Laura Ma: Assistant Director, Donor Services, Alba Morales: Staff
Attorney, Nina Morrison: Senior Staff Attorney, Peter Neufeld: Co-Director, Charlene Piper: Special Assistant to the
Executive Director, Vanessa Potkin: Senior Staff Attorney, Kristin Pulkkinen: Assistant Director, Individual Giving,
Anthony Richardson: Policy Assistant and Database Administrator, Richard Salatiello: Director of Institutional Giving,
Stephen Saloom: Policy Director, Alana Salzberg: Communications Associate, Barry Scheck: Co-Director, Chester
Soria: Communications Assistant, Maggie Taylor: Senior Case Coordinator, Elizabeth Vaca: Assistant to the Directors,
Marc Vega: Case Assistant, Elizabeth Webster: Publications Manager, Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg: Case Coordinator,
Emily West: Research Director, Karen Wolff: Social Worker

Thomas Winslow Joseph Fears Jr. Miguel Roman Victor Burnette Timothy Cole Johnnie Lindsey Chaunte Ott Lawrence McKinney Robert L. Stinson Kenneth Ireland Joseph Abbitt
1990 to 2009 1984 to 2009 1990 to 2009 1979 to 2009 1986 to 2009 1983, 1985 to 2009 1996 to 2009 1978 to 2009 1985 to 2009 1988 to 2009 1995 to 2009
INNOCENCE PROJECT, INC.
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10011
WWW.INNOCENCEPROJECT.ORG

BENJAMIN N. CARDOZO SCHOOL OF LAW,


YESHIVA UNIVERSITY

Donate online at www.innocenceproject.org

James L. Woodard Jerry L. Evans Michael Marshall James Bain Donald E. Gates Freddie Peacock Ted Bradford Anthony Caravella Frank Sterling Raymond Towler
1981 to 2009 1987 to 2009 2008 to 2009 1974 to 2009 1982 to 2009 1976 to 2010 1996 to 2010 1986 to 2010 1992 to 2010 1981 to 2010