innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Case updates

Raina Munchinski, with picture of her father David. Posted by Hello

Things are heating up in nearly every one of Innocence Institute's first five investigations. The big news is a judge's decision to throw out David Munchinski's murder convictions. The original prosecutors in the case (two of whom are now Fayette County judges) were given 10 days to cough up a long-missing witness statement or release Munchinski outright.

Munchinski was convicted for a 1977 double murder, but new evidence shows the main witness wasn't even in Pennsylvania on the night of the killings and police ignored other suspects. The investigation, originally published in a three-part series in the Post-Gazette in June 2002, was the first in Moushey's collaboration between the paper and the innocence project. The decision marks the first time that a judge has reversed a conviction in one of our cases.

In other news, a federal court hearing was held this week in the appeal of Terrell Johnson. Next week, the same federal circuit will hear Steven Slutzker's appeal.

And Hosea Davis will ask a Allegheny County judge next week to release him from house arrest as he awaits a new trial, which is scheduled for January.

Finally, Ernest Simmons awaits a decision in the coming months on whether a federal judge will grant him a new trial.


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