Raina Munchinski, with picture of her father David.
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.