innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Thursday, October 21, 2004

The waiting game


Munchinski in court, talking to his daughter Posted by Hello

David Munchinski must wait at least a few more weeks for his freedom. The judge who overturned Munchinski's murder conviction will decide Nov. 18 whether he should be freed as he awaits a new trial.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review continues playing catch-up with a burst of stories in the past week. One follow-up comes to the amazing conclusion that key evidence raises doubt about Munchinski's guilt. They might have figured that out two years ago if they read Bill Moushey's 7,000-word investigation into the case.

Another story rehashes Moushey's scoop that a key witness against Munchinski wasn't in the state on the night of the murder. But best yet is a story on Fayette County Judge Ralph Warman lashing out at the judge who overturned the conviction.

The story fails to mention Warman , who was a prosecutor against Munchinski, was responsible for hiding the fact that the key witness made a tape recorded statement. Warman admitted he cut any mention of taping from reports, an action the appellant judge said, "so undermined the truth-determining process that no reliable adjudication of guilt or innocence could have taken place."

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Back to Ohio

It looks like the Ohio Innocence Project is starting to get rolling. The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reports four inmates are using the project to help push for DNA testing in their cases. Apparently, Ohio has a state law allowing DNA testing that includes some of the toughest restrictions in the nation. Inmates must prove with 100 percent certainty that their cases would be different with DNA testing.

In other news, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown writes about the difficult path between proving innocence and receiving a pardon in Illinois.