innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Bush on wrongful convictions

In between talking about Social Security and the Iraq war, President Bush proposed spending more federal money to prevent wrongful convictions. His plan would spend $1 billion over five years on increased DNA testing. He also proposed spending $50 million over three years training attorneys to handle death row appeals.

Reaction ranged from pleasant surprise to outright skepticism. As The Nation's David Corn wrote, "Too bad he didn't do that when he was governor of Texas." The San Francisco Chronicle noted Bush presided over presided over 152 executions as Texas governor, the largest number of any governor in the United States since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Slutzker stays put

Steven Slutzker will stay behind bars as he awaits a new trial, which is scheduled to start April 11. Slutzker was convicted of killing a Wilkinsburg man 30 years after the crime, when the dead man’s child claimed he had a repressed memory episode of the killing. But an Innocence Institute investigation raised questions about the repressed memory episode, found Slutzker’'s alibi witnesses weren’t called to testify and discovered 21 police reports were kept from his attorneys. A federal appeals court judge overturned the conviction last year and ordered the new trial.