innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Friday, April 29, 2005

We'll meet again ...

I'm graduating tomorrow with my master's degree in journalism, so I'll be bidding a fond farewell to this blog. I've been kind of a slacker in recent weeks about posts, but you'll see the reason why in early May when the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette publishes the Innocence Institute's three-day series on false eyewitness identification. I'll be passing the blog baton to Cynthia Levy, an undergraduate journalism student, who will be a lot better at keeping things updated.

After innocence

Speaking of Yarris, a documentary that looks at his life and the lives of other DNA exonerees will premiere in theaters this fall and then be broadcast on Showtime. "After Innocence" received a special jury prize at the Sundance film festival and the audience prize at the Boston independent film festival.

Compensation for the convicted

A Philadelphia lawmaker wants people who were wrongfully convicted to be compensated for the time they spent in prison. Rep. Mike McGeehan, D-Philadelphia, has proposed giving inmates who were exonerated $129 for every day they spent behind bars. Tribune-Review reporter Brad Bumstead calculated the amount that would be paid to several high-profile exonerees, including as much as $164,797 to former death-row inmate Nick Yarris, who served 21 years before DNA evidence helped free him.

A spokesman for state attorney General Tom Corbett dismissed the bill as "a solution in search of a problem." In a letter from McGeehan, he responds that "Corbett would condemn ... jailed innocents to fight in court years beyond their imprisonment just to recoup lost wages and trashed reputations."