innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Attorney blames Bush for wrongful death

The Kansas City Star reports a Texas defense attorney plans to further investigate a case that he says resulted in a death row inmate's wrongful death during George W. Bush’s term as governor of Texas. The attorney claims that Bush was aware of new DNA evidence regarding a hair analysis when he refused to grant the prisoner a last-minute plea for a stay of execution.

Monday, May 02, 2005

False i.d.'s in NYC

Police departments across the country are starting to realize that witnesses who falsely identify suspects are a major cause of wrongful convictions. About three quarters of the 157 people who were freed by DNA evidence were originally convicted because of a bad eyewitness i.d.

The Innocence Institute is running a series on false eyewitness i.d.’s in Pennsylvania in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette next week. A story in the New York Sun shows the problem is a major issue in that state, too.

New York ranks second among states with the highest number of wrongful convictions. In one case, a man was exonerated after serving 8 ½ years in prison based on faulty eyewitness identification procedures performed by the NYPD. The problem continues to exist in New York because of a state law requiring police to use live lineups and the failure of police there to embrace reforms that help prevent false i.d.'s.