innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Thursday, August 04, 2005

State Rep. pushes compensation for innocent

Doswell speaks to the media after being released
photograph taken by Cynthia Levy

A news release was posted on the website of Pennsylvania state Representative Michael McGeehan just one day after the release of wrongfully convicted, Thomas Doswell, calling for compensation for the exonerated.

Pittsburgher, Thomas Doswell was released Monday, after spending 19 years in prison DNA evidence proved he was innocent of a rape.

McGeehan began pushing this legislation in April of this year when a Philadelphia man was also cleared of rape because of DNA evidence.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

After 19 years in prison Pittsburgh man declared innocent

Doswell with his mother after being declared innocent
photograph taken by Cynthia Levy

Twenty minutes after being declared innocent by Judge John Zottola of Allegheny County, Thomas Doswell walked out of the Allegheny County Jail after serving a 19-year sentence, reported Bill Moushey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Doswell was greeted by friends and family who stood by him throughout his claims of innocence, even when judges denied his appeals and even when he was turned down for parole four times because he would not admit to the crime.
Doswell was convicted of a rape charge in 1986. The Innocence Project of New York was able to do DNA testing, which proved Doswell had not committed the crime. This is the first case of post-trial DNA exoneration in Allegheny County. It is also the 160th exoneration for the Innocence Project.
Although 44-year old, Doswell missed much of his life, including raising his two sons that were just babies when he was convicted, he remains incredibly optimistic.
"Despite being away from your family and being away from your freedom, that you had always rightfully deserved to have, God has blessed me and I managed to come through it in a positive light," said Doswell.
A similar story was run in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review , and the story was picked up by the Associate press.