innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Friday, December 09, 2005

Free After 24 Years

Robert Clark has been freed after DNA evidence proved his innocence. Clark spent 24 years in prison for a rape he did not commit. The DNA evidence pointed to another man, Floyd Arnold, who is now doing time for molesting a 13-year-old girl.

Clark, who had a robbery on his juvenile record, but had committed no crimes since, was arrested driving the victim's car. He told police that Arnold had lent him the vehicle, but Arnold never took the stand at Clark's trial.

Clark has been exonerated through the work of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and the Georgia Innocence Institute.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Condi stands behind US torture tactics

Condolezza Rice's strong backing of US torture tactics is not sitting well with human rights organization, legal scholars and even some Congressional politicians. Rice argued on Monday that rendition- shipping terrorist suspects to prison in parts of the world that are remote in order to interrogate them- is a "legitimate and neccessary tool for the changed circumstances brought on by the war on terror."
But, most agree that this tactic only puts detainees at greater risk of inhumane torture tactics. "This argument makes no sense unless there is an assumption that the purpose of rendition is to send people to a place where things could be done to them that could not be done in the United States," said David Luban, a law professor at Georgetown University.
The director of Human Rights Watch in Washington said the only reason the US is able to defend its torture tactics is because the administration has redfined torture to exclude any techniquest that they use. But the US does employ torture tactics such as sleep deprivation, stress positions and waterboarding, when a detainee is strapped to a board and plunged in water.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Murder Case Revisited

The case that caused a re-evaluation of the death penalty is being re-opened. According to theDaily Herald Rolando Cruz and Alejandro Hernandez were framed by jailhouse snitches, and fabricated evidence for the murder of 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico. The case spawned reform in Illinois, for example the recording of all custodial interrogations, stricter guidlines for jailhouse snitch testimony and after probable innocence of the two suspect established, a reconsideration of the death penalty.

Now, another man who had implicated himself in the murder of the child is being charged in her killing. Brian Dugan, 49, was just charged in her death.

Triumphant Tommy Doswell Opens for B.B.King


Tommy Doswell sang two songs at Heinz Hall on Friday night with the opening act for the legendary B.B. King. Doswell, who was recently exonerated of a rape through D.N.A. evidence after serving 19 years in prison. Doswell was able to prove his innocence through the help of Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld at the The Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in New York, and the Pittsburgh Innocence Institute of Point Park University.

Doswell sang the song that has been an anthem for him--"I need you now." Doswell has often said that the message inherent in the song, about the power of Christ to usher a person through any tragedy, helped him during his long incarceration. Tommy Doswell brought the house to its feet. B.B. King also sang some songs. Ha.Ha.

Honestly, B.B. King was fantastic, but anyone who knew what Tommy Doswell and his family suffered, would feel that the night belonged to him. I would like to extend a thank you to everyone who helped with the benefit to support the Innocence Institute of Point Park.