innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Friday, May 19, 2006

Wrong Righted After 46 Years

This AP article ran in the Washington Post May 17, 2006.

Miss. Judge Tosses Black Vet's Conviction
The Associated PressWednesday, May 17, 2006; 7:32 PM

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- A judge on Wednesday threw out the burglary conviction of a black Korean War veteran who was wrongfully convicted in segregationist Mississippi after he tried to enroll at an all-white university.

Clyde Kennard was convicted of purchasing $25 worth of chicken feed he knew to be stolen in 1960 and sentenced to seven years in prison, but the only witness against him has recanted his testimony. Kennard died in 1963, after being released early because he had intestinal cancer.

Judge Bob Helfrich threw out the conviction in response to a petition by Gov. Haley Barbour, several former judges, a university president and others.

"Because this matter did begin here, it should end here," Helfrich said during a brief hearing. "To me, this is not a black and white issue; it's a right and wrong issue. To correct that wrong, I am compelled to do the right thing."

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

DNA Evidence Exonerates Rochester Man after Nine Years in Prison

On May 16, 2006, Douglas Warney was released from prison after serving nine years for a murder he did not commit. Postconviction DNA testing on fingernail clippings from the victim and blood at the crime scene excluded Warney and matched Eldred Johnson. Johnson, a New York inmate already serving a life sentence, subsequently confessed to the murder, telling investigators that he acted alone.

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