Sunday, July 21, 2013
Diigo Post Excerpt:
It was a frighteningly close call for [name withheld]. The 23-year-old Buffalo man was already charged with murder and indicted by a grand jury for a crime he did not commit.
All that was required for a wholesale miscarriage of justice was for the plea negotiations to begin, presenting [name withheld] with the horrifying options of standing trial or admitting to a crime he didn’t commit in hopes of a lesser sentence.
It didn’t come to that because DNA evidence found at the crime scene exonerated [name withheld] and implicated another man, [name withheld]. To his credit, Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita moved quickly to dismiss the charges, but the case raises the same issues that have led to lengthy prison sentences for other innocent people in Erie County – issues of which law enforcement and the State Legislature are fully aware, but haven’t seen fit to address.
[name withheld] was ensnared by the same human error that put [name withheld] in prison for rapes he did not commit: witness misidentification. Eyewitness testimony was the only evidence against [name withheld], who, his lawyer noted, has no prior criminal convictions, no history of violence, no prior felony or misdemeanor.
The Innocence Project of New York City, which uses DNA evidence to free wrongfully convicted prison inmates, calls witness misidentification the number one cause of wrongful conviction.
Diigo Post Excerpt:
On July 12, when he walked out of the Winnebago County Jail a free man for the first time in more than 20 years, [name withheld] had no money, no identification and nowhere to live.
[name withheld], 54, was wrongfully convicted in 1994 of sexual assault and kidnapping, crimes for which he was serving a 102-year sentence.
When he was released earlier this month, [name withheld] had less than a week’s supply of the dozen or so drugs he needs for a degenerative bone disease, blood clots and other health problems. He can’t afford more medication nor the required follow-up visits to the doctor.
“I’m transient,” said [name withheld], who is staying at the homeless shelter at Grace Episcopal Church in Madison. “I have no health coverage. Nothing.”
Nebraska - a State of Shame is a multi-part video production that shines a light on the absurdities, cruelties and unintended consequences of Nebraska law regarding former sex offenders. Seen in their entirety, these six segments should lead you to question why the state chooses to mistreat this segment of its population. The context is this: Research evidence shows that former sex offenders are less likely than other offenders to commit repeated offenses. We waste tax dollars on these laws because politicians know such laws are popular, even though they make our communities more dangerous.
Read the rest of the article
Nebraskans Unafraid recently received a letter asking some good questions about why vehicle information now is included on the state's public shaming website. We wonder how that might be useful. One answer: It helps someone who might want to stalk and harm you, your kids and your wife.