Archive for October, 2016


Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Act now to exonerate the San Antonio Four! Follow these suggestions at the Southwest of Salem website.

Also consider a donation to the National Center for Reason and Justice.

Freedom remains tenuous for freed prisoner

Monday, October 24th, 2016

“Lisa Kavanaugh, one of Rosario’s lawyers, the head of the Innocence Program for the state’s public defender agency, said that Rosario should be exonerated by prosecutors. His conviction was thrown out in large part because advances in forensic technology cast doubt on whether the fire was deliberately set, raising questions about the accuracy of the confession. Kavanaugh said she welcomes the high court’s review of the case, saying the court’s decision could settle Rosario’s case and others like it that have been built on questionable evidence.”

The National Center for Reason and Justice has long sponsored the case of Victor Rosario because we are convinced of his innocence.

Read the article by MIlton J. Valencia in the Boston Globe.

Gunther Fiek’s Blog

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

My good friend Gunther Fiek has started a blog from prison. I encourage you to subscribe. Here is his first post:

An Endeavor

Men accused of killing toddlers say Shaken Baby Syndrome should be on trial, not them

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

“Attorneys for the two men said medical experts have relied on three injuries to reach the conclusion that both victims were violently shaken: bleeding behind the eyes, bleeding on the surface of the brain, and brain swelling. Those injuries alone, defense attorneys said, are not sufficient to prove that the toddlers were abused.”

Read the article by Kristine Guerra in the Washington Post.

Inside Case Behind Wrongful Conviction Doc ‘Southwest of Salem’

Saturday, October 15th, 2016

“Homophobia and hysteria didn’t deprive these women of their freedom – prosecutors did. The state’s reluctance to take responsibility in a case where its failings have been unusually well-documented and publicized suggests locking up the occasional innocent person isn’t that big a deal. With that conviction-at-all-costs mentality pervasive among prosecutors in the U.S., we can expect there are many more innocent people in prison than we know.”

Read the article by Bridgette Dunlap in Rolling Stone.

Judge Alex Kozinski Speaks Out on Wrongful Convictions

Saturday, October 15th, 2016

“I can’t do this anymore.” I sometimes find myself waking up with that as the first thought of the day to enter my mind. But don’t worry. I’ve been waking up uttering that about once a week for at least twenty of the twenty-three years I have spent in wrongful and unjust imprisonment. The thought is more of a temptation than any real conviction. “You don’t have that luxury,” my friend Pornchai Moontri often says in rebuttal. He’s right.

Read the post by Father Gordon MacRae in These Stone Walls.

How “Risk Assessment” Tools Are Condemning People to Indefinite Imprisonment

Friday, October 14th, 2016

“Yet, the fact remains: Most of the people in civil commitment facilities, like Lieberman, sexually assaulted children or women. If released, some of these folks might harm again. Others will not. But regardless of that uncertainty, once they have completed their sentences, is it acceptable for our society to use a checklist, a psychological evaluation, or a software program to legitimate continued confinement?”

Read the article by Erica Meiners in Truthout.

Trump’s Insistence that Central Park 5 are Guilty Reveals Frightening Ignorance and Worse

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

“Donald Trump doesn’t acknowledge wrongful convictions proven by DNA and by the credible, delayed confession of a convicted murderer and rapist. Insisting on Friday that the Central Park 5 are guilty of the 1989 high-profile horrific attack and rape of an investment banker jogging in Central Park, he revealed he knows nothing about DNA, the dynamics of false confessions, or contemporary understandings relating to criminal justice and wrongful convictions.”

Read the post by Nancy Petro at the Wrongful Convictions Blog.

Making the Case Against Banishing Sex Offenders

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

[Justice] Kennedy’s “frightening and high” line was based on a 1988 Department of Justice guide for treating sex offenders, which cited an unfounded conjecture in the magazine Psychology Today. Further studies have shown the ineffectiveness of residency restrictions. In 2003, the Minnesota Department of Corrections collected data on nearly 100 sex offenders who had been released from prison and concluded, “There is no evidence in Minnesota that residential proximity to schools or parks affects reoffense.” As many as 90 percent of child victims know their rapists, but residency restrictions are meant to stop sexual assaults by strangers, a much rarer scenario. The California Sex Offender Management Board, a state agency, concluded in 2008 that restrictions had led more sex offenders to become homeless, and in turn more likely to reoffend.

Read the article by Maurice Chammah in the Texas Observer.