February 4, 2013 |
GEORGETOWN, Texas--A Texas judge who prosecuted a man wrongfully convicted of murder and freed after serving 25 years in prison faces an unprecedented court hearing Monday on whether he should be prosecuted for mishandling the case. Williamson County District Judge Ken Anderson faces a “court of inquiry” to address allegations that he lied and concealed evidence - in violation of the law and a judge's order - that could have cleared Michael Morton, who was convicted in the 1986 beating death of his wife, Christine, at their Williamson County home.
November 28, 2012 |
NEW YORK - They were five men - boys, really - accused of a violent rape. They were prosecuted aggressively by district attorneys and vilified by a tabloid press, then sent to prison for as many as 13 years. In 1989, the case of the Central Park Five, as the attack on a 28-year-old white investment banker in uptown Manhattan has come to be known, roiled the country, touching on race and class and fears about crime. But the defendants - all black or Latino, none older than 16 - didn't commit the attack on the Central Park jogger.
October 22, 2012 |
Kirby Dick's "The Invisible War," and Malik Bendjelloul's film "Searching for Sugarman" are among the five feature-length documentaries nominated by the International Documentary Assn. for its 2012 IDA Documentary Awards. "The Central Park Five" by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon also received a nomination. The film recounts the high-profile trial and wrongful conviction of five young men in one of New York's most sensational criminal cases. Lauren Greenfield's nominated film "Queen of Versailles" is a portrait of a billionaire couple and their downfall during the economic crisis.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 24, 2012 |
A Los Angeles man who spent 19 years in prison for murders he did not commit will be able to sue the LAPD, a panel of the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Monday. Harold C. Hall should be permitted to amend his complaint against the city to allege that officers coerced his confession, which the court said was made as a result of "desperation, fear and fatigue," in possible violation of the 5th Amendment. The majority in the 2-1 decision said "the extraordinary circumstances" of Hall's conviction justified the court's unusual action "to prevent a woefully unjust result.
August 25, 2012 |
HOUSTON - In what's becoming a familiar scenario in Texas, a man has been freed after spending years behind bars for a crime he did not commit. David Lee Wiggins, 48, of Fort Worth was imprisoned in 1989 for rape, largely because the 14-year-old victim picked him out of photo and live lineups. His fingerprints did not match any at the crime scene. Still, he was sentenced to life in prison. But this month DNA testing excluded Wiggins, and on Friday, State District Judge Louis Sturns in Fort Worth approved a motion overturning his conviction and freed him. Before Wiggins is officially exonerated, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals must accept the judge's recommendation or the governor must grant a pardon.
May 20, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - More than 2,000 people have been freed from prison since 1989 after they were found to have been wrongly convicted of serious crimes, according to a new National Registry of Exonerations compiled by University of Michigan Law School and Northwestern University. Its sponsors say it is by far the largest database of such cases, and they hope it will help reveal why the criminal justice system sometimes misfires, prosecuting and convicting the innocent. "The more we learn about false convictions, the better we'll be at preventing them," said Samuel Gross, a University of Michigan law professor.