Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Roundup

The office is abuzz today because William Dillon, our most recent exoneree from November 2008 is visiting. Dillon served 27 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit. Fault eyewitness testimony, fraudulent science, and police misconduct led to his wrongful conviction. But in person, Dillon is as good-hearted and sincere as you could imagine; always remarkable how exonerees show no bitterness, only gratitude and optimism.

Here's what's going on around the Internet:

Matt Kelley of the Innocence Project and has a blog post about torture and wrongful convictions:

I work at the Innocence Project when I'm not blogging here at, and many of our cases have shown the power of emotional and physical abuse from law enforcement officers to force someone to admit to something they didn't do. About 25% of wrongful convictions overturned by DNA testing have involved a false confession or admission. If one-quarter of information gleaned from torture was false – leading to wrongful arrests and convictions and to costly goose chases – would Dick Cheney still say it was worth it?
Texas raises its exoneree compensation from $50,000 to $80,000 per year of wrongful incarceration. Exonerees will also receive 120 hours of paid tuition "at a career center or public college." They now compensate their exonerees more generously than any other state. Of course, simple money can't make up for lost years of a person's life. It can only serve to help them get back on their feet after years of being completely divorced from mainstream society.

Connecticut House of Representatives votes to repeal the death penalty by an impressive margin: 90-56.

Finally, the DailyKos features an early-morning publicity and fundraising drive for the Innocence Project in New York.

No comments: