The Exoneration Initiative Client Edward Garry Exonerated

The Exoneration Initiative Client Edward Garry Exonerated

Exoneration Initiative On Monday, after deliberating for less than half an hour, a Bronx jury vindicated Edward Garry’s twenty-three-year quest to clear his name, finding him not guilty of the 1995 murder of a retired police detective named Oswald Potter. In 2016, I wrote about Garry’s case for The New Yorker. Garry was twenty years old when he was charged with Potter’s murder. Next week, Garry will turn forty-three. He spent his twenties and all of his thirties in prison, and was only let out on bail last year after a judge ordered a new trial for him. One of Garry’s lawyers, Glenn Garber, told me that, when the jury foreman read the new verdict, one of the jurors was crying, and afterward “one of them ran up to him in the hallway and said, ‘I’m sorry this happened to you,’ and hugged him.” “It still feels like a dream,” Garry said, when I talked to him Monday night. “It didn’t register yet.” The Bronx district attorney’s office chose to retry Garry despite serious flaws in its case and the fact that the campaign to clear his name had come to include one of the cops who originally helped arrest him. When Darcel D. Clark, the Bronx D.A., took office, in 2016, she started a conviction-integrity unit to review questionable cases. The unit had examined Garry’s case and had not come to a public conclusion, but prosecutors still decided not to back down. (A spokeswoman for Clark said this week that the D.A.’s office does not comment on acquittals.) Read more....
Northern California IP Client Glenn Payne Exonerated

Northern California IP Client Glenn Payne Exonerated

Northern California Innocence Project Glenn Payne was convicted in 1991 of molesting a 2-year-old girl in San Jose and spent more than 13 years in prison. The crucial evidence against him was expert testimony by a county forensic analyst that hair found on Payne must have come from the victim — that there was only one chance in 129,600 that it had come from someone else.   Four months ago, the analyst recanted his testimony, saying it was based on an unreliable study and he would never make such a statistical claim today. On Friday, without objection from the prosecutor, a Santa Clara County judge, Vanessa Zecher, overturned Payne’s conviction and the charges were dropped. Read...
UVA Innocence Project Clinic Client Messiah Johnson Freed

UVA Innocence Project Clinic Client Messiah Johnson Freed

Innocence at UVA School of Law The Innocence Project Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law has secured a conditional pardon for its client, Messiah Johnson, who the clinic argued was wrongly convicted of armed robbery. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed orders Friday for the release of Johnson and five others in separate cases. In doing so, he noted the sentences were “far outside what should have been adequate to keep Virginia safe.” Johnson had been sentenced to 132 years in prison. “Mr. Johnson has served over 20 years for this crime and yet there are serious questions about his guilt – he has always maintained his innocence and there is credible evidence that he was not guilty at all,” the governor’s office said in its afternoon statement. Read...
Exoneree James Kluppelberg Wins $9.3 Million Settlement for Wrongful Conviction

Exoneree James Kluppelberg Wins $9.3 Million Settlement for Wrongful Conviction

Exoneration Project Chicago officials have agreed to pay $9.3 million to a man wrongfully convicted of setting a 1984 fire that killed a mother and her five children, a crime he confessed to only after he was allegedly beaten by detectives working under disgraced Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge. The proposed settlement in the federal lawsuit brought by James Kluppelberg marks the latest in a string of massive payouts by the city involving cases of alleged police misconduct. It also adds to the ever-mounting costs of the torture scandal involving Burge and his “midnight crew” of detectives, which has stained the city’s reputation and so far cost taxpayers at least $115 million in lawsuit settlements, judgments and other compensation to victims. Read...
Exoneration Project Client Thomas Sierra Exonerated

Exoneration Project Client Thomas Sierra Exonerated

Exoneration Project Thomas Sierra has become used to waiting. The 41-year-old Chicago native spent more than half his life in prison, convicted of a murder he has claimed from the beginning he didn’t commit. His attorneys say he was framed by a retired Chicago Police detective who has since kept quiet about his alleged misconduct in multiple cases. On Tuesday, a couple months after his release, Sierra found himself inside the George N. Leighton Criminal Courthouse, waiting the better part of two hours for a hearing that was scheduled for 10 a.m. It was getting close to noon. Sporting a close-cropped hairstyle and black shoes, dark grey pants and a grey shirt, Sierra spent most of that time seated in the front row of the gallery. He was hunched over, either with his hands clenched as if in prayer or rubbing his restless legs, chatting with his brother and waiting for his name to be called inside a sixth-floor courtroom. Read...
Innocence Project of Florida Client Dean McKee Freed

Innocence Project of Florida Client Dean McKee Freed

Innocence Project of Florida A man who claims he was wrongly convicted of an alleged racially-motivated murder in 1987 was released from prison Tuesday after spending 30 years behind bars. Nearly 20 family and friends waited to embrace Dean McKee, now 46, as he walked out of the Orient Road Jail after posting bond. “It’s been a long road and I’m so overwhelmed and some wonderful people kept me strong and kept me focused,” said McKee, who made a brief statement before heading home. “When you open your heart some amazing things happen. I’m grateful and I’m blessed.” McKee was 16 years old when he and his then-18-year-old brother Scott were arrested and accused of attacking Isaiah Walker, a homeless black man who was found stabbed to death outside the Tampa Museum of Art. Read...