It Takes $1 Million to Free an Innocent Man

Congrats to the public-spirited lawyers at my old law firm, now called WilmerHale, for spending almost $1 million worth of pro-bono time to free an innocent man — without DNA evidence. Read all the details at TalkLeft, Court Frees NY Man After 26 Years “Compelling Innocence” Case. It is hard not to agree with the conclusion:

How many other innocent persons are languishing in our prisons because of withheld evidence, lying snitches, faulty eyewitness testimony, false confessions, junk science, lab fraud, ineffective counsel and other reasons not able to be discerned by DNA evidence, which either never existed or was not preserved — or because they don't have the means to retain dedicated counsel like those the Innocence Project found for Mr Bozella?

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2 Responses to It Takes $1 Million to Free an Innocent Man

  1. Just me says:

    Kudos to the Innocence Project and WilmerHale.

    This is a real problem in our system. Just ask Cameron Todd Willingham. Oh wait, its too late to ask him. See http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/09/07/090907fa_fact_grann.

    Ok, why not ask Texas Governor Rick Perry. See http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=114005470

    (fyi…the New Yorker piece is on the long side, the NPR piece will get you up to speed faster)

  2. Randy Paul says:

    Several years ago my mom was the foreperson on a jury hearing a retrial granted on appeal of a rape conviction. The defendant was a prisoner serving time for a non-violent conviction (his first IIRC). The victim claimed she was a virgin, but had contracted gonorrhea as a result of the rape.

    That fact was withheld from the defense.

    They were out for about an hour deliberating before acquitting.

    My mom told me that when she saw the victim, her first thought was that this woman now realized that the man who had done this to her was still out there. That’s the second part of this tragedy, both in the story you linked to and the case my mom served on.

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