Archive for November, 2011

MA Deputy Police Chief Discusses Line-up Reforms in CT

Wellesley Deputy Chief of Police William Brooks spoke before a legislative task force in CT in mid-November to discuss the feasibility of implementing best practices for criminal line-ups, particularly in small police departments. Studies have shown that when suspects in line-ups are shown to witnesses one-by-one, accuracy rates improve. When presented with each photo individually, …

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News Roundup: DNA Access Bill

As the House of Representatives debates pending legislation granting inmates access to post-conviction DNA testing several news outlets have written stories exploring the topic. In July, the Massachusetts State Senate unanimously passed S.1987 granting inmates access to post-conviction DNA testing. The legislation is currently under review by the Ways and Means Committee in …

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Executive Director, Gretchen Bennett, exoneree Dennis Maher, and reporter Michael Blanding will be featured on another local NPR station, WBUR 90.9 FM, tomorrow, discussing the DNA access bill. You can listen to them live on Wednesday, 11/23 at 3:00 pm. During the segment they’ll also take calls from listeners. The live call in number is …

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Arson science reconsidered: NPR article

NPR interviews Doug Starr, co-director of Boston University’s Center for Science and Medical Journalism, on new arson science.  Strong research and controlled lab experiments in recent years have challenged long held beliefs about the nature of fire, raising significant questions in arson investigations and convictions across the country.

Read the article and listen to the interview …

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Boston Globe Magazine examines post-conviction DNA testing in MA

Massachusetts is one of two states without a post-conviction DNA access law. Gretchen Bennett (executive director), Dennis Maher, Anthony Powell, Kenneth Waters (exonerees) and Betty Anne Waters were featured in Sunday, November 21, 2011, Boston Globe Magazine story about legislation to change that.

The post-conviction DNA bill has passed unanimously in the state Senate and is …

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UPDATE- Texas Man Free After 25 Years

(Originally ran 10/5/11) An Austin, Texas man walked free from prison today after serving 25 years for a crime that he didn’t commit. In 1986, Michael Morton was convicted for beating his wife to death after allegedly becoming enraged when she refused to have sex with him. Morton’s conviction rested on circumstantial evidence.

DNA tests conducted …

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Texas to Re-examine Old Arson Cases

A Texas Commission charged with investigating the Cameron Todd Willingham arson case released its final report last Friday, October 28. Willingham was convicted of killing his children by intentionally setting the fire that destroyed their home. Modern advances in arson science indicate that the …

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© 2011 New England Innocence Project