Wrongful convictions

Illinois man denied pardon by Pence asks court for new trial

October 4, 2016
 Associated Press
An Illinois man denied a pardon by Gov. Mike Pence for a robbery he said he did not commit requested a new trial Monday in a bid to win exoneration.
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Former Indiana trooper reaches $450K settlement with Floyd County

August 18, 2016
 Associated Press
A former Indiana State Police trooper convicted twice but later acquitted in the slayings of his wife and two children will receive a $450,000 settlement from a southern Indiana county that helped prosecute him.
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Pence's candidacy could prevent Illinois man's pardon

July 22, 2016
 Associated Press
Gov. Mike Pence's spot on Donald Trump's presidential ticket may jeopardize a wrongfully convicted man's pardon request in Indiana.
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Lawmakers considering prosecutor oversight in NY

June 8, 2016
 Associated Press
New York lawmakers have begun examining whether prosecutors statewide need an oversight commission where other lawyers, defendants and the public can bring complaints of misconduct.
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Darryl Pinkins’ freedom a long, emotional battle for IU professor, students

June 1, 2016
Dave Stafford
Darryl Pinkins walked out of prison a free man in April after almost 25 years, exonerated in a heinous 1989 rape by advances in DNA forensics. But before the science could free him, Pinkins needed someone to believe in his innocence.
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IU McKinney professor celebrates Innocence Project client’s release

April 26, 2016
IL Staff
An Indianapolis law professor is celebrating the release from prison of a Gary man who she has argued for years was wrongly convicted of rape, sexual deviate conduct and robbery.
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Exonerated Gary man readjusts to life outside of prison

February 4, 2016
 Associated Press
A 47-year-old Gary man is readjusting to life outside of prison after he spent nearly 24 years behind bars for robbery and murder convictions that were overturned in appeal.
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Gary man out of prison after 24 years, convictions vacated

January 28, 2016
 Associated Press
A 47-year-old Gary man has been released after spending 24 years in prison for robbery and murder convictions that were overturned on appeal.
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Man exonerated after serving 34 years in prison files suit

November 24, 2015
 Associated Press
A California man who was exonerated of murder after serving 34 years of a life sentence has filed a federal lawsuit against Ventura County, the district attorney's office and the sheriff's office.
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Wrongfully convicted Frankton man to get $3M settlement

October 1, 2015
 Associated Press
The attorney for a man who had a central Indiana school arson conviction overturned says a $3 million lawsuit settlement will let him start a new life.
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Indiana man wins $3 million wrongful conviction settlement

August 11, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who spent more than three years in prison after he was wrongly convicted of breaking into Frankton High School and setting it on fire will receive one of the largest wrongful conviction settlements ever in Indiana, his attorneys announced Tuesday.
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Kristine Bunch’s malicious prosecution suit stayed

July 1, 2015
Dave Stafford
A woman whose murder conviction was overturned after she spent 17 years in prison may proceed with a malicious prosecution lawsuit against fire officials she claims framed her, a federal judge ruled Monday.
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Woman freed after wrongful conviction wants 2 suits combined

April 13, 2015
 Associated Press
A woman wrongfully convicted of setting a fire that killed her 3-year-old son wants her two lawsuits alleging that investigators framed her combined into a single case.
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Supreme Court won't hear case of wrongly convicted men

March 23, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States won’t hear an appeal from two former Louisiana inmates who were wrongly convicted of murder and wanted to sue prosecutors for damages after spending 28 years in prison.
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Mom claims agent framed her in son's death, sues government

February 9, 2015
 Associated Press
A woman who was wrongfully convicted of murdering her 3-year-old son is suing the government and alleges a federal officer helped investigators frame her for the crime.
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Aid rises for those wrongly convicted

April 24, 2013
Dave Stafford
Prosecutors and police helped clear more than half of those exonerated in 2012, according to a report by the National Registry of Exonerations.
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Court orders new trial on damages owed to wrongfully convicted man

December 20, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
Finding a District judge improperly limited critical evidence relating to an Elkart man’s innocence during his trial for damages following his wrongful conviction, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new damages trial be held.
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Questionable results of drug tests

March 14, 2012
Michael Hoskins
Attorney Fran Watson worries that people have been wrongfully convicted in Indiana, and findings released from a court-appointed task force show that she may be justified in having that fear.
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Wrongful conviction arguments heard

July 20, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals heard arguments July 13 in the post-conviction relief case of a woman convicted of intentionally setting a fire that killed her young son, leading to what she says was a wrongful conviction and imprisonment 15 years ago.
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Law school briefs - 4/13/11

April 13, 2011
IL Staff
Learn more about a lecture by a freed death row inmate, Valparaiso University School of Law's newly reconstructed Heritage Hall, and more.
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DNA expert to discuss wrongful convictions

April 8, 2011
IL Staff
A forensic geneticist who has worked on the exonerations of seven people will visit Indiana University April 15 to give a public lecture on how DNA is used to free people who have been wrongfully convicted and how informatics is being misused to pervert justice.
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Exonerated death-row inmate to speak at Indiana University campuses

April 7, 2011
IL Staff
Randy Steidl, who was nearly executed for a crime he didn't commit and went on to become the public face of the abolition of the death penalty in Illinois, will tell his story during visits to Indiana University campuses in Bloomington and Indianapolis.
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Wrongfully-convicted man sues for withholding evidence

October 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A man who spent nearly 18 years in prison for crimes from which he was later exonerated is now suing the City of Hammond and various police officers involved in his arrest.
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Woman loses bid for new trial, appeals

August 4, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A Greensburg woman – who said she was wrongfully convicted 14 years ago of an arson that killed her son – has lost her latest bid for a new trial and is now taking her case to the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Wrongfully convicted man can pursue IIED claim

July 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A man wrongfully convicted of attempted murder can go forward with his intentional infliction of emotional distress claim against the City of Elkhart and several police officers, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today.
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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