Posts Tagged ‘investigative journalism’

The Marshall Project has a new article written by Lorea Gillespie, an investigator with The New England Innocence Project.  She talks about what it takes to hunt down witnesses for a case 23 years old.

As I virtually pass by each house on Google Maps Street View, I grow increasingly disheartened.

I’ve been in Orlando for almost two days now, and I’m worried that I’m not going to find this witness — and this witness is huge. She’s the only person who may have seen the 1989 murder I’m working on.

I’m an investigator with The New England Innocence Project, and we believe that our client, JIMMY1, is innocent, even though he was convicted 23 years ago.

I’ve spent hours driving back and forth across this city, trying dozens of addresses. Each time, I run back to my hotel room, get on the computer, and use my locations program to find more options. I try old neighbors, old roommates, old friends — anyone I can find.

No matter who I talk to, though, no one can help me. “Yeah, so-and-so lived here about a year ago, but I don’t know where she’s at now.”

Another door closes in my face.

Read the rest here.

 

Florida’s death row would be about three-quarters smaller if the state followed the practice of the majority of death penalty states and required the jury to unanimously decide a death sentence instead of by simple majority.  Alabama and Delaware also permit judges to impose death sentences following a non-unanimous jury decision.

After an 18-month investigation into Florida’s 390 death row inmates, the Villages Daily Sun found that judges had imposed death sentences 287 times or 74% of the cases after jurors could not agree on the sentencing.  If Florida had just changed their sentencing to supermajority instead of unanimous, 43% of the state’s death row prisoners would have received life sentences, as in Alabama which requires 10 or more jurors agree.

Although Delaware, like Florida, allows a recommendation for death by a simple majority of the jury (7 out of 12), it first requires the jury to unanimously find the aggravating factors that justify a death sentence.

Florida’s high-rate of death sentences now costs the state an estimated $9 million a year. (more…)

1.  PROSECUTOR ADMITS DISCLOSURE RULES GIVE HIM POWERS THAT ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO USE RESPONSIBLY (Prosecutorial Accountability)

2.  RICKY JACKSON’S 39 YEARS WRONGFULLY IMPRISONED (Wrongful Convictions Blog)

3.  PUSH TO END PRISON RAPE COULD BE LOSING MOMENTUM (NYTimes)

4.  INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM FINDS THAT BALTIMORE POLICE ARE OFTEN OBLIVIOUS TO SUSPECTS’ MEDICAL NEEDS (Baltimore Sun)

5.  JUROR AND FORMER OFFICER RAISE DOUBTS ABOUT HERNANDEZ PROSECUTION IN THE ETAN PATZ COLD CASE (ProPublica)

6.  UNCONVICTED GUANTANAMO BAY DETAINEE’S TRIAL HAS BEEN DELAYED FOR NEARLY 7 YEARS (ProPublica)

7.  NEW TRIAL POSSIBLE FOR MAN CONVICTED OF CHANDRA LEVY’S MURDER (CNN)

8.  NEW REPORTS REVEAL SHOCKING BEHIND THE SCENES OF OKLAHOMA’S BOTCHED EXECUTION PROCESS (Death Penalty Info)

9.  DAY CARE CHILD ABUSE HYSTERIA:  TEXAS COUPLE’S CONVICTIONS THROWN OUT MORE THAN 20 YEARS LATER (Breitbart)

10.  D.C. MAN GETS CERTIFICATE OF ACTUAL INNOCENCE AFTER SERVING 28 YEARS IN PRISON DUE TO FALSE FORENSICS (Fox)