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Innocence Project

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NEWS
March 12, 2009
Last August, the Inquirer Editorial Board pointed out that Philadelphia was one of the few major cities in the country that lacked a local office affiliated with the Innocence Project - which uses DNA evidence to free people wrongly convicted of crimes. Six months later, we're happy to report the Innocence Project is opening an office at the Temple University Beasley School of Law. The office will be run by Marissa Boyers Bluestine from the Defender Association of Philadelphia.
NEWS
April 27, 2008
Hardly a month goes by anymore without news of another person's being released from prison for a crime he didn't commit. The release usually comes after the wrongly convicted person has spent years behind bars. The organization behind the effort to right the wrong is often the Innocence Project. The New York-based nonprofit was founded in 1992 to help inmates fight wrongful convictions through the use of DNA evidence. To date, the Innocence Project has helped to exonerate more than 200 people, including 16 who were sentenced to death.
NEWS
May 27, 2006 | By Joel Bewley INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Larry Peterson always believed his innocence would be revealed after he was arrested for rape and murder in 1987. Even when prosecutors said he should be executed. Even when the judge gave him 40 years behind bars. He just didn't imagine it would take a third of his life for it to happen. "The Prosecutor's Office is supposed to be about justice, not about hanging innocent people," Peterson, 55, of Pemberton Township, said yesterday. "Today, finally, something was done that was right.
NEWS
December 29, 2013 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Gov. Christie on Friday signed into law a bill increasing compensation for people who are wrongfully imprisoned, from $20,000 per year of incarceration to $50,000. The increase in the cap on statutory damages to $50,000 per year - or twice the claimant's income in the year before incarceration, whichever is greater - puts New Jersey in line with what federal law provides, according to the nonprofit Innocence Project. New Jersey is among 29 states and the District of Columbia providing some form of compensation to victims.
NEWS
March 18, 2013 | By Joelle Farrell, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Two men spent more than a decade behind bars before DNA evidence exonerated them. After their release, one married, held a steady job, and earned a pension. The other is on welfare and lives with his mother. What separates their situations? Mainly, a river. While individual traits and circumstances surely played a role in the former inmates' differing destinies, prison reform advocates say it was crucial that one received a hand up from the state upon release and the other did not. Since 1997, New Jersey has compensated the wrongfully convicted with at least $20,000 for each year of incarceration.
NEWS
September 21, 2011 | BY GLORIA CAMPISI, campisg@phillynews.com 215-854-5935
A STATE GOVERNMENT committee yesterday released a report citing 11 cases of prisoners' being cleared by DNA of wrongful conviction and urged the Pennsylvania Legislature to change the law to prevent future faulty convictions. A leader with the Innocence Project called the report to the Senate Judiciary Committee the tip of the iceberg as far as wrongful convictions are concerned. But the Pennsylvania District Attorneys' Association said that the committee's conclusions were predetermined and that its findings would create roadblocks.
NEWS
July 11, 2007 | By Emilie Lounsberry, Inquirer Staff Writer
At the age of 77, Louise Talley was raped and stabbed to death in her Nicetown home - and Anthony Wright signed a confession saying that he did it. But his lawyer argued yesterday that Wright is still entitled to DNA testing of evidence that could exonerate him and free him from his life prison term. "This may be one of those cases where it turns out he's guilty," his lawyer, Nina Morrison, of the New York-based Innocence Project, told a state Superior Court panel. But, she added, "the shame and, really, the horror would be if this was a case that he was not guilty.
NEWS
May 22, 2006 | By Robert Moran INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Bill Moushey's Innocence Institute in Pittsburgh, with the assistance of college journalism students, works to free people wrongly convicted of crimes, including murder. He gets hundreds of letters from state inmates from Philadelphia, but he can't help them. He can't afford to reach across Pennsylvania to work on their cases. That should be the job of the Innocence Institute in Philadelphia. Except that there isn't one - or anything like it. Moushey raised the issue this month during his keynote address to the Pennsylvania Prison Society at the National Constitution Center.
NEWS
August 20, 2012 | By Faye Flam, Inquirer Staff Writer
What can chemistry do to help doctors detect cancer? To exonerate the wrongly convicted? And clarify the causes of climate change? These are some of the issues that will be addressed this week as 14,000 scientists descend on the Convention Center for a meeting of the American Chemical Society. Though the theme is "Materials for Medicine and Health," more than 8,000 planned sessions will range into nutrition, brain science, biodegradable plastics, solar cells, and forensics. The Washington-based ACS, which boasts of being the world's largest scientific society, holds two meetings a year in various cities.
NEWS
June 21, 2010 | By Emilie Lounsberry, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Saying that convictions are all too often based on inaccurate eyewitness identification, a special report ordered by the New Jersey Supreme Court is calling for mandatory pretrial hearings to evaluate the testimony of eyewitnesses in criminal cases. The report, filed this morning, also recommended that judges adopt and implement the findings of a wealth of scientific studies that offer guidance on how to ensure greater reliability. If adopted by the state's high court, New Jersey would have the most rigorous system in place to deal with the growing recognition that eyewitness testimony - which has long been known to carry great weight with juries - is often flat out wrong.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
September 24, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
For more than two decades, Anthony Wright has lived with the title a Philadelphia jury gave him - rapist and murderer of 77-year-old Louise Talley, who was stabbed to death in her Nicetown home on Oct. 19, 1991. Wright, 43, is far from a free man. But he still wiped tears from his eyes Monday when Common Pleas Court Judge D. Webster Keough formally vacated the 1993 verdicts against him, ordered a new trial, and told him: "You are now presumed innocent until proven guilty. " Keough's ruling was expected.
NEWS
May 7, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
THE PENNSYLVANIA Innocence Project, which works to free people who have been wrongfully convicted, will celebrate its fifth anniversary tonight at the Kimmel Center with cocktails, dessert and actor Tony Goldwyn of TV's "Scandal" fame. The event will honor those who have doggedly pursued justice for people wrongfully behind bars and also will recognize those wrongfully convicted. Eugene Gilyard, 35, who spent 15 years in state prison before a judge tossed out his and co-defendant Lance Felder's convictions in a 1995 slaying, will speak.
NEWS
December 29, 2013 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Gov. Christie on Friday signed into law a bill increasing compensation for people who are wrongfully imprisoned, from $20,000 per year of incarceration to $50,000. The increase in the cap on statutory damages to $50,000 per year - or twice the claimant's income in the year before incarceration, whichever is greater - puts New Jersey in line with what federal law provides, according to the nonprofit Innocence Project. New Jersey is among 29 states and the District of Columbia providing some form of compensation to victims.
NEWS
June 26, 2013
AFTER HAVING the courage to stand up, do the right thing and testify before an arbitration panel, Aida Guzman has been victimized a second time! (The first time was when she was punched in the face by a male police lieutenant while celebrating her heritage at the Puerto Rican Day Parade.) Guzman, who speaks very little English, was obviously no match for the experienced FOP attorney, whose livelihood consists of verbally attacking witnesses who are under oath. This is yet another prime example of why so many people have little (or no)
NEWS
April 3, 2013 | BY WILL BUNCH, Daily News Staff Writer bunchw@phillynews.com, 215-854-2957
HARRY "POP" Priovolos has only one item on his "bucket list," and it doesn't involve seeing the Grand Canyon or learning the harmonica. The 82-year-old retired baker and widower with a stern countenance behind wire-rimmed glasses doesn't play golf or shoot pool - and he surrendered his family's longtime home years ago to bunk down in Warrington with two of his three sons. Indeed, Priovolos has mostly blown through his life savings over the last 23 years, hiring lawyers and private investigators, compiling binders and phoning reporters.
NEWS
March 18, 2013 | By Joelle Farrell, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Two men spent more than a decade behind bars before DNA evidence exonerated them. After their release, one married, held a steady job, and earned a pension. The other is on welfare and lives with his mother. What separates their situations? Mainly, a river. While individual traits and circumstances surely played a role in the former inmates' differing destinies, prison reform advocates say it was crucial that one received a hand up from the state upon release and the other did not. Since 1997, New Jersey has compensated the wrongfully convicted with at least $20,000 for each year of incarceration.
NEWS
August 20, 2012 | By Faye Flam, Inquirer Staff Writer
What can chemistry do to help doctors detect cancer? To exonerate the wrongly convicted? And clarify the causes of climate change? These are some of the issues that will be addressed this week as 14,000 scientists descend on the Convention Center for a meeting of the American Chemical Society. Though the theme is "Materials for Medicine and Health," more than 8,000 planned sessions will range into nutrition, brain science, biodegradable plastics, solar cells, and forensics. The Washington-based ACS, which boasts of being the world's largest scientific society, holds two meetings a year in various cities.
NEWS
November 1, 2011 | By Emilie Lounsberry, Inquirer Staff Writer
One day about 30 years ago at the Bucks County Courthouse, a young public defender named Clyde W. Waite dropped in on a robbery trial, slipping quietly into the back row just as the victim was recounting the crime. Yes, she told the jury, the robber was present. Could she identify him for the courtroom? the prosecutor asked. Without hesitation, the woman pointed, but not to the man at the defense table. Her finger was aimed at the rear seats, and a very surprised Clyde Waite.
NEWS
September 21, 2011 | BY GLORIA CAMPISI, campisg@phillynews.com 215-854-5935
A STATE GOVERNMENT committee yesterday released a report citing 11 cases of prisoners' being cleared by DNA of wrongful conviction and urged the Pennsylvania Legislature to change the law to prevent future faulty convictions. A leader with the Innocence Project called the report to the Senate Judiciary Committee the tip of the iceberg as far as wrongful convictions are concerned. But the Pennsylvania District Attorneys' Association said that the committee's conclusions were predetermined and that its findings would create roadblocks.
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