Arizona woman cleared after 22 years on death row: ‘This is not happiness’

Originally posted on My Blog

Arizona woman cleared after 22 years on death row: ‘This is not happiness’

Debra Milke describes her release as ‘bittersweet’ after 25 years served for the murder of her son, in a case that rested on the work of disgraced detective

Debra Milke Phoenix

Debra Milke speaks in Phoenix. Milke spoke out for the first time after spending two decades on death row in the killing of her son. Her case was dismissed earlier this week. Photograph: Matt York/AP

An Arizona woman who spent 22 years on death row after being convicted of conspiring to murder her son in a case that rested on the work of a detective with a history of misconduct says regaining her freedom was vindicating but bittersweet.

On Monday, a judge formally dismissed murder…

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An exoneration happens every three days in America. What this really says about our justice system


Daily Kos staff

Tue Mar 24, 2015 at 07:28 AM PDT

An exoneration happens every three days in America. What this really says about our justice system

byShaun KingFollow forshaunking

Kevin Richardson, one of the wrongly convicted

attribution: REUTERS
Kevin Richardson of the Central Park Five takes a deep breath after 25 years spent in prison for a wrongful conviction

According to the National Registry of Exonerations at the University of Michigan, 1,569 men and women in the United States, most of them African American, have been completely exonerated after being wrongfully convicted and sent to prison. The number of people exonerated for wrongful convictions actually broke a record high in 2014 with 125 exonerations, including six people who were actually on death row awaiting execution.Less than every three days in our country, some man or woman is released back into society after spending a tragic portion of their life behind bars for a crime they never committed. Few injustices can compare to the horror of spending one hour in prison for something you didn’t do.

Ricky Jackson of Ohio spent 341,640 hours, or 39 years, behind bars before he was exonerated. Just a teenager when he was convicted, he was nearly a senior citizen when he was released.

Jonathan Fleming was serving the 25th year of a 25-year sentence when he was finally exonerated after a wrongful conviction.

Glenn Ford, on death row for 30 years in Louisiana, was 64 years old when he was released and was exonerated. Stricken with lung cancer, he was only expected to live a few more months.

One study determined that nearly 10,000 people are likely to be wrongfully convicted for serious crimes annually. Another study estimates that as many as 340 people are likely to have been executed in the United States before they were properly exonerated.

This is a travesty. Anyone who says otherwise is sick.

Jump below the fold for more.

But the conversation should not end at our conclusion that these wrongful convictions are a travesty. It appears, though, that an entire section of America refuses to believe that police or prosecutors can ever do any wrong at all. Except they do. Often.

Detective Louis Scarcella of the NYPD is accused of framing suspects, forcing fake confessions, and using the same single eyewitness for multiple murders. Many men who were wrongfully convicted under his watch have recently been exonerated and 50 of his cases are under review.

Chicago has now been called the “false confession capital” as more and more details are uncovered on how the city’s police officers are torturing men and women to confess to crimes they didn’t commit. They were so good at it, in fact, that Detective Richard Zuley was brought from Chicago to Guantanamo Bay to directly oversee one of the most brutal torturing operation in modern history.

The prosecutor of Glenn Ford, shipped off to death row at Angola State Prison in Louisiana in 1984, now openly admits that he was “sick … arrogant, judgemental, narcissistic and very full of myself” when he sought the wrongful conviction of Ford, who spent 30 years of his life in one of the most brutal prisons in the world.

Four police officers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, were just caught sending texts to one another about “killing nigg*rs” and giving them the “early death penalty.”

This is not okay.

It’s wrong.

Our justice system is altogether broken. This brokenness, though, must not be understood in some abstract way. It’s broken because the people leading it are often sick, disturbed racists who care very little for those on the receiving end of their sickness.

It’s not good enough to simply give wrongfully convicted men an insufficient check and an apology. We must repair the broken system so these instances go away for good.

Originally posted to shaunking on Tue Mar 24, 2015 at 07:28 AM PDT.

Also republished by Police Accountability Group.

He served 20 years for a crime he didn’t commit— and then 27 more hours for a broken sink

Originally posted on Fusion:

While serving 20 years in prison for a wrongful conviction, Angel Gonzalez painted: a lighthouse, a stream, a mountain, a blue truck, a snow-covered cabin in the woods.

“Every time I painted something I felt like I was escaping away from the world, from prison,” Gonzalez told Fusion, hours after exiting Dixon Correctional Center in Illinois. “Feeling freedom. To share with the world, a little bit, I guess, how you feel when you’re inside there. You’re so far away from reality that you sometimes you feel like you’re on a whole different planet.”


Gonzalez, a Mexican national from Waukegan, spoke on the phone Tuesday night after his release. “We got out and I eat chicken sandwich,” he said, laughing. Before his first home-cooked meal in decades, Gonzalez and Vanessa Potkin, his lawyer from The Innocence Project, made a clandestine pitstop at the restaurant Potbelly for a snack. “Busted,” said Potkin.

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Supreme Court won’t hear appeal against Romeo Phillion wrongful conviction suit

Originally posted on Global News:

OTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada has cleared the way for a wrongfully convicted man to sue police and the Crown over his three decades of imprisonment.

The court has refused to hear an appeal that was seeking to block Romeo Phillion’s multimillion-dollar lawsuit for negligence and prosecutorial wrongdoing.

Phillion’s suit was originally barred by a lower court, but was reinstated by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Now in his mid-70s, Phillion was convicted of second-degree murder in 1972 in the death of Ottawa firefighter Leopold Roy based on a confession he recanted almost immediately.

The federal government ultimately referred the case to the Ontario Court of Appeal, which quashed his conviction and ordered a new trial in 2009.

The Crown then withdrew the charge, arguing too much time had passed.

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Originally posted on


2 Votes
by Rachel Wolkenstein, attorney for Corey Walker, February 2, 2015
For over two years I have been an advocate and supporter of the Campaign to Free Lorenzo Johnson. Beginning in September 2014 I began representing co-defendant Corey Walker in his appeal to overturn his conviction on grounds of actual innocence, police and prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of counsel. Less than two months later, the PA Attorney General asked the judge in the case to vacate my admission to practice pro hac vice as Corey Walker’s lawyer. Both the post- conviction appeal proceeding and the AG’s motion to remove me from the case are pending.
This is an introduction to the case of Corey Walker who was framed for a December 1995 Harrisburg PA murder. The case…

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