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ORGANIZATIONS THAT ASSIST PRISONERS
PROCLAIMING THEIR INNOCENCE:

The Innocence Project Of Texas

Texas Capital Punishment Clinic

Texas Center For Actual Innocence

Texas Defender Service

Texas Innocence Network

Texas Tech Innocence Project

Innocence Project

Vision Of Hope


RESOURCES AND INFORMATON:

Convicting The Innocent

The Innocent Imprisoned

Executing The Innocent

Innocent.Org

Justice For All

Indicting The Innocent

Protect The Innocent

Convicting The Innocent

Prisons Net

Facts on Post-Conviction
DNA Exonerations:
There have been 272 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States.

• The first DNA exoneration took place in 1989. Exonerations have been won in 34 states; since 2000, there have been 205 exonerations.

• 17 of the 272 people exonerated through DNA served time on death row.

• The average length of time served by exonerees is 13 years. The total number of years served is approximately 3,521.

• The average age of exonerees at the time of their wrongful convictions was 27.

Races of the 272 exonerees:
161 African Americans
80 Caucasians
21 Latinos
2 Asian American
4 whose race is unknown


COMPENSATION
Updated/2012:

*Tim Cole Act:

The Texas House of Representatives bill passed through committee and then the full house. After that, it went to Governor Rick Perry to be signed into law.

Another bill, named after Cole, was passed by the legislature and sent to the governor on May 11, 2009. It made those who are falsely convicted of a crime eligible for $80,000 for each year of incarceration and provide them with free college tuition.

The bill also established the Timothy Cole Advisory Panel on Wrongful Convictions. A panel set up to study the causes of wrongful convictions and to devise ways of preventing them is to report to the Texas governor no later than 2011.

While Rick Perry stated he wanted to issue a pardon, he felt that he was not legally able to do so. However, on January 7, 2010, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued an opinion which cleared the way for the governor to pardon Cole.

On March 2, 2010, Governor Rick Perry granted Timothy Cole the state's first posthumous pardon.

*Timothy Brian Cole (1960–1999) was an African-American military veteran and a Texas Tech University student wrongly convicted of raping a fellow student in 1985.

Cole attended two years of college followed by two years of service in the U.S. Army. After his Army service, he returned to college at Texas Tech in Lubbock.

Cole died after serving 14 years in prison, but was posthumously pardoned.


Updated/2007:

Texas:
$25,000 for each year up to 20 years; or $500,000 for 20 years or more.

Attorney fees, lost wages and counseling expenses for up to one year.

This year, lawmakers are considering a measure that would double the amount for each year in prison.

A bill adopted in 2001 allows people who were wrongfully convicted to collect $25,000 per year of incarceration if they:

*Served all or part of their sentence.

*Received a pardon of innocence or relief from a court, based on their innocence.

*Can document the amount of time served.

In 2003, a new provision, which the bill's author calls unfair, added this requirement:

*A letter certifying the claimant's actual innocence from the district attorney.



JUSTICE:

1.
They say that justice
is not a privilege but a right
How am I to believe this
when I'm locked up day and night

2.
Away from my loved ones
my family and friends.
The pain, the grief,
the heartache
never ever ends

3.
But if you'd only listen
like they used to do
Now you're just a number
no one believes in you

4.
But if you'd just listen
listen carefully and hear.
I'm sure you would believe
I really shouldn't be here

5.
Send away this innocent man
keep him under lock and key
Send him off to prison
to protect the likes
of you and me

6.
We're all too quick
to judge and condemn
Especially if it's not
happening to us
but only happening to them

7.
These miscarriages of justice
keep happening every year
Everybody listens
but how many really hear

8.
Years of fighting
to right all the wrongs
The guilty one walks free
instead of where he belongs

9.
Think of all the others
Who fought this terrifying fight
Yet still nothing has been done
To make the system right

10.
We could all sit back
and do nothing
And think the system is fine
Next time the pain and heartache
Could be yours instead of mine.

By Danny Mansell
British Prisoner

Civil-Criminal-Death Penalty
Legal
Harmful Error

From The Angolite;
Jan/Feb/Mar 2004 Issue

The following examples of prosecutable
misconduct were held by appellate
courts to be grounds for reversing
sentences, convictions or dismissing the changes:

^ Hiding, destroying or tampering with evidence, case files or court records:

^ Failing to disclose exculpatory evidence:

^ Threatening, badgering or tampering with witnesses:

^ Improper behavior during grand jury proceedings:

^ Excluding jurors on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender or other discriminatory grounds:

^ Making inappropriate or inflammatory comments in from of the jury:

^ Introducing or trying to introduce inadmissible or inflammatory evidence:

^ Mis-characterizing evidence or facts to the court or jury:

^ Making improper closing arguments:

^ Harassing, displaying bias toward or having a vendetta against a defendant or defense lawyer, including denial of speedy trial and selective or vindictive prosecution.

Source: "Harmful Error: Investigating America's Local Prosecutors" (2003),
Center for Public Integrity, Washington D.C.


Eyewitness/Misidentification Reports:
Research Shows:

• Over 230 people, serving an average of 12 years in prison, have been exonerated through DNA testing in the United States, and 75% of those wrongful convictions (179 individual cases as of this writing) involved eyewitness misidentification.


• In 38% of the misidentification cases, multiple eyewitnesses misidentified the same innocent person.
• Over 250 witnesses misidentified innocent suspects.
• Fifty-three percent of the misidentification cases, where race is known, involved crossracial misidentifications.
• In 50% of the misidentification cases, eyewitness testimony was the central evidence used against the defendant (without other corroborating evidence like confessions, forensic science or informant testimony).
• In 36% of the misidentification cases, the real perpetrator was identified through DNA evidence.
• In at least 48% of the misidentification cases where a real perpetrator was later identified through DNA testing, that perpetrator went on to commit (and was convicted of) additional violent crimes (rape, murder, attempted murder, etc.), after an innocent person was serving time in prison for his previous crime.

JUNK SCIENCE:
Definition::

Junk science occurs when scientists or researchers move beyond simply fooling themselves (as with pathological science) and create arguments or ideas which confuse and fool other scientists, the public, and even lawmakers.

What we have here are ideas which could be true but which have little or no supporting evidence that should cause anyone to think they are true.

10 Definitions of Junk Science:

1. Bad policy based upon (8.8%)
2. Experts with agendas (7.0%)
3. False data (surprisingly or not surprisingly a mere 1.8%)
4. No data or unsubstantiated claims (14.0%)
5. Failure to cite references (5.3%)
6. Using non-certified experts (3.5%)
7. Poor methodology (as determined by whom?) (21.1%)
8. Too much uncertainty to arrive at conclusions drawn (14.0%)
9. Revealing only that data which supports findings (7.0%)
10. Non-peer reviewed claims (7.0%)

When you have junk science in a case, it’s like pouring poison into a punch bowl. You aren’t going to get the poison out. So you have to pour out the punch, clean the bowl, and start all over again. ~ Texas Attorney Kathryn Kase

Junk Science in the Courtroom:

Juries usually believe expert witnesses. Unfortunately, juries rarely understand the expert testimony they hear, and don't know what weight -- if any -- to give to terms like "consistent with" and "matching" and "virtually excluded."

The lawyers and the judge rarely understand the science that is presented by these experts, either. Our criminal justice system is adversarial and often dog-eat-dog.

When the expert falls short of the minimum standards of the profession, or worse, is an outright fraud, it can spell disaster for the wrongly accused.





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