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Here are the top stories in criminal justice reform, taken from the Justice Newsladder.

The Texas state criminal appeals court officially exonerated Thomas Clifford McGowan, who spent 25 years in prison for a rape he did not commit. The rape victim picked McGowan from a photo lineup of seven men, saying she "thought" he was the attacker. Police pressed her to say she was certain it was him - McGowan and his attorneys said they initiated a "forced choice response" from the victim. His conviction was overturned by DNA evidence. (

Some of the current and former Dallas  County prosecutors responsible for sending 17 innocent men to prison for a total of 282 years spoke about those cases for the first time this week. Some feel remorse and regret while others contend they were just doing their jobs. (

For years in Virginia, when new evidence about a crime was discovered, prosecutors and local police were informed, but not inmates serving sentences for those crimes. A new law requires the crime lab board to notify convicted felons when biological evidence surfaces relating to their cases, and the felon can subsequently ask that it be tested. (

Fulton County's chief judge strongly criticized the closure of a metro defender office, saying it was poorly planned and will create a legal crisis for about 1,850 poor people charged with crimes. The closure announcement was triggered by a $3.6 million statewide cut in funding for public defenders who handle conflict cases. (

The Justice Project, an organization which works to increase fairness and accuracy in the American criminal justice system, is proud to sponsor the Justice Newsladder, a new tool to find the top news and articles about criminal justice reform.

Originally posted to Jeff Miller The Justice Project on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 10:51 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sure thats a great idea (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Raven in Philly

    cut the funds for the public defender, that will reduce the cost of convictions.  Depending on what you count as a cost, of course.

    good for you for doing this series, its a real meatgrinder of a process, especially after decades of right-wingers.  This is one area I perceive Obama to be pretty weak in also.  I'd like to see a president who had the balls of the Ill. Gov. who looked at the death penalty process and said, "nope".

    Now, I certainly know McCain would be worse so this is in no way a reason not to vote for the Democrat, but it would be really nice to see someone take a stand on this and drag us into the modern world.

    "Time to focus on McCain and kicking his McAss." Angry Mouse

    by NearlyNormal on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 11:04:16 AM PDT

  •  Excellent diary! (0+ / 0-)

    This is the first of your series I've seen, but I will definitely be on the lookout for future diaries.  As someone with a loved one in Federal prison, the issue resonates with me and I'll be checking out Justice Project site.

    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle. --Philo of Alexandria

    by MCL on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 11:16:32 AM PDT

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