Tag Archives | criminal justice

One in 25 People Sentenced to Death in U.S. Innocent.

Clayton Lockett. Photo: Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Clayton Lockett. Photo: Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Actually it’s “at least” one in 25 people sentenced to death in the United States who are innocent. Especially considering today’s scandal of the man in Oklahoma whose execution was badly botched, that’s really way too many. Common Dreams discusses the study’s findings:

At least one in 25 people sentenced to death in the United States is innocent.

So finds a damning study published Monday in leading scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The authors, hailing from Pennsylvania and Michigan, employ a statistical technique called “survival analysis” to arrive at their conclusions.

According to what researchers call a “conservative estimate,” between 1973 and 2004, at least 4.1 percent of people in the United States handed death sentences were innocent.

Yet, during this same time period, only 1.6 percent of them had been exonerated. The remaining innocent were either executed or had their sentences commuted to life in prison.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Texas Judge Elizabeth Coker Busted Texting Instructions to Assistant DA During Trial

BAA_x2x_jpg_1827636272…and that’s not all of it. Judge – now former Judge – Elizabeth Coker is also accused of improper meetings with jurors and defense attorneys about cases in her court. She has been forced to resign in lieu of disciplinary action, and will have to foot the costs of any litigation that arises because of her misconduct. No word as of yet whether all of the people convicted in her kangaroo court will get retrials.

Via Raw Story:

[J]udge Coker used Assistant District Attorney Jones to privately communicate information about the Reeves case to the assistant district attorney prosecuting the case; to suggest questions for the prosecutor to ask during the trial; to ensure that a witness was able to refresh his memory and rehabilitate his testimony by reviewing his videotaped interview with law enforcement before he took the stand for the second time the following day; and to discuss legal issues pertinent to the case.

Read the rest
Continue Reading