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August 17, 2009

SCOTUS orders innocence hearing in Troy Davis case

The Supreme Court is making some rare summer news this morning through a ruling in a high-profile capital case.  Here are the basic details from this SCOTUSblog postby Lyle Denniston:

The Supreme Court, over two Justices’ dissents, on Monday ordered a federal judge in Georgia to consider and rule on the claim of innocence in the murder case against Troy Anthony Davis (In re Davis, 08-1443)  The Court told the District Court to “receive testimony and make findings of fact as to whether evidence that could have been obtained at the time of trial clearly establishes [Davis'] innocence.”

Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented, and some of their arguments were answered in a separate opinion by Justice John Paul Stevens, joined by Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.   The new member of the Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, took no part in the Court’s action.

The action was highly unusual, because Davis had filed what is called an original writ of habeas corpus — that is, a plea for his release, filed directly in the Supreme Court rather than in lower courts.  Justice Scalia noted in his dissent that the Court had not taken a similar step “in nearly 50 years.” The original writ, petition for certiorari, brief in opposition, and amici filings can be downloaded here.

The action also was unusual because the Court normally does not take actions of this significance during its summer recess....

The Court’s order and Justice Stevens’ separate opinion can be downloaded here. Justice Scalia’s dissent is available here.

The AP has this report on the ruling, which is headlined "Supreme Court says Georgia man should get hearing."

August 17, 2009 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Weird. Looks like a punt. Hopefully, the judge will put Davis on the stand. He should have to explain why he didn't finger Coles until 2007.

Posted by: federalist | Aug 17, 2009 11:44:17 AM

I do find Stevens' statement somewhat odd in that it seems to claim that SCOTUS has ruled that executing an innocent person would be a constitutional violation, yet everything I've seen on the topic has been otherwise. Certainly Scalia cites several cases to the contrary.

I also find the limitation of the examination to evidence that should have been available at time of trial odd. Presumably Davis' defense team attempted to make the various witnesses recant their statements.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Aug 17, 2009 11:48:26 AM

With Sotomayor not taking part, how many votes were needed? Only two other justices signed onto Stevens's opinion.

Posted by: . | Aug 17, 2009 12:09:33 PM

".", 6 justices joined the order. Kennedy, Roberts and Alito were apparently fine with ordering the hearing but not interested in Justice Stevens's brief for Troy Davis.

Posted by: anonymous | Aug 17, 2009 12:19:16 PM

But why not say

"Kennedy, Roberts and Alito were apparently *against* ordering the hearing but not interested in Justice *Scalia's* brief *against* Troy Davis."

From scotusblog

"The Court did not disclose how each of the Justices had voted, other than the dissents of Justices Scalia and Thomas. Presumably, however, an order of this kind would have required the approval of at least five votes. Justices Breyer, Ginsburg and Stevens presumably voted for the order; their opinion said the case was the type was was exceptional enough to qualify for the action. It is unclear how Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., or Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Samuel A. Alito, Jr., voted, if they did, but it appears that at least two of them would have had to agree to the step taken."

Posted by: . | Aug 17, 2009 12:33:35 PM

Soronel, the day the Constitution is inerpreted to say that it's fine to execute an innocent person would be a day of mourning for this country.

Posted by: Michael R. Levine | Aug 17, 2009 12:35:12 PM

Period, if Kennedy, Roberts, and Alito were all against ordering the hearing, it would not have been ordered. At least two of them had to be in favor.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Aug 17, 2009 12:58:04 PM

Period, you're right that there's a possibility that a third justice didn't agree with the order but didn't sign on to the Scalia dissent. I relied on an earlier report that said the vote was 6-2.

Posted by: anonymous | Aug 17, 2009 1:10:55 PM

The Court has never said that execution of a factually innocent person would violate the Constitution (nor has it ever said it would not). But at one time or another, five different justices have said that it would violate the constitution. Only two (Scalia and Thomas) have ever said that it would not.

Posted by: Jeff Gamso | Aug 17, 2009 1:50:12 PM

Could/should not the Supreme Court have appointed a special master or magistrate (or some such thing) to conduct the hearing and make recommendations to the Court? That, it seems to me, is more consistent with the nature of an original writ proceeding. It might help get around AEDPA difficulties, as well. Of course one could say the district court to which transfer is made is acting as the Supreme Court's special master or magistrate (or some such thing), but there is no indication that is what the Court intended.

Posted by: Peter | Aug 17, 2009 3:41:20 PM

This ruling in my opinion is a reversal of Herrera. The Herrera case is now no longer valid and can never again be used in any case. In that case Chief Justice Rehnquist ruled that death-row inmates never have the right to a post-trial hearing on claims of innocence. Leonel Herrera was subsequently executed. Today the majority has ruled that Herrera is null and void, and that death-row inmates are always entitled to hearings on their claims of innocence. Never again can the government cite Herrera in opposition to requests for hearings. That's my take on this. That we will now see the courts flooded with requests for habeas hearings on claims of actual innocence, and all those requests will under todays binding precedent have to be granted and litigated.

Posted by: Ian | Aug 17, 2009 4:45:18 PM

Let me add one more thing. What's most discouraging about this opinion is that it means at the very least even if he looses Davis has now extended his life by at least 3-4 years. You've got at least a year before the federal judge issues a ruling. You've got to have the hearing complete with testimony. Then you've got a couple months for both sides to finalize their briefs. Then more time for the federal judge to review the hearing and briefs and issue a ruling. Then if Davis looses he gets to go back to the 11th Circuit which will take at least another year to review the federal judges order. And then it goes back to the Supreme Court. In the meantime the Macphail family continues to be denied closure and has to suffer in silence while their loved one is dead and Troy Davis gets to laugh at them while he's enjoying his life as he exploits the slow-moving legal system. While Officer Macphail is dead, Troy Davis gets to remain alive for at least 3-4-5 years and gets to have fun and enjoy life. I find that unfair.

Posted by: Ian | Aug 17, 2009 4:54:57 PM

Ian assumes Troy is guilty.

OTOH, that damn libbie Bob Barr thinks there is a good chance he is not. If so, the family shouldn't be too gleeful at his death.

Likewise, the ruling cited noted:

We may assume, for the sake of argument in deciding this case, that in a capital case a truly persuasive demonstration of "actual innocence" made after trial would render the execution of a defendant unconstitutional, and warrant federal habeas relief if there were no state avenue open to process such a claim.

So, the holding and its internment is exaggerated.

Posted by: Joe | Aug 17, 2009 5:47:29 PM

IT IS GOOD NEWS THAT THE SUPREME COURT RULED THAT TROY DAVIS WILL GET A HEARING, HOWEVER . . . .

I don't really know if we should be popping the champaign bottle open just yet. The article reads, "The high court ordered a federal judge in Georgia to determine whether there is evidence 'that could not have been obtained at the time of trial (that) clearly establishes petitioner's innocence.'"

That means the decision goes back to the same Georgia courts that repeatedly decided against even giving Troy Davis a hearing at all. Yet, we will have to take this one step at a time and hope for the best.

"CLEARLY ESTABLISHING INNOCENCE" is a much tougher thing than establishing reasonable doubt, which is all that is needed to get "not guilty" verdicts during a regular trial. I have been wondering all day how that could be done in Troy's case since there is no forensic evidence for DNA testing.

I am not an attorney, but the standard set by the Supreme Court for Troy apparently demands that he give irrefutable proof of his innocence. This disturbs me because all I read that his lawyers have is evidence of reasonable doubt of Troy's guilt, such as the seven witnesses retracting their testimony or contradicting earlier accounts of what happened.

Therefore, Troy's success seems to depend on a standard that might not be possible to reach: irrefutable proof from a defendant with no forensic evidence? I am no lawyer, so hopefully . .

Read the whole AP article at the link below.

*****************

August 17, 2009 11:26 AM EDT
Copyright 2009, The Associated Press.

http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/supreme-court-says-georgia-117161.html


Posted by: Mary Neal | Aug 18, 2009 5:24:43 AM

Mary,

You're right. There's a different evidentiary standard. Nothing that has happened since the conviction is a trial. It's all post-trial procedure and appeal. The reasonable doubt standard usually does not apply. The system is loathe to disturb the verdict of the jury. And it should be.

Posted by: Brian | Aug 18, 2009 11:36:09 AM

~ HOW DID $ATAN EVER $NEAK INTO OUR U.$ GOVERNMENT ???

THIS OLD WORLD ORDER OF ABUSE AND NEGLECT OF OUR POORER AMERICANS NEEDS ENLIGHTENED POLITICAL MINDS AND HEARTS TO VIEW GOD DIFFERENTLY THEN $$$.

WHEN WILL OUR WEALTHY ELITE AMERICANS ABATE THEIR ASSAULT ON POORER AMERICANS WITH THEIR MONETARY CONTROL OF OUR IVORY TOWER U.S. CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER ???

THERE ARE NOT MANY MORE DISTRACTIONS LEFT WHICH ARE AVAILABLE FOR OUR WEALTHY ELITE AMERICANS TO HIDE BEHIND IN NOT TAKING PROPER CARE OF ALL OUR AMERICANS IN A HUMANE FASHION !!!

AMERICAN IVORY TOWER U.S.CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS OF THE FREE WORLD HAVE PASSED FEDERAL LEGISLATION IN WASHINGTON DC TO SPEND 50 BILLION AMERICAN TAX $$$ ON THE INTERNATIONAL FIGHT AGAINST AIDS OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS WHILE THEIR OWN AMERICAN CITIZENS ARE BEING TOLD BY THIS SAME U.S.CONGRESS THAT NATIONAL HEALTH CARE AND PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION FOR MIDDLE CLASS AND WORKING POOR CITIZENS IS UNAFFORDABLE.

*** WEALTHY ELITE AMERICANS (WHO ARE ONLY 1% OF OUR USA POPULATION) SADLY ALSO CONTROL HOW OUR U.S.CONGRESS SPENDS THEIR BUDGET TRILLION$ AND HAVE OBVIOUSLY FOUND MORE WORTHY INTERNATIONAL CITIZENS THEN OUR OWN DESPERATE AND NEEDY POOR TO ASSIST !!!

~Poorer Americans Nationwide only get 400 million $$$ per year for legal representation allocated them by CONGRESS~

Middle Class and Working Poor Americans are unable to afford proper legal representation in their Civil, Criminal and Family Courts of law all across America causing tremendous hardships nationwide,but these great minds and callous hearts in our American Congress have found others Worldwide more needy then their own citizens who are being falsely incarcerated,wrongfuly executed,losing their homes or apartments,losing child custody or visitation with their children etc…

Not being afforded proper legal representation by our U.S. Congress has created a total breakdown of the American judicial system for our poorer Americans because the our U.S. Courts punish all of us little people if we are not assisted with proprer legal counsel.it is a known fact that our average Middle Class and Working Poor Americans without proper legal representation in all of our American Courts of law lose their legal cases to the better financed who are able to afford lawyers.

Lawyers For Poor Americans is now actively in the hunt for International Countries and Leaders Worldwide to help raise 5 Billion Dollar$ for our slighted poorer Americans who have had their own American Congress turn their backs on their desperate needs in not affording them proper legal representation.

Troy Davis and Mumia Abu - Jamal are 2 perfect examples of American citizens who never had proper legal representation afforded them by our U.S. Congressional Leaders Of The Free World in their initial criminal trials in (Georgia and Pennsylvania) who might very well have to pay the ultimate price of possibly being completely innocent and falsely executed in the near future.

This is the first of many www International pleas by Lawyers For Poor Americans for other leaders and countries to help raise the needed monie$ to correct these blatant injustices that have been inflicted on poorer Americans for the last few decades.

Lawyers For Poor Americans has many other written articles that can be viewed with any www search engine by our name or our telephone number.

Lawyers For Poor Americans is a www lobby group of volunteers that sing out about the decades old neglect,abuse and injustices being inflicted on our poorer Americans that have become Crimes Against Humanity issues for the International World Court to investigate.

[email protected]

(424-247-2013)


Posted by: LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS | Aug 23, 2009 6:45:43 PM

~ THE PEOPLE REST OUR CASE AGAINST SATAN AND TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY YOUR HONOR ~


TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY & SATAN HAVE BEEN SNARED~RELIGIOUS AMERICANS !!!

CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN OTHER THEN SATAN HOW TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY ON ONE HAND PARDONS FORMER TEXAS INMATE TIMOTHY COLE WHO WAS WRONGFULLY EXECUTED WITHOUT BEING ALLOWED TO EXONERATE HIMSELF USING DNA TESTING IN TEXAS , AND WITHIN THE SAME MONTH THIS SAME GOVERNOR RICK PERRY OF TEXAS DENIES YET ANOTHER DNA TEST PRIOR ANOTHER POSSIBLE WRONGFUL EXECUTION OF HANK SKINNER ????????
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SATND DOWN TEXAS PROJECT

Friday, April 23, 2010
Cole Advisory Panel Meets
The Timothy Cole Advisory Panel on Wrongful Convictions met yesterday in Austin. Today's Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports, "Timothy Cole panel questions the creation of a Texas innocence commission," written by Dave Montgomery.

An advisory panel bearing the name of a wrongfully convicted inmate from Fort Worth is apparently leaning against recommending the creation of a state innocence commission amid concerns that it would create a new bureaucracy and duplicate work already being performed in Texas law schools.

The concept of an innocence commission to investigate whether convictions are wrongful was among several recommendations discussed Thursday by the Timothy Cole Advisory Panel. Cole, who died in prison after being convicted for a sexual assault that he didn't commit, was recently given a posthumous pardon by Gov. Rick Perry.

The panel deferred votes until its next meeting, but members generally expressed reservations about creating an innocence commission. Some members called for bolstering similar work now under way in four Texas law schools.

The University of Texas at Austin, Texas Tech, the University of Houston and Texas Southern University have projects or clinics that examine questionable convictions. Similar projects are in operation across the country.

The commission's stance generally tracks that of Perry, who believes a commission "would create an added layer of government," said Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle. Perry's deputy general counsel, Mary Anne Wiley, is a member of the panel.

And:

Cory Session, Cole's brother, said he supports the panel's position and complimented it for its efforts to improve the state's criminal justice system. Cole's case has come to symbolize widening efforts in Texas and other states to correct legal weaknesses that have led to improper convictions. The panel was created by the 2009 Legislature as part of a push that also expanded benefits for former inmates who were exonerated after being cleared by DNA evidence.

"We're pleased with the work they're putting forth so far," said Session, who attended Thursday's meeting along with his mother, Ruby Session, who led the family's 25-year-long battle to clear Cole. He introduced her at the meeting as "the mother of the wrongful conviction movement."

Two exonerated former inmates, Stephen Phillips and Christopher Scott, also addressed the panel.

"I knew I was innocent. Hardly anybody else did," said Phillips, who spent 26 years behind bars before being released in 2008. "I was afraid I was going to die."

He said that efforts like those of the Cole panel have raised hopes among innocent people behind bars.

Earlier coverage of the panel and of Tim Cole's posthumous exoneration begins with this post. An OpEd coauthored by Cory Session on wrongful convictions and DNA testing is noted here.

Friday, April 23, 2010 at 10:11 AM in DNA, Eyewitness Identification, Forensics, State Legislation, Task Force on Inigent Defense, Texas Legislature | Permalink

Technorati Tags: Allison Castle, Christopher Scott, Cory Session, DNA, exoneration, eyewitness identification, innocence, Mary Anne Wiley, Rick Perry, Rick Perry, Stephen Phillips, Task Force on Indigent Defense, Texas, Tim Cole, Timothy Cole Advisory Panel on Wrongful Convictions, wrongful conviction

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NOW SATAN & TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY NOW ATTEMPT TO INVOLVE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WITH VISIT 2 SAN ANTONIO ARCHBISHOP JOSE GOMEZ !


~ WHEN WILL THE ICC OPEN THEIR INVESTIGATION INTO U.S. TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY ~

TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY & SATAN HAVE DRIVEN THEIR HELTER SKELTER DEATH ROW POLICIES 2 U.S.SUPREME COURT & INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC) IN A MICHAEL DUKAKIS TANK ?

SATAN & TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY OBVIOUSLY HAVE BIGGER FUTURE POLITICAL AMBITIONS THEN SAVING A POSSIBLE INNOCENT HANK SKINNER LIFE ?

TOP TEN REASONS WHY TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY & SATAN ARE DENYING TEXAN HANK SKINNER DNA TESTING PRIOR HIS POSSIBLE WRONGFUL EXECUTION ???

"And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free "

BEHOLD SARAH PALIN FANS, SATAN & GOVERNOR RICK PERRY ARE ALREADY DOING EVERYTHING POSSIBLE IN MAKING SURE THAT THEY WILL BE THE ONLY REPUBLICAN 2012 PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE~S !!!

1) BOTH DO NOT BELIEVE THAT EXECUTING THE POSSIBLE INNOCENT ARE WRONGFUL EXECUTIONS ??
2) BOTH DO NOT VALUE POSSIBLE INNOCENT HUMAN LIFE LIKE OTHERS ~

3) BOTH THINK ONLY GIRLY MEN ASK FOR DNA TESTING BEFORE THEIR POSSIBLE WRONGFUL EXECUTIONS ??

4) BOTH HAVE BIG FUTURE PRESIDENTIAL POLITICAL AMBITIONS AND REALLY NEED THE TEA PARTY BACKERS & NRA MEMBERS TO CARRY IT OFF ?

5) BOTH WANT FINANCIAL POLITICAL SUPPORT $$$ FROM WEALTHY TEXANS WHO DISLIKE THE GUILTY POOR OR EVEN THE INNOCENT POOR IN AMERICA!

6) * IS THE ONLY DEMONIC THING TO DO *

7) BOTH BELIEVE THEIR WRONGFUL DEATH ROW TEXAS PRISON POLICY OF DON'T ASK AND WE WON'T TELL IS PROPER ?

8) BOTH BELIEVE A FEW DEMONIC LIKE MISTAKES HERE OR THERE OF INNOCENT HUMAN LIFE BEING WRONFULLY EXECUTED IS TO BE EXPECTED WITH THEIR TEXAS DEATH ROW EXECUTION POLICIES ...

9) THE DEVIL AND HE BOTH ENJOY DOING IT ?

10) *** NEED THE NATIONAL ATTENTION ON BEING TOUGH ON CRIME BECAUSE THEY ARE SECRETLY PLANNING THEIR JOINT 2012 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION BID AND HAVE TO TAKE AWAY NATIONAL ATTENTION FROM REPUBLICAN SARAH PALIN ON THIS CRIME ISSUE ***

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SATAN & TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY RECEIVE TELEPHONE CALL FROM DR.JACK KEVORKIAN EXPLAINING THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EXECUTIONS IN TEXAS & STATE ASSISTED SUICIDES IN OREGON & WASHINGTON !!!

** SATAN & GOVERNOR RICK PERRY OF TEXAS OBVIOUSLY VIEW U.S. HUMAN LIFE DIFFERENTLY THEN RELIGIOUS AMERICANS **

DEAR DR. JACK KEVORKIAN,

TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY APPEARS TO HAVE ATTEMPTED TO MODEL HIS TEXAS DEATH ROW PRISONS AFTER THE STATES OF WASHINGTON AND OREGON STATE ASSISTED SUICIDE NEWLY ENACTED STATE LEGISLATIVE LAWS !

PLEASE SIR, IF YOU COULD FIND THE TIME TO CALL, INFORM AND EXPLAIN TO GOVERNOR RICK PERRY OF TEXAS THE VARIOUS DIFFERENCES BETWEEN STATE SANCTIONED EXECUTIONS OF POSSIBLE INNOCENT INMATES ON HIS TEXAS DEATH ROW AND THESE WILLING TERMINAL ILL RESIDENTS IN THE GREAT NORTHWEST ???

~ HALF OF AMERICA DOES NOT WANT U.S. EXECUTIONS EVER & THE OTHER HALF ONLY WANTS EXECUTIONS OF THE CONFIRMED GUILTY GOVERNOR PERRY !!!

NOT ONE U.S. RELIGION OR RELIGIOUS LEADER AGREES WITH TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY EXECUTING EVEN THE POSSIBLE INNOCENT... poor americans ~

** SAVING POSSIBLE INNOCENT U.S. LIVES IS OBVIOUSLY NOT ON SATANS OR TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRYS AGENDA **

* APPARENTLY TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY NEEDS AMERICANS & U.S.RELIGIOUS LEADERS PRAYERS 4 HIS OWN FREEDOM *

WHILE SATAN & TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY WERE DENYING HANK SKINNER THE ABILITY TO HAVE HIS DNA TESTED TO PROVE HIS POSSIBLE INNOCENCE BEFORE HIS TEXAS EXECUTION, THE LORD WAS IN OHIO HELPING THESE STATESMEN CREATE THIS FUTURE LEGISLATION TO SAVE INNOCENT HUMAN LIFE !!!

GOD HAS SPOKEN & THESE PRECIOUS STATESMEN FROM OHIO HAVE LISTENED UNLIKE GOVERNOR PERRY OF TEXAS ???

THANK YOU LORD ~ THIS OHIO GOVERNOR OBVIOUSLY HAS YOUR HEAVENLY CONCEPT ON THIS ONE !

THANK YOU GOD FOR ALSO ALLOWING THIS FANTASTIC STAND DOWN TEXAS PROJECT TO CONTINUE BRINGING NEW LIFE TO OUR AMERICAN POOR WHO ARE HAVING CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY INFLICTED ON THEM ALL ACROSS OUR WONDERFUL AND CHANGING COUNTRY !!!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010
New Ohio DNA Law Called 'Model', 'Best in Nation'
The text of the new law is here; you can also view the fiscal note and bill analyses. Governor Ted Strickland's brief press release is here.

State Senator David Goodman sponsored SB 77, which expands DNA testing for certain convicted felons, eliminates DNA testing for felons who pleaded guilty or no contest, preserves biological evidence in criminal proceeding and improves eyewitness identification procedures.

"This bill updates Ohio's DNA law and will play a significant role in the modernization of Ohio's system of criminal justice," Strickland said. "The new procedures will help improve criminal investigations and save lives."
"Ohio's new DNA law called model," is the Columbus Dispatch report by Jim Siegel.

With the stroke of Gov. Ted Strickland's pen yesterday, experts say Ohio now has some of the best laws in the country to protect the innocent from wrongful convictions and put the right people behind bars.

Strickland, joined by a handful of men who were exonerated after serving years in prison for crimes they did not commit, signed Senate Bill 77. It sets statewide standards for retaining biological evidence, requires the taking of DNA from anyone arrested on a felony charge and requires new procedures for suspect lineups.

"It's a good day for justice and fairness," said Strickland, flanked by Sen. David Goodman, R-New Albany, and Rep. W. Carlton Weddington, D-Columbus.

Goodman introduced the bill after a Dispatch investigation in January 2008 exposed widespread shortcomings in Ohio's DNA law, including the derailing of prisoner DNA tests by systemic indifference or hostility.

Attending the bill-signing were two men freed as a result of the newspaper's series: Robert McClendon of Columbus, who served 18 years for a child rape that DNA testing showed he did not commit; and Joseph Fears Jr. of Columbus, who wrongly served more than 25 years for two Columbus rapes.

Other Ohioans freed in the past decade by DNA evidence - Walter Smith, Clarence Elkins and Danny Brown - also joined the governor.

"I feel very emotional about what we've accomplished today," Goodman said, noting the six-year process of drafting and changing DNA-evidence laws. "It's going to improve the criminal-justice system in so many different ways."

Marc Kovac writes, "DNA collection requirements for criminals, accused OK'd," for the state's News-Leader.

The new law includes provisions concerning the storage and access of DNA samples, providing a mechanism for individuals convicted of crimes to prove their innocence.

It creates a new statewide task force to establish standards for collecting, storing and cataloging biological evidence.

It requires law enforcement to follow certain procedures when conducting live or photo lineups for witnesses to identify potential law breakers.

And it calls for anyone 18 years or older who are arrested on felony charges to submit DNA samples to law enforcement -- something that has prompted concern about civil liberties and government intrusion into citizens' lives.

Strickland downplayed those concerns.

The Cincinnati Business Courier has, "Ohio's new DNA law a model, experts say."

"Ohio is truly the national leader on innocence reforms and will be the role model other states look to as they contemplate similar measures in the coming years," said Mark Godsey, director of the Innocence Project, in the Dispatch report.

Florida's Lakeland Ledger notes the new law with, "Ohio’s DNA law considered best in country," posted by Shoshana Walter.

-Requires DNA samples to be taken from anyone convicted of a felony after July 1, 2011.

-Requires agencies to retain biological evidence for up to 30 years in murder and sexual-assault cases. Five year limit when defendant pleads guilty.

-Allows DNA testing for parolees and anyone in the sex offender registry.

-Requires blind suspect lineups, meaning the officer either doesn’t know the identity of the real suspect or uses a photo-lineup technique in which only the witness can see the photos.

-Provides incentives for investigators to record interrogations.

And:

There are some similarities to some Florida laws already on the books.

In 2006, Florida required DNA evidence to be preserved for anyone who could petition for postconviction DNA testing (that would apply only to those convicted of felonies). My understanding is that before that law went into effect, each court system throughout the state had different policies about when and how evidence got destroyed–many Florida counties simply destroyed DNA evidence that might have led to exonerations.

That wasn’t the case in Polk, though. The Clerk of Court’s office told me that before the 2006 law, Florida’s 10th Judicial Circuit actually saved all evidence in life or death sentence cases.

Earlier this week, Sharon Coolidge wrote, "DNA bill helped by University of Cincinnati students," for the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Watch any crime cop show on TV and DNA evidence likely played a role in capturing the bad guy.

But in real life, lawyers say that evidence isn't always available.
DNA will be more readily available in years to come because a group of University of Cincinnati students helped craft bill that overhauls the state's criminal justice system in an effort to avoid wrongful convictions.

Gov. Ted Strickland is set to sign Senate Bill 77 into law today.The bill creates:

A requirement that DNA be saved in all serious crimes for five years in plea bargain cases and for 30 years, or until a person gets out of prison, if a person is found guilty at trial.

Police incentives for recording interrogations start to finish.

A requirement that police lineups and eyewitness photo identifications be double blind, meaning the officer in charge of the lineup doesn't even know who the suspect is.

An expansion of post-conviction DNA testing to allow convicted felons better access to DNA testing.

A requirement that DNA be taken from people after arrest on felony charges, instead of after conviction as happens now.

The provisions take effect by the end of the year, except for DNA collection after arrest, which is delayed due to the anticipated $1.9 million-per-year cost.

A March 25 Columbus Dispatch article, "Lawmakers OK Ohio DNA bill," reported the new law's legislative passage.

In their final session before heading into an Easter break, Ohio lawmakers moved bills yesterday designed to improve criminal investigations, ban texting while driving and give local law enforcement more power to tackle illegal immigration.

After setting modern records this session for a lack of legislative action, the House and Senate opened the spigot and sent a number of measures to Gov. Ted Strickland, including one that would require the collection of DNA evidence from anyone arrested on a felony charge in Ohio.

Strickland is expected to sign Senate Bill 77, which also opens DNA testing to parolees. The bill also requires blind suspect lineups - where the presiding officer does not know the identity of the true suspect or can't see the picture a witness is viewing - and sets a new 30-year standard for retaining biological evidence in cases of murder and sexual assault.

The limit is five years when a defendant pleads guilty, a House-added provision that bill sponsor Sen. David Goodman, R-New Albany, opposes. "I think it's too short a period of time, and individuals will potentially have some problems down the line," he told the Senate before a final concurrence vote.

But, Goodman added, he agreed to the compromise and said it's "still a very good bill."

Related posts can be found in the DNA, eyewitness identification, and state legislation indexes.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010 at 11:20 AM in DNA, Eyewitness Identification, Forensics, Law Enforcement, State Legislation | Permalink

Technorati Tags: Clarence Elkins, Danny Brown, David Goodman, DNA, exoneration, eyewitness id, eyewitness identification, Florida, Joseph Fears, law enforcement, lineup, Mark Godsey, Ohio, Ohio Legislature, Robert McClendon, SB 77, Senate Bill 77, Ted Strickland, University of Cincinnati, Walter Smith

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LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS IS A WWW VOLUNTEER LOBBY THAT SINGS OUT FOR MIDDLE~CLASS AND WORKING POOR AMERICANS.WE CAN BE FOUND WITH ANY WEB SEARCH ENGINE BY OUR NAME OR TELEPHONE NUMBER.

[email protected] (424-247-2013)

*** GREAT SOCIETIES THAT DO NOT PROTECT THE INNOCENT BECOME THE GUILTY GOVERNOR RICK PERRY !!!

** TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY PLEASE STOP ALLOWING SATAN & HIS DEMONS TO INFLUENCE YOU WITH THESE TEXAS STATE SANCTIONED EXECUTIONS(MURDERS) OF THE POSSIBLE INNOCENT !!!

* DR. KEVORKIAN STYLE STATE ASSISTED SUICIDES IN OREGON & WASHINGTON CONFUSES TERMINATOR TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY

*** YOUR BOTH WRONG AND OUT ON A LIMB GOVERNOR RICK PERRY & SATAN ~ TEA PARTY MEMBERS & THE NRA ALSO VALUE POSSIBLE INNOCENT HUMAN LIFE !!!

WATCH SATAN ATTEMPT TO SPIN THESE WRONGFUL TEXAS EXECUTIONS INTO HARMING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH !!!

Posted by: LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS | Apr 23, 2010 5:06:14 PM

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