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By Dan Rodricks | January 4, 2002
UNTIL A certain day in April of last year, Patricia C. Jessamy, the state's attorney of Baltimore, bore neither blame nor minor complicity in the long and wrong incarceration of Michael Austin. Jessamy was but 22 years old, a year out of the University of Mississippi Law School, at the time Austin went to prison, convicted of killing a security guard in a Baltimore convenience store holdup. Jessamy had nothing to do with his prosecution. She had no reason to feel self-conscious or defensive as new evidence indicated that Austin was innocent, the victim of a flawed trial back during the Ford administration.
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NEWS
By Ivan Penn and Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF | January 5, 2003
When Walter Lomax went to prison 35 years ago, he was a high school dropout with a list of serious criminal charges and convictions that included car theft, armed robbery - and murder. The man portrayed by prosecutors as a cold-blooded killer who fatally shot a neighborhood supermarket manager during a robbery has always maintained he is innocent of that crime. Lomax, sentenced to life with the possibility of parole, has used his time behind bars to finish high school, earn an associate's degree and prove himself trustworthy during work-release programs and on family leave.
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NEWS
By Joe Christensen and Joe Christensen,SUN STAFF | March 8, 2002
Looking to launch an organization that assists prisoners who feel they've been wrongly convicted, Baltimore Circuit Court Clerk Frank M. Conaway and the Rev. Gregory Perkins took their proposal yesterday before the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance. But Conaway and Perkins, president of the ministers' group, have yet to line up financing for their Ministerial Alliance for Justice, modeled after Centurion Ministries, a New Jersey group that works to secure new trials for convicts who claim they are innocent.
NEWS
By Joe Christensen and Joe Christensen,SUN STAFF | March 8, 2002
Looking to launch an organization that assists prisoners who feel they've been wrongly convicted, Baltimore Circuit Court Clerk Frank M. Conaway and the Rev. Gregory Perkins took their proposal yesterday before the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance. But Conaway and Perkins, president of the ministers' group, have yet to line up financing for their Ministerial Alliance for Justice, modeled after Centurion Ministries, a New Jersey group that works to secure new trials for convicts who claim they are innocent.
NEWS
By L. Stuart Ditzen and L. Stuart Ditzen,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | August 9, 2001
PHILADELPHIA - On a Friday afternoon in June, the telephone rang in the cramped offices of Centurion Ministries in Princeton, N.J. Somebody answered and, in the mildly chaotic atmosphere that pervades the place, yelled: "Paul's on the phone." Jim McCloskey sat forward at his desk and grabbed the receiver. "Hi, Paul," he said. Pause. "Reversed and remanded?" A grin spread over McCloskey's face. "That's terrific!" Paul Casteleiro, a Hoboken, N.J., defense lawyer, was passing on news of a long-awaited court ruling.
FEATURES
By Ann LoLordo and Ann LoLordo,Sun Staff Correspondent | August 25, 1994
Princeton, N.J. -- The ash blonde working in an office above Edith's Lingerie on Main Street here -- she with a taste for the eclectic -- could well be inmate Sam Malone's angel of mercy.Two binders on Kate Germond's crowded bookshelf and a brown legal file at her feet hold the details of Malone's rape conviction in Maryland, a crime he says he didn't commit. And this 47-year-old former boutique owner-turned-criminal investigator says there's enough in the court records and police files to provoke her interest.
NEWS
By Ivan Penn and Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF | January 5, 2003
When Walter Lomax went to prison 35 years ago, he was a high school dropout with a list of serious criminal charges and convictions that included car theft, armed robbery - and murder. The man portrayed by prosecutors as a cold-blooded killer who fatally shot a neighborhood supermarket manager during a robbery has always maintained he is innocent of that crime. Lomax, sentenced to life with the possibility of parole, has used his time behind bars to finish high school, earn an associate's degree and prove himself trustworthy during work-release programs and on family leave.
NEWS
By Sarah Koenig and Sarah Koenig,SUN STAFF | January 4, 2002
In a striking turnaround, Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy announced yesterday that she was dropping the case against Michael Austin, finally ending the ordeal of a man who spent 27 years in prison on a faulty murder conviction. The announcement came one week after Baltimore Circuit Judge John Carroll Byrnes overturned a jury's 1975 verdict and Austin's life sentence, saying his trial was "plagued" by errors. Austin has always maintained his innocence, and in the past year attracted influential supporters who criticized Jessamy for opposing his release.
NEWS
By Todd Richissin and Todd Richissin,SUN STAFF | April 11, 2001
The Baltimore state's attorney opposed yesterday the release of Michael Austin, an ironworker convicted of murder in 1975 in a case the man who prosecuted him now says was flawed. The case should not be reopened because no legal errors occurred during his trial that should overturn his conviction, according to the court papers filed in Baltimore City Circuit Court. While not directly affirming their belief in Austin's guilt, prosecutors said in the court papers that "Austin sets forth no smoking gun, no scientific evidence" to prove his innocence.
NEWS
By GREGORY KANE | April 28, 2007
Jerry Miller reached a milestone this week, but I'm willing to bet it's one he'd prefer didn't involve him at all. Miller was arrested as a suspect in the kidnapping, rape and robbery of a Chicago woman in 1981. He was convicted in 1982, sentenced to 45 years and paroled in 2006 as a registered sex offender. Miller had to wear an electronic monitoring device, couldn't answer his door for Halloween trick-or-treaters or leave his job when he took a lunch break. Then DNA testing intervened.
NEWS
By Sarah Koenig and Sarah Koenig,SUN STAFF | January 4, 2002
In a striking turnaround, Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy announced yesterday that she was dropping the case against Michael Austin, finally ending the ordeal of a man who spent 27 years in prison on a faulty murder conviction. The announcement came one week after Baltimore Circuit Judge John Carroll Byrnes overturned a jury's 1975 verdict and Austin's life sentence, saying his trial was "plagued" by errors. Austin has always maintained his innocence, and in the past year attracted influential supporters who criticized Jessamy for opposing his release.
NEWS
By Dan Rodricks | January 4, 2002
UNTIL A certain day in April of last year, Patricia C. Jessamy, the state's attorney of Baltimore, bore neither blame nor minor complicity in the long and wrong incarceration of Michael Austin. Jessamy was but 22 years old, a year out of the University of Mississippi Law School, at the time Austin went to prison, convicted of killing a security guard in a Baltimore convenience store holdup. Jessamy had nothing to do with his prosecution. She had no reason to feel self-conscious or defensive as new evidence indicated that Austin was innocent, the victim of a flawed trial back during the Ford administration.
NEWS
By L. Stuart Ditzen and L. Stuart Ditzen,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | August 9, 2001
PHILADELPHIA - On a Friday afternoon in June, the telephone rang in the cramped offices of Centurion Ministries in Princeton, N.J. Somebody answered and, in the mildly chaotic atmosphere that pervades the place, yelled: "Paul's on the phone." Jim McCloskey sat forward at his desk and grabbed the receiver. "Hi, Paul," he said. Pause. "Reversed and remanded?" A grin spread over McCloskey's face. "That's terrific!" Paul Casteleiro, a Hoboken, N.J., defense lawyer, was passing on news of a long-awaited court ruling.
FEATURES
By Ann LoLordo and Ann LoLordo,Sun Staff Correspondent | August 25, 1994
Princeton, N.J. -- The ash blonde working in an office above Edith's Lingerie on Main Street here -- she with a taste for the eclectic -- could well be inmate Sam Malone's angel of mercy.Two binders on Kate Germond's crowded bookshelf and a brown legal file at her feet hold the details of Malone's rape conviction in Maryland, a crime he says he didn't commit. And this 47-year-old former boutique owner-turned-criminal investigator says there's enough in the court records and police files to provoke her interest.
NEWS
By Todd Richissin and Todd Richissin,SUN STAFF | April 18, 2001
A judge has ordered a hearing to consider reopening the case of Michael Austin, a Baltimore ironworker whose 1975 murder conviction is being contested by a national organization that seeks to free innocent prisoners. The order was a setback for Baltimore's top prosecutor, State's Attorney Patricia Jessamy, whose office had argued against a hearing. It was also a signal the judge has sufficiently serious questions about the case that he wants to hear directly from defense attorneys and the prosecutor handling the case, Sharon A. May. The hearing, ordered by Baltimore Circuit Judge John Carroll Byrnes, is scheduled June 20. "We are grateful the court will hear Mr. Austin's case," said Larry Nathans, his lawyer.
NEWS
By Todd Richissin and Todd Richissin,SUN STAFF | June 14, 2001
One of the country's foremost experts on witness identification has joined efforts to free Michael Austin, an East Baltimore man jailed 26 years ago for murder based on evidence that has proven false and testimony that has been called into question. Gary L. Wells, an adviser on eyewitness identifications for law enforcement agencies, said in an affidavit that the lone person who testified against Austin was almost certainly mistaken about his identity. "In the absence of other evidence against Mr. Austin, it is my professional opinion that the eyewitness identification evidence presented in this case does not even reach a `more likely than not' criterion, let alone `beyond a reasonable doubt,'" Wells said in his affidavit.
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