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Innocence

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By Stephanie Hanes and Stephanie Hanes,SUN STAFF | March 19, 2003
A former Baltimore County police chemist, whose work is being questioned by a nationally renowned legal clinic, left the department four months after acknowledging she did not understand the science of her forensic tests and that her blood work in a death-penalty case was "worthless," court papers show. Some local defense attorneys and officials with the Innocence Project, the New York-based clinic, say that this 1987 testimony, during a pretrial hearing in Robert Bedford's murder case, raises more warning flags about Concepcion Bacasnot's forensic work, and about how the former chemist may have affected Baltimore County defendants throughout the 1980s.
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NEWS
By Stephanie Hanes and Stephanie Hanes,SUN STAFF | January 4, 2003
Gov. Parris N. Glendening has pardoned Bernard Webster, the man released from prison in November after spending 20 years incarcerated for a rape that DNA evidence proved he did not commit. The pardon is a necessary first step for the 40-year-old Baltimore man to receive financial compensation from the state. According to Maryland law, Webster can now go before the Board of Public Works and ask to be reimbursed for the damage that he suffered by spending his adult life in a medium-security prison, the Maryland Correctional Institution at Hagerstown.
NEWS
May 26, 2011
I am a 17-year-old student who is responding to the article, "Glen Burnie an gets 10 years for child sex trafficking"(Baltimore Crime Beat blog, May 11). From what I have read, many details were included but some questions seemed to still be unanswered. For example, was the 12- year-old victim abducted, or did she willingly go along with the suspect? I also wonder how long the young girl was missing before police were contacted. After reading this article it made me think, what would make a 43 year old man stoop so low and do something like this to a minor?
NEWS
By MIKE ROYKO | September 26, 1994
I'm disappointed to learn that I blindly missed a defining moment in American history.This has come to my attention in the many gushing reviews of a new movie called "Quiz Show."The movie is loosely based on the true story of how a popular TV quiz show from the 1950s called "Twenty-One" was rigged to heighten suspense and boost ratings and profits.Most of the critics say the movie is of great significance because the quiz-show scandal marked the loss of our national innocence.Americans were supposedly stunned to discover that they couldn't believe everything they saw on their rabbit-eared TV sets.
NEWS
February 3, 1993
A Texan on death row asked the Supreme Court to grant him a new hearing on the basis of new evidence his lawyers obtained 10 years after his trial. He says it shows he is innocent of the murder for which he was convicted and sentenced to death. The court turned him down.Given the high court's previous interpretations of the Constitution on the death penalty and timetables for appeals, this was no doubt the right decision to make: The new evidence cited in this case by the death row inmate was not compelling, and the inmate had long ago lost several post-conviction appeals.
NEWS
By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | November 8, 2000
SAN JOSE, Calif. - For 16 years, Glen "Buddy" Nickerson has been in prison, serving a life sentence for one of Santa Clara County's most notorious murders. Like many convicts, Nickerson has insisted that he is innocent, while local law enforcement officials have always been confident that a jury got it right when it convicted him. But in the latest twist in the county's most enduring, expensive and troubled murder case, Nickerson and his legal team have assembled new evidence to cast doubt on his conviction for his role in a wild 1984 gunfight that left two men dead and set off years of still-unresolved courtroom drama.
NEWS
By Stephanie Hanes and Stephanie Hanes,SUN STAFF | November 10, 2002
Bernard Webster, who was released from prison last week after serving 20 years for a Baltimore County rape he did not commit, was probably not the only innocent person trapped behind the walls of Maryland's prisons, his attorneys say. Michele Nethercott, Webster's lawyer and the head of the Maryland public defender's Innocence Project, which attempts to identify and free those wrongly convicted, said she has seen DNA test results showing other inmates' innocence....
NEWS
By Stephanie Hanes and Stephanie Hanes,SUN STAFF | February 22, 2003
A prominent legal clinic for the wrongfully imprisoned is calling for an audit of hundreds of Baltimore County Police Department cases, contending that a former forensic scientist's erroneous testimony during a 1983 rape trial raises doubts about any conviction in which she played a role. Nina Morrison, director of the New-York based Innocence Project, said chemist Concepcion Bacasnot's testimony against Bernard Webster, the Baltimore man recently exonerated by DNA evidence, was "at the very least, suggestive of gross incompetence, and at worst, deliberate fraud."
NEWS
By Stephanie Hanes and Stephanie Hanes,SUN STAFF | July 8, 2003
It wasn't long into Chris Conover's trip to the Inner Harbor - his first ever, although he had seen pictures of the waterfront during his 18 years living in a prison cell - that his mother spotted the whispering. Someone had recognized them: the adoring, sweet-looking mother and her broad-shouldered son, whose image walking away from the Baltimore County Courts Building had run through the media days earlier. Diana Conover said the quick glances did not seem nasty, but she couldn't say they were sympathetic.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | January 23, 2000
A Glen Burnie man who murdered his wife and the next day took his lover and 11-year-old son to see the violent film "Pulp Fiction" was sentenced Friday to life in prison. David A. Dicus, 41, gazed at his son Lucas, 15, as he was led in handcuffs from a packed Anne Arundel County circuit courtroom after Judge Ronald A. Silkworth pronounced the sentence. Dicus was convicted in November of strangling his wife, Terry L. Keefer, on July 28, 1995, and dumping her body near Scaggsville. At the trial, his lover testified that Dicus killed his wife because a lawyer had told him he would not win sole custody of their son in the divorce he was contemplating.
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