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Innocence

NEWS
By Ann LoLordo and Ann LoLordo,Sun Staff Writer | June 27, 1994
For years they sat in prison, convicted of heinous crimes they say they didn't commit. Then a scientific test gave credence to their claims of innocence and, almost miraculously, helped set them free.From Maryland to Kansas, at least nine defendants -- including two who faced the death penalty -- had rape or murder convictions overturned through a technology known as "DNA typing."Their release from prison not only changed the public persona of these men, it exposed -- in the view of those familiar with these cases -- the fallibility of a system that purports justice for all."
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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 Melissa Harris and Melissa Harris,Sun reporter | December 26, 2007
Public defenders are calling on Baltimore police to overhaul the way victims and witnesses pick suspects from photo lineups to ensure detectives can't influence the results. Police made some revisions last month, but Baltimore Innocence Project director Michele Nethercott and city Public Defender Elizabeth L. Julian want investigators to incorporate more aggressive reforms made in other states into their policies. City public defenders want the photos of possible suspects shown one at a time, rather than in a group of six. When viewing photos one by one, witnesses would have to repeatedly recall the event, rather than compare the pictures and choose someone that most resembles the person they saw, said Gary L. Wells, a professor of psychology at Iowa State University and expert on witness identification.
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....
BUSINESS
By New York Times News Service | May 6, 1994
Joseph Jett, the dismissed Kidder, Peabody & Co. managing director, asserted his innocence in court filings yesterday and demanded that the firm release nearly $5 million frozen in his accounts.Kidder has refused to release the money since accusing Mr. Jett last month of creating $350 million in phantom trades to conceal trading losses and to inflate his 1993 bonus of $9 million."Mr. Jett vehemently denies any wrongdoing," his lawyers said in papers filed with the New York Supreme Court and the National Association of Securities Dealers.
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.
SPORTS
October 10, 1991
This bet stinksNow, for the obligatory story about the obligatory bebetween politicians in cities whose teams are involved in postseason play:Pittsburgh councilmen Bernard "Baldy" Regan and Duane Darkins have wagered a day on a garbage truck that the Pirates will beat the Atlanta Braves in the National League playoffs.If the Braves win, Regan and Darkins will spend a day picking up Atlanta garbage. If the Pirates win, Atlanta Councilman Bill Campbell will do the dirty work in Pittsburgh.Politicians and garbage . . . nah, it's too obvious.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
By MICHAEL OLESKER | December 3, 1991
My father was shooting pool when the war started. My mother was sitting in an apartment in the Bronx with her mother and her 12-year-old brother, and everybody asked, ''What's Pearl Harbor?''''Sure,'' I say to my mother, making a little joke 50 years after the fact, ''a Pearl Schwartz, you might have known. But who knew a Pearl Harbor?''My mother's memory is jarred. Actually, she says, there was a Pearl Schwartz in her apartment building. But, a Pearl Harbor? No, half a century ago they didn't know such a place existed until the moment that dreadful news came over the radio.
NEWS
By SUMATHI REDDY and SUMATHI REDDY,SUN REPORTER | December 17, 2005
City prosecutors dismissed murder charges yesterday against a man whose 1998 conviction was vacated in October, resulting in the release of a 30-year-old Baltimore man after more than seven years in prison. Rodney Addison was convicted of second-degree murder and possession of a handgun in the 1996 shooting of Lewis Jackson. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison in April 1998. After several unsuccessful appeals, Circuit Judge Edward R.K. Hargadon ordered a new trial for Addison in October, ruling that the state failed to disclose three witness statements that "undermined the confidence of the entire verdict."
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