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Wrongful Convictions Archives

Prosecutor seeks to void old murder conviction for misconduct

The Brooklyn District Attorney's Office is seeking to void the 1997 murder conviction of Jabbar Washington. His case was one of those investigated by infamous former detective Louis Scarcella, retired, who was once renowned in Brooklyn for handling cases in the crime-heavy 80s and 90s.

Wrongful convictions: Is this problem getting better or worse in New York?

There is no disputing the fact that wrongful convictions are truly one of the greatest injustices in our society. And even though many efforts have been made to eliminate -- or at least reduce -- the number of instances in which innocent individuals are sent to prison, the truth is that wrongful convictions still occur far more often than many people would like to believe.

'Broken windows' quotas end with $75 mln for wrongfully prosecuted

A federal judge has approved a $75-million settlement in a class-action lawsuit brought against New York City after the NYPD issued hundreds of thousands of criminal summonses, regardless of the legal justification, in order to make quotas. The practice, part of the NYPD's "broken windows" approach, disproportionately affected minorities and may be unconstitutional.

Man freed from prison after his doppelganger is found

After serving 17 years in prison for a 1999 robbery he adamantly denied committing, a Kansas City man is now free. What is particularly surprising about this case, however, is the reason for his freedom: he alleges his doppelganger may have actually committed the crime.

Former model's murder-for-hire conviction overturned

A former model who was convicted last year of trying to hire a hit man has been overturned. The woman was sentenced to seven years in prison for allegedly trying to have her husband's ex-wife murdered in what seems to have been a custody dispute. The hit man she tried to hire was actually an informant, and she paid him $175.

Legislation seeks to help those wrongfully convicted because of false confessions

Earlier this week, we told you about how, under certain circumstances, victims of wrongful convictions may not be able to seek damages for their wrongful incarceration if they falsely confessed to the crime or pled guilty in order to avoid a harsher sentence.

Should victims of wrongful convictions be denied damages simply because of a false confession?

In New York, victims of wrongful convictions may be able to seek damages from the state if they serve time in prison for a crime they did not commit. However, it is important to remember that there are several limitations that apply.

Court finds man's sex abuse charges entirely based on fabrication

The Ninth Circuit court of appeals has reinstated a $9-million jury award in the case of a man who was falsely accused of molesting his children. The case against him appears to have been entirely fabricated by a Sheriff's deputy. She repeatedly contradicted the alleged victims' actual statements in her reports and even made up quotes and attributed it to them. It was a frame-up.

SCOTUS: Exonerees don't have to prove selves for return of funds

The U.S. Supreme Court has just ruled that exonerees are entitled to the return of conviction-related costs and any restitution they've paid, and that they don't have to affirmatively prove their innocence in order to qualify. This is not a case involving monetary compensation for the undue hardship an innocent person endures in prison -- here, the money the exonerees are seeking is the money they were charged in court costs and fees, or that they have paid in restitution to someone else's victim.

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