Columbus Will Pay Ohio Innocence Project For Witholding Public Records

Wrongful Convictions Blog

Click to read the original article and listen to the WOSU interview

The city of Columbus and a group that works to free wrongly convicted people ended a years-long fight this week.

The city will pay $19,000 dollars for legal expenses incurred by the Ohio Innocence Project, which is based out of the University of Cincinnati school of law. Columbus will also pay the Ohio Innocence Project $1,000 in damages for illegally withholding public records.

Attorney Donald Caster, a clinical professor of law at the University of Cincinnati who works for the Project, explained in an interview with WOSU how the case unfolded and what it means for transparency in the state.

The below is an automated transcript. Please excuse minor typos and errors.

Sam Hendren: When did the Ohio Innocence Project first encounter resistance from the city of Columbus to public records requests?

Donald Caster: We’ve been encountering resistance from Columbus…

View original post 563 more words

Extraordinary new investigation into fate of D.B.Cooper

45 years after legendary outlaw skyjacker D.B. Cooper disappeared from a plane, believed to have survived and headed off into the sunset with a pretty haul of cash, the iconic mystery involving his fate is back in the spotlight. Could the case — what happened to Cooper? What happened to the money? — be solvable? A powerhouse investigative team that includes FBI experts set about cracking this sizzling cold case. This mystery has always intrigued me as it has so many so I will be reading “The Master Outlaw” by (okay, I’m biased, my pal) reporter Tom Szollosi and Thomas J. Colbert and hanging on every word. Better still, the book is a companion piece to a new History Channel documentary, airing Sunday July 10 and Monday July 11. “The Last Master Outlaw” has been called “spellbinding” and “jaw-dropping” by veteran L.A. news anchor Sylvia Lopez. It’s available for order, Friday July 8. http://tinyurl.com/jz449m7

 

Countdown: Enter Goodreads Giveaway for Chance to Win Copy of “Lethal Intent”

Time is running out on this Goodreads Giveaway! Goodreads  members (and membership is free) — enter by 11.59 p.m. March 9 for the chance to win LETHAL INTENT, the definitive biography of executed serial killer Aileen Wuornos. Had she lived, this Leap Year baby would have turned 60 on February 29. Instead, after a decade on Florida’s Death Row, she was executed in 2002.

She was both victim and victimizer. She killed 6 men; all strangers and a seventh victim. She confessed to killing him but in a drunken state and could not recall where she left him. His remains have never been found.

Best-selling author John Douglas, a former FBI Special Agent and one of the first criminal profilers, calls the book: “Shocking, sad, revealing, and deeply researched, this true account of the life and crimes of serial killer Aileen Wuornos will fascinate true-crime fans.”   https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/173286-lethal-intent

2873_wuornos_killer08

The Michigan house where Aileen spent her early childhood years.

Leap Year Baby Aileen Wuornos Would Have Turned 60 This Month. Enter Goodreads Giveaway for Chance to Win Autographed Copy of “Lethal Intent”.

AWonBikeHard to believe that had she lived, executed female serial killer Aileen Wuornos — a Leap Year baby — would have turned turn 60 on February 29, 2016.

This truly rare murderer spent a decade on Florida’s Death Row before her 2002 execution. She killed 6 men; all strangers. Another victim’s remains were, by her own account, still out in the woods. She could not recall the location. To this day, they have not been discovered.

Best-selling author John Douglas, a former FBI Special Agent and original criminal profiler, calls Lethal Intent “Shocking, sad, revealing, and deeply researched, this true account of the life and crimes of serial killer Aileen Wuornos will fascinate true-crime fans.” Listed on Business Insider’s “11 True Crime Books you should read if you’re obsessed with Serial,” It takes readers deep inside Wuornos’s life and crimes.

Was Wuornos a cold-blooded killer? A victim? A robber who killed to avoid capture? If you haven’t yet read the book, you decide. (2013 updated edition.) Visit Goodreads (Lethal Intent link at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18759543-lethal-intent) to enter or Sue’s Lethal Intent webpage. Goodreads is free to join.
(less)
http://www.suerussellwrites.com/lethal.html

In which I’m pleasantly surprised that we’re again noticing incarceration is still violence.

Rebel With A Bar Card picks up on a theme dear to my heart — the way we treat incarcerated youth will revisit us down the road, so we’d better be paying attention. The idea should be to give us a safer future, not a more perilous one, and to redeem youngsters whenever and wherever possible during “formative years.”
In which I’m pleasantly surprised that we’re again noticing incarceration is still violence.
August 5, 2014Prison Industrial ComplexCarcerality, Crime and punishment, Criminal justice, Dehumanization, Empathy, Injustice, Prison Industrial Complex, Violence

[[Content Note: Carcerality, violence, both in this post and at the link.]]

A US Attorney in Manhattan has released the results of an inquiry into civil rights violations against teenagers at Riker’s Island. The report concludes that the guards at Rikers engaged in regular, routine and violent abuse of teenage inmates.

Rebel With a Bar Card

[[Content Note: Carcerality, violence, both in this post and at the link.]]

A US Attorney in Manhattan has released the results of an inquiry into civil rights violations against teenagers at Riker’s Island. The report concludes that the guards at Rikers engaged in regular, routine and violent abuse of teenage inmates.

I was struck by this quote in particular:

“For adolescent inmates, Rikers Island is broken,” Mr. Bharara said at a news conference announcing the findings. “It is a place where brute force is the first impulse rather than the last resort, a place where verbal insults are repaid with physical injuries, where beatings are routine, while accountability is rare.”

I imagine that accountability will be the byword for addressing the horrendous actions cataloged in the report, but accountability is only half the story.  I find it incredibly frustrating that the other half will be almost entirely ignored.

Accountability is…

View original post 378 more words

Get To Know Acclaimed Court Artist Bill Robles Whose Work Is A Standout in “The Illustrated Courtroom: 50 Years of Court Art”, My Book with Artist/Co-author Elizabeth Williams

manson guilty nixon declaresWitness to History When No Cameras Allowed: Artist Bill Robles has built a career on drawing courtroom dramas and bringing them to life. As KCRW writes, “Bill Robles has the mellifluous baritone of a broadcaster, but he’s made a living for over 40 years with his eyes — and his hands.” See some of his spectacular work in this article and related interview here: http://blogs.kcrw.com/whichwayla/2015/02/no-cameras-allowed-artist-bill-robles-makes-a-career-drawing-courtroom-dramas. And please see the eBook and print book versions available via http://www.amazon.com/The-Illustrated-Courtroom-Years-Court-ebook/dp/B00JMV2ZVU  Thanks for your support of these great artists.

Wrongful Convictions Blog looks at Open Records Policies & Justice

A disturbing case out of Texas once again puts the spotlight on Open Records policies and how critical they are to justice. The case also highlights the perils of allowing jailhouse informants’ words to replace solid evidence. Dennis Lee Allen’s and Stanley Orson Mozee’s murder convictions were overturned last week after the two served 15 years in prison. They were convicted of the 1999 murder of Rev. Jesse Borns, Jr. The convictions were based on Mozee’s unrecorded – and immediately recanted – confession (he claims he was pressured to confess) and the word of two jailhouse informants. No DNA since tested ties either man to the murder.

As Nancy Petro writes on the Wrongful Convictions Blog:
“Law enforcement and prosecutors who have not yet fully supported the practice and spirit of open records should follow the lead of Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins and others. Providing transparency places them on the side of both truth and history.”

Amen to that.

Wrongful Convictions Blog

Dallas County (TX) District Judge Mark Stoltz issued findings of fact and conclusions of law last week before recommending that the murder convictions of Dennis Lee Allen and Stanley Orson Mozee be overturned. The two men were subsequently released after each had served 15 years in prison. The judge’s findings will now go before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals for review. ABC News WFAA 8 reported (here) that the two are expected to be exonerated.

Allen and Mozee were convicted of the 1999 murder of Reverend Jesse Borns Jr., who was found stabbed outside his workplace, a retail store. No physical evidence linked the men to the crime. The conviction was won on the unrecorded confession of Mozee — who immediately recanted and claimed he was coerced into signing the police-written statement — and the testimony of two jailhouse informants. The informants denied under oath at trial…

View original post 695 more words