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…

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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

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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.
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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…

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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.

“The Illustrated Courtroom” Named to Kirkus Reviews’ “Best Books of 2014”

best_of_2014_kirkus-image+textMarthaStewartHot on the heels of the excitement about being named as one of the Times Literary Supplements’ “Books of the Year 2014” comes this nod from Kirkus Reviews, known to all authors. My co-author, courtroom artist Elizabeth Williams, and I are very jazzed about both. “The Illustrated Courtroom: 50 Years of Court Art”, which spans trials from Jack Ruby’s and the New York Black Panthers’ to Bernard Madoff and Michael Jackson’s, is available at a special price of $30. Great gift idea, if we do say so ourselves! (Above, Elizabeth Williams’ portrait of Martha Stewart during her trial. Elizabeth spent hours – no, make that days – waiting for Martha to turn her head enough to grab this image, created at warp speed.)