Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom

By Lava for Good Podcasts | PRX

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Alan
 Jun 24, 2019
well made and always compelling

Description

Based on the files of the lawyers who freed them, Wrongful Conviction features interviews with men and women who have spent decades in prison for crimes they did not commit – some of them had even been sentenced to death. These are their stories.


Episode Date
UPDATED EPISODE: S1E1: Raymond Santana: The Central Park Jogger Case
01:00:11

Raymond Santana: The Central Park Jogger Case

Raymond Santana served 7 years in prison after being falsely accused of the rape and brutal beating of the Central Park Jogger in 1989. Raymond was just 14 years old when he was arrested for the attack on Trisha Meili in New York City’s Central Park. Despite a lack of evidence, the prosecution pursued his conviction of rape and assault. He was finally exonerated in 2002 when serial rapist and murderer Matias Reyes confessed from prison that he was the one who attacked Meili. Raymond is now an activist, clothing designer, and public speaker, and is featured in the hit Netflix series When They See Us.

www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com

Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava For Good Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.

Oct 16, 2019
UPDATED: S8E9: Philadelphia Freedom: The Jimmy Dennis Story
59:24

Philadelphia Freedom: The Jimmy Dennis Story

On October 22, 1991, when 17-year-old Chedell Williams and a friend went to Fern Rock subway station in North Philadelphia, two men approached them and demanded Chedell’s earrings. She refused and ran, and one of the men chased her to nearby 10th Street and Nedro Avenue, where he snatched the earrings, and shot her in the throat. Her friend was left unharmed. The two men were joined by a third man who was waiting in a 1978 Chevy Malibu. Chedell died at a hospital less than an hour later. The pressure was on the police and prosecutors to solve the crime, when some local “stick-up boys” named 21-year-old, burgeoning R&B vocalist Jimmy Dennis as a potential culprit. Hearing of this, Jimmy went to the police to confront the rumors, maintaining that he was on a bus miles away at the time of the murder with eyewitnesses to corroborate his claim. No forensic evidence tying Jimmy to the crime was ever developed, and evidence and eyewitness accounts that proved his innocence were suppressed. In this emotional interview, we hear the story of a promising musical career curtailed and a 25-year-long battle with a wrongful conviction from death row.

www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com

Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava For Good Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.

Oct 09, 2019
SPECIAL EDITION Un-Making a Murderer, Exclusive Interview with Brendan Dassey and Laura Nirider
41:07

This special edition of Wrongful Conviction features Jason Flom’s exclusive interview with Brendan Dassey from behind bars—the only interview ever conducted with Brendan.   The case against Brendan, and his uncle Steven Avery, is the subject of Netflix’s hit series Making a Murderer.  In 2006, 16 year old Wisconsin special education student Brendan Dassey gave a videotaped confession to the murder and sexual assault of a young woman named Teresa Halbach.  That confession – extracted from Brendan after four interrogations over a 48 hour period – has been widely recognized as false and coerced due to Brendan’s inability to describe the crime accurately without being told the "right" answers by his interrogators.  In fact, Brendan recanted his confession immediately, and no evidence connects him to Halbach’s disappearance. Nonetheless, he was convicted based on that confession and sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole before 2048. In 2016, two courts threw out Brendan's confession and overturned his conviction – and Brendan came within twelve hours of release – before a federal appeals court reversed course on legal grounds.  After visiting Brendan in prison, Jason Flom and Brendan’s attorney, Laura Nirider of the Center on Wrongful Convictions, unravel the case as Brendan joins them by phone from behind bars. Their conversation touches on hope, resilience, and the fact that Brendan – who will turn 30 on October 19, 2019 – has already lost fourteen of his life to wrongful imprisonment.

www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com

Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava For Good Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.

Oct 02, 2019
S8E12: The Devil Made Them Do It: Joe Berlinger’s Quest for Justice
01:11:55

In the late 80’s and early 90’s, the US found itself wrapped up in the “Satanic Panic” - a general state of fear revolving around Satanism and satanic ritual, real or imagined. On May 5th, 1993, three 8 year old boys - Steven Branch, Michael Moore, and Christopher Byers - were reported missing. Their lifeless bodies were found the following day in a Robin Hood Hills creek, naked and hogtied. Christopher Byers had suffered lacerations, and his genitals had been mutilated. Details of the bizarre and brutal scene in Robin Hood Hills brought Satanic Panic to a fever pitch in the largely conservative Christian city of West Memphis, Arkansas. 

Coming off their first film success with “Brother’s Keeper,” documentarians Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky were tapped by HBO documentaries to head down to get the story. Joe Berlinger sits with Jason and recalls his experience of the case, the moments that inspired his fight for criminal justice reform, and the films and events that have helped shape public opinion of wrongful convictions. 

Apr 22, 2019
S8E11: 132 Years? You Can't Even Live That Long: Messiah Johnson's Fight For His Life
44:28

On December 5th, 1997, 2 armed and disguised men robbed a beauty salon and its patrons in Norfolk, Virginia. On December 19th, Messiah Johnson was misidentified as the culprit and arrested. In the absence of any physical evidence and in spite of his corroborated alibi, Messiah Johnson was convicted on 26 counts of armed robbery, abduction, and related gun charges. He was sentenced to 132 years in prison. 

On this episode of Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom, Messiah Johnson tells Jason about how his life unraveled and his subsequent fight for freedom.

Messiah is a graphic designer and still lives in Virginia, as he continues to fight to clear his name. You can find him on Instagram @messiahaladar johnson. If you’d like to show him support, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/rc8d4-welcome-home-messiah-johnson

Apr 15, 2019
S8E10: I Lied My Ass Off for You People: The Incentivized Testimony that Started Gloria Killian's Law Practice Behind Bars
55:50

On December 9th, 1981, Stephen DeSantis and Gary Masse, disguised as telephone repair men, gained entry to the suburban home of Sacramento coin collector Ed Davies. They hogtied Ed and his wife Grace, ransacked the house, and came up with 6 suitcases full of silver before murdering the older couple. There had been a string of robberies connected to area coin shops, and Ed Davies was a customer at the coin store where law student Gloria Killian had worked. When an anonymous tip sent police in search of DeSantis and Masse, Joanne Masse named Killian as the mastermind to her husband’s crimes, an assertion that was repeated through the anonymous tip line. However, without sufficient evidence the charges against Killian were dropped. Upon being convicted Gary Masse offered his testimony, naming Killian as the mastermind of his criminal enterprise, in exchange for sentencing leniency and other perks. This deal was concealed from the defense and the jury. In absence of corroborating evidence, Gloria Killian was sentenced to 32 years to life solely upon Masse’s incentivized testimony. Killian spent 17 years in prison until evidence surfaced, exposing the prosecution’s machinations and Masse’s false testimony. In this episode of ​Wrongful Conviction​, Gloria tells Jason her story alongside Innocence Project Senior Staff Attorney Nina Morrison. Gloria Killian was released in August of 2002 and currently advocates for women in prison.

You can support Gloria Killian’s efforts by visiting the Action Committee for Women in Prison at acwip.net.

Also, check us and Jason out on instagram @wrongfulconviction and @itsjasonflom for pics and video from this and every episode of Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom.

Apr 08, 2019
S8E8: A Tale of Two Systems: The Story of Kenzi Snider
01:03:54

On March 18, 2001, Jamie Penich—an American exchange student in South Korea—was brutally murdered in her motel room after a night of partying with friends from the program. Her bloodied nude body was found on the floor. She was stomped to death. Her face was covered with a black fleece jacket.

Kenzi Snider, a 19 year-old student from Marshall University, in West Virginia, was one of the friends Jamie was with. About a half dozen exchange students had traveled from campus into the city, where they celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in a bar filled with locals and US soldiers. Korean police and army investigators were unable to solve this horrific crime.

One year later, in February 2002, FBI agents contacted Kenzi out of the blue. She was back in school in West Virginia. They wanted to talk—alone. She met with three agents on three consecutive days for several hours. 

The sessions were grueling. When it was done, Kenzi had confessed. She murdered her friend, she said, in the context of a drunken sexual encounter.

Kenzi was promptly arrested, incarcerated in a local jail for ten months, and extradited to Korea to stand trial. There, she then spent another six months in jail. Then a panel of judges found her not guilty. The prosecutor appealed the verdict but months later an appeals court confirmed: Not guilty. In 2006, five years after the crime, in response to yet another appeal, the Supreme Court of Korea once again affirmed: NOT GUILTY.

This was eighteen years ago. Today we know a whole lot more than we did then about false confessions. Kenzi Snider has been fully acquitted in court. Yet her confession haunts her—and leads some people still to question her actual innocence.

Jason Flom is joined by Kenzi Snider, renowned psychologist Saul Kassin best known for his groundbreaking work on false confessions, and his student Patty Sanchez. Sanchez is currently studying the effect of podcasts and media influence on the outcome of legal cases. 

Mar 25, 2019
S8E7: Never Broken: Harold “House” Moore Is Ready For The Most Important Role of His Life
52:20

Harold“House”Moore was on top the world–he was one of the stars on the Fox award-winning series“Atlanta”and had just played Dr. Dre in the 2Pac bio-pic“AllEyes on Me.’ Moore’s career was blossoming, but all of that changed when he was railroaded, maliciously and falsely accused and convicted of child molestation. 

He was sentenced to 6 to 12 years but was released after 2 years and granted a motion for a new trial, after a failed judicial process and intentionally suppressed evidence that would have proved his innocence threatened to surface. 

He is paving his way now as a fighter for judicial equality and criminal justice reform.

In his first interview since his release, Moore is sharing his story with the hope that his journey will help inspire others to fight on behalf of the wrongfully convicted. 

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Mar 18, 2019
S8E6: Forced to Return to Prison After Serving 21 years: The Story of Matthew Charles
41:18

Forced to Return to Prison After Serving 21 Years: The Story of Matthew Charles

After spending 21 years in prison on a 35-year sentence, Matthew Charles was released in 2016. It turned out, though, that his release was a mistake, and in May of 2018, he was sent back to serve out the rest of his sentence—more than a decade left to go. But on January 3, 2019, Matthew became one of the very first people to benefit from the First Step Act and was released again. At age 30, Matthew was arrested for selling 216 grams of crack cocaine to an informant and illegally possessing a gun. He was given a 35-year sentence. In prison, Matthew could easily have crawled deeper into his shell of anger. But he didn’t. His prison life was directed at exemplary rehabilitation. He took college courses and became a law clerk. And most important, Matthew became “genuinely repentant of his life before encountering the Grace of Christ, not offering empty excuses about his past, but taking ownership,” as a pastor would later describe him. In 2013, Matthew applied for a sentence modification because the Sentencing Commission had retroactively lowered guideline ranges for drug offenses. At his resentencing hearing, Judge Kevin Sharp commended his rehabilitation and reduced Matthew’s sentence. Matthew left prison in 2016. But after a year and half of freedom, the court reversed the reduction in sentence, citing an error in his release. Remarkably, Matthew was sent back to prison. In the end, though, it was the First Step Act that saved Matthew from decades more behind bars. Signed into law by President Trump December 21, 2018, the bill includes a provision to apply the Fair Sentencing Act retroactively, which the government agreed would allow for Matthew’s immediate release. On January 3, 2019, Matthew Charles finally left prison.

www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com

Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava For Good Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.

Mar 11, 2019
S8E5: A Child Discarded: The Wrongful Conviction of Darnell Phillips
45:31

A Child Discarded: The Wrongful Conviction of Darnell Phillips

Darnell Phillips served 28 years for a crime he did not commit. He was sentenced to 100 years in prison for the 1990 rape of a child in Virginia Beach. In 2015, the Innocence Project Clinic at the University of Virginia found physical evidence, and in 2017, DNA testing proved that Darnell was not at the scene of the crime. In this compelling interview, Darnell shares the devastating story of his conviction and his hopes for his future as a free man. He is also joined by Lisa Spees, Director of Virginians for Judicial Reform.

www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com

Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava For Good Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.

Mar 04, 2019
S8E4: Disentangling Mental Health and Criminal Justice
45:02

In this compelling interview, Vincent Atchity and Kelly Grimes join Jason Flom for a candid discussion about the criminal justice system and how it fails to support Americans with mental health challenges. 

Vincent Atchity has served as Executive Director of The Equitas Project since 2015. Vincent is an advocate for public health and health equity, a population health management strategist, and a builder of communications bridges connecting communities and community partners with better health outcomes and more efficiently managed costs.

Kelly Grimes is a graduate of the Manhattan Mental Health Court, where CASES provides case management services, including treatment, planning and reporting on clients’ progress to the court. Kelly is now a certified peer specialist with CASES, as the peer specialist for the Manhattan Mental Health Court team. She has moved from being a client of the court to serving clients of the court. 

The Equitas Project, an initiative of the David and Laura Merage Foundation, envisions an America rededicated to liberty and justice for all, where there is a commonly held expectation that jails and prisons should not continue to serve as the nation’s warehouses for people with unmet mental health needs. Equitas is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization which promotes mental health awareness, and champions laws, policies, and practices that prioritize improved population health outcomes, sensible use of resources, and the decriminalization of mental illness. We are committed to disentangling mental health and criminal justice. To learn more about our work and mission, please visit www.equitasproject.org, and follow us on Twitter @EquitasProject and Instagram.

*This episode was edited by Conor Hall. 

Feb 25, 2019
S8E3: Freed after 38 years, Fred Clay is Ready For His Life to Begin
01:01:58

Update: Since this episode was recorded Fred Clay was awarded a $1 million settlement from the state, the highest amount allowed under Massachusetts state law.

The settlement with the Massachusetts Attorney General was finalized Tuesday in Suffolk Superior Court, the same courthouse where Clay’s conviction was vacated in 2017 and his freedom granted at age 53.

In 1981, at only 16-years-old, Frederick Claywas arrested, charged as an adult and convicted of first-degree murder. In August 2017, a Suffolk Superior Court judge exonerated Clay based on new evidence that revealed he had been misidentified. The New England Center for Investigative Reporting(NECIR)and WGBH co-published a four-part seriesfor radio by Chris Burrell about Clay, who spent 38 years in prison for a crime he did not commit

The four-part series largely focuses on Clay’s life post-exoneration, which has been met with many challenges. Without any support from the state, Clay has struggled with emotional trauma and finding a good-paying job and affordable housing. As Burrell writes, Clay’s newly-won freedom has become“astruggle for basic survival.”

Read/listen to parts 1 and 2 of the series hereand parts 3 and 4 of the series here.

Research in these cases from The Brennan Center for Justice and New York University Law School and the Innocence Project.

Feb 18, 2019
S8E2: John Grisham & Jason Flom Join Forces to Advocate for Criminal Justice Reform
53:55

In this special edition of Wrongful Conviction, Jason Flom is joined by John Grisham to discuss his work with the Innocence Project, his commitment to criminal justice reform, and his Netflix series, The Innocent Man, the documentary adaptation of his only nonfiction book about two murders in Ada, Oklahoma. 


For ten years John Grisham practiced law in a small town in Mississippi, much like Jake Brigance in A Time To Kill. He also served two terms in the State House of Representatives. In 1990, he gave up both the law and politics to write full-time, and since then has published at least one book a year.  

He has written one collection of short stories, one work of non-fiction, three books about sports, one comic novel, seven editions of his Theodore Boone series for children, a childhood memoir, and, at last count, more than twenty legal thrillers. Nine of his books have been adapted to film. 

He serves on the Board of Directors of the Innocence Project in New York, and the Focused Ultrasound Foundation in Charlottesville, Virginia.  

John and his wife, Renee, live on a farm in rural Albemarle County, Virginia.

Feb 11, 2019
S8E1: Did a Fatal Attraction Lead to a Wrongful Conviction? The Story of Jens Soering
01:07:43

Jens Soering is serving two consecutive life terms for a case of double homicide, the murders of Derek and Nancy Haysom in 1985–a crime he says he did not commit. On June 8, 1986, Jens Soering, the son of a former German diplomat Jens Soering falsely confessed to killing Haysoms. He also told police he cut his hand in the process. Soering "took the rap" for his girlfriend, Elizabeth Haysom, to save her from the death penalty for killing her parents.

At Soering's trial, prosecutor Jim Updike told the jury that Soering's confession was corroborated by several drops of type O blood at the crime scene. Soering had type O, none of the other people involved in the crime did, so the blood had to be his. Updike repeated this claim 26 times. A comparison of lab reports showed that DNA tests had eliminated Jens Soering as a possible source of the type O blood at the scene. The same blood that in 1990 suggested his guilt now proved his innocence. He could not have cut his hand while killing the Haysoms, as he had "confessed" in 1986, because the type O blood had a different genetic profile than his. Another (unknown) man had cut himself and bled at the scene. In 2017 two independent DNA scientists confirmed these findings: Dr. Moses Schanfield of George Washington University and Dr. Thomas McClintock of Liberty University. They also found DNA evidence showing the presence of a second unknown man with type AB blood.

The crime remains unsolved and Jens Soering has remained behind bars for over 32 years.

In this gripping interview with Jens Soering, Jason Flom is joined by novelist John Grisham and Sheriff J.E. "Chip” Harding of Albemarle County, Va, both of whom have advocated on Soering’s behalf. 

Feb 04, 2019
S8E1: Trailer: Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom - Season 8
01:24

Season 8 Premieres, Monday. Feb. 4 2019. Tune in for an interview with Jens Soering. Soering was only 18 years old when he went to prison for murder. He is still behind bars–32 years later–for a crime he says he didn’t commit. 

Feb 02, 2019
S7E17: The Wrongful Conviction of Marty Tankleff
35:34

Marty Tankleff had just turned 17 when he was arrested for murdering his parents, Seymour and Arlene Tankleff in September 1988. Based on an unsigned “confession” extracted from him following many long hours of interrogation by notorious Suffolk County detective K. James McCready, Marty was convicted and sentenced to 50 years to life in prison. After serving 17 years, Marty's conviction was vacated by the New York State Appellate Division, Second Department, in December of 2007. On July 22, 2008, a judge signed off on a motion by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to dismiss all charges against Marty. Marty graduated from law school and he now works to help free other people who have been wrongfully convicted. Along with students at Georgetown University, Marty recently helped exonerate Valentino Dixon, who was a guest earlier this season. 

Jan 28, 2019
S7E16: Jeffrey Deskovic: A 10th Grade Student Forced By Detectives To Make A False Confession And Freed By DNA Evidence 16 Years Later
57:52

In 1990, Jeffrey Deskovic was wrongfully convicted of the brutal rape and murder of his 15-year-old classmate, Angela Correa. Mr. Deskovic was only 16 at the time of the crime with no prior record. Police claimed that Mr. Deskovic was overly upset at the victim’s funeral and were certain they had their man. They interrogated him for over seven and a half hours, without his mother or legal counsel present. After browbeating and intimidating him, they ultimately extracted a false confession after promising that he could go home after he confessed. He had also been told that if his DNA did not match the semen in the rape kit, he would be cleared as a suspect. In January 1991, Jeffrey Deskovic was convicted by jury of 1st degree rape and 2nd degree murder, despite DNA results showing that he was not the source of semen in the victim’s rape kit. He was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. In 2006, post-conviction DNA testing done by the Innocence Project both proved Mr. Deskovic's innocence and identified the real perpetrator, convicted murderer Steven Cunningham, who subsequently confessed to the crime. On November 2nd, 2006, Jeffrey Deskovic’s indictment was dismissed on grounds of actual innocence and he was released after serving 16 years in prison. Since his release, he has started The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, which investigates wrongful conviction cases and provides support for exonerees once they are released.

For additional information:

http://www.thejeffreydeskovicfoundationforjustice.org

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/deskovicfoundation 

Jeffrey Deskovic: https://www.facebook.com/jeffrey.deskovic 

The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation: https://www.facebook.com/thejeffreydeskovicfoundation/

Twitter: https://www.youtube.com/user/deskovicfoundation 

Instagram: http://www.Instagram.com/jeffreydeskovic

Jan 22, 2019
S7E15: Dusty Turner: A Navy Seal Behind Bars For 22 Years For A Murder Even Though The Actual Killer Confessed
53:39

Dusty Turner was a 20-year-old Navy SEAL trainee when he was arrested for the murder and abduction of Jennifer Evans. On June 19th, 1995, Dusty Turner was out at a bar with some friends in Virginia Beach, VA including his roommate and training partner, Billy Brown. Dusty Turner and Jennifer Evans were sitting in his car waiting for Evans’s friends to join them when an extremely intoxicated Billy Brown forced his way into the back seat and began insulting Evans and pulling her hair. When she tried to defend herself, Brown suddenly attacked her, wrapped his arms around her neck in a forceful choke hold, and killed her instantly. All the while Dusty Turner had been prying and clawing Brown’s hand off of Evans, pleading with him to stop. Finally realizing that she was dead, Dusty Turner panicked and reacted to his intensive SEAL training that demanded“alwaysprotect your swim buddy” regardless of the cost. Mr. Turner’s instinct for survival and misplaced loyalty to Brown took over as he drove out of the parking lot and helped Brown hide the victim’s body in a nearby wooded area. Eight days later, Mr. Turner confessed the entire story to his commanding officer and agreed to take the police to the body after being assured that he would only be used as a witness during the trial. During Billy Brown’s trial in 1996, Brown testified against Mr. Turner to receive a lesser sentence of 72 years in prison. Three months later, with an outraged community and media frenzy surrounding the case, Dusty Turner was convicted of first degree murder and abduction, and sentenced to 82 years in prison. In 2002, Billy Brown confessed to Jennifer Evans’ murder and said that Dusty Turner played no part in it. The testimony he gave matches the story Mr. Turner told his commanding officer and also matches the physical evidence that the police had at the time of the crime. Dusty Turner petitioned for a“writof actual innocence” and his conviction was overturned by a three-judge panel of the Virginia State Court of Appeals. However, the State Attorney General’s Office quickly appealed this decision and the original Court of Appeals ruling was overturned. Since he first told his story to his commanding officer, Mr. Turner has steadfastly maintained his innocence, acknowledging that he was guilty only of being an accessory-after-the-fact, which is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 12 months in jail. To date, Dusty Turner has served nearly 22 years in prison, over half of his life.

Link to watch the documentary for free online: https://vimeo.com/143034674/21eed7bd0f 

Amazon Prime Video: https://www.amazon.com/Navy-SEAL-Murderer-Framed-Opportunity/dp/B01LZHH8D5/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1485566809&sr=8-1&keywords=Target+of+opportunity 

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/navy-seal-murderer-framed/id937936629

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/targetofopportunity2 

Link to the Change.org petition: https://www.change.org/p/tell-virginia-governor-terry-mcauliffe-it-is-time-to-free-dusty-turner 

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/FreeDustyTurner 

Instagram: www.Instagram.com/FreeDustyTurner 

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/VAForJustice& www.Facebook.com/FreeDustyTurner 

Website: www.FreeDusty.org

Jan 14, 2019
S7E14: Love is Better Than Revenge: The Wrongful Conviction of Sunny Jacobs
01:03:09

We are going to announce the premiere of our new season very soon, but until then we are revisiting some of the show's greatest episodes.

In 1976, Sonia 'Sunny’' Jacobs was sentenced to death for the murders of Florida Highway Patrol officer Phillip Black and Donald Irwin, a visiting Canadian constable. The officers were killed during a traffic stop where Sunny was traveling with her boyfriend, Jesse Tafero, and her two children, Eric, nine, and Christina, 10 months, in a car driven by Walter Rhodes. After officers approached the vehicle, Rhodes fired shots at them, a gun battle ensued, and chaos erupted. Sunny and Jesse were arrested, and both of their children were taken away by the state. Rhodes negotiated a plea bargain with the state, claiming Jesse and Sunny had pulled the triggers, in exchange for a life sentence. In 1990, Jesse was executed by the state of Florida in horrific circumstances. Sunny spent five years in isolation on Florida’s Death Row and a total of 17 years in a maximum-security prison before her conviction was overturned. Sunny was freed in 1992 when she was 45 years old. In this episode, Jason talks with Sunny, her current husband, exoneree Peter Pringle, and her daughter Christina who as a child was also a victim of this tragic injustice.

After her exoneration Sunny married and Peter Pringle, they were each sentenced to death for crimes of which they were innocent. Jacobs spent 17 years in prison in the United States, and Pringle spent 15 years in prison in Ireland. Both were exonerated after their convictions were overturned.

Today they are dedicated to the healing of those that have been wrongfully incarcerated. Together they started The Sunny Center with this mission in mind in Ireland.

The Sunny Center is a sanctuary, providing exonerees with immediate, spiritual, emotional and physical support, with the goal of assisting them with overcoming the trauma, isolation, and disconnection resulting from wrongful incarceration. 

Jan 08, 2019
S7E13: How Crystal Weimer Won An 11 Year Fight For Freedom [Rebroadcast]
46:17

Wrongful Conviction returns with new episodes on January 21, 2019 , but until then we are revisiting some of the show’s greatest episodes. In this devastating interview, Crystal Weimer shares the unbelievable story of how she ended up serving more than a decade behind bars for the murder of Curtis Haith–a crime she did not commit. Her story is emblematic of the problems with the public defense system across the state of Philadelphia. This report from WHYY revisits Ms. Weimer’s case and looks at how little has changed since she was first arrested in the state. 

Curtis Haith was beaten to death and shot outside of his home in western Pennsylvania. Police determined that the evening before Haith had attended a party in Uniontown, PA. Crystal Weimer, whose sisters hosted the party, and her cousin had driven Haith home and returned directly to the party. Ms. Weimer became the focus of the investigation after an ex-boyfriend told authorities she confessed. The charges were dropped when he recanted, but police re-filed the charges in 2004 with the use of statements given by Joseph Stenger, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy of homicide oh Haith while he was serving time for unrelated robbery charges. Stenger testified that Ms. Weimer had an earlier physical altercation with Haith and she enlisted Stenger and two unidentified black men to return to Haith’s house after where she lured him outside and they beat him to death and shot him in the face. At her trial in 2006, the only physical evidence that directly tied Ms. Weimer to the crime scene was an alleged bite mark on the victim’s arm. Expert odonatologist Dr. Constantine Karazulas told the jury that a mark on the victim’s hand was a bite mark made minutes before he died and that Ms. Weimer is the one who bit him. During closing argument, the prosecution told the jury that the jailhouse informants who testified against her at the trial had not asked for any leniency on their own cases in return for their testimony. Crystal Weimer was convicted of third-degree murder and conspiracy to commit homicide and sentenced to 15 to 30 years in prison. She continued to fight for her innocence, acting as her own lawyer and filing motions for post-conviction relief, but all were denied until a federal petition for a writ of habeas corpus was filed on her behalf. In December 2014, Joseph Stenger ultimately recanted all of his statements and admitted that prosecutors dropped more serious charges against him in exchange for his testimony against Ms. Weimer. In early 2015, Dr. Constantine Karazulas, that same expert declared his own trial testimony "junk science" and "invalid." In February 2015, Ms. Weimer, represented pro bono by the Pennsylvania Innocence Project and the firm of Jones Day, filed a motion for a new trial based on the discredited bite mark evidence and the recantations of key witnesses. Her lawyers had also discovered that the prosecution had failed to disclose to Ms. Weimer’s trial counsel that the jailhouse informants had written letters to the prosecution requesting favorable treatment, which showed that the informants had testified falsely at trial when they denied they sought deals for their testimony. A new trial was ordered on October 1st, 2015, and Crystal Weimer was released the same day on bond after serving 11 years in prison. She was forced to wear an electronic ankle bracelet for another nine months until the judge dismissed the charges with prejudice and she was finally exonerated in June 2016. Ms. Weimer is joined by one of her attorneys from the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, Nilaam Sanghvi, in this episode.

Dec 17, 2018
S7E12: Grateful Dead Fan Timothy Tyler Granted Clemency After 22 Years In Prison for a Non-Violent Crime
01:12:33

Tim Tyler was sentenced to a mandatory life sentence in federal prison for selling LSD while traveling around the country following the Grateful Dead. He was 25 years old when he was sentenced and has spent nearly half of his life behind bars.

Tim grew up in Connecticut with his mother, but moved to Florida to live with his father when he was a teenager. After graduating from high school, Tim traveled around the country following the Grateful Dead, and became a heavy user of LSD. Unfortunately, he developed mental health problems and was hospitalized multiple times as a teenager and young adult.

He also became entangled in the criminal justice system. In 1991, Tim was arrested twice for selling LSD and received probation both times. Then, in May 1992, Tim sold marijuana and LSD to a confidential informant. Over the next two months, Tim mailed packages containing LSD to the informant. He was arrested in August and charged along with three codefendants, including his father. Tim pled guilty to possession with intent to deliver LSD and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute LSD.

In March 1994, 25-year-old Tim was sentenced to mandatory life without parole in federal prison. Tim’s codefendants received five and 10 year sentences. Timothy’s father died in prison while serving his 10-year prison term.

A Note on Tim's Sentence Calculation 

Tim’s life sentence was determined by two factors: his two prior drug offenses and the amount of LSD he was convicted of selling, which included the“carrier”weight of the paper the LSD was placed on. Ten grams or more of LSD(includingthe weight of the carrier) on a third offense triggers a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison. Without the mandatory minimum), Timothy would have received a sentence of 262-327 months under the federal sentencing guidelines. Instead, taxpayers will continue to finance the incarceration of a nonviolent drug offender – at $28,000 a year and rising – for the rest of his life.

To Connect with Tim Tyler please visit his Facebook Page. 

To learn more about  Families Against Mandatory Minimums, or make a donation, please visit their website,  FAMM.org

Research Courtesy of FAMM. 

Stay Tuned after Wrongful Conviction for a special preview for "Legal Wars" - Introducing: Legal Wars

The courtroom can be a battlefield over money, people’s rights, and even their lives. For some cases, the consequences can affect us long after the verdict is read.

Based on extensive interviews and court transcripts, Wondery’s new podcast LEGAL WARS puts you inside the jury box of some of the most famous court cases in American history. Subscribe to Legal Wars today at wondery.fm/

Nov 20, 2018
S7E11: Ndaba Mandela: Carrying the Torch of Social Justice Inherited from His Grandfather, Nelson Mandela
43:34

Following in the footsteps of his beloved and iconic grandfather, Ndaba Mandela has taken the torch and run with it. Today, Nelson Mandela’s legacy continues as Ndaba keeps its beacon of hope bright, fueling his message that one person can make a difference. Ndaba is a man passionate about Africa, its people and concerned about its future.

In this candid interview, Ndaba discusses his passion for criminal justice reform and his commitment to a new generation of young Africans that he hopes will be at the forefront of Africa’s development.

Connect with Ndaba Mandela:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Find out more about Ndaba’s foundation,  Africa Risinghere.

Nov 12, 2018
S7E10: 27 years in and 29 days out, the struggle and triumph of Valentino Dixon
58:40

27 Years In and 29 Days Out, The Struggle and Triumph of Valentino Dixon

Although Valentino Dixon has never played golf, he wouldn’t have survived 27 years in prison–for a crime he did not commit–without it. A few years into his sentence of 39 years to life, Valentino returned to his childhood passion of art to help him cope. He began sketching landscapes of golf courses with color pencils. His breathtakingly detailed sketches led to a profile in Golf Digestmagazine. That article in Golf Digest, helped bring other media attention to Valentino’s case and prompted students at Georgetown to help appeal his sentence. On September 19, 2018, Valentino Dixon was released after the court determined that he, in fact, was not responsible for the murder of 17-year-old Torriano Jackson on a Buffalo street corner in 1991. In this compelling interview, Valentino shares how his art served as a shield in prison, protecting his mind and comforting his soul.

www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com

Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava For Good Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.

Nov 05, 2018
S7E9: Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction
57:50

In her new book Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction Lara Bazelon makes a powerful argument for adopting a model of restorative justice as part of the Innocence Movement so exonerees, crime victims, and their communities can come together to heal.

Tony Wright is one of those exonerees. 

Wright endured two trials and 25 years in prison before a jury found him not 

guilty for the rape, sodomy and murder of Louise Talley, a 77-year-old woman in 

Philadelphia. Mr. Wright, who was only 20 years old when he was arrested in 1993, 

signed a confession after being beaten and threatened by the interrogating detectives. He was sentenced to life in prison—he narrowly escaped the death penalty after the jury voted against it 7 to 5. Later DNA testing of he rape kit not only excluded Mr. Wright as a suspect, but also identified Ronnie Byrd as the real assailant. On August 23, 2016, Tony Wright was exonerated, and he became the 344th DNA exoneree in the nation. 

Talley’s niece, Shannon Coleman, fought to get Tony Wright behind bars until her daughter Lauren showed her a Rolling Stone article questioning his role in the crime. Coleman then became Wright’s staunchest advocate.

More information about Bazelon’s new book is available here.

Connect with Lara Bazelon:

Twitter

Oct 30, 2018
S7E8: Vote YES on Amendment 2: Louisiana Faces Vote to Restore Fairness with Unanimous Juries
41:53

In forty-eight other states and in federal courts across the country, a conviction requires a unanimous vote – all jurors must agree on whether a prosecutor has met the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. For hundreds of years, dating back to common law before the constitution, the trial by jury has been repeatedly described by Justice Antonin Scalia, quoting Sir William Blackstone, as:

“the most transcendent privilege which any subject can enjoy, or wish for, that he cannot be affected either in his property, his liberty, or his person, but by the unanimous consent of twelve of his neighbours and equals.”

Louisiana is the only state where someone can be sentenced to life without parole without a unanimous decision of a jury. Non-unanimous juries allow conviction even where two citizens have reasonable doubts about the evidence. They are, as a result, unreliable. More than forty percent of all those who have been recently exonerated were (mistakenly) found guilty by non-unanimous juries. 

On November 6th, Louisiana voters will have a chance to change that. Amendment 2, a ballot initiative, would require unanimous agreement by jurors for all felony trials.

Jason is joined by with Doug Dilosa of Rising Foundations and Chris Pourciau the Deputy Director of the Unanimous Jury Coalition, through the Promise of Justice Initiative. 

Doug Dilosa is himself a victim of non-unanimous jury. DiLosa was wrongfully convicted of second degree murder in 1987 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole with less than a unanimous consensus of his guilt. Based on the information and evidence Doug was able to gather on his case, in 2000 the Federal Court reversed his conviction and he was released from prison in January of 2001. For more information about his case please listen to Dilosa’s first interview on Wrongful Conviction, which you can find here. 

For more information on how you can help please visit www.unanimousjury.org

Connect with the organization:

https://twitter.com/UnanimousJuryLA

https://www.facebook.com/UnanimousJuryLA/

Oct 22, 2018
S7E7: Inner Freedom for the Imprisoned: A conversation with Sadhguru - yogi, mystic and visionary - about his revolutionary work in prisons from India to Kentucky
49:26

In this special edition of Wrongful Conviction, Jason Flom is joined by Sadhguru to discuss his revolutionary work that has helped reform prisons throughout India. 

Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, visionary and bestselling author who ranked amongst the 50 most influential people in India by India Today. Sadhguru has been conferred the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India in 2017, the highest civilian award of the year, accorded for exceptional and distinguished service.

Probing and passionate, insightful, logical and unfailingly witty, Sadhguru's is a renowned and celebrated speaker. He has headlined talks at the United Nations World Headquarters, the Hindustan Leadership Summit, the Australian Leadership Retreat, Indian Economic Summit, and TED. He is a regular at the World Economic Forum and has also been invited to speak at leading educational institutions, including Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Wharton, and MIT among others.

Three decades ago, Sadhguru founded the Isha Foundation, a non-profit organization with human well-being at its core commitment, supported by over seven million volunteers in over 250 centers worldwide.

Connect with Sadhguru:

@Sadhguru

Oct 15, 2018
S7E6: Rafael Madrigal: Convicted of Attempted Murder after Drive-By Shooting Despite Airtight Alibi
48:14

Rafael Madrigal and co-defendant Francisco Olivares were charged with committing a drive-by shooting in East Los Angeles on behalf of the Ford Maravilla gang and convicted in January of 2002.

Witnesses testified that Madrigal and Olivares committed the July 2000 shooting. Madrigal contended his innocence from the beginning; at the time of the shooting he was at work at Proactive Packaging & Display in Rancho Cucamonga, approximately 35 miles away.

The petition submitted on Madrigal’s behalf established his alibi and argued that his trial counsel was ineffective in his representation, failing to call an alibi witness or properly investigate the case.

During an evidentiary hearing on November 3, 2008, alibi witness Robert Howards, Madrigal’s direct supervisor at Proactive, testified that the production line would have shut down had Madrigal not been at work. Madrigal was the only employee trained to operate the laminating machine and his failure to operate that piece of machinery would have impacted production. Howards was never called as a witness, despite his submission of a notarized alibi statement in Madrigal’s defense.

An audio tape was also produced during the evidentiary hearing. On the tape was a telephone conversation between Olivares and his girlfriend. In the conversation, Olivares admits that Madrigal was not involved in the shooting, nor did he know any details of the crime. The audio tape was never entered as evidence. The alibi witness and audio tape prove Madrigal’s innocence. Together, both pieces of evidence were crucial in the reversal of Madrigal’s conviction.

“Rafael should never have been convicted of this crime,” says Justin P. Brooks, Director of the California Innocence Project and Professor of Law at California Western School of Law.“Iam so pleased that the truth has come out. He is another innocent victim of a flawed justice system.”

U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feess granted a petition filed by the California Innocence Project and Attorney Eric Multhaup, effectively reversing the 2002 murder conviction of Rafael Madrigal. The decision follows the recommendation of U.S. Magistrate Judge Marc Goldman. Madrigal is the third person in three months to be exonerated by the California Innocence Project, based at California Western School of Law in San Diego.

CaliforniaInnocenceProject.org

Make a GIFTto California Innocence Project here.

Oct 09, 2018
S7E5: Damien Echols Survived Death Row and Now He is Sharing The Spiritual Practices That Saved His Life With the World.
01:05:52

DAMIEN ECHOLS was born in 1974 and grew up in Mississippi, Tennessee, Maryland, Oregon, Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. His wrongful conviction, sentencing, and eventual release as part of the West Memphis Three case is the subject of Paradise Lost, a three-part documentary series produced by HBO, and West of Memphis, a documentary produced by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh. 

The West Memphis Three are three men who – while teenagers – were tried and convicted, in 1994, of the 1993 murders of three boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. Damien Echols was sentenced to death, Jessie Misskelley, Jr. was sentenced to life imprisonment plus two 20-year sentences, and Jason Baldwin was sentenced to life imprisonment. During the trial, the prosecution asserted that the children were killed as part of a Satanic ritual.

In July 2007, new forensic evidence was presented in the case. A status report jointly issued by the state and the defense team stated: "Although most of the genetic material recovered from the scene was attributable to the victims of the offenses, some of it cannot be attributed to either the victims or the defendants." On October 29, 2007, the defense filed a Second Amended Writ of Habeas Corpus, outlining the new evidence.

Following a 2010 decision by the Arkansas Supreme Court regarding newly produced DNA evidence and potential juror misconduct, the West Memphis Three negotiated a plea bargain with prosecutors. On August 19, 2011, they entered Alford pleas, which allowed them to assert their innocence while acknowledging that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict them. Judge David Laser accepted the pleas and sentenced the three to time served. They were released with 10-year suspended sentences, having served 18 years and 78 days in prison.

While in prison, Damien was ordained into the Rinzai Zen Buddhist tradition. Today he teaches classes on Magick around the country and works as a visual artist. He and wife Lorri live in New York City with their three cats.

Damien is also the author of High Magick: A Guide to the Spiritual Practices That Saved My Life on Death Row and the New York Times bestseller Life After Death and Yours For Eternity (with his wife Lorri Davis).

 

Connect with Damien Echols - @DamienEchols

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

www.DamienEchols.com

www.churchofrockandroll.com

This episode was recorded live in front of a studio audience at the opening of The Church of Rock & Roll

Oct 01, 2018
S7E4: Noura Jackson: Wrongfully Convicted Of Murdering Her Mother After Prosecutors Withheld Evidence Of Her Innocence
01:00:51

Noura Jackson was egregiously framed and wrongfully convicted of murdering her mother, Jennifer Jackson, in Memphis, TN in 2005. Amazingly she spent over three years in jail awaiting trial before being sentenced to 20 years and nine months in prison. No physical evidence linked Ms. Jackson to the murder, and DNA testing not only excluded her as a suspect, but it also suggested that two or three different people were present at the crime scene. The Supreme Court of Tennessee overturned her conviction, unanimously in 2014, and in their 5-0 decision they made strong statements about the misconduct that took place during her trial. The prosecutors threatened to retry Ms. Jackson, and she was faced with little choice but to accept an Alford Plea in 2015. Noura Jackson was then sent back to prison for 15 months before she was finally released in 2016, after serving 11 years in prison. She is joined by one of her lawyers, Bryce Benjet, Senior Staff Attorney at the Innocence Project, in this episode.

Sep 24, 2018
S7E3: A Decade Later: The Wrongful Conviction of Amanda Knox
54:20

It’s been over 10 years since the murder of Meredith Kercher, British exchange student killer while studying abroad in Italy. That crime sent an innocent American student named Amanda Knox to prison for four years . At just 20 years old Knox became embroiled in an international scandal that captivated the world. The guilty verdict at Knox's initial trial and her 26-year sentence caused international controversy, as U.S. forensic experts thought evidence at the crime scene didn’t make sense. After her eventual release, Amanda returned to the United States to rebuild her life. Amanda was the first guest on season 2 of Wrongful Conviction as we begin this, our seventh season, we are looking back.

Please make sure to check out Amanda’s new show“The Scarlett Letter Reports” available on Facebook Watch. Amanda sits down with women from all of walks of life to discuss the deeply personal journey of being sexualized, scrutinized, and demonized by the media — and how they’ve rebuilt their lives after their most personal details have been made public.

Sep 17, 2018
S7E2: Falsely Accused: The Devastating Story of Susan King's Wrongful Conviction and the Detective Who Lied To Make It Happen
56:45

Susan King served nearly seven years behind bars for a crime she didn’t commit. Then in 2012, another man confessed to that crime. In November 1998, a fisherman found the body of 40-year-old Kyle Breeden in the Kentucky River near Gratz, Kentucky. He had been shot in the head twice with .22 caliber magnum bullets and his legs were bound with guitar amplifier cord. He had last been seen October 26, 1998. Kentucky State Police was never able to solve the crime. Almost eight years later, Detective Todd Harwood made it his mission to solve the cold case. He pinned the murder on Susan King who had dated Breeden on and off for some time. The detective claimed King threw a 200-pound body over a bridge. But that was impossible because King only has one leg and she only weighed 90 pounds. Then in 2012, the actual murderer confessed to the crime. 

Sep 10, 2018
S7E1: Kim Kardashian West & Jason Flom Join Forces to Advocate for Criminal Justice Reform and Clemency
58:57

Kim Kardashian West first heard about Alice Marie Johnson through a short video about Johnson’s life behind bars on Twitter. Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old-great-grandmother, was given a life sentence for a first-time-nonviolent-drug-related crime and was not eligible for parole. At the time, Johnson had already been in prison for 21 years. Kardashian West retweeted that video from Mic.com saying “This is so unfair” on October 25, 2017. That single tweet and Johnson’s story moved Kardashian West and ignited a passion in her for criminal justice reform. It became her mission to help free Johnson and reunite her with the family she missed so much. Kardashian West’s journey took her to the White House where she personally petitioned for a pardon of Johnson’s criminal offenses and on June 6, 2018, President Donald Trump granted clemency to Alice Marie Johnson. In this special edition of Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom, Kardashian West discusses her commitment to criminal justice reform and how she plans to continue using her voice to advocate on behalf of those behind bars. 

Sep 05, 2018
S7E1: Preview of Kim Kardashian West on Wrongful Conviction
01:19

Listen to a special preview of Jason Flom’s interview of Kim Kardashian West as she discusses her involvement in Alice Johnson’s release and her advocacy for criminal justice reform and clemency. The full episode will be available Wednesday, September 5th.

Sep 04, 2018
S6E13: Three Decades Later: Raymond Santana and The Central Park Jogger Case
01:02:51

It’s been almost 30 years since the brutal rape and beating of the Central Park Jogger that sent five innocent men to prison they were known as the Central Park Five. This case and their stories captivated New Yorkers. This season we heard from one of the five: the incredible Yusef Salaam. But the first guest on Wrongful Conviction was Raymond Santana, and as the sixth season of Wrongful Conviction comes to an end, we are looking back. Raymond was only 14 years old when he was wrongfully convicted of the rape and assault of the Central Park jogger in 1990. 

SOCIAL : Raymond Santana

Instagram: @SanatanaRaymond and @ParkMadisonNYC

Aug 27, 2018
S6E12: The Notorious Teardrop Rapist and Luis Vargas’ Fight to Prove His Innocence and Survive in Prison
57:28

In 1999 Luis Vargas was convicted and sentenced to fifty-five years to life in prison for three sexual assaults. He was accused of being the notorious“teardroprapist,” a methodical serial rapist that terrorized women in Los Angeles. 

Before being sentenced Vargas stated,“…Iwill pray for God’s mercy on all of you…but as far as I’m concerned, as far as I’m concerned[the]individual[who]really did these crimes might really be raping someone out there, might really be killing someone out there.”

Unfortunately for Luis and the people of Los Angeles, Luis was right. The real“teardroprapist” would attack over 30 victims. 

Mr. Vargas is joined by his lawyer, Justin Brooks, director of the California Innocence Project. In 2013 Mr. Miles identified 12 clients with strong claims to exoneration: the“California12.” Mr. Brooks walked 712 miles from San Diego to Sacramento to deliver clemency positions to Gov. Jerry Brown on behalf of the“California12.”

Connect with Justin Brooks, Director of the California Innocence Project:

Twitter

Aug 20, 2018
S6E11: Meek Mill: an exclusive interview about his 12 year journey from his wrongful conviction to his righteous activism. With special guest Michael Rubin.
53:36

Since his release in April 2018, Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill is using his voice and freedom to fight on behalf of those still behind bars. In this special interview, Mill is joined by his friend and ally Michael Rubin, e-commerce billionaire and co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, to discuss their hopes for criminal justice reform. 

SOCIAL

Follow Meek Mill and Michael Rubin:

Meek Mill: Instagram and Twitter

Michael Rubin: Instagram and Twitter

Aug 13, 2018
S6E10: Unwavering Faith: The Story of Kerry Porter
52:39

On December 27, 1996, before the sun had risen, 35-year-old Tyrone Camp was fatally shot in the head and back as he was warming up his truck at Active Transportation Co. in Louisville, Kentucky. The murder was witnessed by Kenneth Brown, who told police he had seen the assailant running away, but that he could not identify him. 

The first suspect in Camp’s murder was his wife Cecilia’s former husband, Juan Leotis Sanders. But the focus shifted to Kerry Porter Porter, who had also once been married to Cecilia Camp after the victim’s brother showed the witness a picture of Porter. Brown identified Porter was the assailant on two separate occasions. 

Kerry Porter was eventually convicted of the murder of Tyrone Camp and sentenced to 60 years in prison. 

Porter’s devastating conviction was built on mistaken witness identification, perjury and a false accusation. He was exonerated in 2011 thanks in part to the Innocence Project and–in a strange turn– the television show“BayWatch.” But ultimately what freed Porter was his unwavering faith and commitment to proving his innocence. 

Aug 06, 2018
S6E9: Exit to Freedom: The Story of Calvin Johnson
50:51

Calvin Johnson was just 25-years-old when he was wrongfully convicted for the rape of a woman in 1983. Johnson served 16 years for that crime. In 1999 a judge ordered a new trial for Johnson DNA tests were done on samples collected from the rape kit. The DNA testing concluded that Johnson was not the perpetrator. The District Attorney decided to drop the charges against Johnson after looking at the DNA test result. Johnson was the first man freed exonerated in part to DNA evidence in the state of Georgia.

Calvin Johnson is now on the inaugural board of directors for the Innocence Project. He also serves on the board of the Georgia Innocence Project. In September 2003, his book Exit To Freedom was published by the University of Georgia Press. Co-authored by Dr. Greg Hampikian, the book chronicles Johnson’s wrongful arrest, conviction, imprisonment, and the events that led to his exoneration.

To purchase his book “Exit to Freedom” please click here.

To contact Calvin Johnson please reach out to him via email: exitofree@yahoo.com

Jul 30, 2018
S6E8: Words of a Man: Yusef Salaam’s Wrongful Conviction for one of NYC Most Heinous Crimes
58:44

Words of a Man: Yusef Salaam’s Wrongful Conviction for one of NYC’s Most Heinous Crimes

On the night of April 19, 1989, a 28-year-old female jogger was brutally attacked and raped in New York’s Central Park. She was found unconscious with her skull fractured, and 75 percent of her blood drained from her body. Five teens from Harlem—all between the ages of 14 and 16-years-old—were tried and convicted of the crime in one of the most frenzied cases in the city’s history. The woman was dubbed the “Central Park jogger” and the accused teens became known collectively as the “Central Park Five.” One of those boys, Yusef Salaam, was just 15 years old when he was tried as a juvenile and convicted of rape and assault. He was sentenced to five to ten years in prison. In early 2002, Matias Reyes, a convicted murderer and rapist, admitted that he alone was responsible for the attack on the Central Park jogger. Reyes had already committed another rape near Central Park days earlier in 1989, using the same modus operandi. Although the police had Reyes’s name on file, they failed to connect Reyes to the rape and assault of the Central Park jogger. Eventually, the evidence from the crime was subjected to DNA testing and matched the profile of Reyes, who is currently serving a life sentence. On December 19, 2002, on the recommendation of the Manhattan District Attorney, the convictions of the five men were overturned. Yusef Salaam had served nearly seven years for a crime he did not commit. Since his release, he has become a family man, father, poet, activist and inspirational speaker. He has committed himself to advocating for and educating people on the issues of mass incarceration, police brutality and misconduct, false confessions, press ethics and bias, race and law, and the disparities in America’s criminal justice system, especially for young men of color. He is featured in the 2019 hit Netflix series When They See Us. 

www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com

Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava For Good Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.

Jul 23, 2018
S6E7: Wrong Man: The Story of Shabaka Shakur and the Fabricated Confession That Sent Him to Prison for 27 Years
01:01:50

On January 11, 1988, shortly after 10 p.m., Fitzgerald Clarke and Steven Hewitt were fatally shot in Brooklyn, NY outside of a building where they sold drugs. Shabaka Shakur, a friend of both victims, was brought in for questioning after a witness told officers that Shakur harbored a dispute over money he owned Hewitt. Another witness told police that Shakur admitted to committing the crime before he was arrested, but this witness never testified and recanted in 2014.

In Detective Phillip Mahony’s initial interview with Shakur, he denied any involvement in the crime. But after Mahony, Shakur was interviewed by the now disgraced Detective Louis Scarcella, who claimed that Shakur confessed to shooting the victims. Detective Louis Scarcellais an infamous, retired NYPD detective who rose to prominence in the 1980s and 90s due to his unmatched ability to get suspects to confess. 

As of May 2018, there have been 13 exonerations connected to him. Despite all of the exonerations and criticisms of his tactics, Scarcella maintains that he has“doneabsolutely nothing wrong.

Shakur was convicted on two counts of second degree murder and he was sentenced to 20 years to life.

After 27 years–and in large part to his determination–Shakur was exonerated. Since his exoneration, alongside fellow exoneree and Scarcella victim Derrick Hamilton, Shakur has opened“718Live,” a restaurant and event space in Brooklyn.

Shakur is joined by his defense attorney, Ron Kuby. Kuby is the star of a new series“WrongMan” on STARZ. The series follows a team of esteemed experts as they re-investigate the cases of three inmates who have been locked up for decades and claim they're innocent. The series is available hereand through the STARZ app.

Connect with Shabaka Shakur:

Facebook

 

Jul 16, 2018
S6E6: Misidentified: The Story of Guy Miles’ Fight To Prove His Innocence
55:56

In 1999 Guy Miles was convicted of robbery and sentenced 75 years to life. He was placed at the scene of a crime by eyewitness identifications. According to the California Innocent Project, stranger eyewitness identifications are the single leading cause of wrongful convictions in the world. Despite a high rate of error(roughly1 in 4 stranger eyewitness identifications are wrong), they are still considered the most powerful evidence against a suspect. It was exactly these kinds of misidentifications that sent Guy Miles to prison.

On June 29, 1998, three men committed an armed robbery at a Fidelity Financial institution in Fullerton, CA. Two bank employees chose Mr. Miles from faulty photo arrays and later testified that he was one of the robbers in court.

But Mr. Miles could not have been involved with the robbery because he wasn’t even in California when it happened. Mr. Miles had six alibi witnesses at trial who all testified that he was in Las Vegas–an almost four-hour drive away–when the robbery occurred. 

With the help of the California Innocence Project, Mr. Miles was freed after 18 years in prison. Their investigation found the three men responsible for committing that crime: Jason Stewart, Harold Bailey and Bernard Teamer. After admitting to the robbery, they cleared Guy and said that he was not involved.

Mr. Miles is joined by his lawyer, Justin Brooks, director of the California Innocence Project. In 2013 Mr. Miles identified 12 clients with strong claims to exoneration: the“California12.” Mr. Brooks walked 712 miles from San Diego to Sacramento to deliver clemency positions to Gov. Jerry Brown on behalf of the“California12.

Connect with Guy Miles:

Facebook

Connect with Justin Brooks, Director of the California Innocence Project:

Twitter

Donate to the California Innocence Project here

Jul 09, 2018
S6E5: Conviction: Murder, Shooting With the Intent to Kill, Use of a Vehicle to Facilitate the Discharge of a Weapon
01:10:24

De’Marchoe Carpenter and Malcolm Scott were 17-years-old when Tulsa police arrested them in connection to a gang-related shooting that killed 19-year-old Karen Summers, the mother of a 4-month-old baby, outside a house party in 1994. Neither teen was found with the murder weapon or the getaway car and no DNA linked either of them to the crime scene. Days after the murder occurred, a Tulsa homicide supervisor visited Michael Lee Wilson, a known member of the Bloods, who had the murder weapon, the car, and the motive. Prosecutors offered Wilson a plea deal in exchange for testifying against De’Marchoe Carpenter and Malcolm Scott, and Wilson was released on $5,000 bond. While he was free, he brutally butchered Richard Yost, a night clerk at a Tulsa convenience store in February 1995. That crime was so heinous that Wilson and his co-defendant Billy Alverson both received the death penalty. Two eyewitnesses who placed Mr. Carpenter and Mr. Scott at the scene, and who provided inconsistent statements to investigators, later recanted and claimed detectives had coerced their testimony by threatening them with charges. After their three-day trial, Mr. Carpenter and Mr. Scott were found guilty and sentenced to life in prison on the murder conviction, plus 170 years for two counts of shooting with intent to kill, and one count of using a vehicle to facilitate the discharge of a weapon. Days before Wilson was set to die by lethal injection in 2011, he provided a videotaped confession to the Oklahoma Innocence Project. In the footage, he claimed that he was the one who killed Summers, and that he’d allowed cops to suspect Mr. Scott and Mr. Carpenter. Almost 22 years later, on May 9, 2016, a judge finally vacated their convictions and declared them factually innocent.

SOCIAL:

Connect with Malcolm Scott:

Instagram: @ MrSwaggah764

Facebook

Connect with De’Marchoe Carpenter:

Instagram: @BuriedAlive22

Facebook

Jul 02, 2018
S6E4: Sentenced To Death In Africa And Locked In A 7x9 Cell With 13 Other Inmates: How Pete Ouko Found His Purpose
01:02:00

In 1998, Peter Ouko was taken to Kamiti Maximum Prison in Kenya and was sentenced to death in 2001. His sentence would later be commuted to life imprisonment by Kenya’s former President Mwai Kibaki in 2009. Instead of bitterness, Mr. Ouko decided to forgive his tormentors and make the best of his time in prison, becoming the first inmate to graduate with a University of London Diploma in Law while behind bars. He is currently in his final year as an LLB student in the same University. Peter later won his freedom in October 2016 and continues to support and advocate for those individuals who remain on remand. In his dual role as an Ambassador of the African Prisons Project and Founder of the Youth Safety Awareness Initiative, Pete Ouko today champions access to justice for inmates and the indolent in society while using social enterprise to advocate for a crime free world.

Connect with Peter Ouko:

Pete’s personal website

His organization Crime Si Poa

His twitter 

His Facebook

 

Jun 25, 2018
S6E3: A Crime Against Humanity, An Epic Struggle For Survival & Two Decades Of Devastating Loneliness: The Unimaginable Story Of Steven Barnes
59:16

In March 1988, Steven Barnes was arrested and charged with the rape, sodomy, and murder of 16-year-old Kimberly Simon in upstate New York. He was tried by a jury in Utica beginning on May 15, 1989. Questionable eyewitness identifications and three forms of unvalidated forensic science were used against Mr. Barnes at trial. He was convicted of rape and murder and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Nearly two decades later, on November 25, 2008, DNA testing obtained by the Innocence Project proved his innocence and Steven Barnes walked out of the Utica courthouse a free man.

Jun 18, 2018
S6E2: The Story Behind Empire On Blood: Calvin Buari’s Trial By Ambush And Two Decades In Hell
01:06:57

Calvin Buari served 22 years for a double murder in the Bronx, even though someone else confessed to the crime. In the early 1990s, Calvin Buari was a well-known crack cocaine distributor in the Bronx, and authorities blamed him for a spasm of bloodshed there; the press reported that he practiced "black magic" and was a murderous thug. In 1992, a disgruntled drug associate who had recently shot Mr. Buari implicated him in the murder of Elijah and Salhaddin Harris, who were parked when a gunman walked up and fired about a dozen rounds into their car. Mr. Buari was charged with the double murder and six rival drug dealers testified against him at his 1995 murder trial. No physical evidence connected him to the crime. A jury took only two hours to convict Mr. Buari of murder, and he was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison. Calvin Buari never stopped fighting for his freedom, and the case took a turn with a 2003 affidavit from the key witness against him, Dwight Robinson, who confessed to the crime, stating that he “pinned this double murder on Calvin Buari because of a dispute between Calvin and me, and because I wanted complete control of my drug spot.” Journalist Steve Fishman followed Mr. Buari’s story for seven years and eyewitnesses, first interviewed by Fishman, testified in court in 2015 that Mr. Buari was not the murderer. By May 2017, a judge overturned the conviction and ordered 46-year-old Mr. Buari freed. In this episode, Calvin Buari is joined by Steve Fishman, who chronicles his journey for justice in the hit podcast Empire on Blood.

Follow Calvin Buari and Steve Fishman on social media and check out their businesses:

Steve on Twitter: @stevemfishman

Calvin on Facebook: Teambuari

Calvin on Instagram: @ryderz_van_service, and @teambuari. 

Company websites:

www.ryderzvanservice.com and www.blackmagicstudio.com

Read more on Cal's new business at this article  

Jun 11, 2018
S6E1: Trailer: Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom Season 6
01:14

Premieres Monday June 11, 2018

Jun 07, 2018
S5E11: A Gruesome Murder, An Impossible Scenario And A Sloppy But Ultimately Successful Frame Up: The Terrible Saga Of Andre Hatchett's 25 Years Behind Bars For A Crime He Did Not Commit
49:18

Andre Hatchett spent half of his life in prison for a murder he did not commit largely due to inadequate defense, a single unreliable witness, and exculpatory evidence that was not disclosed to the defense. He was the 19th person to be exonerated under Brooklyn D.A. Ken Thompson's Conviction Integrity Unit. Andre Hatchett is joined by Senior Staff Attorney at the Innocence Project Seema Saifee and his brother Jerry Hatchett in this episode.

May 14, 2018
S5E10: Tortured By Police, Failed By The Justice System & Locked Up In Hell On A Putrid Prison Ship: Angel Cordero’s Fight For Freedom
55:32

Angel Cordero was convicted in 1999 of attempted murder and robbery of then-Boston University freshman Jason Mercado, who was attacked and stabbed by strangers while walking in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx. Four plainclothes Bronx Gang Unit cops driving by the scene observed the tail end of the assault and quickly arrested five men out of the crowd, including Angel Cordero, who at age 26 had no prior criminal record, and his brother, Ramon Rivas. Three of the five young men pleaded guilty in exchange for lesser sentences, but Angel Cordero and Ramon Rivas refused to plead guilty and went to trial. At trial, multiple people testified that a man named Dario Rodriguez had committed the stabbing. In addition, the three confessed assailants also told police that Mr. Cordero and his brother were not involved. Both brothers were found guilty of second-degree attempted murder, robbery in the first degree, and assault in the first degree, and they were both sentenced to 15 years in prison. Ramon Rivas won his appeal due to judicially inappropriate actions made by the court and was released 6 years into his sentence. Angel Cordero served 13 years in prison despite numerous statements from witnesses that he was not involved, as well as the 2007 confession of longtime drug dealer Dario Rodriguez, who admitted he actually committed the crime. Mr. Cordero was released on parole in 2012, and he is still fighting for exoneration with his attorneys at the Innocence Project. In this episode, he is joined by his biggest supporter, his wife Michelle Cordero, who married him while he was still in prison.

Welcomehomepictures.com

http://angelcorderoisinnocent.com/

Please tag Michelle and Angel as follow:

Angel:

https://www.facebook.com/angel.cordero.9400

fighting_off_the_ropes

 

Michelle:

https://www.facebook.com/michelle.cordero.9803

misia0417

May 07, 2018
S5E9: After 38 Years Still Behind Bars For A Triple Murder That The Real Killer Confessed To On The Day Of The Crime: The Unreal Saga Of John Moss
47:34

After 38 Years Still Behind Bars For a Triple Murder That The Real Killer Confessed To On The Day Of The Crime: The Unreal Saga of John Moss

In December 1979, a triple murder shook the small town of St. Albans, WV. John Moss III was convicted in 1983 and sentenced to life in prison, and he has since served 38 years for this crime that he did not commit. Jason Flom teams up with Georgetown University Professor of Government and Law, Marc Howard, and his student, Jessica Scoratow, to interview John Moss from behind bars in West Virginia and unravel the saga behind this tragic miscarriage of justice. On December 13th, 1979, in St. Albans, WV, twenty-six-year-old Vanessa Reggettz and her two young children, Paul Eric and Bernadette, were strangled to death by electrical cords. The murders were gruesome–Vanessa was brutally beaten and stabbed with scissors, Paul Eric was left in a bathtub, and Bernadette was hung from a door. Paul Reggettz, the husband of Vanessa and the father of Bernadette and Paul Eric, was immediately taken into custody and after being interrogated for hours, he confessed in graphic detail and reenacted the crime for investigators. Reggettz was indicted on three counts of first-degree murder and held in pre-trial detention for eleven months. Charges were dropped, however, when John Moss, a 17-year-old former neighbor, was arrested for the murders instead. In October 1980, West Virginia State Police investigators traveled to interview John Moss in Ohio, where he was being held in juvenile detention for an unrelated crime. John denied any involvement in the murders, and the troopers took a blood sample from him without his parents’ consent or a court order. They returned to pick him up five months later to take him into custody. The policemen in the car claimed that John confessed to the murders. He then gave a tape-recorded confession. The police stated that John confessed again a third time, but there is no recording or written record of the confession. John maintains that he was coerced, beaten, and threatened during interrogations. Armed with these confessions, however, Kanawha County, West Virginia authorities charged John Moss with three counts of first-degree murder and brought him to Charleston to stand trial for the Reggettz slayings in 1985. Importantly, there was blood at the scene of the crime that did not match any of the family members, and the blood was found to match Moss’s blood type. The blood sample was tested by Fred Zain, the infamous lab technician later convicted of falsifying blood evidence in over 134 cases spanning decades, and later destroyed after the conviction. On April 30, 1983, John Moss was convicted of the murders after fourteen hours of jury deliberation and sentenced to three life sentences without the possibility of parole in 1985. He was convicted again in 1990 after his first trial was thrown out for judicial errors in jury polling and prosecutorial misconduct. John Moss has been incarcerated in West Virginia for 38 years, filing numerous appeals alleging ineffective assistance of counsel and challenging Fred Zain's testimony, the validity of his confessions, and arguments about the purportedly stolen items. His appeals have thus far been unsuccessful, and without new evidence, his options for further appeals are limited. For more information visit https://www.justiceforjohnmoss.com

www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com

Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava For Good Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.

Apr 30, 2018
S5E8: How 3 Seconds Changed Rodney Robert’s Wrongful Incarceration and Why He Pleaded Guilty to a Crime He Didn’t Commit Twice
53:47

Rodney Roberts was arrested in 1996 in Newark, New Jersey, after an altercation with a friend. After several days in custody, he found himself charged with the kidnapping and rape of a 17-year-old girl. His court appointed attorney advised him to plead guilty or spend the rest of his life in prison. Mr. Roberts had a good job and had recently moved with his young son into a new apartment. Hoping to get back to his son as soon as possible, Rodney Roberts pleaded guilty to the crime in exchange for a seven-year sentence. He would end up spending 18 years in custody before DNA evidence excluded him as a perpetrator and he was exonerated and released in 2014.

Please link to Rodney’s gofundme: 

https://www.gofundme.com/rodney-roberts-foundation

https://www.facebook.com/groups/575988949170442/

Apr 23, 2018
S5E7: Convicted Of A Grisly Murder & Mutilation Even Though She Was 200 Miles Away With An Airtight Alibi: The Insane Saga Of Blaise Lobato
56:23

Blaise Lobato was twice convicted of the gruesome murder of a 44-year-old homeless man named Duran Bailey, whose body was found behind a dumpster off the Las Vegas Strip just after 10 p.m. on July 8, 2001, covered in a thin layer of trash. Bailey’s teeth had been knocked out and his eyes were bloodied and swollen shut; his carotid artery had been slashed, his rectum stabbed, and his penis amputated. It was found among the trash nearby. Despite a crime scene rich with potential evidence, Las Vegas detectives Thomas Thowsen and James LaRochelle ignored obvious leads and instead focused their investigation on 18-year-old Blaise Lobato, based solely on a third-hand rumor. Ms. Lobato became a suspect because of an attack she fended off in Las Vegas in May 2001. A man attempted to rape her, and she fought him off with a knife, slashing him in the groin area before escaping in her car. In July, police drove up to the small town of Panaca to interview Ms. Lobato about the incident. On the day of the crime, she was at home with her parents in Panaca, which was nearly three hours northeast of Las Vegas near the Utah state line. She was forthcoming with police and described an incident entirely different from Bailey’s murder. When the police told her that the man had died, she mistakenly believed it was the same man that had attacked her, and she expressed remorse, which the police took to be a confession. Even though there was not a shred of physical evidence linking Blaise Lobato to the crime scene, on May 18, 2002, she was convicted of first degree murder and sexual penetration of a dead body and sentenced to 40 to 100 years. The state’s theory of the crime fell apart in October 2017, when Vanessa Potkin, Director of Post-Conviction Litigation at the Innocence Project, and a team of attorneys presented nearly a week’s worth of testimony from several renowned entomologists and a medical examiner, each of whom demonstrated why the state’s narrative never made any scientific sense. On December 19, 2017, the judge vacated Ms. Lobato’s conviction and ordered a new trial. The grounds were inadequate legal defense for failing to call an expert to challenge the time of death, given that it was such a pivotal issue. Ten days later, the prosecution dropped all charges, and Blaise Lobato was freed after serving almost 16 years on prison. In this episode she is joined by two of her Innocence Project attorneys, Jane Putcher & Adnan Salter.

Please link to Blaise's gofundme: https://www.gofundme.com/kirstinlobatolibertyfund

Apr 16, 2018
S5E6: John Huffington: Drug Deals, A Double Death Sentence & Over 3 Decades In Prison
01:02:36

John Huffington spent 32 years in the Maryland Prison System—10 of which were on Death Row—after being wrongfully convicted of a 1981 double murder. Previously, juries twice convicted Mr. Huffington of first-degree murder in the deaths of Diane Becker and Joseph Hudson. The first trial, in 1981, occurred in Caroline County and Mr. Huffington was later granted a new trial due to evidence improperly introduced by the State. The second trial took place in Frederick County in 1983. He faced the death penalty after both convictions, but his sentence was later commuted to two life terms in prison. Since his first trial, Mr. Huffington had filed multiple appeals at the state and federal levels, challenging the state’s case against him. In 2013, as the result of newly discovered DNA evidence that demonstrated that hairs discovered at the crime scene were not Mr. Huffington's, the Circuit Court for Frederick County, MD, granted him a Writ of Actual Innocence and vacated his murder convictions, and John Huffington was released from prison on bond. The faulty evidence came from an FBI lab that has been forced to acknowledge widespread mismanagement and false testimony. The Washington Post published an article in 2015 that “[t]he Justice Department and FBI…formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.” Flawed forensic testimony was given in 257 of the 268 trials in which hair evidence was used, and John Huffington’s trial was one of them. Since his release from prison, Mr. Huffington has been a tireless advocate for the re-entry community, and his work has been recognized by Baltimore City leaders, including State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. He is now serving as the Director of Workforce Development for Living Classrooms Foundation, where he manages the workforce development department and its programming with 18 staff members and a $2 million budget. As part of his role, he manages Project SERVE, the same job-training program in which he enrolled upon being released from incarceration.

Instagram @huffingtonjohn

Twitter @huffingtonjohn 

Please also link to the foundation where he works: https://livingclassrooms.org/

Apr 09, 2018
S5E5: Malcolm Alexander: An Innocent Man, A One Day Trial and 38 Years in Prison - A Tragic Miscarriage of Justice
55:04

Malcolm Alexander: An Innocent Man, A One Day Trial and 38 Years in Prison - A Tragic Miscarriage of JusticeMalcolm Alexander was wrongfully convicted for a 1979 rape in Gretna, Louisiana and spent nearly four decades incarcerated before DNA evidence proved his innocence. In February 1980, police arrested 20-year-old Malcolm Alexander after a white woman accused him of sexually assaulting her. Mr. Alexander, who is black, told police that the sex occurred after he gave the woman money and that it was consensual. This encounter, which was uncorroborated and later dropped, prompted police to place Mr. Alexander’s photo in an array that was shown to the 1979 rape victim over four months after she was attacked at gunpoint by a complete stranger. The assailant was behind the victim for the entirety of the crime, and her opportunity to view him was extremely limited. According to police reports, the victim “tentatively” selected Malcolm Alexander’s photo. Yet, police conducted a physical line-up three days later that included Mr. Alexander, who was the only person from the photo array who was shown again to the victim in the physical line-up. Again, the victim made a “possible” identification and the word “tentative” was written next to Mr. Alexander’s line-up number. However, when the original detective returned later that day to record a statement from the victim, the victim’s confidence was recorded as 98% sure that Mr. Alexander was the assailant. Malcolm Alexander was arrested and charged with aggravated rape and he went to trial on November 5, 1980. The entire trial—from selection of the jury until the jury’s guilty verdict—lasted one day, and he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Mr. Alexander’s paid attorney, who was subsequently disbarred, failed to make court appearances and to file important pleadings, including a motion challenging the identification. The Innocence Project first took up Mr. Alexander’s case in 1996 but quickly learned that the rape kit and a semen-stained towel had been destroyed only four years after his conviction. In 2013, new hair evidence recovered from the crime scene was found at the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab. The tests showed that all three hairs came from the same person, and Malcolm Alexander was excluded as the source of the hairs. On January 30, 2018, absolved of the crime thanks to DNA evidence, Malcolm Alexander walked free from the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola after serving 38 years. He is joined by his son Malcolm Jr. and Innocence Project's Director of Post-Conviction Litigation, Vanessa Potkin, in this episode.

Apr 02, 2018
S5E4: An Unforgettable Story of Mistaken Identity, Grave Injustice, Forgiveness and Grace
01:03:37

In July 1984, an assailant broke into Jennifer Thompson-Cannino’s apartment and sexually assaulted her; later that night, the assailant broke into another apartment and sexually assaulted a second woman. Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, then a 22-year-old college student, made every effort to study the perpetrator’s face while he was assaulting her. Ms. Thompson-Cannino first chose Ronald Cotton as her attacker in a photo lineup. Soon after, she chose him again in a live lineup – she was 100% sure she had the right man. In January 1985, Ronald Cotton was convicted by a jury of one count of rape and one count of burglary. In a second trial, in November 1987, Mr. Cotton was convicted of both rapes and two counts of burglary. He was sentenced to life in prison plus fifty-four years. Mr. Cotton was unsuccessful overturning his conviction in several appeals, but in the spring of 1995, his case was given a major break: the Burlington Police Department turned over all evidence, which included the assailant’s semen for DNA testing, to the defense. When the DNA test results were reported in May 1995, the district attorney and the defense motioned to dismiss all charges. On June 30, 1995, Ronald Cotton was officially cleared of all charges and released from prison after serving 10.5 years. In July 1995, the governor of North Carolina officially pardoned him. Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton met for the first time after his exoneration and immediately became good friends. They travel around the country working to spread the word about wrongful convictions and reforms – especially for eyewitness identification procedures – that can prevent future injustice.

FB: Healing Justice

Instagram: Healing_Justice 

Twitter: @Healing_Justice

And link to her website: www.healingjusticeproject.org  

Read "Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption"available on Amazon.

Mar 26, 2018
S5E3: The Wrongful Convictions And Multiple Escapes Of Leroy Harris: 30 Years In Prison And A Story You Have To Hear To Believe
46:07

From the moment he was charged with rape and robbery in 1989, Leroy Harris has insisted on his innocence. Even after his conviction — for which he was sentenced to 80 years in prison — he fought the verdict through five appeals. Mr. Harris finally got the Innocence Project of New York working on his case in 2012. The Innocence Project had the Connecticut forensic lab test new DNA evidence which excluded Mr. Harris from the male DNA on the inside of one victim’s blouse. The sexual assault charge against Mr. Harris was dismissed, but in order to be released, Leroy Harris agreed to enter “Alford” pleas to the remaining charges in exchange for his freedom. He spent almost 30 years in prison in Connecticut for first-degree sexual assault and three counts of first-degree robbery that new evidence—including exculpatory DNA testing results and serious prosecutorial misconduct—strongly suggests he didn’t commit.

Larry was forced into taking a plea and cannot sue, so no compensation at all for him - even after decades in prison. Please share Leroy’s razoo link:

https://www.razoo.com/story/Leroyharris

Mar 19, 2018
S5E2: The Path From Star Chicago Cubs Pitching Prospect To Prisoner: Jimmie Gardner’s Triumphant Story Of Perseverance Under The Worst Prison Conditions Imaginable
01:03:54

Jimmie C. Gardner was a Charleston minor league baseball player when he was accused of sexual assault in 1987. He grew up in Tampa, FL and was drafted by the Chicago Cubs just after high school graduation, playing with them in the minor leagues for four seasons. While playing in the minor leagues, he enrolled in college to study business management and worked part time at various locations around the Tampa Bay. In 1990, while still working towards his business degree, Jimmie Gardner was arrested and charged with robbing and raping a woman and physically assaulting her and her mother at a home in Kanawha City. Despite always maintaining his innocence, Mr. Gardner was put on trial and prosecutors used West Virginia State Trooper and Chief Serologist Fred Zain as the expert witness. Zain knowingly presented false testimony which resulted in Mr. Gardner's guilty verdict. Jimmie Gardner was convicted of two separate counts of robbery and sexual assault as well as burglary and assault-during-the-commission-of-a-felony and sentenced to 110 years in prison. Jimmie Gardner's case is one of over 140 cases from the late 1970’s through the 1980’s in which the state of West Virginia relied on falsified forensic evidence testimony by Chief Serologist Fred Zain in order to convict. It was not until April 1st, 2016, nearly 3 decades after the Chief Serologist was exposed—when Jimmie C. Gardner’s case was overturned and he was finally released after serving 26 years in prison. Since his release, Mr. Gardner has become an active motivational speaker and is in the process of establishing the Gardner House, a 48-bed facility dedicated to providing shelter, food and opportunities to people recently released from prison. Jimmie Gardner has told his story in public speaking gigs across the U.S. and advocates not only for those who have been wrongfully convicted, but for those who legally have been convicted and are working to get their footing in society after they leave prison. For more information on how to book Mr. Gardner, visit www.jcgardnerspeaks.com. In this episode, he is joined by his attorney A. Scott Bolden, Managing Partner of Reed Smith, Washington, DC and the Honorable Leslie J. Abrams, United States District Court Judge for the Middle District of Georgia.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jcgardnerspeaks2

Twitter: twitter.com/jcgardnerspeaks

Website: www.jcgardnerspeaks.com

Instagram: #jcgardnerspeaks

Legal Shield: legalshieldassociate.com/jimmiecgardner 

Please tag lawyer Scott Bolden as follow:

Instagram: @asbthelaw

Twitter: @asbthelaw

Facebook: @asbthelaw

YouTube: A. Scott Bolden

Mar 12, 2018
S5E1: A Cold Case, A False Confession & The Diabolical Truth: Jason Strong’s Vindication After 15 Years Locked Up In Hell
42:57

In December 1999, the body of an unidentified young woman was found beaten to death in a forest preserve near North Chicago in Lake County, IL. Ten days after the body was discovered, Jeremy Tweedy, Jason Johnson and Jason Strong were brought in for questioning after Tweedy mentioned the woman's death to an undercover police officer posing as a prostitute. Police charged 24-year-old Jason Strong with first-degree murder and concealing a homicide and charged Tweedy and Johnson with concealing a homicide. Officers furnished a narrative about the circumstances of the victim's death to the two purported "witnesses," Tweedy and Johnson, both of whom agreed to testify against Jason Strong in exchange for lesser prison sentences. Eventually all three men falsely confessed to beating the victim using information provided by the police, and all three later recanted their confessions. In July 2000, Tweedy pled guilty to obstruction of justice and was sentenced to two years in prison, and in September, Johnson pled guilty to concealing a homicide and was sentenced to three years in prison. On October 18, 2000, Jason Strong was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 46 years in prison. In 2006, seven years after Mr. Strong's incarceration, the victim was finally identified as Mary Kate Sunderlin, a developmentally disabled woman who lived in Kane County, IL. Around the time of her disappearance, it was known that Sunderlin had come under the influence of two women-a mother and daughter who had a record of preying on the disabled and the elderly-who befriended the victim in the spring of 1999 and forbade her from contacting her family, had used Sunderlin's bank card to withdraw large amounts of cash from her account, and had tried to get a new bank card in her name a year after her death. They had also arranged for Sunderlin's secret marriage to Gonzalo Chamizo, who was mentally ill with a history of violence, three weeks prior to her death. In 2002, Chamizo had been committed to a psychiatric hospital in Florida and during an interview with police investigating Sunderlin's disappearance had said he killed her and buried her in his backyard. In 2007, Thomas Geraghty, an attorney at Northwestern University's Bluhm Legal Clinic, joined Mr. Strong's legal team and filed a motion for a new trial in 2010, citing new evidence regarding the identity of the victim and a recantation given by Tweedy. In 2013, the Illinois Attorney General and the Lake County State's Attorney agreed to re-investigate the case, leading to depositions of key state's witnesses and the discovery of previously unexamined medical evidence. In 2014, three medical experts independently reviewed the autopsy reports and photographs, and all concluded that the victim had died days before the discovery of her body and that many of her injuries were weeks or months old and consistent with chronic abuse-which meant that the confessions by Jason Strong and other two co-defendants were demonstrably false. On May 28th, 2015, Jason Strong's conviction was vacated, and he was released from Menard Correctional Center after serving 15 years in prison. In April 2016, Jason Strong was granted a certificate of innocence from Lake County court. He is an aspiring filmmaker and currently working on a documentary about wrongful convictions.

Mar 05, 2018
S4E13: David McCallum With The Men Who Helped Free Him After 29 Years In Prison For A Crime He Didn’t Commit: Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez And Oscar Michelen
01:02:22

David McCallum and Willie Stuckey were both 16 when they were convicted of forcing a 20-year-old man into his Buick Regal at gunpoint in Ozone Park, Queens, killing him with a single gunshot to the head, then leaving his body in Aberdeen Park in Bushwick, Brooklyn. After being beaten by police and coerced into confessing, David McCallum and Willie Stuckey gave brief and contradictory confessions, each pinning the homicide on the other. They both recanted the confessions almost immediately and rejected offers to plead guilty in return for prison sentences of 15 years to life.

On October 27th, 1986, a jury convicted them both of second-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery and criminal use of a weapon, and they were each sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Mr. Stuckey died of a heart attack behind bars 16 years into his sentence in 2001, but Mr. McCallum persevered in trying to clear his name. After exhausting all of his appeals, Mr. McCallum’s attorney, Oscar Michelen approached Brooklyn District Attorney’s Conviction Review Unit, and in 2014 District Attorney Ken Thompson's office and the Conviction Review Unit completed their reviews of McCallum's case, finding that there was no DNA evidence, physical evidence or credible testimony to link Mr. McCallum or Mr. Stuckey to the abduction or killing of the victim. On October 15, 2014, David McCallum and the late Willie Stuckey’s convictions were thrown out at DA Thompson’s request, and David McCallum was freed after serving nearly 30 years behind bars.

In this special episode of Wrongful Conviction, Mr. McCallum is joined by Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez as well as attorney Oscar Michelen. Promoted by the late District Attorney Ken Thompson in 2014, Eric Gonzalez successfully guided the launch of several of the late DA Ken Thompson’s key initiatives, including the creation of the Conviction Review Unit, which has vacated over 20 unjust convictions to date and has been held up as a national model for other prosecutors’ offices. DA Gonzalez was sworn in as Acting District Attorney in October of 2016 after the passing of DA Thompson.

Dec 18, 2017
S4E12: Don’t Let The Negativity Rule You”: Vanessa Gathers, Framed By New York’s Notorious, Disgraced Detective Louis Scarcella
49:31

In 1998, Vanessa Gathers was wrongfully convicted of robbing and beating 71-year-old Michael Shaw to death. There was no physical evidence linking Ms. Gathers to the crime, and her conviction was based on a false confession extracted from her by notorious New York police detective Louis Scarcella, whose tactics led to the wrongful convictions of more than a dozen people. In 2016, Vanessa Gathers became the first woman to have been exonerated by Ken Thompson's Conviction Review Unit and the tenth person convicted by Scarcella to be exonerated. She is joined by her attorney Lisa Cahill in this episode.

Dec 11, 2017
S4E11: From Wrongful Conviction To Righteous Justice: From Rage to Grace
45:45

Ronald Simpson-Bey was a jailhouse lawyer who got his conviction reversed for prosecutorial misconduct and subsequently won his freedom after serving 27 years in Michigan prison. In 1986, Ronald Simpson-Bey was convicted of assault with intent to murder and possession of a firearm and sentenced to 50 years in prison. While in prison he became familiar with the legal system and began assisting other inmates with their appeals as a jailhouse lawyer. Eventually, his work led to his own release twenty-seven years later. Since being freed, Ronald Simpson-Bey has worked tirelessly to advance prison reform efforts, most recently through JustLeadershipUSA, an organization with the ambitious goal to halve the nation’s correctional population by 2030. In this episode, he is joined by Glenn Martin, the President and Founder of JustLeadershipUSA. Prior to founding JLUSA, Glenn Martin was the Vice President of The Fortune Society, one of the most respected reentry organizations in the country, the Co-Director of the National HIRE Network at the Legal Action Center, and one of the Co-Founders of the Education from the Inside Out Coalition. He is also the founder of the #CLOSErikers campaign.

Dec 04, 2017
S4E10: Michelle Murphy: A Teenage Mother Wrongfully Convicted and Sentenced To Life For The Murder Of Her Baby
50:19

Michelle Murphy: A Teenage Mother Wrongfully Convicted and Sentenced To Life For the Murder of Her Baby

On September 12th, 1994, 17-year-old Michelle Murphy found her 15-week-old son stabbed to death in her kitchen. After being questioned without a parent or guardian present, which was prohibited under Oklahoma law, Michelle falsely confessed to the crime. Her 14-year-old neighbor William Lee testified during the preliminary hearing that he had walked around her house that evening and reportedly saw Michelle with the dead infant but did not report it to the police. Testing of blood at the scene of the crime excluded Michelle Murphy as a suspect, but at trial prosecution falsely implied that it matched Michelle’s blood type. In 1995, she was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. She was forced to give her only living child up for adoption, daughter Michelle. In 2014, the Innocence Project joined Michelle’s defense team and conducted more DNA testing, yielding results that the bloodstains at the crime scene revealed that there was an unidentified male present that night. On September 12th, 2014, Michelle Murphy was declared innocent, after having spent 20 years behind bars.

www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com

Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava For Good Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.

Nov 27, 2017
S4E9: Noura Jackson: Wrongfully Convicted Of Murdering Her Mother After Prosecutors Withheld Evidence Of Her Innocence
01:01:42

Noura Jackson: Wrongfully Convicted of Murdering Her Mother After Prosecutors Withheld Evidence of Her Innocence

Noura Jackson was egregiously framed and wrongfully convicted of murdering her mother, Jennifer Jackson, in Memphis, TN in 2005. Amazingly she spent over three years in jail awaiting trial before being sentenced to 20 years and nine months in prison. No physical evidence linked Noura to the murder, and DNA testing not only excluded her as a suspect, but it also suggested that two or three different people were present at the crime scene. The Supreme Court of Tennessee overturned her conviction, unanimously in 2014, and in their 5-0 decision they made strong statements about the misconduct that took place during her trial. The prosecutors threatened to retry Noura, and she was faced with little choice but to accept an Alford Plea in 2015. Noura Jackson was then sent back to prison for 15 months before she was finally released in 2016, after serving 11 years in prison. She is joined by one of her lawyers, Bryce Benjet, Senior Staff Attorney at the Innocence Project, in this episode.

www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com

Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava For Good Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.

Nov 20, 2017
S4E8: Jeffrey Deskovic: A 10th Grade Student Forced By Detectives To Make A False Confession And Freed By DNA Evidence 16 Years Later
54:48

In 1990, Jeffrey Deskovic was wrongfully convicted of the brutal rape and murder of his 15-year-old classmate, Angela Correa. Mr. Deskovic was only 16 at the time of the crime with no prior record. Police claimed that Mr. Deskovic was overly upset at the victim’s funeral and were certain they had their man. They interrogated him for over seven and a half hours, without his mother or legal counsel present. After browbeating and intimidating him, they ultimately extracted a false confession after promising that he could go home after he confessed. He had also been told that if his DNA did not match the semen in the rape kit, he would be cleared as a suspect. In January 1991, Jeffrey Deskovic was convicted by jury of 1st degree rape and 2nd degree murder, despite DNA results showing that he was not the source of semen in the victim’s rape kit. He was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. In 2006, post-conviction DNA testing done by the Innocence Project both proved Mr. Deskovic's innocence and identified the real perpetrator, convicted murderer Steven Cunningham, who subsequently confessed to the crime. On November 2nd, 2006, Jeffrey Deskovic’s indictment was dismissed on grounds of actual innocence and he was released after serving 16 years in prison. Since his release, he has started The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, which investigates wrongful conviction cases and provides support for exonerees once they are released.

For additional information:

http://www.thejeffreydeskovicfoundationforjustice.org

https://www.patreon.com/Deskovic 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/deskovicfoundation 

Jeffrey Deskovic:  https://www.facebook.com/jeffrey.deskovic 

The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation:  https://www.facebook.com/thejeffreydeskovicfoundation/

Twitter: https://www.youtube.com/user/deskovicfoundation 

Instagram: http://www.Instagram.com/jeffreydeskovic

Nov 13, 2017
S4E7: Dusty Turner: A Navy Seal Behind Bars For 22 Years For A Murder Even Though The Actual Killer Confessed
54:58

Dusty Turner was a 20-year-old Navy SEAL trainee when he was arrested for the murder and abduction of Jennifer Evans. On June 19th, 1995, Dusty Turner was out at a bar with some friends in Virginia Beach, VA including his roommate and training partner, Billy Brown. Dusty Turner and Jennifer Evans were sitting in his car waiting for Evans’s friends to join them when an extremely intoxicated Billy Brown forced his way into the back seat and began insulting Evans and pulling her hair. When she tried to defend herself, Brown suddenly attacked her, wrapped his arms around her neck in a forceful choke hold, and killed her instantly. All the while Dusty Turner had been prying and clawing Brown’s hand off of Evans, pleading with him to stop. Finally realizing that she was dead, Dusty Turner panicked and reacted to his intensive SEAL training that demanded “always protect your swim buddy” regardless of the cost. Mr. Turner’s instinct for survival and misplaced loyalty to Brown took over as he drove out of the parking lot and helped Brown hide the victim’s body in a nearby wooded area. Eight days later, Mr. Turner confessed the entire story to his commanding officer and agreed to take the police to the body after being assured that he would only be used as a witness during the trial. During Billy Brown’s trial in 1996, Brown testified against Mr. Turner to receive a lesser sentence of 72 years in prison. Three months later, with an outraged community and media frenzy surrounding the case, Dusty Turner was convicted of first degree murder and abduction, and sentenced to 82 years in prison. In 2002, Billy Brown confessed to Jennifer Evans’ murder and said that Dusty Turner played no part in it. The testimony he gave matches the story Mr. Turner told his commanding officer and also matches the physical evidence that the police had at the time of the crime. Dusty Turner petitioned for a “writ of actual innocence” and his conviction was overturned by a three-judge panel of the Virginia State Court of Appeals. However, the State Attorney General’s Office quickly appealed this decision and the original Court of Appeals ruling was overturned. Since he first told his story to his commanding officer, Mr. Turner has steadfastly maintained his innocence, acknowledging that he was guilty only of being an accessory-after-the-fact, which is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 12 months in jail. To date, Dusty Turner has served nearly 22 years in prison, over half of his life.

Link to watch the documentary for free online: https://vimeo.com/143034674/21eed7bd0f  

Amazon Prime Video: https://www.amazon.com/Navy-SEAL-Murderer-Framed-Opportunity/dp/B01LZHH8D5/ref=sr\_1\_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1485566809&sr=8-1&keywords=Target+of+opportunity 

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/navy-seal-murderer-framed/id937936629

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/targetofopportunity2 

Link to the Change.org petition: https://www.change.org/p/tell-virginia-governor-terry-mcauliffe-it-is-time-to-free-dusty-turner 

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/FreeDustyTurner 

Instagram: www.Instagram.com/FreeDustyTurner 

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/VAForJustice & www.Facebook.com/FreeDustyTurner  

Website: www.FreeDusty.org

Please also make sure to share below links about RJ Behind the Wire accounts:

http://www.rjbehindthewire.org 

Facebook: Facebook.com/RJBehindtheWire

Twitter: Twitter.com/RJBehindtheWire 

Please share his address for people that want to write him:

Dustin A. Turner #1091591

Greensville Correctional Center

901 Corrections Way

Jarratt, VA 23867

Nov 06, 2017
S4E6: After 10 Long Years Behind Bars For His Brother’s Crime, Kian Khatibi Is Now A Full Time Lawyer Who Represents Innocent People
49:18

In 1998, Kian Khatibi was 22-years-old and living in Westchester County, NY when he was wrongfully convicted of stabbing two men during a bar fight and sentenced to 7 to 14 years in prison. After eventually discovering that his brother had committed the crime, Mr. Khatibi successfully fought for his release from prison in 2008 and was finally exonerated in 2012. Kian Khatibi graduated with honors from New York University in 2011 and passed the bar exam in New York after graduating from Cardozo School of Law in 2014. He established a law practice in New York City and is currently working to free other wrongfully convicted individuals.

Oct 30, 2017
S4E5: Updates From Behind Bars: Lamonte McIntyre & Jon-Adrian Velazquez
01:11:02

This special edition of Wrongful Conviction highlights the updates from two episodes recorded from Behind Bars. Since airing the Season 4 premiere about Lamonte McIntyre’s case, which was recorded while Mr. McIntyre was awaiting a new trial, he was finally freed on Friday, October 13th, 2017 after serving more than two decades behind bars in a Kansas correctional facility for a double murder. Season 2, Episode 5 featured a behind bars interview with Jon-Adrian Velazquez, who is currently awaiting a response from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance about getting a new trial on November 2nd, 2017. Jon-Adrian “J.J.” Velazquez was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life for the 1998 shooting death of Albert Ward, a retired police officer who owned and operated an illegal gambling spot in Harlem. Ward was shot and killed in the course of a robbery. Following the robbery, witnesses provided a description of the gunman as “a light-skinned black male with dreadlocks,” which prompted the search for “Mustafa,” a known drug dealer who fit the description. After learning that he was being sought by the police, Mr. Velazquez attempted to vindicate himself of the allegations by voluntarily subjecting himself to a lineup. Out of nine eyewitnesses present at the scene of the crime, three identified him at the lineup. Despite being a light-skinned Latino who had never had dreadlocks, even though there was no physical evidence linking him to the crime, and despite providing phone records which corroborated his alibi and showed that he was talking to his mother during the time of the crime, Mr. Velazquez was sentenced to 25 years to life. Since then, two of the witnesses have recanted, and the other eyewitness has expressed serious doubts. Mr. Velazquez and his alibi witness have both taken lie detector tests and have passed them. He is currently in his 19th year at Sing Sing Correctional Facility.

Oct 23, 2017
S4E4: A Cold Case, A Dream And A Tragic Miscarriage Of Justice: The Wrongful Conviction Of College Student Ryan Ferguson
52:16

Ryan Ferguson was a 17-year-old high school student when Kent Heitholt, a sports writer for the Columbia Daily Tribune, was found beaten and strangled in Missouri. Heitholt's murder went unsolved for two years until police received a tip that a man named Charles Erickson could not remember the evening of the murder and had told a friend that he thought he may have been involved. Erickson, who had spent that fateful evening partying with Ferguson, was interrogated by police and despite initially seeming to have no memory of the night of the murder, eventually confessed and implicated Ferguson as well. Police offered Erickson a plea deal in exchange for testimony against Ferguson at his trial in 2005. Despite the lack of any physical evidence tying Ryan Ferguson to the crime, he was convicted of second-degree murder and robbery and sentenced to 40 years in prison. In 2009, Kathleen Zellner took over Ferguson’s case on a pro bono basis and in 2013 his conviction was vacated. Since his release, Ryan Ferguson has become a published author of the book Stronger, Faster, Smarter: A Guide to Your Most Powerful Body, hosted a television series on MTV Unlocking the Truth, and an advocate for other wrongfully convicted individuals.

Oct 16, 2017
S4E3: Lorenzo Johnson: Fighting Injustice All The Way Up to The Supreme Court After He Was Wrongfully Convicted… Twice
42:59

Lorenzo Johnson served 22 years of a life sentence after he was framed twice for a murder that happened in Pennsylvania while he was in New York. On December 15th, 1995, Tarajay Williams was murdered outside of a bar in Harrisburg, PA. For several months after the murder, police detectives threatened Mr. Johnson with a murder charge unless he falsely accused a friend of committing the murder and dealing drugs. When he refused, Lorenzo Johnson and his co-defendant Corey Walker were convicted of first degree murder and criminal conspiracy to commit murder and were sentenced to mandatory life in prison on the murder conviction, and concurrent five to ten years on conspiracy conviction. Mr. Johnson won his freedom in an October 2011 federal court of appeals decision stating that his conviction was based on insufficient evidence and he was released on bond in 2012. However just four months later, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed and reinstated his murder conviction and Lorenzo Johnson voluntarily surrendered himself and was re-incarcerated. After Mr. Johnson's re-incarceration, he and his legal team began investigating the police and prosecutorial misconduct that led to his wrongful conviction, and on July 11th, 2017, Lorenzo Johnson finally won his freedom. He has since been advocating for other wrongfully convicted prisoners.

Oct 09, 2017
S4E2: Lucinda Hites-Clabaugh: A Schoolteacher Convicted Of Sexual Assault That Never Happened
48:07

Lucinda Hites-Clabaugh was wrongfully convicted of first degree sexual abuse of a third-grader in 2009. She was 53-years-old at the time of her imprisonment and spent over two years in prison until her conviction was overturned on July 18, 2012. Lucinda made several claims as to why her conviction should be overturned but the Oregon Court of Appeals rested their reversal one thing: the trial court refused to allow the testimony of Lucinda’s expert witness, Dr. McGovern.

Oct 02, 2017
S4E1: Wrongful Conviction Behind Bars: Lamonte McIntyre Tells His Terrifying Story Of Being Framed By A Dirty Cop and Crushed By A Corrupt System As He Awaits A hearing From Inside Lansing Correctional Facility
01:09:06

For this special edition of Wrongful Conviction Behind Bars, Jason Flom shines a light on the case of Lamonte McIntyre, who is currently serving two life sentences at Lansing Correctional Facility, in advance of his upcoming court date on October 12th, 2017. On the afternoon of April 15th, 1994, two men were sitting in a powder-blue Cadillac in the Quindaro neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas. A man dressed in black ran up to the passenger side, raised a shotgun and fired four rounds in what looked like a drug-related hit, killing the two passengers Doniel Quinn and Donald Ewing. Within six hours of the shooting, police detective Roger Golubski had begun the process of framing Lamonte McIntyre. Mr. McIntyre, who was 17 at the time, was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Even though there was no physical evidence linking him to the crime, he was found guilty by a jury after a trial that lasted only three days and sentenced to two consecutive life terms. At trial, the prosecutor did not establish a motive and relied on the testimonies of two eyewitnesses who identified Mr. McIntyre as the shooter. Ruby Mitchell claimed in an initial interview with police that she recognized the attacker and that his name was “Lamonte something” and had previously dated her niece. She stated after the trial that Mr. McIntyre was not the man she was referring to and in a 2011 affidavit, Ruby Mitchell claimed that Golubski had made sexual advances towards her on the day of the crime, causing her to fear he was going to arrest her for solicitation. The other eyewitness who testified for the prosecution, Niko Quinn has since recanted, attesting that she realized that she misidentified McIntyre as soon as she saw him in the courtroom, but that when she told this to the prosecutor, Terra Morehead, Morehead threatened to take away custody of her children. Additional procedural misconduct during Mr. McIntyre’s trial includes an undisclosed sexual relationship between the judge and the prosecutor, Terra Morehead, and the failure to disclose to the defense that there were two witnesses who believed that Mr. McIntyre was not the shooter. Mr. McIntyre’s court-appointed attorney, Gary Long, was on supervised probation at the time of the trial for failing to diligently handle three prior cases. In 1997, he was suspended from legal practice for failure to adequately handle a separate criminal case, and he was disbarred in 1998. Several months after the trial, a juror contacted the prosecutor and stated his misgivings about the verdict. The family of the victims have steadfastly proclaimed their belief in Mr. McIntyre’s innocence. In June 2016, Cheryl Pilate, a Kansas City attorney working with the Centurion Project filed a motion for exoneration after seven years of gathering evidence. The motion to exonerate Mr. McIntyre, who is now 40-years-old and serving time at Lansing Correctional Facility, contains accusations that police detective Roger Golubski pursued sex with women who worked as prostitutes and used drugs. Mr. McIntyre’s lawyers obtained affidavits from several witnesses — including former FBI agent Al Jennerich and two former members of the KCK police department — who say Golubski used his authority and access to drugs to initiate sex with vulnerable black women. Listen to Jason Flom’s explosive interviews with Lamonte McIntyre, his attorney Cheryl Pilate and former FBI agent Al Jennerich as they unravel the case and expose the systematic flaws that led to this miscarriage of justice. An evidentiary hearing is scheduled for October 12th, 2017, at which point the judge will have the option to vacate the conviction or give Mr. McIntyre a new trial.

Sep 25, 2017
S3E11: Still Fighting For Justice From Behind The Walls Of A Maximum Security Prison Since 1995: The Continuing Saga Of Andrew Krivak
01:04:08

Still Fighting For Justice From Behind the Walls of a Maximum Security Prison Since 1995: The Continuing Saga of Andrew Krivak

This special edition of Wrongful Conviction Behind Bars was recorded inside of Wende Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in Buffalo, NY with Anthony DiPippo’s co-defendant, Andrew Krivak, and his attorney Professor Adele Bernhard. On November 22nd, 1995, a hunter found the remains of 12-year-old Josette Wright in a wooded area of Putnam County, NY with her hands and feet hog-tied behind her back and her underwear shoved down her throat. Detectives investigating the murder arrested 16-year-old Dominic Neglia on unrelated drug charges. During questioning, detectives claimed that Neglia said 18-year-old Anthony DiPippo, his girlfriend at the time Denise Rose, Andrew Krivak, Adam Wilson, Bill McGregor were involved in the rape and murder of Wright. Although co-defendants, they were convicted in separate trials in Putnam County Supreme Court in 1997, based largely on the testimony of Wilson, McGregor and Rose, and sentenced each to 25 years to life in prison. While Anthony DiPippo denied any involvement in the crime and testified in his trial, Andrew Krivak signed a false confession in which he admitted to raping Josette Wright but not killing her and implicating Anthony DiPippo in the murder. In 2016, Andrew Krivak’s legal team sought to introduce newly discovered evidence that points to Howard Gombert, who is serving time in Connecticut for sexual assault, as the killer, which ultimately led to the acquittal and release of his co-defendant, Anthony DiPippo. The motion seeking a new trial was denied, largely due to his false confession. However, in 2019 a judge threw out his conviction and granted him a new trial. He is still in prison awaiting his new trial.

www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com

Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava For Good Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.

Aug 21, 2017
S3E10: How Crystal Weimer Won An 11 Year Fight For Freedom
46:14

Curtis Haith was beaten to death and shot outside of his home in western Pennsylvania. Police determined that the evening before Haith had attended a party in Uniontown, PA. Crystal Weimer, whose sisters hosted the party, and her cousin had driven Haith home and returned directly to the party. Ms. Weimer became the focus of the investigation after an ex-boyfriend told authorities she confessed. The charges were dropped when he recanted, but police re-filed the charges in 2004 with the use of statements given by Joseph Stenger, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy of homicide oh Haith while he was serving time for unrelated robbery charges. Stenger testified that Ms. Weimer had an earlier physical altercation with Haith and she enlisted Stenger and two unidentified black men to return to Haith’s house after where she lured him outside and they beat him to death and shot him in the face. At her trial in 2006, the only physical evidence that directly tied Ms. Weimer to the crime scene was an alleged bite mark on the victim’s arm. Expert odonatologist Dr. Constantine Karazulas told the jury that a mark on the victim’s hand was a bite mark made minutes before he died and that Ms. Weimer is the one who bit him. During closing argument, the prosecution told the jury that the jailhouse informants who testified against her at the trial had not asked for any leniency on their own cases in return for their testimony. Crystal Weimer was convicted of third-degree murder and conspiracy to commit homicide and sentenced to 15 to 30 years in prison. She continued to fight for her innocence, acting as her own lawyer and filing motions for post-conviction relief, but all were denied until a federal petition for a writ of habeas corpus was filed on her behalf. In December 2014, Joseph Stenger ultimately recanted all of his statements and admitted that prosecutors dropped more serious charges against him in exchange for his testimony against Ms. Weimer. In early 2015, Dr. Constantine Karazulas, that same expert declared his own trial testimony "junk science" and "invalid." In February 2015, Ms. Weimer, represented pro bono by the Pennsylvania Innocence Project and the firm of Jones Day, filed a motion for a new trial based on the discredited bite mark evidence and the recantations of key witnesses. Her lawyers had also discovered that the prosecution had failed to disclose to Ms. Weimer’s trial counsel that the jailhouse informants had written letters to the prosecution requesting favorable treatment, which showed that the informants had testified falsely at trial when they denied they sought deals for their testimony. A new trial was ordered on October 1st, 2015, and Crystal Weimer was released the same day on bond after serving 11 years in prison. She was forced to wear an electronic ankle bracelet for another nine months until the judge dismissed the charges with prejudice and she was finally exonerated in June 2016. Ms. Weimer is joined by one of her attorneys from the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, Nilaam Sanghvi, in this episode.

Aug 14, 2017
S3E9: Season 3, Episode 9: Unusually Cruel: The Wrongful Conviction Of Brian Ferguson And His Fight To Make A Difference
49:42

Brian Ferguson was a 20-year-old college student in West Virginia when he was accused in 2002 of fatally shooting a fellow classmate. Mr. Ferguson was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole, and he remained in prison until a committed team of pro bono lawyers won his release and exoneration for the crime in 2013. After his release, Mr. Ferguson returned to Washington, D.C. and soon discovered a gap in services for people re-entering society after incarceration. In response to these challenges, he developed Start Line, which he describes as a kind of Yelp for returning citizens. Brian Ferguson enrolled at Georgetown University after meeting government professor Marc Howard, who launched the university’s Prisons and Justice Initiative, which addresses pressing policy and moral issues surrounding prison reform and mass incarceration through programs and events. Professor Howard joins Mr. Ferguson in this episode.

Aug 07, 2017
S3E8: Angel Gonzalez: Tricked By Police Into Signing A False Confession In A Language He Didn’t Understand But Freed By DNA After Serving 21 Years In Prison
51:02

In 1994, Angel Gonzalez was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison for the rape and kidnapping of a woman in Waukegan, Illinois. On the night of the crime, Mr. Gonzalez had been visiting his fiancé’s sister, who lived in the same apartment building as the victim. The victim’s boyfriend saw Mr. Gonzalez leaving the parking lot that night, and she misidentified his car as the car that the assailants had been driving earlier in the evening. The police pulled Mr. Gonzalez over and brought him in handcuffs to the victim, who was in the backseat of the squad car. From still inside the dark car, the victim identified Mr. Gonzalez as one of her attackers, even though he didn’t match her original description of either perpetrator. Angel Gonzalez is Mexican and had only been in the United States for a little more than a year at the time, and he spoke very limited English. During the interrogation process, he wrote a statement in Spanish, which was then translated and read in English by Detective Lou Marquez. These two statements were later revealed to be completely different. Mr. Gonzalez signed a statement prepared in English by Detective Marquez, which, combined with the victim’s misidentification, was enough to sentence him to 40 years in jail, despite his having four alibi witnesses testify in his defense. The Innocence Project conducted DNA testing in 2001 that identified one male DNA profile that didn’t match Gonzalez. In 2012, the Innocence Project again conducted DNA testing, this time yielding two distinct male profiles that both excluded Mr. Gonzalez as an assailant. On March 10th, 2015, Angel Gonzalez was finally exonerated after serving 20 years in prison. In this episode, he is joined by Vanessa Potkin, Director of Post-Conviction Litigation at the Innocence Project.

Jul 31, 2017
S3E7: Honorably Discharged Wrongfully Convicted: Jerry Miller’s 26 Year Journey Through Hell
52:57

In 1981, a woman was brutally attacked on the roof of a parking garage in Chicago. She was beaten, raped, robbed, and forced into the trunk of her car. Two employees recognized her car as it was leaving the garage and attempted to stop the assailant from driving away, but the perpetrator escaped on foot, leaving the victim locked in the trunk. Based only on a composite drawing and description of the assailant, both of which were created based on the memory of the parking garage employees, a Chicago Police Department officer accused Jerry Miller of the crime, claiming that he had seen Mr. Miller looking in a parked car’s window some days prior. The two garage employees both identified Mr. Miller in a lineup, but the victim said that she couldn’t positively identify her assailant because he had threatened to kill her if she didn’t keep her eyes closed. Mr. Miller and his father both testified that they were watching a pay-per-view boxing match at the time of the crime, but despite his alibi and the total lack of physical evidence connecting him to the crime, in 1982 Jerry Miller was convicted of rape, kidnapping, and robbery. It wasn’t until 2005, when the Innocence Project took on Mr. Miller’s case, that the victim’s clothes were subjected to DNA testing, yielding a profile that excluded Mr. Miller. In 2007, Jerry Miller was exonerated, having spent 25 years in prison for a rape that he didn’t commit. He is joined by Maurice Possley, Senior Researcher at the National Registry of Exonerations and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author who has written about, investigated and consulted on issues involving criminal justice for more than 30 years.

Jul 24, 2017
S3E6: 10 Separate Charges And 23 Years Later: The Egregious Framing Of Robert Jones
58:06

In the spring of 1992, Robert Jones was arrested for a series of attacks that occurred in the French Quarter of New Orleans, which included the murder of a British tourist, the kidnapping and rape of a woman, and the robbery of her fiancé and friend. He was arrested because the rape victim identified his photo, and she and her fiancé identified him in a lineup. Robert had been attending his son’s birthday party at the time of the rape, and the other victims of the crime spree had declined to identify him as their assailant, but despite his alibi and the lack of evidence linking him to any of the other crimes, he was charged with the rape and a role in the murder. Lester Jones (no relation) was later arrested and charged for the crime spree after police found him in possession of the gun used in the murder, stolen property from the other crimes, and the car used in all of the crimes. Robert, however, remained in jail after Lester’s arrest. At trial, the prosecutor argued that Robert and Lester were friends, without any evidence to connect them. Robert was sentenced to life in prison, and he accepted a plea deal, which additionally resulted in his unbeknownst confession to an unrelated robbery from February 1992. Robert requested DNA testing for his case, but all of the evidence was either lost or destroyed. In 2015, after 23 years behind bars the Innocence Project New Orleans was able to get Robert released from Louisiana’s State Penitentiary, Angola on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct and missing evidence and he was completely exonerated on January 26th, 2017, his 44th birthday. In this episode, Robert is joined by the Director of IPNO, Emily Maw.

Jul 17, 2017
S3E5: Season 3, Episode 5: An Innocent Teenager Sentenced To Life In A Living Hell: The Incredible True Story Of Jerome Morgan
55:25

In 1993, Jerome Morgan was only 17 when he was wrongfully convicted for the murder of Clarence Landry III, who had been shot to death at a sweet 16 party at the Howard Johnson Hotel in New Orleans. Mr. Morgan was in the ballroom when the police arrived. Despite clear evidence that he could not have been the gunman, he was prosecuted based upon the coerced testimony of two teenage witnesses, one of whom had previously told the police it was definitely not Jerome Morgan. Innocence Project New Orleans (IPNO) investigated Mr. Morgan’s case for years, uncovering clear evidence in the police files that it was impossible for Mr. Morgan to have been the perpetrator. IPNO presented this evidence in court over a period of several years and got Jerome Morgan’s conviction thrown out because, as every judge agreed, the State should have turned over the exculpatory evidence to Mr. Morgan’s trial lawyer. Mr. Morgan was released from prison in 2014 and exonerated on May 27th, 2016. In this episode, he is joined by one of his attorneys at IPNO, Kristin Wenstrom.

Jul 10, 2017
S3E4: I’d Rather Have Had The Death Penalty: The Hellish Saga Of A Prisoner Abandoned to Floodwaters During Hurricane Katrina
50:46

Daniel Tapia was arrested on April 12th, 2003 for second degree murder in the Calliope housing projects in New Orleans where he lived. He was accused of being the getaway driver and master mind in this murder. The only witness was a police officer who made conflicting statements and even was recorded stating that he was in pursuit of three black males who committed this crime. Despite being Caucasian, Mr. Tapia was arrested less than 10 minutes after the shooting occurred, along with three black males. He was wrongfully convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in 2005. Prior to his transfer to a state correctional facility, he barely survived Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding while he was locked up in Orleans Parish Prison. His conviction was overturned by a judge, reinstated by the higher court, and eventually overturned for good. Mr. Tapia was released in 2017 after serving 12 years and is now the Lead Mentor at Rising Foundations—an organization which provides pathways to self-sufficiency for formerly incarcerated people with an aim to stop the cycle of incarceration in low income communities in Louisiana—where he is able to pursue his passion of guiding other men and women in changing themselves, their communities, and the circumstances around them.

Jul 03, 2017
S3E3: Three Trials And Twenty Years Later: Anthony DiPippo Finally Cleared Of A Monster’s Crime
51:35

In November 1995, a hunter found the remains of 12-year-old Josette Wright in a wooded area of Putnam County, New York. She was reported to have been hog-tied with her hands and feet tied together behind her back, and her underwear had been shoved down her throat. Her mother had reported her missing on October 4th, 1994, after she failed to return home the night before. Dominic Neglia, who was being investigated for drug charges, claimed that 18-year-old Anthony DiPippo and his friends were responsible for the rape and murder of Josette Wright. Three of the accused teenagers testified against Mr. DiPippo and Andrew Krivak, claiming that they were in Mr. DiPippo’s van when he and Krivak raped and strangled the victim. Mr. DiPippo denied his involvement with the crime, but in 1997 he was convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. In 2011, Mr. DiPippo was ordered a new trial after it was discovered that his lawyer had also previously represented Howard Gombert, who a witness had reported seeing the victim get into a car driven by Gombert on the day she was last seen. Several other women came forward saying that they had also been sexually molested by Gombert in a similar fashion, with their limbs bound and with clothing stuffed in their mouths. These women were not allowed to testify in Mr. DiPippo’s new trial, nor was Joseph Santoro, who was incarcerated with Gombert and had heard him talk about raping Wright, along with another young girl. Anthony DiPippo was again convicted in 2012, even though two of the three teenagers who had testified against him had recanted their testimonies, claiming that detectives had threated to charge them with the murder if they didn’t implicate Mr. DiPippo and Mr. Krivak. In 2016, Mr. DiPippo was again ordered a new trial, and this time the testimonies of Santoro and the other women who had been assaulted by Gombert were admitted. Additionally, Dominic Neglia recanted his initial accusation against Mr. DiPippo. On October 11th, 2016, Anthony DiPippo was acquitted and released after serving 19 years in prison.

Jun 26, 2017
S3E2: Antione Day: A Musician Framed For Murder
50:38

Antione Day was starting his career as a musician when he was convicted of first-degree murder in 1992 and sentenced to 60 years. After serving a decade in prison, Mr. Day’s conviction was overturned with the help of his attorney, Howard Joseph. While some exonerees stand in the limelight upon release, Mr. Day quietly picked up the pieces of his life. He initially took employment in the construction field, and today he is the Outreach Coordinator of Prison Reentry at the Howard Area Employment Resource Center. In this position, Mr. Day mentors at-risk teens and parolees, implements job training and placement programs and runs neighborhood stabilization and anti-violence programs. He co-founded the Life After Justice organization with Jarrett Adams, another exoneree, to help provide new exonerees with a place to live and a variety of services to help them successfully re-enter society, such as job training, computer skills, finance classes, mentoring, and more. In this episode, Mr. Day is joined by Laura Caldwell, a former civil trial attorney who is now the director of Life After Innocence as well as a published author of 14 novels and one nonfiction book, Anatomy of Innocence.

Jun 19, 2017
S3E1: Confess Or Die: Beating A False Confession Into Johnny Hincapie For The Murder Of A Hero
50:40

Johnny Hincapie was convicted as part of a gang that murdered 22-year-old tourist Brian Watkins, even though he himself was not charged with the act and neither the victim’s family nor the other attackers identified him as a perpetrator. In 1990, Brian Watkins and his family were attacked on a New York City subway platform by a group of 6 to 8 teenagers when they were in town for the U.S. Open, resulting in the death of Watkins as he tried to defend his parents. Mr. Hincapie was only 18 years old at the time, and he did not have a lawyer present during his interrogation. He falsely confessed to the crime, after being tortured by police who threatened to kill him. After spending 25 years in prison, Mr. Hincapie’s conviction was overturned based on the statements of several witnesses who testified that he was in fact not a part of the group of attackers. He was formally exonerated in January 2017.

Jun 12, 2017
S2E13: Justice Had Just Begun: Stories from the 2017 Innocence Network Conference, Part Two
43:11

This special edition of Wrongful Conviction was recorded at the 2017 Innocence Network Conference in San Diego, CA, where 170 exonerees and 750 members of the innocence movement gathered to honor newly freed people and learn about the latest developments in freeing the wrongfully convicted. Part Two features interviews with Kristine Bunch and Obie Anthony. Kristine Bunch was 22 years old and pregnant when she was charged with setting a fire that claimed the life of her three-year-old son, Anthony, on June 30, 1995, in a trailer home they shared in Decatur County, Indiana. She was sentenced to concurrent prison terms of 60 years for murder and 50 years for arson and languished behind bars for more than 17 years until her exoneration in 2012. Obie Anthony was 19 years old when he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison in 1995. There was no physical evidence connecting him to the murder, and prosecutors relied on the testimony of John Jones, a convicted killer and pimp who ran a house of prostitution near the scene of the crime. He was exonerated in 2011 after serving 17 years in prison. Mr. Anthony is the founder and president of Exonerated Nation, a non-profit organization that offers exonerees a variety of support services so that they may successfully transition to life outside of prison and reintegrate back into society. His activism was instrumental in the passage of California AB 672 in October 2015, now known as Obie’s Law, which requires the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the DMV to provide up to one year of transitional services including job training, housing assistance, and mental health services to all eligible exonerees released from state prison.

May 01, 2017
S2E12: We Are A Family: Stories From The 2017 Innocence Network Conference, Part One
58:02

This special edition of Wrongful Conviction was recorded at the 2017 Innocence Network Conference in San Diego, CA, where 170 exonerees and 750 members of the innocence movement gathered to honor newly freed people and learn about the latest developments in freeing the wrongfully convicted. Part One features interviews with Innocence Project Executive Director Maddy DeLone and exonerees Floyd Bledsoe and Cornelius Dupree. Floyd Bledsoe was exonerated in 2015 after 15 years in prison for a murder his brother committed. Since his release, Mr. Bledsoe has been a fierce advocate for mandatory recording of interrogations among other reforms in Kansas. Cornelius Dupree was exonerated in 2011, after spending more than 30 years in prison for a rape and robbery he didn’t commit. Mr. Dupree serves as the ambassador to all of the new exonerees at the Innocence Network Conferences.

Apr 24, 2017
S2E11: Live At SXSW With The San Antonio Four
37:09

In 1995, 20-year-old Elizabeth Ramirez and three of her friends —Cassandra Rivera, Kristie Mayhugh, and Anna Vasquez — were indicted on charges of sexually molesting Ms. Ramirez’s 7-year-old and 9-year-old nieces in San Antonio, Texas. Before charges were filed, police learned that all four women were gay and had recently come out to their families. The allegations came in the wake of more than a decade of national hysteria over claims of satanic ritual abuse of children. All four women cooperated with authorities but vehemently denied they molested the girls. In both trials, prosecutors won convictions by discounting the many inconsistencies in the little girls’ testimonies and argued that the inconsistencies were outweighed by the testimony of a pediatrician. Prosecutors portrayed Ms. Ramirez as the ringleader and tried her first. She was convicted in 1997 of aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child and sentenced to 37½ years in prison. The remaining women were tried together in 1998 and were each convicted of two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child. All three were sentenced to 15 years in prison on the aggravated sexual assault charges and 10 years for the indecency charges. The convictions began to unravel many years later when one of Ms. Ramirez's two nieces, now in her twenties, stepped forward to say she had lied. Members of her family coached her, she told authorities, to make up a story because of their anger about Ms. Ramirez's sexuality. Soon after, the pediatrician used by the prosecution recanted her testimony based on new scientific evidence that showed her original findings regarding the girls' injuries were medically inaccurate. With the new evidence, the Innocence Project of Texas filed for post-conviction relief to have the verdicts overturned. A Bexar County District Court allowed Ms. Mayhugh, Ms. Rivera and Ms. Ramirez to be released from prison in 2013 while the court considered their request to have their verdicts overturned. Ms. Vasquez had just been released on parole. They were finally exonerated in 2016 after serving a combined total of 62 years in prison.

Apr 17, 2017
S2E10: Mistaken Identity: The Wrongful Murder Conviction Of Franky Carrillo
41:56

Francisco Carrillo Jr. was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1992 in the fatal drive-by shooting of Donald Sarpy in Lynwood. Mr. Carrillo, who was 16 at the time of the 1991 shooting, maintained his innocence through two trials and in prison. His conviction relied on eyewitness testimony from six people. Mr. Carrillo said that a gang of corrupt and racist Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies -- known as the "Lynwood Vikings" coerced and threatened key witnesses into identifying him in a photo lineup. In 2011, a judge overturned his conviction after witnesses later admitted they did not have a view of the shooter, and instead had been influenced by police officers, and each other, to identify Mr. Carrillo. Two men since confessed to the crime, and stated Mr. Carrillo was not involved. Since his release, Mr. Carrillo has gotten married, started a family and obtained a bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University. He received a $10 million settlement from LA County in 2016 and is currently planning on running for State Assembly in California.

Apr 10, 2017
S2E9: Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The Wrongful Conviction of Tony Wright
39:03

Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The Wrongful Conviction of Tony Wright

Tony Wright endured two trials and 25 years in prison before a jury found him not guilty for the rape, sodomy and murder of Louise Talley, a 77-year-old woman in Philadelphia. Tony, who was only 20 years old when he was arrested in 1993, signed a confession after being beaten and threatened by the interrogating detectives. He was sentenced to life in prison—he narrowly escaped the death penalty after the jury voted against it 7 to 5. Later DNA testing of the rape kit not only excluded Tony as a suspect, but also identified Ronnie Byrd as the real assailant. On August 23, 2016, Tony Wright was exonerated, and he became the 344th DNA exoneree in the nation. He is joined by co-founder of the Innocence Project, Peter Neufeld.

www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com

Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava For Good Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.

Apr 03, 2017
S2E8: From Prison to Proclaiming Justice: The Wrongful Conviction of Jason Baldwin
49:40

At 16 years old, Jason Baldwin along with Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelley – known as the West Memphis Three –was convicted in 1994 of killing three 8-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. There was no DNA linking the WM3 to the crime, and some of the DNA found at the crime scene even seemed to implicate the stepfather of one of the victims. The case gained national attention soon after the teenagers' arrests when word was leaked that the murders were committed as part of a satanic ritual. A key prosecution witness in the second trial was a self-proclaimed cult expert who stated that the murders bore "trappings" of the occult. This testimony, combined with testimony about books Damien Echols read and some of his writings, plus evidence that he and Mr. Baldwin liked heavy-metal music and several black t-shirts were found in Mr. Baldwin's closet, helped to convict the two teenagers. Mr. Baldwin received life without parole; Echols was sentenced to death, and Misskelley was sentenced to 40 years. After serving more than 17 years in prison, all three of the WM3 took the Alford Plea, which meant that the state of Arkansas admitted no wrongdoing. After being released, Jason Baldwin executive produced the 2014 film about his tragic saga, Devil’s Knot. He is joined by the co-founder of the Innocence Project, Barry Scheck.

Mar 27, 2017
S2E7: Sentenced to Death, Exonerated by DNA: The Wrongful Conviction of Kirk Bloodsworth
53:31

Sentenced to Death, Exonerated by DNA: The Wrongful Conviction of Kirk Bloodsworth

Kirk Bloodsworth, an honorably discharged former Marine, was the first person sentenced to death and subsequently exonerated by DNA testing. He was 22 years old in 1984 when he was arrested for the rape and murder of nine-year-old Dawn Hamilton and sentenced to death in Baltimore County, MD. Kirk was arrested based on an anonymous call telling police that he was seen with the victim that day and an identification made by a witness from a police sketch shown on television. The description of the perpetrator was a 6 ft, 5 in tall white man with curly blond hair, a bushy mustache, skinny, and tan. Kirk was 6 ft, had red hair, and was well over 200 pounds. Though there was no physical evidence connecting him to the crime, Kirk Bloodsworth was convicted based on the testimony of five witnesses who placed him either with the victim or near the scene of the crime. The Maryland Court of Appeals overturned his conviction in 1986, finding that the prosecution had illegally withheld exculpatory evidence from the defense, and he was then retried, convicted again, and sentenced to two life terms. In the early 1990s, Kirk learned about DNA testing and the opportunities it could provide to prove his innocence. The prosecution finally agreed to DNA testing for Kirk’s case in 1992. The victim’s shorts and underwear, a stick found at the scene, and an autopsy slide were compared against DNA from the victim and Kirk. The DNA lab determined that testing on the panties excluded Kirk, and he was released from prison in June 1993 and pardoned in December 1993. Kirk Bloodsworth had spent almost nine years in prison, two of those years facing execution. He is now a published author and was instrumental in Maryland’s abolishment of the death penalty. The introduction of the Innocence Protection Act of 2003 established the Kirk Bloodsworth Post-Conviction DNA Testing Program, a program that helps states defray the costs of post-conviction DNA testing.

www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com

Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava For Good Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.

Mar 20, 2017
S2E6: Circumstantial Evidence: U.S. Army Sergeant Wrongfully Convicted Of 3 Rapes
54:40

On November 16, 1983, a 28-year-old woman was attacked and sexually assaulted by an unknown male as she was walking home from work in Lowell, MA. The following evening, a 23-year-old woman was attacked less than one hundred yards away from the site of the first assault. Even though no biological evidence could link him to any of the crimes, Dennis Maher, who was a sergeant in the United States Army at the time, was arrested and charged with both attacks, in addition to an unsolved rape from the previous summer. He was convicted based on eyewitness misidentifications made by the victims, all of whom identified him in photographic lineups. In 2001, evidence from the assaults was recovered and subjected to DNA testing, yielding a genetic profile that excluded Mr. Maher as a suspect. In 2003, results from DNA testing of evidence from the rape victim also excluded Mr. Maher as a suspect, and he was exonerated after spending 19 years fighting to prove his innocence from behind bars. Mr. Maher is joined by attorney Alex Spiro and New England Innocence Project Director of Communications Hannah Riley.

Mar 13, 2017
S2E5: Wrongful Conviction Behind Bars: Jon-Adrian Velazquez Speaks Out From Inside Sing Sing
01:11:20

Wrongful Conviction Behind Bars: Jon-Adrian Velazquez Speaks Out From Inside Sing Sing

Jon-Adrian “J.J.” Velazquez was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life for the 1998 shooting death of Albert Ward, a retired police officer who owned and operated an illegal gambling spot in Harlem. Ward was shot and killed in the course of a robbery. Following the robbery, witnesses provided a description of the gunman as “a light-skinned black male with dreadlocks,” which prompted the search for “Mustafa,” a known drug dealer who fit the description. After learning that he was being sought by the police, J.J. attempted to vindicate himself of the allegations by voluntarily subjecting himself to a lineup. Out of nine eyewitnesses present at the scene of the crime, three identified him at the lineup. Despite being a light-skinned Latino who had never had dreadlocks and despite providing phone records which corroborated his alibi and showed that he was talking to his mother during the time of the crime, J.J. Velazquez was sentenced to 25 years to life even though there was no physical evidence linking him to the crime. Since then, two of the witnesses have recanted, and the other eyewitness has expressed serious doubts. J.J. and his alibi witness have both taken lie detector tests and have passed them. He is currently in his 21st year, and Jason Flom interviews him from inside the walls of Sing Sing Correctional Facility for this special edition of Wrongful Conviction.

www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com

Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava For Good Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.

Mar 06, 2017
S2E4: Make a Difference and Live: The Wrongful Conviction of Everton Wagstaffe
46:22

Make a Difference & Live: The Wrongful Conviction of Everton Wagstaffe

Everton Wagstaffe was wrongfully convicted of the rape, kidnapping and murder of 16-year-old Jennifer Negron in 1993. Everton’s conviction was based primarily on the testimony of Brunilda Capella, a 25-year-old, drug-addicted sex worker who claimed that she had seen Everton pull the victim into a Buick Skylark driven by Reginald Connor. It was later revealed, however, that the car had been parked at a church during the time that Capella claimed she had witnessed the kidnapping. The owner of the car testified that she had told the police this fact prior to Everton’s conviction, but the police didn’t write any reports of the interview. It was also revealed that Capella had been regularly providing information to the police at that time—remarkably, she testified for the prosecution in 20 cases. The Innocence Project consulted on the case and aided in testing foreign hairs found on the victim’s body for DNA, which revealed that the hairs had not come from Everton or Reginald Connor. The ruling to dismiss their charges, however, was primarily based on a revelation that prosecutors had buried evidence that Everton himself uncovered that police had targeted him before even speaking with the informant who provided critical testimony against the two men. In 2014, his conviction was ultimately vacated after serving 23 years in prison.

www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com

Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava For Good Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.

Feb 27, 2017
S2E3: 10 Days from Execution: The Wrongful Conviction of Peter Pringle
58:21

Peter Pringle was wrongfully convicted of an armed robbery and the murder of two police officers during a bank raid in Ireland in 1980. He was the last person sentenced to death in Ireland, and just days before a noose was to be tied around his neck, Mr. Pringle learned that Ireland’s president had commuted his sentence to 40 years without parole. Mr. Pringle then immersed himself in legal texts and effectively became a jailhouse lawyer. He discovered that the confession used by the prosecution was written down in a police officer’s notebook prior to his interrogation about the killings. Serving as his own counsel, he eventually convinced the Court of Criminal Appeal to quash his conviction in 1995. Today Mr. Pringle is a human rights and anti-death penalty activist and together he and his wife, Sunny Jacobs, also a death row exoneree, run the Sunny Center in Ireland where they provide counseling to other exonerees. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com

Feb 20, 2017
S2E2: Valentines Day Special Edition: The Wrongful Conviction of Sedrick Courtney
33:06

Sedrick Courtney was wrongfully convicted of robbery with a firearm and first-degree burglary in Tulsa, OK. On April 6, 1995, two armed men wearing ski masks broke into an apartment in Mr. Courtney’s building complex and brutally beat a female victim, blindfolded her, and forced her to lie on the floor as they ransacked her home. The victim suffered traumatic brain injury because of the attack, but she positively identified Mr. Courtney as one of the assailants, claiming she recognized his voice. The second assailant was never identified. Even though his sister and cousins corroborated his alibi, Mr. Courtney was sentenced to 30 years and served 15 years before the Innocence Project was able to conduct DNA testing on the hairs, proving that none of the hairs from the ski masks matched Mr. Courtney. He was exonerated on July 19, 2012. In this episode, Mr. Courtney appears with his wife, Tina, whom he met in prison when she was working as one of the guards.

Feb 13, 2017
S1E11: Christmas Behind Bars: A Special Episode with Amanda Knox, Jarrett Adams, and Jeffrey Deskovic
41:22

Social scientists who have studied this issue estimate that between 4- 7% of the people in prison are innocent- that's between 100,000 and 150,000 people. In this episode Jason Flom talks to Amanda Knox, Jarrett Adams and Jeff Deskovic about what it's like for an innocent person who is forced to spend the holidays in prison. Amanda Knox was convicted for the murder of a 21-year-old British exchange student, Meredith Kercher, who died from knife wounds in the apartment she shared with Knox in Perugia, Italy in 2007. Knox and her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were both found guilty of killing Kercher, receiving 26- and 25-year prison sentences, respectively. Their convictions were subsequently overturned in 2011 and she was released from prison after serving four years. In early 2014, the Italian Supreme Court ruled that they should both stand trial again and she and Sollecito were re-convicted. Finally, in March 2015, the Italian Supreme Court overturned both murder convictions, ending their eight-year ordeal. Jarrett Adams was 17-years-old when he was wrongfully convicted of sexually assaulting a young woman at UW-Whitewater in 1998. He was sentenced to 28 years in prison and spent close to a decade incarcerated before his conviction was reversed with the help of the Wisconsin Innocence Project on the basis that trial counsel had been ineffective for failing to present the testimony of a critical witness. Mr. Adams graduated from Loyola Law School in May 2015 and joined the Innocence Project’s litigation department as the first Post-Conviction Litigation Fellow in July 2016. Jeffrey Deskovic was a 16-year-old high school sophomore when he was wrongfully convicted of the rape and murder of a high school classmate in 1991. Although hair and semen samples taken from the scene did not match Mr. Deskovic’s DNA, he aroused the suspicion of detectives by weeping openly at the victim’s funeral. After six hours of intense interrogation, Mr. Deskovic confessed to the crime, though he later contended in a lawsuit that police investigators had fed him the details of the killing and promised him that if he admitted guilt, he would not go to prison but would instead get psychiatric treatment. With the help of The Innocence Project, Mr. Deskovic was exonerated and released in 2006 after DNA analysis linked convict Stephen Cunningham to the crime and Cunningham confessed. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com

Dec 12, 2016
S1E10: The Wrongful Conviction of Michael Morton
47:11

Michael Morton's nightmare began in 1986, when his wife Christine was bludgeoned to death in their bed in Austin, Texas. Despite any evidence pointing to his guilt and tremendous evidence showing his innocence, he quickly became the prime suspect. At his trial, Williamson County District attorney Ken Anderson painted a picture of him as a violent, sexually depraved murderer who showed no remorse for his crime and he was sentenced to life in prison. Evidence was withheld that may have cleared him, including statements from his child. Finally after twenty-five years a blue bandana found at the scene was tested for DNA evidence. The test not only proved the innocence of Michael Morton, it yielded a hit on a known felon who has since been charged with the murder of Christine Morton, along with the murder of another young woman two years later. After spending nearly 25 years in prison for the murder of his wife, Morton was released on October 4, 2011, and officially exonerated in December 2011. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com

Dec 05, 2016
S1E9: The Wrongful Conviction of Douglas DiLosa
47:03

Douglas DiLosa was wrongfully convicted in 1987 of his wife's murder in Jefferson Parish, LA and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The State's case against him consisted entirely of circumstantial evidence. As if making a jigsaw puzzle or a mosaic, prosecutors had to make the picture whole—there were contradictions and inconsistencies between Mr. DiLosa's version of events, the physical evidence presented by the State, and witnesses' hearsay statements. While incarcerated at the notorious Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, Doug worked as an inmate legal counsel assisting fellow prisoners with their legal cases while also working on appeals to fight his own case. He filed a public records request with the prosecutor's office for the records in his case and received a 150-page police report that hadn't been disclosed to his trial lawyers. Based on the information and evidence Doug was able to gather on his case, in 2000 the Federal Court reversed his conviction and he was released from prison in January of 2001 after serving 16 years. He was exonerated in 2003 due to DA and police misconduct. Doug now works with the Rising Foundation helping other formerly incarcerated people rebuild their lives. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com

Nov 28, 2016
S1E8: The Wrongful Conviction of Richard Rosario
39:32

Richard Rosario was convicted of a murder that took place on Turnbull Avenue in the Bronx on June 19, 1996, based on the testimony of two witnesses who had picked his picture out of a book of police photos. There was no other evidence linking him to the crime. Mr. Rosario did not know the victim or the witnesses. On June 30, 1996, after he heard that the authorities were looking for him, Mr. Rosario took pains to set things straight. He got on a Greyhound bus in Florida on June 30, arrived in New York the next day and voluntarily contacted the police. He named more than a dozen people in Florida who he said would vouch for him including a pastor and a sheriff’s deputy. But the police did not follow up, and prosecutors charged him with murder based on the statements of the two eyewitnesses. Mr. Rosario was convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life. When Mr. Rosario challenged his conviction in state court in 2004, seven more witnesses appeared to say he had been in Florida around the time of the murder. He was released in 2016 after serving 20 years when the Bronx District Attorney’s office concluded that Mr. Rosario did not receive a fair trial. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com

Nov 21, 2016
S1E7: The Wrongful Conviction of Keith Harward
34:00

Keith Allen Harward, a Navy veteran, was wrongfully convicted of a 1982 rape and murder in Newport News, Virginia and served 33 years in prison. The assailant had broken into a home of a killed a man and brutally raped his wife. During the course of the attack, the assailant bit the wife’s legs repeatedly. Keith was convicted primarily on the testimony of two forensic dentists who said that his teeth matched marks on the victim's body and he was convicted of capital murder. The Innocence Project performed DNA testing on the rape kit and numerous other pieces of crime scene evidence, and the testing excluded Mr. Harward and identified Jerry Crotty as the perpetrator. After the Virginia Supreme Court granted a writ of actual innocence, Keith Allen Harward walked out of prison on April 8, 2016 after wrongly serving more than 33 years of a life sentence. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com

Nov 14, 2016
S1E6: The Wrongful Conviction of Marty Tankleff
35:34

The Wrongful Conviction of Marty Tankleff

Marty Tankleff had just turned 17 when he was arrested for murdering his parents, Seymour and Arlene Tankleff in September 1988. Based on an unsigned “confession" extracted from him following many long hours of interrogation by notorious Suffolk County detective K. James McCready, Marty was convicted and sentenced to 50 years to life in prison. After serving 17 years, Marty's conviction was vacated by the New York State Appellate Division, Second Department, in December of 2007. On July 22, 2008, a judge signed off on a motion by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to dismiss all charges against Marty. Marty recently passed the bar exam and is pursuing a career as an attorney, advocating criminal justice reform and wrongful convictions.

www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com

Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava For Good Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.

Nov 07, 2016
S1E5: The Wrongful Conviction of Derrick Hamilton
38:23

Derrick Hamilton was wrongfully convicted of murder in 1991 and served over two decades in prison after he was framed by the disgraced Detective Louis Scarcella. During an initial stint in prison in his teens for a separate wrongful conviction, Hamilton began studying in the prison’s law library, eventually earning reputation as one of the most highly skilled jailhouse lawyers in the country. When he wasn’t fighting to prove his own innocence, Hamilton worked pro bono on the cases of his fellow inmates, and he formed the Actual Innocence Team with other jailhouse lawyers serving time. Hamilton was released on parole in 2011 and finally cleared his name in 2014. Today, he continues to work as a paralegal on wrongful conviction cases. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com

Oct 31, 2016
S1E4: Love is Better Than Revenge: The Wrongful Conviction of Sunny Jacobs
01:05:10

In 1976, Sonia 'Sunny’ Jacobs was sentenced to death for the murders of Florida Highway Patrol officer Phillip Black and Donald Irwin, a visiting Canadian constable. The officers were killed during a traffic stop where Sunny was traveling with her boyfriend, Jesse Tafero, and her two children, Eric, nine, and Christina, 10 months, in a car driven by Walter Rhodes. After officers approached the vehicle, Rhodes fired shots at them, a gun battle ensued and chaos erupted. Sunny and Jesse were arrested and both of their children were taken away by the state. Rhodes negotiated a plea bargain with the state, claiming Jesse and Sunny had pulled the triggers, in exchange for a life sentence. In 1990, Jesse was executed by the state of Florida in horrific circumstances. Sunny spent five years in isolation on Florida’s Death Row and a total of 17 years in a maximum-security prison before her conviction was overturned. Sunny was freed in 1992 when she was 45 years old. In this episode, Jason talks with Sunny, her current husband, exoneree Peter Pringle, and her daughter Christina who as a child was also a victim of this tragic injustice. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com

Oct 24, 2016
S1E3: The Actual Innocence of Fernando Bermudez
43:24

Fernando Bermudez served over 18 years in New York State maximum security prisons. He was wrongfully convicted of murder in the shooting death of Raymond Blount in 1991. Mr. Bermudez was proven innocent in late 2009 with help from a team of pro bono attorneys. Fernando was the first Latin-American male in New York state history to be exonerated on “actual innocence” grounds in a non-DNA case. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com

Oct 17, 2016
S1E2: Barry Gibbs: The Mafia Cops Case
40:43

Guests Barry Scheck (Co-Founder of The Innocence Project), Barry Gibbs (wrongfully served 17 years) and Vanessa Potkin (Director of Post Conviction Litigation for The Innocence Project) detail the unfathomable odyssey of Barry Gibbs in the bizarre case of The Mafia Cops. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com

Oct 10, 2016
Trailer 2: Wrongful Conviction Audio Trailer #2
02:37

Audio Trailer #2 for Season 1 of Wrongful Conviction. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com

Sep 15, 2016
Trailer 1: Audio Trailer for Season 1 of Wrongful Conviction
02:09

Audio Trailer for Season 1 of Wrongful Conviction. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com

Aug 30, 2016