Friday Roundup: Seeking Freedom and Reform


An editorial in the San Antonio Express News

says that it took too long to clear Timothy Cole’s name and that there is need for further reforms in Texas.  The Tim Cole Advisory Panel on Wrongful Convictions is in the process of conducting a year-long review of the Texas justice system. Its recommendations will go to the Legislature for the 2011 session.

On Thursday, Troy Bradford of Ohio said he was innocent of a series of brutal burglaries that he was convicted of over a year ago. With no physical evidence against him, Bradford appealed the conviction, questioning the method by which the witness identification was obtained.  He reached out to the Ohio Innocence Project, which asked prosecutors to test a fingerprint found at one of the scenes.

The county prosecutor released the results of the fingerprint analysis Thursday

. Two of the comparisons are not a match, and a third one has not yet been analyzed.  Local prosecutors said they have no plans to reopen the case.

A Houston judge declared the death penalty unconstitutional yesterday

and granted a motion filed in a capital case seeking to have the court find that Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 37.071 “violates the protections afforded to the Accused by the 8th and 14th Amendments . . . and that the option to sentence the Accused to die for a crime that he did not commit should be precluded as a sentencing option.”

Wisconsin Innocence Project Co-Director Keith Findley is calling for a new jury in client Terry Vollbrecht’s murder trial

.  Vollbrecht has served 20 years of a life sentence for the murder of Angela Hackl in Sauk County over two decades ago. An investigator for the state Public Defender’s office admitted to not following up on several leads in the original investigation which implicated other people in the crime.

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