Friday Roundup: The Long Road to Freedom, and Life After Exoneration


A Buffalo, New York, man

was cleared this week

by DNA test results that prosecutors say point to the identity of a man who committed two rapes in the 1980s. Douglas Pacyon served six years in prison before being released on parole in 1990. On Monday, a state judge vacated his conviction – fully clearing him. The Innocence Project is reviewing his case for inclusion in our database of DNA exonerations.

On Tuesday, a U.S. District Court Judge in California

ordered the reversal of Daniel Larsen’s conviction

. According to the California Innocence Project, Larsen was wrongfully convicted of being an ex-felon in possession of a knife under California’s Three Strikes Law, in 1998 and sentenced to 25 years to life behind bars. The state has 90 days to either release or retry or him.

A three-year project studying memory in children and adults

will help researchers learn about confidence levels associated with memory and simulating situations associated with eyewitness identification in criminal events. The results could have significant implications on the criminal justice system and eyewitness identification procedures.

Hearings concluded last Friday in the case of Wisconsin man Terry Vollbrecht, who was convicted of rape and murder in 1989. Attorneys from the Wisconsin Innocence Project

presented new evidence of Vollbrecht’s innocence

, and a judge will decide whether to grant him a new trial. The Tulsa, Oklahoma, Police Department’s forensic laboratory director

was fired last week

based on allegations of “incompetence, inefficiency and gross neglect of duty,” police records show.

Innocence Project client Barry Gibbs, who served 19 years in New York prisons for a crime he did not commit, appeared on WNYC’s “

The Leonard Lopate Show

,” on Thursday.  He discussed the fight to prove his innocence and his release from prison in 2005. 

Problems are

continuing to mount

at the San Francisco Crime Lab, and a California state forensic commission

voted to disband


Documents obtained by the Houston Chronicle show that

problems are continuing

at the Houston Police Department’s fingerprint unit, and that officials have known about some issues for a decade.

A hearing

concluded this week

in the case of Georgia Death row prisoner Troy Davis, who is seeking to prove his innocence of the 1989 murder of a Savannah police officer.

We covered the case yesterday here


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