Oregon Man Freed After 10 Years


Phillip Scott Cannon was released from an Oregon jail on Friday after prosecutors in his case said he had been convicted based on unreliable forensics and couldn’t be retried because evidence in his case had been destroyed. He had served 10 years behind bars.

Cannon, 43, was convicted of a 1998 triple murder based in part on comparative bullet lead analysis, a forensic procedure used by the FBI for three decades before it quietly ended the practice in 2005. A 2007 investigation by CBS News’ “60 Minutes” and the Washington Post revealed that thousands of convictions had been secured based on the unreliable tests.

Cannon has maintained his innocence throughout his ordeal, but prosecutors said they were dropping charges because evidence in the case wasn’t available for a retrial. A relative of one of the victims

the Oregonian

that the lost evidence meant justice wouldn’t be served for either the victims of Cannon.

“There’s no closure for our family,” said Thomas Osborne, the father of one of the victims. Suzan Renee Osborne was found shot in the head at a mobile home with Jason Roger Kinser and Celesta Joy Graves. “There’s no closure for his (family) either. It’s just a bad deal all around.”

The case demonstrates the importance of two critical reforms supported by the Innocence Project —

oversight of forensic sciences

to avoid reliance on unproved tests and

the preservation of evidence




A public defender

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