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Conviction of the Innocent Archive



by Edmond Geary

The problem with proving Driving Influence of Drugs

Ten years ago in Ben Wheeler, Texas, Candice Anderson had an accident, losing control of her car and crashing it into a tree.  Her fiancé was killed in the accident.  Because she had in her system a trace quantity of the anxiety drug, Xanax, she was prosecuted for criminally negligent homicide.  Investigators could not determine…

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by Edmond Geary

Tulsa District Attorney Accused of Cover Up

Twenty years ago in Tulsa a woman was convicted of the murder of her child.  Last year, she filed an application for post conviction relief, challenging the validity of her conviction and was freed last summer based on what was called newly discovered evidence.  Now the question has become whether that evidence of innocence was…

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by Edmond Geary

When a Plea is not Voluntary

A plea of guilty must be entered freely and voluntarily, “without coercion or compulsion of any kind ” All criminal defense attorney in Oklahoma know these words by heart.  These words must be read by all who wish to enter a guilty plea to a felony. No wonder, then, that Thomas Cofer was allowed to…

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by Edmond Geary

Federal Agencies Change Policy to Record Interrogations

At long last, federal law enforcement has adopted a policy to record interrogations.  After years of resistance, after years of declining even to openly admitting their policy of not recording, the Department of Justice has announced a new policy to record interrogations.  The policy applies to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol,…

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by Edmond Geary

Doubts about Eyewitness Testimony

Historically, eyewitness testimony has been thought to be the very best kind of evidence.  But as any Oklahoma criminal defense attorney will tell you, decades of studies have shown eyewitness testimony is right only about half the time.  The problem is usually that a witness did not get as good a look at the person…

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by Edmond Geary

Michael Skakel and the American Rights to a Fair Trial

Everyone believes Americans have a right to a fair trial.  Included in the right to a fair trial is the particular right to be effectively represented, to be represented by competent counsel. It is a right under the 6th amendment.  As a constitutional right, when violated, the remedy must be substantial. Michael Skakel just received…

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by Edmond Geary

Police Lineup Procedures Long Overdue

New Jersey’s Supreme Court has recently ordered an overhaul in the procedures judges and juries use to treat evidence from a police lineup.  Police have always resisted encroachment on their own rules for lineups. The Court recognized decades of research that shows the traditional procedures used for lineups have problems.  The result has been that…

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by Edmond Geary

The CSI Effect in Prosecutions

Crime Scene Investigation is the premise for several television shows.  Known as “CSI, ” the various shows take place in different cities with a different cast for each.  Prosecutors have noticed that some of the half-assed cases they have presented at trial have been found lacking by jurors who later referred to case presented in…

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by Edmond Geary

Illinois bans the Death Penalty

The State of Illinois has abolished the death penalty.  Governor Pat Quinn signed the bill passed by the legislature in January.  At the same time, he commuted the death sentences of 167 prisoners sitting on death row.  Their sentences were commuted to life without parole. Quinn was elected governor in 2009.  During the campaign for…

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by Edmond Geary

DNA clears 2 more in Dallas: 21 now cleared

Two men convicted of rape, robbery, and abduction in 1979 have joined the increasing crowd of exonerated from DNA evidence.  They served more than three decades behind bars, more than any others cleared by DNA evidence in Texas.  The DNA proof of innocence in this case was the first to reach back as far back…

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