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Florida’s Conviction Integrity Unit Scores First Win; Can It Keep Working?

A murder conviction that sent two Florida men to prison for 43 years was reversed last month. The victory illustrates why more prosecutors—and legislators—need to support the still-fragile efforts of conviction integrity units to bring justice to the wrongfully accused, writes a former prosecutor.   

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justice

Can Prosecutors and Public Defenders Team Up to Produce Fairer Justice?

Prosecutors’ pursuit of convictions at any cost and public defenders’ insufficient resources have too often combined to thwart defendants’ chances of a fair trial. Here’s an alternative approach proposed by Miami’s public defender and a former deputy assistant attorney general.

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Dean Gillispie

Blind Injustice: How ‘Tunnel Vision’ Convicts the Innocent

Roger Dean Gillispie was found guilty of rape, even though he didn’t match eyewitness descriptions, and the evidence made clear he was nowhere near the scene of the crime. He spent more than 20 years behind bars until the Ohio Supreme Court this year gave him back his freedom. The director of the Ohio Innocence Project, who worked on his case, tells the story.

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gavel

How Appeals Courts ‘Rubber Stamp’ Injustice

Although appellate courts can’t know whether a defendant is actually innocent, they can—or should—know when a trial is unfair. Unfortunately, says a New York attorney who writes under the pseudonym “Appellate Squawk,” most are simply rubber stamps for miscarriages of justice in lower courts.

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When New Research Proves Courtroom ‘Experts’ Wrong

Many wrongful convictions are based on forensic testimony and science later exposed as flawed. A California statute this year laid out the terms for granting relief to defendants challenging ‘expert’ evidence—but striking the right balance between evolving scientific research and trial pressures remains a challenge, says a UC law professor.