Tag Archive: wrongful conviction

Joseph Sledge freed after 37 years in prison

josephsledgeFrom WRAL

— A man who spent nearly four decades behind bars was freed from prison Friday after a three-judge panel found him innocent in the 1976 stabbing deaths of a Bladen County mother and her adult daughter.

Last month, the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission recommended the case of Joseph Sledge for judicial review after newly discovered evidence cast doubt on whether he had anything to do with the killings of Josephine Davis, 74, and Ailene Davis, 53, in their Elizabethtown home.

About an hour after the judges’ ruling – and after 37 years in prison – Sledge, 70, walked out of the Columbus County jail in Whiteville into the arms of family. (more…)

Hearing set for Friday in Joseph Sledge’s innocence case

sledgeFrom WRAL

Raleigh, N.C. — A three-judge panel will convene Friday in Columbus County to hear the case of a man who says he was wrongly convicted of a double murder 38 years ago and that evidence proves it.

The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission last month unanimously voted to send the case of Joseph Sledge for judicial review, finding that sufficient evidence exists to show Sledge did not kill Josephine Davis, 74, and her daughter Ailene Davis, 53, in their Bladen County home in September 1976.

At the time of the crimes, Sledge, now 70, had been serving a four-year sentence at a prison work farm for larceny when he escaped a day before the slayings. That factored into his 1978 conviction, as well as key testimony from two fellow prisoners who said Sledge admitted to the killings. (more…)

North Carolina: Hundreds of Federal Prisoners Legally Innocent, Some Still Incarcerated

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From Prison Legal News/ by Derek Gilna

Following a 2011 federal appellate court ruling, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) initially tried to delay the release of federal prisoners who were wrongly convicted in North Carolina. The government later announced that it would halt such tactics, but has continued to oppose challenges filed by some offenders who are legally innocent.

The DOJ’s actions followed a review of prosecutions in three federal courts in North Carolina. DOJ spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle said “many more” cases could surface when all of the state’s federal court cases are examined.

The prisoners were convicted of possessing firearms in what the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held was a misapplication of the sentencing criteria, a circumstance unique to North Carolina due to the state’s system of “structured sentencing.” Adopted by the state legislature in 1993, the system mandates that the maximum prison term for any given crime is based on the offender’s criminal record. As a result, sentences for even minor crimes can extend for years if a defendant has numerous prior offenses. (more…)

Occupy Wall Street Protester Cecily McMillan Sentenced To Three Months In Jail

Cecily McMillan outside courtHer current address is:

Cecily McMillan
Book & Case Number 3101400431
Rose M. Singer Center
19-19 Hazen Street
East Elmhurst, New York 11370

For up to date information and other ways to help, make sure to visit justiceforcecily.com

From Huffington Post

NEW YORK — A New York City judge sentenced Occupy Wall Street protester Cecily McMillan on Monday to three months in jail and five years of probation for elbowing a police officer while he was clearing out a protest in Zuccotti Park.

Judge Ronald Zweibel’s decision comes at the end of a trial that sparked widespread anger among Occupy supporters for the circumstances under which McMillan was convicted of second-degree assault. They said McMillan, a graduate student who’s now 25 years old, was simply reacting to an unknown hand grabbing her breast while visiting a March 2012 protest. Officer Grantley Bovell, not McMillan, they said, should have been on trial.

McMillan’s defense attorney, Martin Stolar, has already indicated that he will appeal McMillan’s conviction. McMillan’s supporters have raised about $14,000 for her defense online, and Zweibel’s sentence will likely add further urgency to that effort. (more…)

Cecily McMillan Found Guilty – Write to Her!

Cecily McMillan outside courtFrom NYC Anarchist Black Cross

On Monday, May 5th, Cecily McMillan was found guilty of assaulting a cop. That McMillan was merely reacting to an actual assault by the cop seemed irrelevant to the judge. She was immediately remanded and will be jailed until her sentencing date on May 19th.

Being unexpectedly jailed is terrifying and the first few days are understandably the most difficult. Help make this time more bearable by writing to Cecily to let her know folks on the outside have her back.

 Her current address is:

Cecily McMillan
Book & Case Number 3101400431
Rose M. Singer Center
19-19 Hazen Street
East Elmhurst, New York 11370

For up to date information and other ways to help, make sure to visit justiceforcecily.com

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter Dies at 76: Wrongly Jailed Boxer Championed Justice After Winning His Own

From Democracy Now

 

The celebrated boxer and prisoner-rights activist Rubin “Hurricane” Carter has died at the age of 76. Carter became an international symbol of racial injustice after his wrongful murder conviction forced him to spend 19 years in prison before he was exonerated. Since his release, Carter championed the cause of wrongfully convicted prisoners. His ordeal was publicized in Bob Dylan’s 1975 song “Hurricane,” several books and a 1999 film starring Denzel Washington, “The Hurricane.” We are joined by two guests: John Artis, Carter’s co-defendant and close friend, who cared for him until his death, and Ken Klonsky, co-author of Carter’s autobiography, “Eye of the Hurricane: My Path from Darkness to Freedom,” and a director of media relations for Carter’s group, Innocence International. We also broadcast an excerpt from a 1994 speech by Carter about his life’s struggles and triumphs. Says Artis about his close friend: “He was a David against the justice system’s Goliath.”