Twenty-five steps towards a less error-prone criminal justice system

It’s been 25 years since the miscarriages of justice watchdog, the Criminal Cases Review Commission (the CCRC) was established. It was created to act as a safety net for wrongful convictions in the wake of the high-profile miscarriages of justice, the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four.

The CCRC’s role is critical in uncovering miscarriages of justice. The previous system, where direct appeals had to be made to the Home Secretary, was woefully inadequate – referring only four to five cases out of 700 to the Court of Appeal Criminal Division (Court of Appeal) per year.

By contrast, in their 25-year lifespan, the CCRC has referred almost 800 cases to the Court of Appeal, and of these 535 appeals have been allowed. Their work has helped free hundreds of people who would otherwise have languished in prison for crimes they did not commit. This is an important achievement. But has

Exec who launched stars like Katy Perry and Kid Rock is now helping free the innocent

There are nearly 2 million people currently incarcerated in the United States. Many of them sit locked up for months or even years because of wrongful convictions.

There have been at least 2,500 exonerations added to an official registry since 1989 and the number keeps rising. But an executive responsible for some of the biggest acts in music is among those leading the fight to make sure innocent people don’t spend another day in prison.

Joce Sterman and Alex Brauer

From Katy Perry to Kid Rock, Lorde to Skid Row, Jason Flom has an ear for discovering talent that’s going all the way to the top. But the legendary music executive behind Lava Records also has an eye for people languishing at the very bottom of society: men and women behind bars for crimes they claim they did not commit.

It started back in the 90s, with a man named

Majority of New Yorkers support package of bills to end wrongful convictions

Legislation that would help free more innocent people from prison has wide support among New Yorkers of all political stripes.

A new poll from Data for Progress released on Monday found 76% of voters in the Empire State support a package of bills that could help end wrongful convictions.

The bills, which would bar deceptive interrogation tactics, require minors to consult with a lawyer before waiving their Miranda right and allow more people who pleaded guilty to crimes they did not commit have their cases reviewed, have wide support among both Democrats and Republicans.

Around 87% of Democrats back the bills and 63% of Republicans also support the measures, according to the survey conducted last month. The bipartisan support comes despite deep divides over other criminal justice issues including bail reform rollbacks recently passed as part of the state budget.

The centerpiece of the package being considered by the Democrat-controlled Legislature

‘Wrongful Conviction with Maggie Freleng’ Launches Today

Today, Lava for Good, founded by renowned media executive, author, and justice activist Jason Flom, debuts its powerful new series, Wrongful Conviction with Maggie Freleng. Hosted by celebrated journalist, producer, and podcast host Maggie Freleng, each week the podcast explores a different wrongful conviction case, featuring compelling and revealing conversations with men and women who have spent years in prison despite overwhelming evidence of their actual innocence.

Some of Maggie’s guests have been fully exonerated and reunited with family and friends while others continue to languish in prison—with some even facing execution on death row. The first episode, released just ahead of Mother’s Day, features the case of Patty Prewitt, a 72-year-old mother of five, grandmother of thirteen, and a great-grandmother who is serving a life sentence after being wrongfully convicted of the murder of her husband.

“When I knew I wanted to be a journalist, I only wanted to

As more wrongful convictions unravel, exonerees help one another adjust to life beyond bars

The first Massachusetts man to stand was Ray Champagne, his head slightly bowed, right hand raised skyward. The ballroom crowd roared to celebrate his release after 41 years in prison for a murder he did not commit.

Others freed from Bay State prisons followed: Frances Choy (17 years), Robert Foxworth (29 years), Raymond Gaines (46 years), and four more. The newly exonerated or freed from across the country climbed to their feet one by one to be recognized for the years they spent wrongfully behind bars.

111 people; 2,459 years.

Last came James Watson, who, at 6-foot-6, shot up like a man with a new life. The 63-year-old, whom prosecutors in Suffolk County once sought to execute, pumped his fists and basked in the applause.

“It feels like a trillion bucks,”

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