Criminal Justice and Wrongful Convictions from around the World
Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.” – Sir William Blackstone. Below are quick clicks on global cases of wrongful convictions…
Dutch citizen, Romano van der Dussen, was found guilty of three sexual assaults in 2003. He has shockingly remained in prison despite DNA evidence in 2007 proving he was not the perpetrator. Van der Dussen was convicted in May 2005 and sentenced to 15 and a half years imprisonment, in addition to being remanded for 1 year and 7 months.
“An Ohio man has been freed from prison after spending 39 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. Ricky Jackson, a 59-year old African-American man, had been jailed since 1975 on a murder conviction. The prosecution’s case was based on the testimony of a 13-year-old witness. After a 2011 investigation, the witness recanted his testimony, saying he had implicated Jackson and two others under police coercion.”
Danny Colon (50) and Anthony Ortiz (44) spent 16 years behind bars for a crime they did not commit. A $9 million settlement will be paid to the pair after they successfully sued New York City, the state, and the city housing authority for verdicts which put them in jail and left them there for 16 years despite their innocence. Ortiz will receive $6.5 million and Colon will get $2.5 million, according to The Wall Street Journal report.
Former Texas prosecutor and state judge, Ken Anderson, who intentionally withheld evidence that could have cleared Michael Morton – an innocent man who, as a result, spent 25 years in prison- agreed to spend 10 days in prison and complete 500 hours of community service.
“I give speeches about the Innocence Movement, and tell stories from real cases, all around the world. No matter where I am, when I finish speaking the first question usually is, “What happened to the police/prosecutors who did this to the poor guy?” The answer is almost always, “Nothing,” or worse, “The police officer was promoted and now is the chief of his department.” The adage that the powerful go unpunished is no truer or more visible than with police officers and prosecutors in America–even when they send innocent people to prison from their misconduct,” writes Mark Godsey, Carmichael Professor of Law and Director of the Ohio Innocence Project at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.