Friday, September 4, 2009

Texas Pays Men for Being Wrongly Incarcerated

The Innocence Project, a New York organization that works to free prisoners who are mistakenly convicted, announced that 38 men will receive payments from the State of Texas after DNA evidence prompted their release from prison ("Texas DNA Exonerees Find Prosperity after Prison" - Associated Press, September 4, 2009). For each year of prison time served, the exonerees will receive $80,000 in addition to "job training, tuition credits, and access to medical and dental treatment." Earlier payments to the wrongly convicted in Texas stood at $50,000 until several of the 38 men were "advised to drop their federal civil rights lawsuits" by their attorney who then pushed for passage of a new law that granted the larger sum.

Review selected library titles related to the DNA evidence and judicial error at LSC-CyFair Branch Library. Click the title of a book, select the "Request" button in the listing, and enter your library card number and PIN for each title you want to reserve for pick up at the library. Call the library at 281-290-3219 to check your PIN if you do not remember it. Use these subject words and phrases to find more in the library catalog:
  • DNA fingerprinting
  • false imprisonment
  • forensic genetics
  • judicial error
DNA Evidence book coverDNA Evidence and Forensic Science by David E. Newton - Facts On File, 2008.
call number: 363.25 New
". . . Provides an overview of DNA evidence and forensic science, covering forensic tools and DNA typing and their history, and legal issues and specific cases in the U.S." - publisher's summary excerpt

The Innocence Commission book coverThe Innocence Commission: Preventing Wrongful Convictions and Restoring the Criminal Justice System by Jon B. Gould - New York University Press, 2008.
call number: 347.755 Gou
"After describing the history of innocence investigations, Gould calmly dissects 11 cases from the ICVA files to illustrate some tragic errors in the criminal justice system. The book benefits from the use of trial testimony and detailed case descriptions, and the section on federal and state procedures for requesting post-conviction relief, model police identification procedures, and recommendations for prosecutors is especially useful." - Library Journal review excerpt

Justice and Science book coverJustice and Science: Trials and Triumphs of DNA Evidence by George "Woody" Clarke - Rutgers University Press, 2007.
call number: on order
". . .Nonfiction page turner that should appeal just as much to true crime buffs as those concerned with the workings of the criminal justice system. . . (the author is) a leading world expert on the use of DNA in establishing probable guilt or innocence." - Publishers Weekly review excerpt

After Innocence [videorecording] American Film Foundation & Showtime Independent Films - New Yorker Video, 2007.
call number: DVD Nonfiction 614.1 Aft
"Tells the dramatic and compelling story of seven men that were exonerated after being imprisoned for decades and released after DNA evidence proved their innocence." - video producer summary