The day after Terence Garner was sentenced to 32 to 43 years in prison for
the Quality Finance Company robbery and shooting, Kendrick Henderson -- who
participated in the robbery and was outraged that Garner had been
convicted -- asked to see Wayne County detectives. He told them about Keith
Riddick's cousin, Terrance Deloach, and said Deloach was the guilty one, not
Garner. Wayne County detectives picked up Terrance Deloach, and after about two hours,
Deloach admitted that he was the "Terence" who committed the robbery, along
with his cousin Keith Riddick and Henderson. Deloach, who had a long and
violent criminal record, described the weapon and other elements in the robbery
and then signed this detailed confession, in which he also admitted he was the
person who shot Alice Wise.
Eyewitness testimony was central in the trial and conviction of Terence Garner. But this February 1997 report examines the many ways eyewitness identification can go wrong, helping to convict an innocent person.
A five-part series (published Jan. 10-14, 1999), this Chicago Tribune
investigation found that since 1963, 381 people convicted of homicide had their
verdicts overturned because of prosecutorial misconduct. (Sixty-seven of those
381 were sentenced to death.) In "Break Rules, Be Promoted," the authors
describe a system whereby three Cook County, Ill., prosecutors who had received
harsh rebukes from the Illinois Appellate Court for misconduct had been
subsequently promoted and even elected judges. Other articles in the series
trace some of the worst cases of prosecutorial misconduct on record.
In this audio excerpt from a February 1999 segment of National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation," host Ray Suarez talks with Ken Armstrong, a reporter for the Chicago
Tribune who co-authored that paper's five-part series on judicial
misconduct, "Trial and Error: How Prosecutors Sacrifice Justice to Win." (To
listen to the audio excerpt, you'll need RealAudio.)
In this 10-part series (Nov-Dec. 1998), a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
investigative team reports on alleged judicial misconduct and a "law
enforcement culture that has allowed the pursuit of a conviction to replace the
pursuit of justice, no matter what the cost."
In this in-depth November 1999 report in The Atlantic Monthly, author
Alan Berlow describes several cases in which innocent men were sentenced to
death, and then ultimately exonerated. Berlow argues that inept defense
attorneys, dishonest police and prosecutors -- who may or may not believe they
have the culprit, racial bias, false confessions, eyewitness error, and an
appeals process that's becoming increasingly inaccessible, are the many factors
to blame for miscarriages of justice.
In this August 2000 American Lawyer article, author Steve Weinberg
chronicles the case of Ellen Reasonover, who was wrongly convicted of murder
and served 16 years in prison. He describes how one dogged defense attorney
became convinced that the prosecutor had allowed false testimony at
Reasonover's trial and had misled the jury in his closing argument.
A nonprofit legal clinic at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York
City, the Innocence Project's goal is to give pro-bono legal assistance to inmates who are
challenging their convictions based on DNA testing of evidence. However, the
website publishes information about all types of wrongful convictions in two
sections of the site: "Causes and Remedies of Wrongful Convictions" and "Police and Prosecutorial Misconduct."
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