You are on page 1of 15

INNOCENCE

NETWORK
E X O N E R AT I O N S

2010
CONTENTS
I. LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT...................................................................3
BOARD OF DIRECTORS II. THE CASES (IN ORDER OF EXONERATION DATE).............................. 4
Erika Applebaum
Innocence Project of Minnesota 1. FREDDIE PEACOCK........................................................................................... 4

Shawn Armbrust
2. TED BRADFORD................................................................................................. 4
Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project 3. GREG TAYLOR................................................................................................... 4
Justin Brooks 4. JIMMY BASS .................................................................................................... 5
California Innocence Project
5. DWAYNE PROVIENCE....................................................................................... 5
Tucker Carrington
Mississippi Innocence Project, 6. FRANK STERLING................................................................................................ 5
Board Secretary
7. ROMEO PHILLION.............................................................................................. 6
Maddy deLone
Innocence Project, Board Treasurer 8. RAYMOND TOWLER ......................................................................................... 6

Steve Drizin 9. SHAWN MASSEY................................................................................................ 6


Center on Wrongful Convictions
10. TYRONE JONES................................................................................................ 6
Keith Findley 11. MICHAEL VONALLMEN................................................................................... 7
Wisconsin Innocence Project,
Board President 12. JONATHAN SCOTT PIERPOINT ....................................................................... 7
Mark Godsey 13. LARRY DAVIS.................................................................................................... 7
Ohio Innocence Project
14. ALAN NORTHROP............................................................................................ 7
Larry Golden
Downstate Illinois Innocence Project 15. KOUA FONG LEE............................................................................................. 8

Emily Maw 16. ANTHONY JOHNSON...................................................................................... 8


Innocence Project New Orleans
17. PHILLIP BIVENS................................................................................................. 8
Jackie McMurtrie
Innocence Project Northwest Clinic
18. BOBBY RAY DIXON.......................................................................................... 8
19. LARRY RUFFIN.................................................................................................. 8
Daniel Medwed
University of Utah - S.J. Quinney 20. DAVONN ROBINSON...................................................................................... 9
College of Law
21. GLENN DAVIS.................................................................................................. 9
Theresa Newman
Duke Law Center for Criminal Justice 22. LARRY DELMORE............................................................................................. 9
and Professional Responsibility
23. TERRENCE MEYERS.......................................................................................... 9
John Pray
Wisconsin Innocence Project 24. MATTHEW NORWOOD.................................................................................... 9

Cookie Ridolfi 25. MAURICE PATTERSON...................................................................................10


Northern California Innocence Project,
Board Secretary
26. JULIE BAUMER................................................................................................10
27. JERMAINE ARRINGTON.................................................................................10
Barry Scheck
Innocence Project 28. JACK WHITE...................................................................................................11
Robert Schehr 29. JOHN WATKINS..............................................................................................11
Northern Arizona Justice Project
III. NETWORK MEMBERS.........................................................................12
Rob Warden
Center on Wrongful Convictions
COVER: Tyrone Jones, shown with attorney Michele Nethercott, was exonerated on May 26, 2010.
Lynne Weathered Read more about his case on page 7. (Kim Hairston/Reprinted with permission of the Baltimore Sun
Griffith University Innocence Project Media Group. All Rights Reserved.)
THEIR STORIES
CAN FIX A BROKEN SYSTEM

The 29 people profiled in this second annual to put checks on the enormous power law
Innocence Network Report served more than enforcement and prosecutors wield over all of
426 combined years in prison before they were us. That’s something Network organizations
finally freed. Their pleas of innocence landed are doing more and more. Working with local,
on deaf ears in many cases for decades before state and national advocates, we are using
someone finally listened. They sat behind bars the heartbreaking stories of the wrongfully
as their hopes and dreams for their futures convicted to expose the enormous cracks in the
slowly slipped away. Their families suffered too, system that must be fixed. And it’s working.
spending sleepless nights worrying about their Last year we helped to pass important reforms
loved ones’ health and safety, putting their lives in statehouses throughout the nation.
on hold while doing their best to help their
sons, daughters, brothers and sisters negotiate a The Innocence Network is surviving and in
broken criminal justice system. some cases thriving in these tough economic
times. In 2010, the Network grew to include 63
Fortunately their stories shed light on the causes member organizations, with 54 in the United
of wrongful convictions. Misidentification States and nine organizations in four other
and unvalidated forensic sciences continue to countries. While many of these organizations
contribute to many of the injustices reported are still in their infancy and are just starting
here. This year there is an unsettling number of the difficult work of clearing the innocent,
cases where government misconduct is to blame. the expansion into all corners of the globe is
All too often the very people charged with especially exciting, making way for a worldwide
ensuring truth and justice – law enforcement innocence movement that could have a
officials and prosecutors -- disregarded their profound effect on the way that all people
obligations to find the truth in their zeal to who are accused of a crime are treated in their
secure convictions, regardless of the costs. In respective countries.
the report, you will read repeated instances
where police used coercive interrogation I hope you will take a few minutes to read about
practices to elicit false confessions and engaged the hard-fought exonerations that were secured
in suggestive identification procedures that during 2010. But keep in mind that these 29
resulted in false identifications. You will represent only a tiny fraction of the wrongfully
learn of prosecutors who withheld critical convicted who are locked away, hoping and
evidence establishing innocence and presented praying for some lucky break that will prove
witnesses they knew or should have known were their innocence.
unreliable.

In order to prevent the staggering number of — KEITH FINDLEY


WISCONSIN INNOCENCE PROJECT CO-DIRECTOR,
wrongful convictions, reforms are needed to CLINICAL PROFESSOR UNIVERSITY
make identification procedures more reliable, OF WISCONSIN LAW SCHOOL,
to validate forensic science disciplines and INNOCENCE NETWORK BOARD PRESIDENT

LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT 3


THE CASES
1
Freddie Peacock When police found Bradford, they interrogated
Innocence Project him for approximately nine hours; he
Freddie Peacock was arrested and subsequently confessed and was convicted in
interrogated for two hours in suspicion of being 1996. Attorneys from the Innocence Project
involved in the 1976 rape of his neighbor in Northwest helped Bradford prove his innocence
Rochester, New York. During the interrogation, through DNA testing of the adhesive tape.
Peacock explained that he had a history of Bradford was acquitted by a jury on February 11,
mental illness and had been hospitalized 2010, with overwhelming evidence pointing to
several times. Police claimed that he confessed, another perpetrator. Bradford’s case is the first
although he could not tell officers where, when post-conviction case in Washington State to win
or how his neighbor had been raped. He was a new trial based exclusively on newly discovered
convicted and sentenced to up to 20 years in DNA evidence. He spent nearly 10 years in prison
prison and released on parole in 1982. for a crime he didn’t commit.

3
Steadfastly maintaining his innocence, Peacock
attempted to remain on parole because he Greg Taylor
thought he would never be able to clear his North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence
name if he was released from state supervision. Greg Taylor walked out of a North
In the 28 years since he left prison, Peacock Carolina courtroom a free man on February
continued to fight to prove his innocence even 17, 2010, for the first time in 17 years after a
though he was no longer incarcerated. The three-judge panel declared that he had been
Innocence Project, affiliated with the Benjamin wrongfully convicted of murder. Taylor was
N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, convicted of murdering a woman in Raleigh in
began working with Peacock in 2005, helping 1991. Among the evidence used to convict him
exonerate him of all charges on February was testimony that the victim’s blood was found
4, 2010. Peacock became the 250th person on the fender of his truck after the crime.
exonerated through DNA testing.
Experts testified at a post-conviction hearing

2
Ted Bradford that the substance found on Taylor’s truck was
Innocence Project Northwest not human blood. In fact, the 1991 tests had
confirmed the substance was not human blood,
An assailant broke into the home of a but those test results were not included in
Yakima, Washington, woman in 1995, handcuffed pre-trial reports. Tests did not reveal what the
her in the basement and put a mask over her substance was, but attorneys speculated that it
face. He covered the eyeholes of the mask with might be insect blood.
adhesive tape in order to prevent her from being
able to identify him and left the mask at the Taylor is the first person cleared by the North
scene. The victim provided police with a sketch of Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission process,
the man who raped her, and a neighbor testified which offers an official route to review cases of
that she had seen Ted Bradford driving by the prisoners who proclaim their innocence but may
victim’s home near the time of the rape. otherwise be procedurally barred from post-
conviction relief.

4 INNOCENCE NETWORK EXONERATIONS 2010


4
Jimmy Bass prosecution’s theory. Provience was convicted
Innocence Project New Orleans and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.
Jimmy Bass was wrongfully convicted After taking the case, Provience’s attorneys
of the 1988 armed robbery of a convenience at the Michigan Innocence Clinic at the
store in Cleveland, Mississippi. His conviction University of Michigan Law School discovered
was undermined when Innocence Project New that another witness to the killing had himself
Orleans discovered that the only witness to been murdered. A hit man confessed to a
implicate Bass at his trial had been paid for government agent that he had killed the witness
his testimony. to stop him from revealing the true identities
While the actual victim of the crime was not of the perpetrators in the drive-by shooting.
able to identify Bass in a lineup, a teenage Provience’s attorneys subsequently discovered a
witness testified that he saw Bass running from trove of suppressed police documents showing
the crime scene. Bass was sentenced to 50 that at least three witnesses had seen two men
years in prison based largely on the testimony in the grey Chevy Caprice Classic, as well as
of the witness, a mentally ill 14 year old on documents proving one of those men owned
juvenile parole at the time of the crime who was such a car. Finally, the substance abuser who
compensated in exchange for his testimony. identified Provience recanted his testimony.
Provience was released on bond in 2009 and
Soon after the trial, the witness recanted, officially exonerated on March 24, 2010.
admitting that he had lied on the stand.

6
Attorneys also found at least 10 witnesses who Frank Sterling
could verify Bass’ original alibi. In response, Innocence Project
Bass’ conviction was reversed in June 2006. The Frank Sterling had just finished a 36-
prosecution appealed to the Mississippi Supreme hour trucking shift when police approached
Court, which confirmed the reversal of Bass’ him for questioning about the 1988 murder of
conviction in March 2009. On March 18, 2010, an elderly woman in Rochester, New York.
the state dismissed the charges against him. Bass
served 18 years in prison before his release. Sterling’s conviction was almost entirely based
on a confession he gave after a 36-hour workday

5
Dwayne Provience and 12-hour interrogation. Sterling recanted
Michigan Innocence Clinic almost immediately. Police had focused on
The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office him because his brother was incarcerated for
dropped all charges against Dwayne Provience attempting to sexually assault the elderly victim
for a 2000 killing after it was revealed that crucial three years before she was murdered. The jury
evidence in the case had been withheld during deliberated for two days and convicted Sterling
trial. Provience spent nine years in prison. of murder in the second degree in 1992.

The prosecution’s only evidence against The Innocence Project and local counsel
Provience was the testimony of a substance Donald Thompson found strong evidence
abuser facing burglary charges. The witness implicating a different perpetrator. Mark
claimed that Provience and his brother Christie, a young Rochester man, was an early
killed the victim in a drive-by shooting from suspect in the murder because he was under
Provience’s brother’s beige Buick Regal. investigation for an unrelated assault and also
However, seven motorists, including an off- because he owned a BB gun similar to the one
duty police officer, gave eyewitness accounts used in the attack. Attorneys secured post-
that the shooter was in a grey Chevy Caprice conviction DNA testing that cleared Sterling and
Classic. Provience’s attorney, who was disbarred pointed to Christie who is currently incarcerated
shortly after the trial, never called any of these for an unrelated crime. Sterling was exonerated
eyewitnesses who would have contradicted the on April 28, 2010, after nearly 18 years in prison.

CASES 5
7
Romeo Phillion The Ohio Innocence Project petitioned for
Association in Defence post-conviction DNA testing in 2004, but the
of the Wrongly Convicted tests proved fruitless at that time. In 2008, they
and Osgoode Hall Innocence Project requested additional DNA testing of the same
Romeo Phillion falsely confessed to the 1967 evidence using new technology. The results now
murder of Leopold Roy in Ottawa, Canada, proved Towler innocent and, after 29 years in
four and a half years after the crime occurred. prison, led to his exoneration on May 5, 2010.

9
Phillion recanted and maintained his
innocence throughout his 31 years of wrongful Shawn Massey
incarceration. Duke Law Center for Criminal Justice
and Professional Responsibility
At the time of his conviction in 1972, police Shawn Massey was released and exonerated on
were in possession of evidence that established May 6, 2010, after spending 12 years in prison
that Phillion was nowhere near the crime for a Charlotte, North Carolina, kidnapping and
scene at the time. This alibi evidence was never armed robbery. According to the victim’s original
disclosed to the defense. In 2003, Phillion’s description of her attacker, the perpetrator wore
attorneys at the Association in Defense of the his hair in braids. However, when the victim was
Wrongly Convicted and the Osgoode Hall shown a photo lineup, she told the investigating
Innocence Project presented the alibi evidence officer that Massey looked most like her attacker
to the Minister of Justice, and as a result, even though he did not have braids.
Phillion became the first person granted bail
pending the ministerial review of his conviction. During its investigation, the Duke Center
His case was ultimately referred to the Ontario discovered a number of photographs of Massey
Court of Appeal, which awarded Phillion a new over the years before the crimes, all showing he
trial in 2009. had very close-cropped hair. One photo was from
just 10 weeks before, demonstrating that it was
On April 29, 2010, Phillion’s 71st birthday, the impossible for Massey to have grown braids by the
Crown formally withdrew the charges against time of the crimes. The Center also learned that
him at the Superior Court of Justice in Ottawa. the victim expressed doubts minutes before trial,

8
telling the prosecutor that Massey may not have
Raymond Towler been the perpetrator. Among other things, she
Ohio Innocence Project thought Massey had too small of a build.
In 1981, an armed gunman raped
an 11-year-old girl in a Cleveland park and This new evidence, buttressed by the victim’s
forced her cousin to watch. A few weeks later, confirmation that her attacker had braids,
Raymond Towler was stopped for a traffic persuaded the Mecklenburg County District
violation by a park ranger who believed that Attorney that Massey was wrongfully convicted
Towler resembled a drawing of the rape and prompted him to file a motion to release
suspect and subsequently arrested him. Massey from prison and dismiss the charges
against him.
Several days later, both victims chose Towler

10
from a photo array. Two other witnesses who Tyrone Jones
saw the perpetrator in the park that day also University of Baltimore Innocence
chose his photo from the array. However, Project and Maryland Office of the
Towler testified at trial that he was at home Public Defender
when the crimes took place, which several While home from college on summer break,
witnesses corroborated. Despite an alibi and Tyrone Jones was misidentified as being one of
the lack of physical evidence tying him to the two men involved in the shooting of a 15-year-
crime, Towler was convicted and sentenced old boy. He was arrested and police allegedly
to life. found gunshot residue on one of his hands. A

6 INNOCENCE NETWORK EXONERATIONS 2010


jury ultimately acquitted Jones of the murder The alternative suspect, unlike VonAllmen, fit the
but found him guilty of conspiring to commit description of having blue eyes. VonAllmen’s eyes
murder. Jones always insisted that he knew are brown.
nothing about the crime.
A Jefferson County judge dismissed VonAllmen’s
For seven years, his attorneys at the University of conviction, stating that the evidence shows he
Baltimore Innocence Project and the Maryland did not commit the crimes. Nearly three decades
Office of the Public Defender repeatedly passed between the day he was convicted and his
challenged the gunshot residue evidence exoneration on June 4, 2010.
used to convict him. They argued that the one

12
particle of gunshot residue found in Jones’ Jonathan Scott Pierpoint
hand was probably the result of contamination Duke Law Center for Criminal Justice
that occurred as a result of transfer from a and Professional Responsibility
police officer or police equipment. Attorneys Jonathan Scott Pierpoint served nearly 18 years
also discovered that the witness who identified of a life sentence as a result of false testimony.
Jones in a photo array and in court had initially Pierpoint was convicted in 1992 for the sexual
told the police that he did not see the shooting. assault of his former stepson. The stepson
This information was never disclosed to defense recanted his testimony a short time later, but
counsel or the jury. efforts to appeal Pierpoint’s conviction were
After serving more than 10 years of a life unsuccessful.
sentence in a maximum security prison, a The Duke Center uncovered significant new
Baltimore City Circuit judge overturned Jones’ medical evidence that bolstered the stepson’s
conviction on January 29, 2010, and released recantation and presented the findings to the
him on bail. On May 26, 2010, all charges in the Madison County District Attorney who was
case were dismissed by the prosecution. persuaded by the evidence and supported

11
the Center’s Motion for Appropriate Relief.
Michael VonAllmen After a short, limited hearing, at which only
Kentucky Innocence Project the stepson testified, a Superior Court Judge
Michael VonAllmen served 11 years granted the Motion, ruling that Pierpoint
after he was wrongfully convicted of rape, sodomy should be released and all charges against him
and robbery charges. He was sentenced to 35 should be dropped. Pierpoint was released the
years in prison, but he received parole in 1994. following day, on July 7, 2010.

13
The Kentucky Innocence Project’s DNA Larry Davis
unit, working under the Bloodsworth Actual Innocence Project Northwest
Innocence Grant Program, tested several

14
hairs that were collected following the rape in
1981. Unfortunately, the test results came back Alan Northrop
inconclusive. Innocence Project Northwest
Larry Davis and Alan Northrop
During the reinvestigation, however, the were wrongfully convicted of sexually assaulting
Kentucky Innocence Project discovered new a housekeeper in the La Center, Washington,
evidence supporting VonAllmen’s innocence. home where she worked. DNA testing obtained
Alibi witnesses confirmed that VonAllmen could by the Innocence Project Northwest proved
not have been at the crime scene. Attorneys their innocence. Davis spent almost 16 years
also identified an alternative suspect who was behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit;
charged with a similar crime in 1978 but died Northrop spent 17 years.
five years later in a car chase from police. The
two different rapes were committed at the same Although the victim was blindfolded during the
location, with a nearly duplicate modus operandi. rape, she identified Davis and Northrop as her

CASES 7
16
assailants. Investigating officers showed the victim Anthony Johnson
photo lineups that included Davis and Northrop, Innocence Project New Orleans
but she was only able to tentatively identify Davis. Using unvalidated forensic
Police then asked the victim to pick out her science, circumstantial evidence and alleged self-
assailants from live lineups, but neither lineup incriminating statements, prosecutors convicted
included men from the photo arrays other than Anthony Johnson in 1986 for the sexual assault
Davis and Northrop. Her misidentification was and murder of his girlfriend. Prosecutors argued
the central piece of evidence in the case since Johnson’s hairs were found in a shower cap at
DNA testing for the size of the biological sample the crime scene. And a forensic expert testified
was not available at the time. at trial that there was a “90% probability that the
The Innocence Project Northwest filed a motion hair [was] from Mr. Johnson.” Microscopic hair
for a new trial in early 2010 after new post- analysis has since been discredited as a means
conviction DNA testing finally proved that none of singularly identifying the source of a hair.
of the samples taken at the crime scene matched Police also claimed that Johnson exhibited guilty
Davis or Northrop. Although Davis had served knowledge about the manner of his girlfriend’s
his entire sentence, Northrop was released when death and the weapon used to kill her that was
a judge vacated both sentences on April 21. Both not public information.
men were exonerated on July 14, 2010. Attorneys with the Innocence Project New

15
Orleans pursued DNA testing on fingernail
Koua Fong Lee scrapings taken from the victim’s body. Results
Innocence Project of Minnesota revealed that a serial killer known to police
Koua Fong Lee was convicted of at the time of Johnson’s trial was the real
vehicular homicide in 2007 after his 1996 Toyota perpetrator. The serial killer had not only
Camry accelerated uncontrollably at the end of bragged about committing the murder for
a St. Paul freeway exit ramp and crashed into which Johnson was convicted, but also killed
two vehicles, ultimately killing a man and two two other women—one in the same building as
children and injuring two others. Johnson’s girlfriend. Johnson was freed in 2007
and was exonerated on September 15, 2010. He
Lee, who always maintained his innocence,
had spent 22 years in prison.
was convicted and sentenced to eight years in

17
prison. Two years later, Toyota revealed that Phillip Bivens
some of its cars were experiencing acceleration Innocence Project New Orleans
issues. The Innocence Project of Minnesota,

18
and attorneys Brent Schafer and Bob Hilliard
uncovered strong evidence that—like other Bobby Ray Dixon
Toyota vehicles—Lee’s car malfunctioned, Innocence Project New Orleans
causing it to accelerate and crash.

19
Larry Ruffin
Students working on the case through the Innocence Project New Orleans
Innocence Project Clinic at the University of
Minnesota Law School also collected over 50 Phillip Bivens, Bobby Ray Dixon
affidavits from other Toyota drivers with similar and Larry Ruffin were wrongfully convicted
experiences to Lee’s. After serving almost and imprisoned for the 1979 rape and murder
three years, he was released and exonerated on of a woman in Forrest County, Mississippi. The
August 5, 2010, when the prosecution decided only eyewitness at trial was the victim’s four-year-
not to retry the case and dropped the charges. old son, who testified that a man assaulted and
killed his mother.
All three men were charged because they had
individually confessed to the crime under

8 INNOCENCE NETWORK EXONERATIONS 2010


21
threat of the death penalty. Each confession was Glenn Davis
inconsistent with the others. Bivens and Dixon Innocence Project New Orleans
pled guilty and testified at Ruffin’s trial. All

22
three received life sentences. Larry Delmore
With approval from the district attorney’s office, Innocence Project New Orleans
Innocence Project New Orleans and co-counsel

23
Rob McDuff obtained DNA testing on samples Terrence Meyers
recovered from the crime scene. The test results Innocence Project New Orleans
were processed through CODIS, the national An alleged witness to the second-
DNA database, and implicated another man degree murder of a Westwego, Louisiana, man
who had been convicted of rape in Forrest testified that Glenn Davis, Larry Delmore and
County the year after Bivens, Dixon and Ruffin Terrence Meyers drove by the victim and shot
were convicted. him. The three men were convicted in 1993 and
On September 16, 2010, a judge threw out the were all sentenced to life in prison without the
convictions of Bivens and Dixons, ordering possibility of parole.
their immediate release and for evidence to be The Innocence Project New Orleans took up
presented to a grand jury on the rapist found Davis’ case in 2002 and discovered that the state
through the CODIS database. Dixon and Bivens had hidden evidence during the original trial,
had each served 30 years in prison. including that police had credible information
Tragically, Ruffin died in prison in 2002; Dixon on a second suspect—a violent drug dealer
died November 7—less than two months after who had been in a fight with an associate of
the court overturned his conviction—of lung the victim’s—and that the witness who testified
cancer and a brain tumor. Bivens is currently against the three men may not have been
living at the Resurrection After Exoneration in the vicinity of the crime. Attorneys also
transitional house in New Orleans. discovered that the three men’s trial lawyer was
simultaneously representing the other suspect.

20
Davonn Robinson With all the key evidence refuted, Davis’
Wisconsin Innocence Project conviction was reversed in February 2007, and
On September 23, 2010, Davonn he was released two months later after serving
Robinson was released with help from the 14 years. Delmore and Meyers’ soon followed;
Wisconsin Innocence Project. Robinson’s 2006 their convictions were reversed in August 2008,
conviction for sexually assaulting a minor relied having served 15 years each. They were released
heavily on the testimony of two children that his one month later. On September 24, 2010,
attorneys later found had been coerced by their prosecutors announced that none of the men
mother, who physically abused them until they would be retried, exonerating them after their
identified and testified against Robinson. She 17-year ordeal.
has since been arrested and convicted of child

24
abuse, which allowed both children to come Matthew Norwood
forward and recant their testimony. Mississippi Innocence Project
The Milwaukee County Circuit Court vacated Matthew Norwood served 15
Robinson’s conviction, and the prosecution years in prison before a Hinds County judge
followed suit by dismissing all charges. Robinson agreed that recently discovered evidence proved
walked out of the courthouse a free man after that Norwood did not commit a 1995 armed
four years of wrongful incarceration. carjacking.
At the time of his arrest, Norwood was 15 and
faced the prospect of a trial with a witness who

CASES 9
identified him as one of the two perpetrators. further evidence linking the convicted offender
Faced with a life sentence if convicted, Norwood to the murder and undermining the original
agreed to take a plea that would send him to identifications of Patterson. Finally, the
a six-month boot camp program. However, prosecutors dropped the charges on October 8,
he was expelled for minor infractions and was 2010, and Patterson was released after eight years
sentenced to 15 years as a result. Norwood of incarceration for a crime he didn’t commit.
finished serving his sentence in 2007.

26
Julie Baumer
In 2008, in the course of a separate criminal Michigan Innocence Clinic
investigation, Jackson Police Department
detectives discovered exculpatory evidence in Julie Baumer served 4 years of
Norwood’s case. The car that Norwood allegedly a 10 to 15 year sentence for allegedly causing
stole used a manual transmission, but Norwood serious brain injury to her infant nephew. She
didn’t know how to drive a stick shift. Also, was convicted of first-degree child abuse in
a second suspect confessed under a grant of September 2005 based on the prosecution’s
immunity that he was the carjacker and that he assertion that she had violently shaken the six
didn’t know Norwood. Law enforcement officers year old, leaving him blind and impaired. At
informed the Hinds County District Attorney Baumer’s trial, one doctor testified that the
about the new evidence. With help from local child had suffered blunt force trauma. Another
attorneys and the Mississippi Innocence Project, doctor attributed the child’s skull fracture to
and in cooperation with the Hinds County birth complications, but hypothesized that he
Mississippi District Attorney’s office, Norwood’s had been violently shaken. Despite the lack
conviction was overturned on October 6, 2010. of external signs of abuse, Baumer was found
guilty. Her trial attorney never hired an expert

25
Maurice Patterson who could read the scans of the baby’s brain.
Center on Wrongful Convictions
Baumer was granted a new trial and released
Weeks after the April 2002 stabbing from prison in 2009 after the scans were sent to
murder of a Chicago man, police claimed to outside radiologists who confirmed to a medical
have found several witnesses who could identify certainty that the baby suffered from venous
Maurice Patterson as the culprit. Patterson sinus thrombosis, a form of childhood stroke,
always maintained his innocence, but he was and not from child abuse. Six defense experts
convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison. testified pro bono at Baumer’s retrial. She was
A bloody knife was recovered near the crime finally cleared on October 15, 2010, when a
scene; Patterson’s DNA was not on the knife. Michigan jury acquitted her of all charges.
Instead, the DNA profile of a convicted offender The Michigan Innocence Clinic successfully
who lived in the neighborhood was identified. defended the trial judge’s decision to grant a
The prosecutors claimed that this knife was not new trial on appeal to the Michigan appellate
the murder weapon because, according to the courts and served as co-counsel at the retrial.
prosecutors and a police officer who testified at

27
trial, the victim’s blood was not on the knife. Jermaine Arrington
Years later, after Patterson filed his own Freedom University of Baltimore Innocence
of Information Act (FOIA) request for lab Project and Maryland Office of the
reports from his case, it was revealed that the Public Defender
victim’s blood was indeed on the knife. Patterson Jermaine Arrington was convicted in 1995
was granted a new trial after this revelation, and of allegedly stabbing and murdering a man
for 11 more months he remained behind bars during a street fight in Aspen Hill, Maryland.
awaiting trial. During this time, the Center on Fifteen years later, Arrington walked out of a
Wrongful Convictions defense team developed Montgomery County courthouse a free man on

10 INNOCENCE NETWORK EXONERATIONS 2010


October 28, 2010, following a retrial of the case. White’s case was reviewed by the Ontario Court
Arrington was represented by the University of Appeal, which ordered a retrial after it ruled
of Baltimore Innocence Project and Maryland that the co-worker’s accusation and testimony
Office of the Public Defender. at trial was not credible and that White’s trial
attorney was ineffective in his defense. White
Two witnesses told police that they saw was exonerated when prosecutors, after meeting
Arrington stab the victim; three other witnesses with investigators and the co-worker who
claimed they heard Arrington say that he testified against him, decided to withdraw all
perpetrated the stabbing. In describing the charges on November 26, 2010.
attack, the witnesses told police that the killer

29
wore his hair in braids, but Arrington did not. John Watkins
A forensic chemist also testified at trial that
Northern Arizona Justice Project
bloodstains found on Arrington’s sweatpants
were “consistent with the blood type of the John Watkins was wrongfully
victim.” The jury convicted Arrington after convicted of rape when he was 20 years old and
having deliberated for only two hours. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison. New DNA testing
sentenced to 25 years in prison. obtained last year by the Northern Arizona
Justice Project at the Northern Arizona University
Arrington’s public defender, Suzanne Drouet, proved that Watkins did not commit the rape.
obtained a court order to conduct post-
conviction DNA testing on the sweatpants. The The victim of the Gilbert, Arizona rape initially
results showed the blood didn’t come from the said that she couldn’t make an identification
victim, discrediting the prosecution’s theory and because she hadn’t gotten a good look at
the only scientific piece of evidence connecting the perpetrator. The one detail she could
Arrington to the crime. The Maryland Court of remember was that the assailant wore a white
Appeals ordered a new trial in December 2009, shirt. However, when police showed the victim a
and with the help of public defender Samantha photo array including Watkins (the only lineup
Sandler, Jones was acquitted on all charges on member wearing a white shirt), the victim
October 28, 2010. tentatively identified him. Officers neglected to
verify Watkins’ alibi that he was at home with his

28
Jack White parents at the time of the crime.
Association in Defence
After being subjected to police questioning for
of the Wrongly Convicted
more than four hours, Watkins confessed to
While working at an institution for the the crime. Prosecutors offered Watkins a plea,
developmentally disabled, Jack White was despite knowing that details from his confession
accused by a co-worker of sexually harassing were inconsistent with the crime scene
and assaulting a client and was subsequently investigation. Facing a lengthy prison sentence,
convicted in 1995. As a result, White was Watkins decided to take the plea.
fired from his job as a counselor. He was not
sentenced to serve any prison time, but he spent As DNA testing grew more advanced over
over 15 years fighting to prove his innocence. the years, Watkins asked the courts for post-
conviction testing twice, but he was denied both
In 2010, the Association in Defence of the times. In 2009, the Arizona Justice Project was
Wrongly Convicted produced evidence that finally granted permission to test the rape kit
White’s accuser had motivation to lie. White and was able to confirm that Watkins was not
had assisted police in an earlier investigation the perpetrator. Sexual assault charges against
into an assault case at the institution, and this Watkins were dismissed on December 14, 2010,
engendered bad blood between White and and he was released after more than seven years
some long-time employees of the institution. in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

CASES 11
NETWORK MEMBERS
Alaska Innocence Project Innocence Project
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Association in Defence
of the Wrongly Convicted Innocence Project Arkansas
University of Arkansas
California Innocence Project
California Western School of Law Institute Innocence Project at UVA School of Law
for Criminal Defense Advocacy
Innocence Project New Orleans
Center on Wrongful Convictions
Innocence Project New Zealand
Northwestern University School of Law
School of Psychology, Victoria
Committee for Public Counsel Services University of Wellington
Innocence Program
Innocence Project Northwest Clinic
Connecticut Innocence Project University of Washington School Law
McCarter & English
Innocence Project of Florida
Downstate Illinois Innocence Project
Innocence Project of Iowa
Institute for Legal and Policy Studies
at the University of Illinois at Springfield Innocence Project of Minnesota

Duke Center for Criminal Justice and Innocence Project of South Dakota
Professional Responsibility University of South Dakota School of Law
Duke University School of Law Innocence Project of Texas
Exoneration Initiative Irish Innocence Project at Griffith College
Georgia Innocence Project Griffith College (Ireland)
Griffith University Innocence Project Justice Brandeis Innocence Project
Griffith Law School (Australia) Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism
Hawaii Innocence Project at Brandeis University
William S. Richardson School of Law Justice Project, Inc.
University of Hawaii at Manoa Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
Idaho Innocence Project Kentucky Innocence Project
Boise State University Department of Public Advocacy
Innocence Institute of Point Park University Life After Innocence Project
Innocence Network UK Loyola University School of Law, Chicago

12 INNOCENCE NETWORK EXONERATIONS 2010


Maryland Innocence Project Pennsylvania Innocence Project
University of Baltimore Innocence Project Clinic Temple University Beasley School of Law
Medill Innocence Project Reinvestigation Project
Northwestern University School of Law Office of the Appellate Defender
Michigan Innocence Clinic Rocky Mountain Innocence Center
University of Michigan School of Law
Sellenger Centre Criminal Justice Review Project​
Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project The School of Law and Justice,
Edith Cowan University (Australia)
Midwestern Innocence Project
Texas Center for Actual Innocence
Mississippi Innocence Project
University of Texas School of Law
University of Mississippi
Texas Innocence Network
Montana Innocence Project
University of Houston Law School
Nebraska Innocence Project
Thomas M. Cooley Law School
New England Innocence Project Innocence Project
Thomas M. Cooley Law School
North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence Thurgood Marshall School of Law
Duke University School of Law/University Innocence Project
of North Carolina School of Law Earl Carl Institute, Thurgood Marshall
Northern Arizona Justice Project School of Law
Northern Arizona University Department University of British Columbia Law
of Criminal Justice Innocence Project
Northern California Innocence Project University of British Columbia
Santa Clara University Law School Law School (Canada)

Office of the Public Defender, University of Leeds Innocence Project


State of Delaware The University of Leeds School of Law (UK)

Ohio Innocence Project Wake Forest University Law School Innocence


University of Cincinnati and Justice Clinic
Wake Forest University Law School
Office of the Ohio Public Defender, Wrongful
Conviction Project Wesleyan Innocence Project

Osgoode Hall Innocence Project Wisconsin Innocence Project


Osgoode Hall Law School University of Wisconsin-Madison
at York University (Canada) Wrongful Conviction Clinic
Pace Post-Conviction Project Indiana University School of Law
Pace University Law School
Palmetto Innocence Project

NETWORK MEMBERS 13
INNOCENCE NETWORK
T
he Innocence Network is an affiliation of 63 member organizations
dedicated to providing pro bono legal and investigative services to
individuals seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have
been convicted and working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions.

For more on the Innocence Network and for information on how to contact
member organizations, please visit www.innocencenetwork.org.

14 INNOCENCE NETWORK EXONERATIONS 2010


FREDDIE PEACOCK
TED BRADFORD
GREG TAYLOR
JIMMY BASS
DWAYNE PROVIENCE
FRANK STERLING
ROMEO PHILLION
RAYMOND TOWLER
SHAWN MASSEY
TYRONE JONES
MICHAEL VONALLMEN
JONATHAN SCOTT PIERPOINT
LARRY DAVIS
ALAN NORTHROP
KOUA FONG LEE
ANTHONY JOHNSON
PHILLIP BIVENS
BOBBY RAY DIXON
LARRY RUFFIN
DAVONN ROBINSON
GLENN DAVIS
LARRY DELMORE
TERRENCE MEYERS
MATTHEW NORWOOD
MAURICE PATTERSON
JULIE BAUMER
JERMAINE ARRINGTON
JACK WHITE
JOHN WATKINS

WWW.INNOCENCENETWORK.ORG