By: Claire Gupta
Claire Gupta is a seventeen-year-old intern at LAI. She is a senior in high school and an aspiring lawyer. She is Secretary General of her school’s Model UN Secretariat, and in her spare time, she likes to read, write, and walk her dog.
- Lewis Fogle from Indiana was convicted of murder in 1982 and exonerated on August 13th, after 34 years in prison. The Innocence Project took up his case, and then new DNA evidence and technology prompted his exoneration. The prosecutors, however, took 30 days to decide whether to re-try Fogle because District Attorney Patrick Dougherty believed that the new evidence was not sufficient for a conviction, but also did not exclude Fogle as a suspect. On September 14th, after re-interviewing witnesses and reviewing the evidence, District Attorney Dougherty concluded that he did not have enough evidence to re-prosecute Fogle for second degree murder. He was therefore cleared of all charges: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/da-will-not-retry-lewis-fogle-freed-dna-after-34-n427161
- Lawrence J. Miller, a former New York correctional officer, was wrongfully imprisoned for 12 years for the assault of two teenagers. Despite his solid alibi, Miller was wrongfully convicted based on the fact that his handcuffs were used in the crime and one of the victims identified him. There was no blood or fingerprint evidence linking Miller to the crime. Daniel Johnston, a man who was being investigated by the police for other crimes, told the police that Miller was not the man who assaulted the two teenagers. The video recording of his confession was kept in a detective’s desk for 12 years. Johnston, by then a convicted murderer, later testified for Miller and the former corrections officer was exonerated in 1997. Since Miller was a corrections officer, when he entered prison he was brutally beaten and suffered immensely. The state has awarded him $4 million in compensation: https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/casedetail.aspx?caseid=3474
- Half Brothers Henry McCollum and Leon Brown were both awarded $750,000 each for their wrongful convictions in September. They were incarcerated for 30 years after being convicted of the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl in North Carolina when they were teenagers. McCollum had been the longest-serving inmate on North Carolina’s death row. DNA evidence overturned their convictions in 2014: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2015/0902/After-30-years-in-prison-brothers-awarded-750-000-each-for-wrongful-conviction
- Daniel Andersen was wrongfully convicted of murder and attempted rape of his childhood friend, Cathy Trunko, in 1980. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office has decided not to prosecute him after the judge threw out Andersen’s conviction in July. Andersen had been out of prison for several years. Advanced DNA testing confirmed that he did not have any connection to key evidence. One of Andersen’s attorneys, Joshua Tepfer, works with the University of Chicago Innocence Project and claims that the wrongful conviction was due to a forced false confession. Andersen is currently looking to remove himself from the sex offender registration and seeking a certificate of Innocence that would make him eligible for a $200,000 payment from the state and clear his convictions from court records: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-wrongly-convicted-charges-dropped-met-20150813-story.html
Life After Innocence Update
- Members of Life After Innocence invited exonerees, Loyola students, and others came together at Wills Northwoods Inn on September 24. The Life After Innocence members shared stories with attendees and expressed the passion the clinic has for helping exonerees to move forward with their lives. The members also sold raffle tickets to raise money for the clinic.
- Exoneree and now Adjunct Professor Jarrett Adams joined Professor Caldwell this semester as the clinic’s first exoneree professor. Professor Adams brings his unique experience to each meeting and supports other exonerees in their endeavors to continue their education, to gain employment, to gain their certificates of innocence, and to take steps into their future. We are blessed to have Professor Adams as a leader of our team and will continue to support him throughout his career.