Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Actual Innocence

The Actual Innocence awareness database, provides a listing of United States resources to those interested in the area of wrongful convictions. Recently launched by the Tarlton Law Library at the University of Texas School of Law.

I highly recommend this great new site for anyone contemplating a legal career, law students, attorneys and anyone else interested in the topic area of wrongful convictions in criminal law. It encompasses the categories of popular media (such as newspaper articles and segments which aired on television news magazines), journal articles, books, reports, legislation and websites.

The materials are classified into what are considered the primary causes of wrongful conviction: forensics/DNA; eyewitness identification; false confessions; jailhouse informants; police and/or prosecutorial misconduct; and ineffective representation.
Links for law review articles with text in PDF. The site is well organized by subtopics and RSS-enabled to allow users to receive automatic notices of updates.

I also highly recommend reading the book "Journey Toward Justice", author Dennis Fritz. I believe Dennis Fritz's book should be required reading for everyone involved in our justice system. Dennis Fritz is the other innocent man in John Grisham's book, "The Innocent Man.

Dennis Fritz tells his personal story of his unwarranted prosecution, and wrongful conviction in his book,"Journey Toward Justice". Dennis served 12 years for a murder he did not commit. A chilling illustration of how one prosecutor's reckless pursuit of justice shattered his life.

With the aid of Barry Scheck and The Innocence Project, devoted to exonerate the wrongfully convicted, Dennis Fritz was exonerated. The real killer, turned out to be one of the prosecution's key witness.

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