socialaction2014 is important and plays a key role by equipping our communities with the knowledge of the mishaps and social injustices in the country (USA) and around the world. By providing this exclusive complimentary service to communities everywhere, our mission is to keep our people connected by encouraging the discussion of these topics.
Nearly four decades after an Illinois man was initially convicted of the murders of a brother and sister in their home, a judge ruled that several pieces of evidence could undergo DNA testing, reported the Journal Star.
Johnnie Lee Savory spent 30 years behind bars before being released in 2006. Five years later, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn commuted his sentence and ended his parole.
In Tuesday’s ruling, Peoria County Circuit Judge Steve Kouri said that the order doesn’t allow for a new trial and that DNA testing could be conducted at Savory’s own expense.
“This means hope for Johnnie,” said Joshua Tepfer, an attorney with the Northwestern University’s Center on Wrongful Convictions. “He has wanted this and fought for this and a team of advocates and friends have fought for this for more than 20 years, or since this technology became available.”
Savory, who has maintained his innocence, was tried twice. He was found guilty in the stabbing deaths of Connie Cooper, 19, and her brother, James Robinson, 14, in June 1977. His first conviction was overturned when the Third District Illinois Appellate Court ruled Savory’s alleged confession involuntary. He was retried in 1981 and found guilty again. Two years later, two of the witnesses recanted their testimony.
Among the pieces of evidence being tested are items the investigators deemed relevant to the case back in 1977. They include the purported murder weapon, a knife taken from Savory’s pants, the pants Savory was wearing, fingernail clippings from Copper and Robinson as well as a bloody light switch plate.
Kouri noted in his order that the blood evidence used against Savory was only able to identify the group type, which is far less probative than DNA.
“Type O blood type is found in approximately one in two people and Type A is in approximately one in three people,” Kouri wrote. “Can it be imagined that such rudimentary ‘scientific’ evidence would be presented and argued to a jury in a courtroom today, particularly in a double-homicide trial?”
The Center on Wrongful Convictions already has a Texas-based DNA testing firm lined up, and Tepfer is optimistic about the results.
A man who has spent 17 years in federal prison was freed Friday after a judge found that law officers — including some later convicted in a corruption probe — manufactured evidence in order to obtain his drug conviction.
People have taken to Twitter to implore people to donate to food banks, in response to a Mail On Sunday article that claimed they don't ask their users to prove they need free food and "scroungers" take advantage of them. Earlier this week, it was revealed that more one million British people have been using food banks for free food parcels, in what charity The Trussell Trust called a "shocking" increase in the last 12 months as rising living costs and low pay took their toll.
Lina Nealon to Moderate Panel at the 2014 Human Trafficking Conference, July 16-18 in WPB, FL. Lina Sydris Nealon, Director of Policy and Outreach for Demand Abolition, is one of the nation’s leading advocates and will moderate the law enforcement / legislation panel at the fourth national event in West Palm Beach, FL - PR12311476
Disabled people are being trapped in an “assessment nightmare” by routinely undergoing a barrage of evaluations under the current benefits regime, with dangerous impacts on their health and personal lives, the chief of a major welfare testing scheme has warned.