Social Awareness 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.
You may know about the case of Ethan Couch, the 16-year old allowed to get away with killing four people and paralyzing another during a drunk driving accident. Here is another case that you may find interesting.
Brother was stop and searched by a police officer in the Castlefield are of High Wycombe on the basis that the person who he was in the car with was suspected of being involved in the sale of drugs and that he was seen by an officer of putting his hands down his trousers! He was subsequently subject to a humiliating strip search at the police station - nothing was found and no further action was taken. The driver of the car who was marked was not searched, neither was the vehicle and no further questioning of the amount of money that he had on him. So WHY the strip search?
Sadly this is the day to day reality of young Muslim men, of Pakistanis and young African Caribbean people in the town. Incompetent policing, neglect and brutality a daily occurrence. Justice4Paps with many these individuals and families are calling for a public inquiry into policing in the town in connection with these incidents. Please sign the petition here:
The Justice Department's Inspector General is out with his year-end review of federal law enforcement efforts. Its language is diplomatic but the message is clear: The feds need to do better, much better, on many fronts.
In 11 days’ time, the Christian world will celebrate the most famous case of homelessness of the last two millennia. But, despite all our progress since then, homelessness is still a widespread problem in the UK.