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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.
On average, one out of every 25 Death Row inmates are innocent. In developing The Divide, premiering July 16 on WEtv, our attempt to portray their stories as well as those dedicated to the Innocence Project has been a humbling experience....
We have a legal, justice and prison system that takes care of protecting society from those who demonstrate themselves as a threat. We just don't have to go the last step of stepping into vengeance and hatred....
Chong, who resorted to drinking his urine and, believing he would not survive, attempted to scrawl a farewell message in blood on his cell wall. DEA assigned agents who left student for dead in cell to investigate themselves RT.comJuly 11, 2014 An internal Department of Justice watchdog has criticized the US Drug Enforcement Administration for…
Over the last few days, the stomach-churning story of Jada -- a 16-year-old girl whose rape was recorded and then shared and mocked on social media -- has shown up everywhere. Now, it Jada's mother and a family spokesperson are claiming that Jada's far from the only girl victimized by the people who allegedly drugged and raped her. And one other girl may soon be coming forward.
The Obama administration's drug czar admitted Wednesday that locking people up won't keep them from using drugs, but he stopped short of renouncing punitive policies that have made America's long war on drugs widely unpopular.
Eleven-year-old Luisa was too young to apply on her own for a visa to come from Guatemala to the United States where she hoped to be reunited with her mother. But since federal immigration authorities detained her last year in Texas, Luisa has learned that she is apparently not too young...
VideoID: 20140712-018 M/S Protesters with "#NoTTIP' banner M/S Protesters chanting W/S Protesters walking down Whitehall, London M/S Protesters marching on C/U European Union flag M/S Police outside Europe House M/S '#noTTIP' banner and woman and man dressed as puppet and puppeteer C/U Woman acting like puppet SOT. Mark Thomas, Journalist, Comedian, Activist (In English): "The great thing that democracy does, we civilise corporations, that's what we do. We teach them good manners and how to behave." W/S Crowd clap M/S Protesters playing football M/S Protesters playing football M/S Protesters holding banners W/S Protesters SCRIPT Activists and British trade union members took to the streets of London Saturday to protest against the planned ratification of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a "free-trade" pact that opponents say amounts to a corporate power-grab. Protesters marched through Whitehall and to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, waving banners and chanting slogans designed to raise awareness of TTIP. Later the group set up camp outside the EU's London office, with protesters giving speeches and playing a five-a-side football match between the National Health Service (NHS) and the government. Major groups involved in the event included Green Party of England and Wales, Occupy London, Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), and University and College Union (UCU). TTIP is currently being negotiated by the European Union and the United States. Protesters say that if pushed through, the pact will give corporations the power to sue governments for billions of dollars in corporate courts with impunity and minimal public knowledge. Protest organisers said these cases would occur if states attempted to reduce company profits through regulation intended to protect the environment, workers' rights, public services and consumer standards. They cited US oil company Occidental Petroleum's billion-dollar law-suit against the Ecuadorian government as an example of what corporations would be able to do in Europe if the pact is ratified. TTIP discussions between the US and EU started in July 2013 with the sixth round of negotiations due to start on July 14, 2014 in Brussels.
In today's world where digital innovation is driven by the ability to access and leverage the open Internet, the TPP proposes regressive Internet regulations that would be imposed on 12 countries party to the agreement (including Canada) by unaccountable U.S. conglomerates, with little to no meaningful consultation with the public.
July 12 - It's World Population Day and a global selfie campaign to raise awareness about issues facing the youth has been launched.It's a joint project between our Social Development Department and the United Nations Population Fund.
Come and join our street stall this Saturday 12th July outside wilkinsons on Stratford Broadway E.15 from 12-2pm. Come along and have a chat about our Campaign read some of the housing stories we have collected on our storey board. ALL WELCOME our next meeting will be on 19th July at Bryant St Methodist Church, Bryant St, E.15. 2.30 - 4.30. ALL WELCOME
February is cold in Northern Virginia. It's even colder when you're in a cell alone, without a mattress, a blanket, a pillow or a sheet. When I walked into that cell in the basement of the Fairfax County Jail, my hands cuffed behind my back and stomach grumbling from a half a day without...
What does an 86-year-old art photographer have in common with a young man with a video game habit? Not just a proclivity for perfectly innocuous hobbies, unfortunately. These days, engaging in either activity can get the FBI on your case. Today, the ACLU and our partners at Advancing Jus...