wrongful convictions

Recent Posts

Bloody murder: Were teens wrongly convicted?

Shawn Henning and Ralph “Ricky” Birch, have been locked up since 1989 for a gruesome 1985 murder in New Milford they steadfastly insist they didn’t commit. The state’s case, never airtight to begin with, has diminished over the years as two prosecution witnesses have recanted, key defense testimony was uncovered, and DNA testing put an unknown person at the scene. Nonetheless, a state judge turned down their petition for a new trial last year, leaving the two with a slim chance of freedom. Continue Reading →

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House passes bill increasing oversight over claims commissioner

The House of Representatives voted 85 to 63 Tuesday for final passage of a bill restricting wrongful incarceration awards and requiring legislative review of any award in excess of $20,000 from the office of the claims commissioner, which made a controversial $16.8 million award to four former gang members in January. Continue Reading →

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State to pay innocent man $6M for 20 years in prison

Miguel Roman, who served 20 years, six months and 10 days in prison for a murder the state concedes he did not commit, was awarded $6 million Monday by the state claims commissioner. DNA evidence exonerated him in 2008 and convicted another man in 2011. Continue Reading →

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Questions about a $16.8 million award — and the meaning of innocence

State Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance Jr. and his role as the sole authority over how Connecticut reimburses the wrongly incarcerated faces questions at the State Capitol after his award of $16.8 million last month to four former members of a New Haven street gang, the Island Brothers. Are the standards clear? And should his awards be subject to review? Continue Reading →

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