After serving eighteen years behind bars, three men, better known as the “West Memphis Three”, were released from prison, after maintaining their innocence for years. Back In 1993, teenagers, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr., were jailed after three eight year old boys were found brutally murdered in West Memphis, Arkansas. Attorney and co-host J. Craig Williams joins Laura H. Nirider, Staff Attorney and Adjunct Professor at the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth (CWCY), Attorney Ken Swindle, organizer of Attorneys of Conscience and Lonnie Soury, a media expert with experience in high profile criminal and civil litigation and wrongful convictions, to discuss this highly controversial case, reaction from the community, the Alford plea and what the future holds for these men and the victims’ families.
When the North Carolina General Assembly passed the Racial Justice Act in 2009, it guaranteed that no individual would be put to death because of racial bias within the state’s justice system. Since then, there’s been a battle in the North Carolina legislature to repeal it. What’s behind this debate? Some say clogged courts and unfounded claims by death row inmates. Attorneys and co-hosts Bob Ambrogi and J. Craig Williams, along with Cassandra Stubbs, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU Capital Punishment Project and James E. Coleman Jr., the John S. Bradway Professor of Law at Duke University Law School and Co-director of Duke’s Wrongful Convictions Clinic, take a look inside the issues. They explore the great debate, the repeal and what this means for inmates on death row.
In the film Conviction, Betty Anne Waters, a wife and mother of two, puts herself through high school, college and ultimately law school, in an 18 year long crusade to prove her brother Kenny’s innocence after he is convicted of murder sentenced to life without parole. Attorneys and co-hosts Bob Ambrogi and J. Craig Williams spotlight Betty Anne, her story and her thoughts on the new film and how she continues to help others like her brother.
In this edition of the BU Law podcast, host and media veteran, Dan Rea of WBZ-Radio 1030 welcomes Stanley Z. Fisher, Professor of Law at Boston University School of Law and founding member and trustee of the New England Innocence Project. Dan and Stanley take a look at the New England Chapter of the Innocence Project, how cases get to the Innocence Project, wrongful convictions, police procedures and explore Professor Fisher’s 2008 Study of Eyewitness Identification Reform in Massachusetts.