Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom

Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom

United States

Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a podcast about tragedy, triumph, true crime, junk science, actual innocence and unequal justice. Based on the actual files of the Innocence Project, Wrongful Convictions features one on one interviews with people who have spent decades in prison for crimes they did not commit.

Episodes

Episode 11:  Christmas Behind Bars: A Special Episode with Amanda Knox, Jarrett Adams, and Jeffrey Deskovic  

Social scientists who have studied this issue estimate that between 4- 7% of the people in prison are innocent- that's between 100,000 and 150,000 people. In this episode Jason Flom talks to Amanda Knox, Jarrett Adams and Jeff Deskovic about what it's like for an innocent person who is forced to spend the holidays in prison. Amanda Knox was convicted for the murder of a 21-year-old British exchange student, Meredith Kercher, who died from knife wounds in the apartment she shared with Knox in Perugia, Italy in 2007. Knox and her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were both found guilty of killing Kercher, receiving 26- and 25-year prison sentences, respectively. Their convictions were subsequently overturned in 2011 and she was released from prison after serving four years. In early 2014, the Italian Supreme Court ruled that they should both stand trial again and she and Sollecito were re-convicted. Finally, in March 2015, the Italian Supreme Court overturned both murder convictions, ending their eight-year ordeal. Jarrett Adams was 17-years-old when he was wrongfully convicted of sexually assaulting a young woman at UW-Whitewater in 1998. He was sentenced to 28 years in prison and spent close to a decade incarcerated before his conviction was reversed with the help of the Wisconsin Innocence Project on the basis that trial counsel had been ineffective for failing to present the testimony of a critical witness. Mr. Adams graduated from Loyola Law School in May 2015 and joined the Innocence Project’s litigation department as the first Post-Conviction Litigation Fellow in July 2016. Jeffrey Deskovic was a 16-year-old high school sophomore when he was wrongfully convicted of the rape and murder of a high school classmate in 1991. Although hair and semen samples taken from the scene did not match Mr. Deskovic’s DNA, he aroused the suspicion of detectives by weeping openly at the victim’s funeral. After six hours of intense interrogation, Mr. Deskovic confessed to the crime, though he later contended in a lawsuit that police investigators had fed him the details of the killing and promised him that if he admitted guilt, he would not go to prison but would instead get psychiatric treatment. With the help of The Innocence Project, Mr. Deskovic was exonerated and released in 2006 after DNA analysis linked convict Stephen Cunningham to the crime and Cunningham confessed. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com

Episode 10:  The Wrongful Conviction of Michael Morton  

Michael Morton's nightmare began in 1986, when his wife Christine was bludgeoned to death in their bed in Austin, Texas. Despite any evidence pointing to his guilt and tremendous evidence showing his innocence, he quickly became the prime suspect. At his trial, Williamson County District attorney Ken Anderson painted a picture of him as a violent, sexually depraved murderer who showed no remorse for his crime and he was sentenced to life in prison. Evidence was withheld that may have cleared him, including statements from his child. Finally after twenty-five years a blue bandana found at the scene was tested for DNA evidence. The test not only proved the innocence of Michael Morton, it yielded a hit on a known felon who has since been charged with the murder of Christine Morton, along with the murder of another young woman two years later. After spending nearly 25 years in prison for the murder of his wife, Morton was released on October 4, 2011, and officially exonerated in December 2011. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com

Episode 9:  The Wrongful Conviction of Douglas DiLosa  

Douglas DiLosa was wrongfully convicted in 1987 of his wife's murder in Jefferson Parish, LA and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The State's case against him consisted entirely of circumstantial evidence. As if making a jigsaw puzzle or a mosaic, prosecutors had to make the picture whole—there were contradictions and inconsistencies between Mr. DiLosa's version of events, the physical evidence presented by the State, and witnesses' hearsay statements. While incarcerated at the notorious Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, Doug worked as an inmate legal counsel assisting fellow prisoners with their legal cases while also working on appeals to fight his own case. He filed a public records request with the prosecutor's office for the records in his case and received a 150-page police report that hadn't been disclosed to his trial lawyers. Based on the information and evidence Doug was able to gather on his case, in 2000 the Federal Court reversed his conviction and he was released from prison in January of 2001 after serving 16 years. He was exonerated in 2003 due to DA and police misconduct. Doug now works with the Rising Foundation helping other formerly incarcerated people rebuild their lives. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com

Episode 8:  The Wrongful Conviction of Richard Rosario  

Richard Rosario was convicted of a murder that took place on Turnbull Avenue in the Bronx on June 19, 1996, based on the testimony of two witnesses who had picked his picture out of a book of police photos. There was no other evidence linking him to the crime. Mr. Rosario did not know the victim or the witnesses. On June 30, 1996, after he heard that the authorities were looking for him, Mr. Rosario took pains to set things straight. He got on a Greyhound bus in Florida on June 30, arrived in New York the next day and voluntarily contacted the police. He named more than a dozen people in Florida who he said would vouch for him including a pastor and a sheriff’s deputy. But the police did not follow up, and prosecutors charged him with murder based on the statements of the two eyewitnesses. Mr. Rosario was convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life. When Mr. Rosario challenged his conviction in state court in 2004, seven more witnesses appeared to say he had been in Florida around the time of the murder. He was released in 2016 after serving 20 years when the Bronx District Attorney’s office concluded that Mr. Rosario did not receive a fair trial. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com

Episode 7:  The Wrongful Conviction of Keith Harward  

Keith Allen Harward, a Navy veteran, was wrongfully convicted of a 1982 rape and murder in Newport News, Virginia and served 33 years in prison. The assailant had broken into a home of a killed a man and brutally raped his wife. During the course of the attack, the assailant bit the wife’s legs repeatedly. Keith was convicted primarily on the testimony of two forensic dentists who said that his teeth matched marks on the victim's body and he was convicted of capital murder. The Innocence Project performed DNA testing on the rape kit and numerous other pieces of crime scene evidence, and the testing excluded Mr. Harward and identified Jerry Crotty as the perpetrator. After the Virginia Supreme Court granted a writ of actual innocence, Keith Allen Harward walked out of prison on April 8, 2016 after wrongly serving more than 33 years of a life sentence. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com

Episode 6:  The Wrongful Conviction of Marty Tankleff  

Marty Tankleff had just turned 17 when he was arrested for murdering his parents, Seymour and Arlene Tankleff in September 1988. Based on an unsigned “confession" extracted from him following many long hours of interrogation by notorious Suffolk County detective K. James McCready, Marty was convicted and sentenced to 50 years to life in prison. After serving 17 years, Marty's conviction was vacated by the New York State Appellate Division, Second Department, in December of 2007. On July 22, 2008, a judge signed off on a motion by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to dismiss all charges against Marty. Marty recently graduated law school and he now works to help free other people who have been wrongfully convicted. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com

Episode 5:  The Wrongful Conviction of Derrick Hamilton  

Derrick Hamilton was wrongfully convicted of murder in 1991 and served over two decades in prison after he was framed by the disgraced Detective Louis Scarcella. During an initial stint in prison in his teens for a separate wrongful conviction, Hamilton began studying in the prison’s law library, eventually earning reputation as one of the most highly skilled jailhouse lawyers in the country. When he wasn’t fighting to prove his own innocence, Hamilton worked pro bono on the cases of his fellow inmates, and he formed the Actual Innocence Team with other jailhouse lawyers serving time. Hamilton was released on parole in 2011 and finally cleared his name in 2014. Today, he continues to work as a paralegal on wrongful conviction cases. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com

Episode 4:  Love is Better Than Revenge: The Wrongful Conviction of Sunny Jacobs  

In 1976, Sonia 'Sunny’ Jacobs was sentenced to death for the murders of Florida Highway Patrol officer Phillip Black and Donald Irwin, a visiting Canadian constable. The officers were killed during a traffic stop where Sunny was traveling with her boyfriend, Jesse Tafero, and her two children, Eric, nine, and Christina, 10 months, in a car driven by Walter Rhodes. After officers approached the vehicle, Rhodes fired shots at them, a gun battle ensued and chaos erupted. Sunny and Jesse were arrested and both of their children were taken away by the state. Rhodes negotiated a plea bargain with the state, claiming Jesse and Sunny had pulled the triggers, in exchange for a life sentence. In 1990, Jesse was executed by the state of Florida in horrific circumstances. Sunny spent five years in isolation on Florida’s Death Row and a total of 17 years in a maximum-security prison before her conviction was overturned. Sunny was freed in 1992 when she was 45 years old. In this episode, Jason talks with Sunny, her current husband, exoneree Peter Pringle, and her daughter Christina who as a child was also a victim of this tragic injustice.

Episode 3: The Actual Innocence of Fernando Bermudez  

Fernando Bermudez served over 18 years in New York State maximum security prisons. He was wrongfully convicted of murder in the shooting death of Raymond Blount in 1991. Mr. Bermudez was proven innocent in late 2009 with help from a team of pro bono attorneys. Fernando was the first Latin-American male in New York state history to be exonerated on “actual innocence” grounds in a non-DNA case. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com

Episode 2:  Barry Gibbs:  The Mafia Cops Case  

Guests Barry Scheck (Co-Founder of The Innocence Project), Barry Gibbs (wrongfully served 17 years) and Vanessa Potkin (Director of Post Conviction Litigation for The Innocence Project) detail the unfathomable odyssey of Barry Gibbs in the bizarre case of The Mafia Cops. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com

Episode 1:  Raymond Santana: The Central Park Jogger Case  

Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a podcast about tragedy, triumph, unequal justice and actual innocence. Based on the files of the lawyers who freed them, Wrongful Conviction features interviews with men and women who have spent decades in prison for crimes they did not commit - some of them had even been sentenced to death. These are their stories. Episode 1 features an interview with Raymond Santana, who served 7 years in prison after being falsely accused of the rape and brutal beating of the Central Park Jogger in 1989. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com

Episode 2:  Wrongful Conviction Audio Trailer #2  

Audio Trailer #2 for Season 1 of Wrongful Conviction. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com www.innocenceproject.org

Episode 1:  Audio Trailer for Season 1 of Wrongful Conviction  

Audio Trailer for Season 1 of Wrongful Conviction. www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com www.revolverpodcasts.com www.innocenceproject.org

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