May 2, 2012

SandBoxBlogs: KJCT News 8 "Colo. Exoneration Program to Expand"

A very interesting piece from Don Coleman off KJCT News 8.  Over Grand Junction way.

Sort of sounds like Sheriff Stan Hilkey's  'Evidence Based Decision Making Project'.

Don Coleman:
"GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -- Colorado's Attorney General's Office says it has been awarded additional funding to expand the program that exonerated Robert Dewey after 17 years in prison.

Since being convicted, Dewey tried to appeal through the justice system, but nothing ever came about until phase one of the Justice Review Project (JRP) that began in 2010.

It was a process that began back in 2009 when money suddenly became available at the federal level.

"There was a pool of money available for organizations and state offices and we applied for it," Julie Selsberg, Senior Assistant Attorney General for Colorado, said. "We were the only pure prosecution office to be awarded some of that` grant."

A total of 15 organizations from across the country were awarded funds by the National Institute of Justice. Colorado's were aimed at identifying cases in our state where DNA testing could potentially exonerate a wrongfully-convicted inmate.

Nearly 5,000 cases of murder, manslaughter, and sexual assault were screened state-wide without applications for review. Under the strict rules of the JRP, further eligibility would be determined.

First, only the cases of inmates who maintain a claim of innocence without ever admitting any degree of guilt would be screened. Then, someone from the Attorney General's Office would look at any and all court documents related to the case.

If the review passed those eyes, staff would contact the inmate, any witnesses, and all attorneys assigned to the case. Upon further screening, it would be up to a panel of investigators and attorneys to decide if DNA testing was needed to continue the process....." (Read more?  Click title)

"Unapologetically pursuing and tracking patterns within the news others make since 2010."


MR said...

Mistakes in the business of any branch of law enforcement will happen but they should be rare, rare, rare. What I'm calling out on all of these kinds of grants and programs is the fact that they should not be necessary. We should never have to have anything like this. Not in this country. That's the big question. Why do we? I thank all service people all the time, never say a word paying taxes or chipping in to support. I raised my kids to respect and hold them in authority. But I do have an expectation that has nothing to do with respect or anything else. I expect them to do their full duty in their job and am growing real concerned that our one small district has so many issues and a growing number of problems in the state. The folks hold cops to a high pedestal and cops deserve that. Trouble is that doesn't mean that they don't have to earn the spot. There's no excuses for some of the things going on in this valley.

gws44 said...

The biggest problem we have in at least the 9th is the boots on the ground believing that all the other levels they pass of to have it under control and are doing their full scope of work. Cops have got to get to the point where they stop seeing themselves as the arm of anything, they stand alone. I don't believe in being a fair weather supporter of military or law enforcement but I do have concerns that as time goes by they just don't go quiet. It always comes back to Sheriff's, Chiefs and boots on the ground that either believe they don't have to make sure their work is proven to the whole story first or they hide behind saying that they have to rely on the courts to take it the rest of the way. Our courts are nothing but politics from the public end and money driven ability to hire from the private end. They don't have to be infallible and bullet proof. But they do have to with every single human life they encounter every day make sure they get it right before they act. Programs like this prove how why those nagging concerns of mine just won't lay down quiet. All of our monetary resources going to programs like this for mistake fixing should be going to building more labs and getting more of the tools that would help cops do their jobs faster and better. Not things like this. At least it sounds like a one-time grant. Thank you to all men and women of service.

mack said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SandBoxBlogs said...

'mack', your comment has been removed, modified/redacted in portions and re-posted.

'mack' said:
" It does sound like Hilkey's thing. In reverse. Am just getting more worried about the excess damage of the mistakes, the problem of Aspen and Pitkin and case handling after cops. (redacted)....and it comes out how circumstantial the thing is. Just too many of them. Got the link on Centano from nails, did a google and the CIRC b.s. is already through the roof. Go into Lou's site and it's a good release with honesty but the bit about relying on courts and justice does nothing to put confidence in anyone. If it was just one or two over years of time it would be one thing but in our district it's all back to back. And here we are needing resources and we're spending a ton of money on a program to fix mistakes. Just about ready to run with staple on it. It's depressing. Especially casting a vote for a democrat because she's the right one to take over. What happens in 2014 when both Sheriff's are up again? Nobody would blame Lou if he didn't run again and where will Aspen be? Finally break the cycle but have to wait 2 years? I don't think, until people really get into looking at it hard that they see how much law enforcement tolls on everything we do. If anything, the Aspen DEA busts showed that.

mack said...

so sorry, nanny. I didn't think.