Wrongful Conviction Podcasts

by Lava for Good Podcasts | PRX

54m

average length

330

episodes

7

followers

Wrongful Conviction Podcasts share the stories of 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 stories about tragedy, triumph, unequal justice and actual innocence.

Best Wrongful Conviction Podcasts episodes upvoted by the community

Last updated on March 30, 2020, 7:50 pm

#3

S9E4: UPDATED + ADDITIONAL CONTENT: Jens Soering: Fatal Attraction to Free Man

December 04, 2019 • 63m

Jens Soering: Fatal Attraction to Free Man This is an updated episode from season 8 with 22 minutes of new content. In 1985, Derek and Nancy Haysom were found brutally stabbed to death in their Bedford County, VA home - both nearly decapitated. When their daughter Elizabeth Haysom became a prime suspect, she and her boyfriend, Jens Soering, the son of a German diplomat, fled the country. The authorities finally caught up with them in London, and if extradited and found guilty, Elizabeth would face the electric chair. Under the illusion that his father’s diplomatic status would protect him from facing the death penalty in Virginia, Jens sacrificed himself for Elizabeth and gave a false confession that was riddled with inconsistencies. Upon learning of his misunderstanding and before being extradited to the US for trial, Jens fought and won a landmark judgment (Soering v UK) in the European Court of Human Rights, protecting himself from facing the death penalty upon his deliverance to Virginia. At Jens’ trial, prosecutor Jim Updike told the jury that Soering's confession was corroborated by several drops of type O blood at the crime scene - Jens’ blood type. None of the Haysoms had type O, so the blood had to be his. Updike repeated this claim 26 times. Jens was sentenced to 2 consecutive life terms. Elizabeth was convicted as an accessory. After almost 30 years in prison, DNA testing eliminated Jens Soering as a possible source of the type O blood at the scene. In 2017, two independent DNA scientists confirmed these findings, and they also found DNA evidence showing the presence of a second unknown man with type AB blood. The crime remains unsolved; however, Jens Soering’s wrongful conviction remains on his record. After over 33 years in prison, he was paroled on November 25th, 2019, along with Elizabeth Haysom. In this episode, you will hear excerpts of the original interview with Jens Soering, novelist John Grisham, and Sheriff J.E. "Chip” Harding of Albemarle County, VA. Then, Jens and Jason go over parole board strategy with Dr Phil, and finally, we hear reactions from Amanda Knox and Sheriff Harding - both of whom worked so hard on Jens’ behalf. Thanks to the amazing Small Town Big Crime podcast for providing additional audio. Thanks to the very generous Freedom Wynn for additional engineering.  http://wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava For Good Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.

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#5

S8E8: A Tale of Two Systems: The Story of Kenzi Snider

March 25, 2019 • 64m

On March 18, 2001, Jamie Penich—an American exchange student in South Korea—was brutally murdered in her motel room after a night of partying with friends from the program. Her bloodied nude body was found on the floor. She was stomped to death. Her face was covered with a black fleece jacket.Kenzi Snider, a 19 year-old student from Marshall University, in West Virginia, was one of the friends Jamie was with. About a half dozen exchange students had traveled from campus into the city, where they celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in a bar filled with locals and US soldiers. Korean police and army investigators were unable to solve this horrific crime.One year later, in February 2002, FBI agents contacted Kenzi out of the blue. She was back in school in West Virginia. They wanted to talk—alone. She met with three agents on threeconsecutive days for several hours.The sessions were grueling. When it was done, Kenzi had confessed. She murdered her friend, she said, in the context of a drunken sexual encounter.Kenzi was promptly arrested, incarcerated in a local jail for ten months, and extradited to Korea to stand trial. There, she then spent another six months in jail. Then a panel of judges found her not guilty. The prosecutor appealed the verdict but months later an appeals court confirmed: Not guilty. In 2006, five years after the crime, in response to yet another appeal, the Supreme Court of Korea once again affirmed: NOT GUILTY.This was eighteen years ago. Today we know a whole lot more than we did then about false confessions. Kenzi Snider has been fully acquitted in court. Yet her confession haunts her—and leads some people still to question her actual innocence.Jason Flom is joined by Kenzi Snider, renowned psychologist Saul Kassin best known for his groundbreaking work on false confessions, and his student Patty Sanchez. Sanchez is currently studying the effect of podcasts and media influence on the outcome of legal cases.

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#7

S8E5: A Child Discarded: The Wrongful Conviction of Darnell Phillips

March 04, 2019

Darnell Phillips served 28 years for a crime he did not commit. In this compelling interview, Phillips shares the devastating story of his conviction and his hopes for his future as a free man. They are also joined by Lisa Spees,Director of Virginians for Judicial Reform.From University of Virginia, School of Law:September 26, 2018Eric WilliamsonIn a light rain, Darnell Phillips raised his hands to the heavens on Tuesday. The man who was sentenced to 100 years in prison for the 1990 rape of a child in Virginia Beach was paroled earlier in the day, about three years after new evidence was uncovered in the case by the Innocence Project Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law.He was free.Clinic Directors Jennifer Givens and Deirdre Enright ’92, and students met with their client at around noon at a Virginia Beach probation and parole office, following his morning release from the Greensville Correctional Center. They joined Phillips’ mother, sisters and fiancé to welcome him home. Some wore rain jackets, but Phillips didn’t mind feeling the weather. He was all smiles as he gave and received hugs.The jubilant mood, however, was colored by the fact that Phillips was at the office to register as a sex offender. He has not been officially cleared of the crime.Phillips’ brow was furrowed as he spoke to press about his ordeal.Prior to the decision by the Virginia Parole Board to release him, made six months ago, the clinic uncovered DNA evidence and received a sworn affidavit from the victim, both of which support Phillips’ long-standing claim of innocence.In 2015, the clinic found the physical evidence that set them down the path to DNA testing. They discovered that a rape kit and garments from the original investigation had been in storage at a Virginia Beach courthouse evidence room but had never been tested. After two labs failed to come up with anything conclusive from the time-denigrated samples, a third lab in California found evidence during the summer of 2017 that at least two men had touched the garments, and neither man was Phillips.In her affidavit, the victim said police told her that Phillips had assaulted other children, that his alibi did not check out and that her blood was found on his underwear at his home.“None of these statements was true,” said Enright, the clinic’s director of investigation.Givens, the clinic’s legal director, said Phillips was a model prisoner.“He had been in prison 28 years, and he didn’t have an infraction,” she said. “He’s been an exceptional inmate.”Phillips completed the required re-entry classes prior to his release.“He will be in supervised parole unless he receives a pardon or relief in the court,” Givens added.The clinic filed a petition for writ of actual innocence with the Virginia Supreme Court in 2017.Dennis Barrett ’09, an attorney with Schaner & Lubitz who was a member of the original Innocence Project Clinic and the first student to work on Phillips’ case, was among the additional well-wishers, which included current members. Students in the yearlong clinic investigate and litigate wrongful convictions of inmates throughout Virginia.“Dennis has monitored the progress in Darnell’s case ever since he graduated, and drove from Washington, D.C., to be present for his release,” Enright said.*This episode was edited by Conor Hall.

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#8

S7E6: Rafael Madrigal: Convicted of Attempted Murder after Drive-By Shooting Despite Airtight Alibi

October 09, 2018

Rafael Madrigal and co-defendant Francisco Olivares were charged with committing a drive-by shooting in East Los Angeles on behalf of the Ford Maravilla gang and convicted in January of 2002.Witnesses testified that Madrigal and Olivares committed the July 2000 shooting. Madrigal contended his innocence from the beginning; at the time of the shooting he was at work at Proactive Packaging & Display in Rancho Cucamonga, approximately 35 miles away.The petition submitted on Madrigal’s behalf established his alibi and argued that his trial counsel was ineffective in his representation, failing to call an alibi witness or properly investigate the case.During an evidentiary hearing on November 3, 2008, alibi witness Robert Howards, Madrigal’s direct supervisor at Proactive, testified that the production line would have shut down had Madrigal not been at work. Madrigal was the only employee trained to operate the laminating machine and his failure to operate that piece of machinery would have impacted production. Howards was never called as a witness, despite his submission of a notarized alibi statement in Madrigal’s defense.An audio tape was also produced during the evidentiary hearing. On the tape was a telephone conversation between Olivares and his girlfriend. In the conversation, Olivares admits that Madrigal was not involved in the shooting, nor did he know any details of the crime. The audio tape was never entered as evidence. The alibi witness and audio tape prove Madrigal’s innocence. Together, both pieces of evidence were crucial in the reversal of Madrigal’s conviction.“Rafael should never have been convicted of this crime,” says Justin P. Brooks, Director of the California Innocence Project and Professor of Law at California Western School of Law.“Iam so pleased that the truth has come out. He is another innocent victim of a flawed justice system.”U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feess granted a petition filed by the California Innocence Project and Attorney Eric Multhaup, effectively reversing the 2002 murder conviction of Rafael Madrigal. The decision follows the recommendation of U.S. Magistrate Judge Marc Goldman. Madrigal is the third person in three months to be exonerated by the California Innocence Project, based at California Western School of Law in San Diego.CaliforniaInnocenceProject.orgMake aGIFTto California Innocence Project here.

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#9

S3E11: Still Fighting For Justice From Behind The Walls Of A Maximum Security Prison Since 1995: The Continuing Saga Of Andrew Krivak

August 21, 2017

This special edition of Wrongful Conviction Behind Bars was recorded inside of Wende Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in Buffalo, NY with Anthony DiPippo’s co-defendant, Andrew Krivak, and his attorney Professor Adele Bernhard. On November 22nd, 1995, a hunter found the remains of 12-year-old Josette Wright in a wooded area of Putnam County, NY with her hands and feet hog-tied behind her back and her underwear shoved down her throat. Detectives investigating the murder arrested 16-year-old Dominic Neglia on unrelated drug charges. During questioning, detectives claimed that Neglia said 18-year-old Anthony DiPippo, his girlfriend at the time Denise Rose, Andrew Krivak, Adam Wilson, Bill McGregor were involved in the rape and murder of Wright. Although co-defendants, they were convicted in separate trials in Putnam County Supreme Court in 1997, based largely on the testimony of Wilson, McGregor and Rose, and sentenced each to 25 years to life in prison. While Mr. DiPippo denied any involvement in the crime and testified in his trial, Mr. Krivak signed a false confession in which he admitted to raping Josette Wright but not killing her and implicating Anthony DiPippo in the murder. Mr. Krivak did not testify at his own trial and was coerced into signing a false confession. In 2016, Andrew Krivak’s legal team sought to introduce newly discovered evidence that points to Howard Gombert, who is serving time in Connecticut for sexual assault, as the killer, which ultimately led to the acquittal and release of his co-defendant, Anthony DiPippo. The motion seeking a new trial was denied, largely due to his false confession. However, in July 2017 the state Appellate Division in Brooklyn said it would hear Mr. Krivak’s appeal of that decision, opening a pathway for a new trial and Mr. Krivak in the coming months.

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#10

S5E6: John Huffington: Drug Deals, A Double Death Sentence, & Over 3 Decades In Prison

April 09, 2018 • 62m

S5E6: John Huffington: Drug Deals, A Double Death Sentence, & Over 3 Decades In Prison John Huffington spent 32 years in the Maryland Prison System—10 of which were on death row—after being wrongfully convicted of a 1981 double murder. Previously, juries twice convicted John of first-degree murder in the deaths of Diane Becker and Joseph Hudson. The first trial, in 1981, occurred in Caroline County and John was later granted a new trial due to evidence improperly introduced by the State. The second trial took place in Frederick County in 1983. He faced the death penalty after both convictions, but his sentence was later commuted to two life terms in prison. Since his first trial, John had filed multiple appeals at the state and federal levels, challenging the state’s case against him. In 2013, as the result of newly discovered DNA evidence that demonstrated that hairs discovered at the crime scene were not John’s, the Circuit Court for Frederick County, MD, granted him a Writ of Actual Innocence and vacated his murder convictions, and John Huffington was released from prison on bond. The faulty evidence came from an FBI lab that has been forced to acknowledge widespread mismanagement and false testimony. Flawed forensic testimony was given in 257 of the 268 trials in which hair evidence was used, and John Huffington’s trial was one of them. Since his release from prison, John Huffington has been a tireless advocate for the re-entry community, and his work has been recognized by Baltimore City leaders, including State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. He is now serving as the Director of Workforce Development for Living Classrooms Foundation, where he manages the workforce development department and its programming with 18 staff members and a $2 million budget. As part of his role, he manages Project SERVE, the same job-training program in which he enrolled upon being released from incarceration. wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava For Good Podcasts in association with Signal Co. No1 and PRX.

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#13

S5E9: After 38 Years Still Behind Bars For A Triple Murder That The Real Killer Confessed To On The Day Of The Crime: The Unreal Saga Of John Moss

April 30, 2018

In December 1979, a triple murder shook the small town of St. Albans, West Virginia. John Moss III was convicted in 1983 and sentenced to life in prison, and he has since served 38 years for this crime that he did not commit. Jason Flom teams up with Georgetown University Professor of Government and Law, Marc Howard, and his student, Jessica Scoratow, to interview John Moss from behind bars in West Virginia and unravel the saga behind this tragic miscarriage of justice. On December 13th, 1979, in St. Albans, West Virginia, twenty-six-year-old Vanessa Reggettz and her two young children, Paul Eric and Bernadette, were strangled to death by electrical cords. The murders were gruesome–Vanessa was brutally beaten and stabbed with scissors, Paul Eric was left in a bathtub, and Bernadette was hung from a door. Paul Reggettz, the husband of Vanessa and the father of Bernadette and Paul Eric, was immediately taken into custody and after being interrogated for hours, he confessed in graphic detail and reenacted the crime for investigators. Reggettz was indicted on three counts of first-degree murder and held in pre-trial detention for eleven months. Charges were dropped, however, when John Moss, a 17-year-old former neighbor, was arrested for the murders instead. In October 1980, West Virginia State Police investigators traveled to interview John Moss in Ohio, where he was being held in juvenile detention for an unrelated crime. Mr. Moss denied any involvement in the murders, and the troopers took a blood sample from him without his parents’ consent or a court order. They returned to pick him up five months later to take him into custody. The policemen in the car claimed that Mr. Moss confessed to the murders. He then gave a tape-recorded confession. The police stated that Mr. Moss confessed again a third time, but there is no recording or written record of the confession. Mr. Moss maintains that he was coerced, beaten, and threatened during interrogations. Armed with these confessions, however, Kanawha County, West Virginia authorities charged John Moss with three counts of first degree murder and brought him to Charleston to stand trial for the Reggettz slayings in 1985. Importantly, there was blood at the scene of the crime that did not match any of the family members, and the blood was found to match Moss’s blood type. The blood sample was tested by Fred Zain, the infamous lab technician later convicted of falsifying blood evidence in over 134 cases spanning decades, and later destroyed after the conviction. Zain also testified at Mr. Moss’ trial, but the West Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that any testimony given by Zain should be discounted. On April 30, 1983, John Moss was convicted of the murders after fourteen hours of jury deliberation and sentenced to three life sentences without the possibility of parole in 1985. He was convicted again in 1990 after his first trial was thrown out for judicial errors in jury polling and prosecutorial misconduct. John Moss has been incarcerated in West Virginia for 38 years, filing numerous appeals alleging ineffective assistance of counsel and challenging Fred Zain's testimony, the validity of his confessions, and arguments about the purportedly stolen items. His appeals have thus far been unsuccessful, and without new evidence, his options for further appeals are limited. For more information visit https://www.justiceforjohnmoss.comPlease link to his social, website and petition on our social channels:Website -www.justiceforjohnmoss.comFacebook - Justice for John MossInstagram - justice_forjohnTwitter - justice_forjohnChange.orgpetition link:https://www.change.org/p/charles-t-miller-free-john-moss-wrongfully-convicted-of-murder-38-years-ago?recruiter=391384965&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_for_starters_page

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#14

S7E5: Damien Echols Survived Death Row and Now He is Sharing The Spiritual Practices That Saved His Life With the World.

October 01, 2018

DAMIEN ECHOLS was born in 1974 and grew up in Mississippi, Tennessee, Maryland, Oregon, Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. His wrongful conviction, sentencing, and eventual release as part of the West Memphis Three case is the subject of Paradise Lost, a three-part documentary series produced by HBO, and West of Memphis, a documentary produced by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh.The West Memphis Three are three men who – while teenagers – were tried and convicted, in 1994, of the 1993 murders of three boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. Damien Echols was sentenced to death, Jessie Misskelley, Jr. was sentenced to life imprisonment plus two 20-year sentences, and Jason Baldwin was sentenced to life imprisonment. During the trial, the prosecution asserted that the children were killed as part of a Satanic ritual.In July 2007, new forensic evidence was presented in the case. A status report jointly issued by the state and the defense team stated: "Although most of the genetic material recovered from the scene was attributable to the victims of the offenses, some of it cannot be attributed to either the victims or the defendants." On October 29, 2007, the defense filed a Second Amended Writ of Habeas Corpus, outlining the new evidence.Following a 2010 decision by the Arkansas Supreme Court regarding newly produced DNA evidence and potential juror misconduct, the West Memphis Three negotiated a plea bargain with prosecutors. On August 19, 2011, they entered Alford pleas, which allowed them to assert their innocence while acknowledging that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict them. Judge David Laser accepted the pleas and sentenced the three to time served. They were released with 10-year suspended sentences, having served 18 years and 78 days in prison.While in prison, Damien was ordained into the Rinzai Zen Buddhist tradition. Today he teaches classes on Magick around the country and works as a visual artist. He and wife Lorri live in New York City with their three cats.Damien is also the author of High Magick: A Guide to the Spiritual Practices That Saved My Life on Death Row and the New York Times bestseller Life After Death and Yours For Eternity (with his wife Lorri Davis).Connect with Damien Echols - @DamienEcholsInstagramFacebookTwitterwww.DamienEchols.comwww.churchofrockandroll.comThis episode was recorded live in front of a studio audience at the opening of The Church of Rock & Roll

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#16

Rodney Reed: **BREAKING NEWS IN CASE + ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY FROM DR PHIL**

November 16, 2019 • 52m

S9E1: Rodney Reed: An Innocent Man On Death Row - **BREAKING NEWS + ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY FROM DR PHIL** Stacey Stites and Police Officer Jimmy Fennell were engaged, but Stacey was having an affair with Rodney Reed. On April 23rd, 1996, Stacey’s lifeless body was discovered, lying face up next to a dirt road near Bastrop, TX. Jimmy Fennell was a prime suspect until 3 spermatozoa found in Stacey’s body were matched to Rodney Reed. The state alleged that Rodney did not know Ms. Stites, intercepted her on her 3AM drive to work, raped and strangled her, and left her on the side of that dirt road, while abandoning the truck in a high school parking lot. With no other evidence of Rodney found in the truck, on the body, or at the scene; the state’s forensic experts incorrectly asserting that intact spermatozoa could not survive passed 24 hours; and Stacey’s whereabouts being known for the 24 hours prior to 3AM; Rodney Reed was found guilty and sentenced to death in 1998. The state’s forensic experts have since disavowed their testimony, and Rodney Reed continues to maintain that the presence of his semen was a result of consensual intercourse from late in the night of the 21st (early morning, 22nd). In this premiere episode of the 9th season of Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom, we go to death row to speak with Rodney Reed. His attorney Bryce Benjet talks to us about the case. His brother Rodrick Reed tells us about his advocacy for his brother and the Reed Justice Initiative. And, forensic pathology legend Dr. Michael Baden retells his sworn testimony given at a hearing for a new trial in October 2017, disputing the time of death. The corrected time of death places Ms Stites in her apartment with Fennell when she died, according to his testimony at trial. When asked about this discrepancy, Mr. Fennell invoked his 5th amendment rights. Rodney Reed was granted an indefinite stay of execution from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, saving him from his November 20th, 2019 execution date, but his future is still in danger. He still needs our help. This Episode of Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom was produced in partnership with NowThis. https://nowthisnews.com/ Additional engineering for Dr Phil and Jason Flom’s interview by Freedom Wynn. http://www.wrongfulconvictionpodcast.com Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava for Good Podcasts in association with Signal Co No1 and PRX.

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#18

S4E13: David McCallum With The Men Who Helped Free Him After 29 Years In Prison For A Crime He Didn’t Commit: Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez And Oscar Michelen

December 18, 2017

David McCallum and Willie Stuckey were both 16 when they were convicted of forcing a 20-year-old man into his Buick Regal at gunpoint in Ozone Park, Queens, killing him with a single gunshot to the head, then leaving his body in Aberdeen Park in Bushwick, Brooklyn. After being beaten by police and coerced into confessing, David McCallum and Willie Stuckey gave brief and contradictory confessions, each pinning the homicide on the other. They both recanted the confessions almost immediately and rejected offers to plead guilty in return for prison sentences of 15 years to life. On October 27th, 1986, a jury convicted them both of second-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery and criminal use of a weapon, and they were each sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Mr. Stuckey died of a heart attack behind bars 16 years into his sentence in 2001, but Mr. McCallum persevered in trying to clear his name. After exhausting all of his appeals, Mr. McCallum’s attorney, Oscar Michelen approached Brooklyn District Attorney’s Conviction Review Unit, and in 2014 District Attorney Ken Thompson's office and the Conviction Review Unit completed their reviews of McCallum's case, finding that there was no DNA evidence, physical evidence or credible testimony to link Mr. McCallum or Mr. Stuckey to the abduction or killing of the victim. On October 15, 2014, David McCallum and the late Willie Stuckey’s convictions were thrown out at DA Thompson’s request, and David McCallum was freed after serving nearly 30 years behind bars. In this special episode of Wrongful Conviction, Mr. McCallum is joined by Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez as well as attorney Oscar Michelen. Promoted by the late District Attorney Ken Thompson in 2014, Eric Gonzalez successfully guided the launch of several of the late DA Ken Thompson’s key initiatives, including the creation of the Conviction Review Unit, which has vacated over 20 unjust convictions to date and has been held up as a national model for other prosecutors’ offices. DA Gonzalez was sworn in as Acting District Attorney in October of 2016 after the passing of DA Thompson.

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