4) Delbert Tibbs -- The Florida Supreme Court candidly conceded that it should not have reversed Tibbs' conviction since the evidence was legally sufficient.
The state prosecutor who chose not to retry Tibbs recently explained to the Florida Commission on Capital Crimes that Tibbs “was never an innocent man wrongfully accused. He was a lucky human being. He was guilty, he was lucky and now he is free."
See no.10 at http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/DPIC.htm
and pages 123-127 at www(dot)floridacapitalcases.st ate.fl.us/Publications/truelyr eport.pdf
5) Kerry Max Cook -- The judge, in accepting Cook's no contest plea, said that Cook was guilty of the crime and that the state was capable of proving its case.
This is not a DNA exoneration case.
Mr. Cook was convicted of the murder of Linda Jo Edwards, who was found in her apartment on June 10, 1977, beaten on the head with a plaster statue, stabbed in the throat, chest and back and sexually mutilated. Mr. Cook was arrested 2 months later where he worked as a bartender in Port Arthur. Officers said they found Mr. Cook's fingerprint on Ms. Edwards' apartment door. At first he denied knowing Ms. Edwards. Cook lied. He later said they met at the apartment complex's swimming pool and he went to her apartment. His original conviction resulting in a death sentence was overturned because of prosecutorial misconduct. A 1992 retrial ended in a hung jury. He was again convicted and sentenced to death in 1994. That verdict was overturned in 1996. Before a 4th trial, Mr. Cook pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of murder. He was sentenced to 20 years time served. Mr. Cook took the deal so he could avoid a possible return to death row. By taking the plea, both Cook and his attorneys conceded that this is hardly a case where there is no evidence for guilt and certainly not a case with confirmable actual innocence.
for more on this case, contact David Dobbs at david (at) davidedobbs.com
6) Gary Gauger -- Gauger confessed to the murder of his parents. That confession was thrown out based upon the lack of probable cause to arrest him -- not because it was a false confession.
However, two motorcycle gang members are incarcerated in the murders, based upon their discussions of the murders, gathered from law enforcement wiretaps. There was a connection between Gary, his parents and motorcycle gangs. Motorcyclists would shop at the Gauger's farm store. Even though there is speculation of a connection between Gary and the two convicted motorcyclists, law enforcement has not been able to confirm one.
Speculation as to actual guilt or innocence will continue in this case.
Furthermore, the trial court erroneously imposed a death sentence. The court granted a motion for reconsideration and vacated the sentence less than ten months later in September 1994. The trial court found that it had not considered all the mitigating evidence and concluded that Gauger should not be sentenced to death. People v. Bull, 705 N.E.2d 824, 843 (Ill. 1999); Chicago Tribune (9/23/94). Gauger served a brief time on death row. He was not properly sentenced to death by the trial court. He should never have been sent to death row because the trial court did not finally sentence him to be executed. Gauger’s case is an example of how consideration of mitigating evidence under current law results in a sentence less than death.
see no. 69 at www(dot) prodeathpenalty.com/DPIC.htm
Some additional articles:
"Cross-Examination for a Drama That Puts the Death Penalty on Trial", Adam Liptak, New York Times, January 27, 2005
"Prosecutors take exception to Court TV film", Richard Willing, USA TODAY, 1/24/05http://www.usatoday.com /news/nation/2005-01-24-exoner ated_x.htm
"The Myth of Innocence:Don't believe everything you see on CourtTV", Joshua Marquis, National Review, 1/27/05 www(dot) nationalreview.com/comment/marquis20050127074...