Minor Technicality Leads To Stunning Reversals Of Wrongful Convictions
Posted in the Violent Crime Forum
Since: Oct 07
#1 Jul 11, 2009
[In a 2001 letter, Nancy Smith wrote: "If I could find someone who truly cared enough to help me that would be a blessing".]
At the start of 2009, the appeal status of Nancy Smith and Joseph Allen was accurately depicted as follows.
"Smith and Allen's case represents one of the most blatant miscarriages of justice that the sexual-abuse hysteria wave produced. Their case is stalled now -- without money, without resources, and with few remaining legal avenues available. Two people who never even knew each other have been incarcerated for the remainder of their natural lives for crimes that never occurred in the first place."
Then in February 2009, Common Pleas Court Judge James Burge overturned Nancy's sentence of 30 to 90 years on but the slimmest of legal technicalities. And in April 2009, he used the same technicality to overturn the similar sentence that Joseph Allen had received back in 1994.
This lead to a June 24, 2009 hearing in which Judge Gough stunned everyone in the courtroom when he reversed both of their convictions by declaring the evidence was insufficient to support the charges and their convictions back in 1994.
The following link goes through 2009's happenings and the entire case background in masterful detail.
Other relevant links are:
An excerpt from the last link reads: "Burge agreed with their lawyers that there was a problem with their sentencings and agreed to re-sentence them. But instead, today, he simply tossed the cases a Rule 29, in legalese which means he determined that prosecutors didnt present enough evidence at trial to convict them."
(The convictions of Nancy Smith and Joseph Allen have long ranked 4th on my list of likely wrongful convictions......... Life chews a lot out of all of us, but every so often, it listens to a cry for help and allows a person who cares to cross the path of those who have lost almost all hope.)
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