Innocent on Death Row? New Evidence Casts Doubt on Convictions

Rodney Reed’s death sentence was suspended. But researchers say other current cases raise similar doubt about the guilt of the accused.
The number of executions in the United States remains close to nearly a three-decade low. And yet the decline has not prevented what those who closely track the death penalty see as a disturbing trend: a significant number of cases in which prisoners are being put to death, or whose execution dates are near, despite questions about their guilt.
Rodney Reed, who came within days of execution in Texas before an appeals court suspended his death sentence on Friday, has been the most high-profile recent example, receiving support from Texas lawmakers of both parties and celebrities like Rihanna and Kim Kardashian West, who urged a new examination of the evidence.
Mr. Reed has long maintained that he did not commit the 1996 murder for which he was convicted. And in recent months, new witnesses came forward pointing toward another possible suspect: the dead…

Florida Death Row Inmate Paul Hildwin Freed From Death Row

Paul Hildwin, the Florida death row inmate who recently had his death sentence and murder conviction overturned by the Florida Supreme Court is no longer residing on death row, yet he is far from free. 

Mr Hildwin was convicted nearly 30 years ago for the murder of Vronzetti Cox in Hernando County, Florida and has since called death row his home. 

With the assistance and investigative skills of The Innocence Project his sentence was overturned when DNA evidence was discovered and introduced. The Innocence Project also discovered and introduced new evidence that would have proven his innocence but was never turned over to the defense by the prosecutors. This evidence being interviews of the victim's nephew and another witness saw the victim nearly 12 hours after the prosecution maintains Mr Hildwin murdered her. They were also never called to testify at trial. 

As of this writing he has been transferred to the Hernando County, Florida Detention Center where his hold is listed as "REMAND; HOLD; CIVIL; FEDERAL CHARGE; NO CCH ENTRY." 

His Florida Department of Corrections offenders page also reflects these changes as his offenses no longer read 1st Degree Murder/Execution. Now they read "FORGERY/UTTERING" they also reflect his transfer. 

Today I spoke to Paul Cates the Communications Director of The Innocence Project to get clarification as to what exactly this transfer of Paul meant and whether or not he would be re-tried on the original charge of murder, as is the prerogative of the District Attorney to do so. 

Mr Cates told me, at this time there has been no definitive decision to re-try Paul on the original charge, and that the case is now before the trial court. He went on to say that they are awaiting the decision of the District Attorney. 

Source: Holly Briley, truecrimetalk.com, August 1, 2014

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