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This was the fourth investigation between 2004-2006 pointing to the execution of a probably innocent man.Similar questions had been raised in the cases of Cameron Todd Willingham and Ruben Cantu in Texas, and Larry Griffin in Missouri.Louis Circuit Attorney concluded that Larry Griffin was guilty after an extensive review.Circuit Attorney report: Summary Circuit Attorney report: Factual and legal history Circuit Attorney report: Appellate process Circuit Attorney report: Investigative findings, analysis and conclusions Circuit Attorney report: Appendix A through CCircuit Attorney report: Appendix D through G Joseph O'Dell Virginia Conviction: 1986, Executed: 1997 New DNA blood evidence has thrown considerable doubt on the murder and rape conviction of O'Dell. Supreme Court refused to review O'Dell's claims of innocence and held that its decision regarding juries being told about the alternative sentence of life-without-parole was not retroactive to his case.The DNA Controversy"by Lori Urs, New England School of Law: Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement (Winter 1999) David Spence Texas Conviction: 1984, Executed: 1997 Spence was charged with murdering three teenagers in 1982.He was allegedly hired by a convenience store owner to kill another girl, and killed these victims by mistake.In reviewing his case in 1991, three Supreme Court Justices, said they had doubts about O'Dell's guilt and whether he should have been allowed to represent himself. Court of Appeals reinstated his death sentence and upheld his conviction. O'Dell asked the state to conduct DNA tests on other pieces of evidence to demonstrate his innocence but was refused. Read "Virginia Inmate Executed Despite International Campaign" by CNN (July 23, 1997) See "Commonwealth v.Without the blood evidence, there is little linking O'Dell to the crime. Joseph O'Dell: Truth and Justice or Confuse the Courts?
For more information see: Larry Griffin Missouri Conviction: 1981, Executed: 1995 A year-long investigation by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund has uncovered evidence that Larry Griffin may have been innocent of the crime for which he was executed by the state of Missouri on June 21, 1995.Moreno said that he twice told police that Cantu was not his assailant, but that the authorities continued to pressure him to identify Cantu as the shooter after Cantu was involved in an unrelated wounding of a police officer. That was bad to blame someone that was not there," Moreno told the Chronicle."The police were sure it was (Cantu) because he had hurt a police officer. In addition, David Garza, Cantu's co-defendant during his 1985 trial, recently signed a sworn affidavit saying that he allowed Cantu to be accused and executed even though he wasn't with him on the night of the killing. You've got a 17-year-old who went to his grave for something he did not do. Millsap, Jr., the Bexar County District Attorney who charged Cantu with capital murder, said he never should have sought the death penalty in a case based on testimony from an eyewitness who identified a suspect only after police showed him Cantu's photo three seperate times.Ruben Cantu had persistently proclaimed his innocence and was only 17 when he was charged with capital murder for the shooting death of a San Antonio man during an attempted robbery.Now, the prosecutor and the jury forewoman have expressed doubts about the case.