Newswire- Innocence Project: 2018 was a record year for exonerations

By Frederick H. Lowe, BlackmansStreet

This is a photo of Gregory Counts

Gregory Counts freed after 26 years

The Innocence Project reported in the most recent issue of its magazine that a record nine clients were exonerated and released from prison in 2018 for crimes they didn’t commit.
Maddy deLone, the Innocence Project’s executive director, wrote in Spring 2019 issue of “The Innocence Project in Print” that the nine exonerations were most at one time in Innocence Project’s 26- year history.
Exonerations continued into 2019 with three more men being released from prison for crimes they didn’t commit.

The incarcerations took a problematic toll on the 12 men who were locked behind bars for a total of nearly 300 years. “Time away from their homes, families and loved ones cannot be replaced,” deLone wrote.

Gregory Counts, one of the exonerated said, “I want to jail when I was 19. I did 26 years—over half of my life in jail. I need to see the world.”

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. vacated rape, sodomy and kidnapping charges against Counts after a woman who claimed she was the victim admitted to lying. Semen and other physical evidence eliminated Counts as a suspect.

Malcolm Alexander, another exoneree, said, “freedom is a new life. It’s like being reborn. It’s giving a chance to live a life I had been denied.”
Prison officials locked Alexander behind bars for 38 years for a rape he didn’t commit. A judge sentenced Alexander to life in Angola Prison in Angola, Louisiana, the country’s most-notorious prison and former plantation, when he was 21.
The Innocence Project determined Alexander’s attorney was incompetent.
Genetic testing eventually eliminated him as the rape suspect. He left prison with a smile on his face and his black pet Labrador Retriever named “Innocent.”

In another matter, New York created the first ever state-wide commission to study prosecutorial misconduct, such a failure to disclose or discrimination in jury selection.

Newswire : Police arrest Black NFL player because he was “acting suspicious”

By Frederick H. Lowe

bennett michael1

                                                                      Michael Bennett

Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from NorthStarNewsToday.com

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – A Las Vegas police officer pointed a gun at Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett’s head and threatened to kill him if he moved after arresting him for no reason on Saturday, August 26. Bennett posted his experience on twitter.
Bennett was walking to his hotel after attending the Mayweather-McGregor fight when he and other members of a crowd heard what they believed were gunshots.
“Like many people in the area, I ran away from the sound, looking for safety,” Bennett said.
Police, however, singled him out, placing a gun near his head, warning him not to move and if he did, he would blow “ ‘my fucking head off,’ ” Bennett charged. The cop ignored Bennett’s pleas that “he had not done nothing.”
Bennett was lying on his stomach and a second cop came over and put a knee in his back, making it difficult for Bennett to breathe. The cop handcuffed Bennett, cinching the handcuffs so tightly his fingers went numb.
What was going through Bennett’s mind is that the cops would murder him for being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time. “My life flashed through my eyes as I thought of my girls. Would I ever play with them again? Or watch them have kids? Or kiss my wife again and tell her I love her.”
When police learned that Bennett played for the Seahawks, they took the handcuffs off and released him without an explanation or an apology.
The Las Vegas police said the officer arrested Bennett because he was acting suspiciously, two words black men often hear from the police. The cops said Bennett was hiding behind a gaming machine before he jumped over a fence.
As it turned out, there were no gunshots.
The police union, however, wants the NFL to investigate Bennett’s allegations that he was arrested after being racially profiled.
Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL, supported Bennett who he said represents the best of the NFL— “a leader on his team and in his community.” Goodell said there will be no investigation.
Bennett has hired a lawyer and intends to sue the police department.