Saturday, August 23, 2014

Catch-up (3): Paul Hildwin: Florida Supreme Court overturns 30-Year death penalty conviction - orders new trial for Paul Hildwin as a result of new DNA evidence and an FBI expert's flawed testimony: Terry Lenamon's Death Penalty Blog.

POST: "Florida Supreme Court overturns 30-year death penalty conviction orders new trial for Paul Hildwin," by Terry Lenamon and Reba Kennedy, posted on July 10,  2014.

GIST: "Paul Hildwin resides on Florida’s Death Row, having been sentenced to death for the 1985 killing of Vronzettie Cox who had been raped before she was strangled to death and her body left to be found in the trunk of a car. For three decades, Mr. Hildwin has lived behind bars as a man awaiting execution — until now. The Florida Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for Paul Hildwin and it’s not clear if the Florida prosecutor is going to re-try the case, given the language of the High Court’s opinion. DNA evidence and FBI expert's flawed trial testimony:  What’s happened here?  New DNA evidence has been presented that absolutely guts the evidence that was presented by the state’s prosecutors at Hildwin’s criminal trial.  During his 1985 trial, an FBI expert testified that fluids collected at the Hernando County crime scene matched with Mr. Hildwin  — and he also testified that these fluids could not have come from the victim’s boyfriend.   Now, DNA evidence establishes the exact opposite is true.  The fluids could not have originated with Paul Hildwin:  they match the boyfriend, a man already behind bars on two sexual assault convictions. From the opinion:  "In light of the evidence presented at trial, and considering the cumulative effect of all evidence that has been developed through Hildwin’s postconviction proceedings, we conclude that the totality of the evidence is of “such nature that it would probably produce an acquittal on retrial” because the newly discovered DNA evidence “weakens the case against [the defendant] so as to give rise to a reasonable doubt as to his culpability."


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