Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Joseph Sledge: North Carolina: Freed by DNA after spending more than half of his 70 years in prison: CNN report captures the irony: "At trial, the state presented forensic evidence linking Sledge to the crime."

STORY: "Joseph Sledge, wrongly imprisoned for decades, now free, by reporter Stephanie Gellman, published by CNN on January 24, 2105.

SUB-HEADING:  "70-year-old man is free after he was wrongly convicted."

STORY HIGHLIGHTS: Joseph Sledge spent more than three decades behind bars; DNA evidence, recanted testimony leads to his exoneration;

GIST: " A man who spent more than half his life in a North Carolina prison for two murders he didn't commit walked out a free man Friday, holding his belongings in two white plastic bags. Joseph Sledge, who was wrongfully convicted in 1978, said he feels wonderful about his freedom. He is now 70-years old. Sledge was exonerated by a three-judge panel who reviewed post-conviction DNA evidence from the victims. The panel said that evidence excluded Sledge as a suspect. A witness who testified that Sledge had admitted to the murders recanted his testimony in 2013.........At trial, the state presented forensic evidence linking Sledge to the crime. Two inmates also testified against Sledge, saying he had admitted to the crimes behind bars. He was convicted and sentence to life in prison. During the more than three decades Sledge was in prison, he maintained his innocence, filing numerous post-conviction motions on various grounds. All were denied without hearing. In 2003, however, his request for new DNA testing was granted; testing began five years later. The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission took on investigating Sledge's case. It in December found "sufficient evidence of factual innocence to merit judicial review......... The commission, which began operating in 2007, is the first of its kind in the country, and is separate from the appeals process, according to the organization's website. A person exonerated by the commission process is declared innocent and cannot be retried for the same crime."

The entire story can be found at:


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The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

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