Thursday, May 30, 2013

George Souliotes: LA Times on U.S. Supreme Court's lifting of its time limit on some 'actual innocence' appeals.

STORY: "Supreme Court lifts time limit on some 'actual innocence' appeals: In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court removes the one-year limit on federal appeals for prisoners who can make a "convincing showing of actual innocence," by reporter David G. Savage, published by the LA Times on May 28, 2013.

GIST: "The Supreme Court gave a second chance Tuesday to prisoners who come up with strong new evidence of their innocence, but who have waited too long to file an appeal. In a 5-4 decision, the justices lifted the one-year time limit for filing such appeals in a federal court. Only the rare case will benefit from this leniency, they said. A prisoner must make a "convincing showing of actual innocence," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said. The new evidence must be strong enough to persuade a judge that "no juror, acting reasonably, would have voted to find him guilty" at his trial had the jury known of it, she said. Although the decision dealt only with the procedural rules, it came after two decades in which hundreds of prisoners have been found to be innocent based on new DNA tests. Such new evidence or new statements from old witnesses may run up against the time limit for appeals........."This decision won't affect a huge number of cases, but for the cases it will affect, the impact will be huge," said Linda Starr, an attorney for the Northern California Innocence Project at Santa Clara University. She cited the case of George Souliotes, a Modesto man convicted of setting a deadly fire, who won a new hearing last year based on his evidence of actual innocence.""

The entire story can be found at:,0,3305555.story

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