States look to right wrong convictions

By Jon Ostendorff, USA TODAY – July 20, 2011 ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Kenneth Kagonyera had been in the county jail for 13 months when he finally gave in. Prosecutors and investigators interrogated him repeatedly, he says, and told him he faced at least 25 years in prison for first-degree murder, with life or a death sentence possible. So he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the 2000 slaying of Walter Rodney Bowman. “It just kind of wore down on me,” he later told the commission investigating whether the justice system wrongly imprisoned him. Kagonyera was sentenced to 15 years in prison, as was his co-defendant, Robert Wilcoxson. Both continue to maintain their innocence. In September, the two men are scheduled to have a hearing before a three-judge panel that could free them. The hearing comes after the N.C. Innocence Inquiry Commission in April found enough evidence to indicate the men are innocent. That evidence includes the confession of another man and DNA testing that points to other suspects. Nine states have established criminal justice reform commissions, according to the Innocence Project…Full Story: [  http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-07-17-dna-evidence-exonerates-innocent-prisoners-wrongful-convictions_n.htm

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States look to right wrong convictions