INNOCENCE/WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS

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In March 1998, Anthony Galati was found murdered on the side of a road in Sacramento County, with two gunshot wounds to the head and his body covered in abrasions. 

Puckett, who had no ties to the victim other than a brief visit to the same acquaintance’s apartment on the day of the murder, was implicated in the murder one year later when the true perpetrator—an incarcerated man named Israel Sept—became fearful that he was going to be discovered through DNA testing. Sept approached a prison guard claiming to have information about Galati’s murder. He partially confessed while also implicating Puckett, in hopes of gaining sentencing and other personal benefits.

Wrongful Conviction

An act to amend Section 3007.05 of the Penal Code, relating to exonerated prisoners. [Approved by Governor October 2, 2019. ...

 

Existing law requires a person who is exonerated to be paid the sum of $1,000 upon release from funds to be made available upon appropriation by the Legislature for this purpose.

SENATOR WIENER’S LEGISLATION TO END WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS RESULTING FROM FAULTY EXPERT WITNESS TESTIMONY PASSES SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE

Sacramento - Today, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco)’s criminal justice reform legislation, Senate Bill 243, passed the Senate Public Safety Committee with a unanimous bipartisan vote. It will now head to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

SB 243 would amend the standards used for evaluating expert testimony and forensics in court pre- and post-conviction. Faulty forensic and scientific evidence, provided by expert witnesses, are the second most common reason that individuals are wrongfully convicted for crimes they did not commit. Today, courts have discretion over which expert testimony is admissible. Studies show that courts accept most forensic science and expert testimony without sufficient scrutiny, leaving significant room for imprecision and human error. This error leads to the high rate of wrongful convictions. Expert testimony that fails to rely on sound logic should not be considered expert testimony at all.

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Innocence Project Application

The California Innocence Project provides free legal assistance to applicants who are innocent of the crime(s) for which they were convicted. In order to be considered for assistance, you must meet the following criteria: