Tuesday, January 24, 2006

No one asked me but...

...here are some early thoughts on possible members of the Innocence Commission of Pennsylvania, if it passes.

Stephen A. Zappala, Jr., district attorney, Allegheny County: By most accounts, Mr. Zappala is a reasonable DA.

Ernie Preate, former PA Attorney General: Preate once defended PA's death penalty before the U.S. Supreme Court. After his own prison stint, he has become a strong voice for reform.

Robert Dunham, federal habeas attorney, Federal Defenders Association of Philadelphia: Or Michael Wiseman. Or Vic Abreu. Or anyone from the Federal Defenders, for that matter.

Bill Moushey, journalist, Pittsburgh Post Gazette; director, Innocence Institute of Western Pennsylvania: Moushey has played a key role in bringing forth numerous innocence cases, including Tom Doswell. Ernest Simmons of Cambria County could very well be exonerated due, in part, to the efforts of the Innocence Institute.

Pete Shellem, reporter, Patriot News: Shellem has done multiple investigative reports on wrongful convictions. His most recent report involved the case of David Gladden. Shellem's work freed Barry Laughman from prison at a time when Laughman was receiving no relief from the courts.

Leslie Seymour, Philadelphia Police Department (ret.): In retirement, Seymour has stayed involved in criminal justice issues.

Dr. James Ruiz, criminal justice professor, Penn State Harrisburg; New Orleans Police Department (ret.): Dr. Ruiz would provide both an academic perspective and a police perspective. One of his areas of research is police deviant behavior.

Sensei Anthony Stultz, Blue Mountain Lotus Society: Sensei Stultz is my Zen teacher, but that's not why he's on this list. Stultz has been a counselor for both crime victims and convicted criminals. He ran a halfway house in Johnstown for five years. And he was involved in coalition building on criminal justice issues in Boston while he was a graduate student at Harvard.

Reverend Walter Everett, United Methodist Church (ret.): Rev. Everett's 24-year-old son Scott was murdered in 1987. Everett is a member of the board of directors of Murder Victims Families for Human Rights.

Ray Krone, exonerated, York County: Ray spent ten years in an Arizona prison, including more than two on death row, for a murder he did not commit. Since his release in 2002, he has been a strong advocate for reform.

Thomas Doswell, exonerated, Allegheny County: Doswell spent 19 years in prison for a rape he did not commit. DNA evidence cleared him last year.


Post a Comment

<< Home