News Round-Up Week Ending 12.9.14
By Geir Madland on 11/09/14Share:
In another US case involving fresh DNA investigation of old exhibits, a Nevada woman has been freed after 30 years in jail, and a new trial ordered. Cathy Woods, 64, was convicted of the 1976 murder of 19-year-old Michelle Mitchell at the University of Nevada in Reno.
New genetic evidence on a cigarette butt found at the scene apparently matches Rodney L Halbower, 66, currently serving time in Oregon for another offence, as well as linking him to at least two of five unsolved Gypsy Hill murders in the San Francisco Bay.
Sad Demise of Campaigning Mother
Michael O’Brien, one of the Cardiff Newsagent Three, has paid tribute to his mother, Marlene Bonello, the most fervent of all those who campaigned to free him, who has died aged 73.
O’Brien, Ellis Sherwood and Darren Hall had their convictions quashed in 1999, for the 1987 murder of Phillip Saunders.
Crown Prosecution Shambles
A judge has called the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) ‘shoddy’ and ‘shambolic’ for failing to properly investigate a sexual assault case. The defendant, accused by a friend of attempted rape after a drunken night out in central London, was cleared by a unanimous jury.
Right Threatens Rights
Liberal Democrat Justice Minister, Simon Hughes, has voiced concerns about his Tory coalition partners’ plans to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Discussing asylum cases, he said progress had been made but greater improvements were needed in the decision-making process, the length of time claimants are held in detention, and the ban on working during the process.
Murder Yacht Ready for Relaunch
Australian legal experts are demanding a retrial for Susan Neill-Fraser, serving a 23 year sentence in Tasmania for the murder of her partner, Bob Chappell, on their yacht in 2009.
After two attempts to overturn her conviction, she and her family continue to maintain her innocence, drawing parallels with Lindy Chamberlain's murder conviction.