Bart McNeil was in prison a dozen years when a newspaper clipping that renewed hope for his exoneration arrived in the mail. With decades yet to go on his 100-year sentence in the murder of his 3-year-old daughter Christina, hope was a dim light at the end of a dark tunnel. From the day he
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So far Calvin Lunny has created 19 blog entries.
There are some developments in criminal cases that leave you shaking your head. Things that fall under the You Can't Make This Stuff Up category. This week, a judge ordered the state to turn over about 8,000 pages of police reports to lawyers for Jamie Snow, who has been challenging his murder conviction since he
Soon Alan Beaman will mark 30 years since he was wrongly accused of killing his girlfriend. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed his murder conviction in 2008 and later he was pardoned by the governor. The state awarded him a certificate of innocence. But Beaman has never had his day in court to ask a jury
Should children who commit serious crimes, including murder and sexual assaults, be sent to prison for life without the chance of future parole? State courts have struggled with this issue for decades, with each jurisdiction crafting a set of guidelines that reflect the views of the local community and current state law. The U.S. Supreme
Defense lawyer Curtis Lovelace has a special bond with his clients during the nerve-racking moments that precede the delivery of a verdict. “I’ve been in that seat and I’ve been in that jail. I know what it’s like to sit and wait for a verdict,” Lovelace told me recently in a phone call on his
During my years as a newspaper reporter, I wrote countless stories about crime and the people accused of committing those offenses. While some misdeeds were severe and ended with a senseless death, others involved a brief lapse in judgement. People accepted their punishment and moved on. But the internet has changed how stories are circulated,
The list of first responders who are literally the first in line to help others during this pandemic includes medical personnel, police, paramedics and caregivers at all levels of every facility. On another branch of the first responder tree are the chaplains who walk the hallways of hospitals and nursing homes, giving their time and
As a 20-year-old foreign exchange student living in Italy, Amanda Knox was unfamiliar with the plight of people wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit. The 2007 brutal rape and murder of her roommate, combined with a botched police investigation and prosecution, changed Knox’s life forever. Knox spent a year in prison before charges
This year will long be remembered as the year of the pandemic, a time when the entire world struggled to fight off a killer virus that left hundreds of thousands of deaths in its wake. The stories from past plagues that have ravaged our planet were captured in newspaper accounts and family histories, passed along
Christine Roush will be behind bars for 40 years for killing her mother, Teresa Poehlman in July 2017 in a violent encounter that played out in the wooden area around Funks Grove just south of Bloomington, Illinois. Her friend Matt Isbell is doing a 12-year sentence for his role in the murder. Christine was 22