"Failing the DNA Test," Michael Blanding and Lindsay Markel, November 20, 2011, The Boston Globe Magazine
WBUR's Radio Boston hosts talk with Schuster Senior Fellow Michael Blanding about DNA testing for prisoners in Massachusetts
- Post-conviction DNA testing in Massachusetts: "Failing the Test"
- Waiting for DNA: More about Massachusetts prisoners claiming innocence who are featured in the article
- Exonerated by DNA: Massachusetts wrongful convictions overturned
- Eric Sarsfield<
- Background: A primer on the Massachusetts DNA access bill
- Underlying issue: No law requiring preservation of crime scene evidence
- Digging deeper: What do exonerations teach us about the criminal justice system?
- Non-DNA cases: What happens if there is no DNA to test?
How do wrongful convictions occur?
- Eyewitness misidentification
- Faulty forensics, or bad science
- False confessions
- Informants and "snitches"
- Bad lawyering or representation in court
- Misconduct by prosecutors or law enforcement
Exonerated by DNA:
DNA testing of crime scene evidence excluded Eric Sarsfield as a possible perpetrator, and exonerated him after nine years in Massachusetts prisons.
Read a summary of Eric Sarsfield’s case at the Innocence Project website.
News articles related to the Eric Sarsfield case
“Ex-inmate Awarded 13.6M; Innocent Man was Jailed for Rape,” Elaine Thompson, October 7, 2006, Telegram & Gazette.
“An Unjust Jailing, a Fledgling Lawyer, and Faith,” Megan Woolhouse, Jan 1, 2006, Boston Globe.
“The Wrong Man; When Eric Sarsfield was sent away for 10 to 15 Years for Rape, He had Nothing Going for Him, Except Stubbornness,” Megan Woolhouse, December 11, 2005, Boston Globe.
“State will Pay Over 1.5M to Three Wrongly Convicted,” Ralph Ranalli, August 13, 2005, Boston Globe.
“State Refuses to Reveal Case, File Suit Blames City for Wrongful Conviction,” Peter Schworm, February 12, 2004, Boston Globe.
“City Disputes Rape Evidence was Falsified, Man Freed after DNA is Reviewed,” Peter Schworm, May 1, 2003, Boston Globe.
“Bolton Man Tells of Ordeal,” Elaine Thompson, March 3, 2003, Telegram & Gazette.
“Man cleared of rape files suit; $10M sought from Marlboro,” Elaine Thompson, February 25, 2003, Telegram & Gazette.
Last page update: November 18, 2011
© 2011 Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA. All rights reserved.