Category Archives: New Jersey

Walif Smith

slebgpgozfyuaqt-800x450-nopadWalif Smith was convicted in 1994 for a 1990 murder he did not commit.  Walif was convicted solely on the testimony of one witness.  The witness has given written affidavits and taken a polygraph saying  that his original testimonies were false.  Thus there is now no witness, no physical evidence, no DNA, no motive, in fact nothing tying him to the crime.  Yet Walif is currently serving a 30-year to life sentence for a crime he had no part in.

Walif was aged just 14 at the time of the alleged murder.  Walif was arrested three years later.  Police stated that that the gun that was used in the murder was found in North Carolina.  The gun was used in another murder in North Carolina by an older man who lived in the same neighborhood as Walif at the time of the murder.

Exculpatory  evidence was not presented at Walif’s trial. There is new evidence in the case the main witness has recanted saying that he made false statements to get a reduced sentence.

Source: Petition at change.org

Featured case #157Proposal Post

Paul Cortez

Paul Cortez was convicted of the November 27, 2005 murder of his girlfriend Catherine Woods who was found stabbed to death in her Upper East Side Manhattan apartment.

The only forensic evidence to connect him to the crime was a fingerprint which the defense claims was pre-existing.

Suppressed phone records support his claim that he was elsewhere when Woods was murdered.

Other suspects were ignored, and forensic evidence was not analysed. In particular there was another suspect coincidentally named ‘Paul’ who had been stalking Catherine Woods, and David Haughn who was living with Woods had motive and opportunity, and told several lies.

For more details, please refer to the case overview at http://www.freepaulcortez.org/case-overview/

Featured case #127 Proposal Post | Long Article

Byron Halsey settles for $12.5m

Prosecutors had sought the death penalty against Halsey, who maintained his innocence through the one-month 1988 trial, but a holdout on the jury spared his life.

Halsey was exonerated after a 2006 DNA test showed he was not the killer. The charges against him were dropped a year later.

When State Police ran the DNA results against its database, it matched a convicted rapist, Clifton Hall, a neighbor of Halsey who prosecutors had used as a trial witness.

In February 2013, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought on Halsey’s behalf against the city of Plainfield and two police officers, ruling there was no proof the officers committed misconduct. In April 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit reversed the dismissal and sent the case back for trial, saying: “Except when an innocent defendant is executed, we hardly can conceive of a worse miscarriage of justice.”

In July 2015, the lawsuit was settled for $12.5 million.

News report here | Exoneration Report