CRIMINAL APPEAL DEADLINES TO BE EXTENDED FOR THE INNOCENT

Filed under: Criminal Law, Death Penalty Cases, Drug Crimes, News, Sex Crimes Tags: by Steven F. Fairlie @ May 10, 2011

Pennsylvania Senator Stewart Greenleaf has proposed new legislation to lengthen the time for filing appeals where there is proof of actual innocence. His position is that no one can argue with giving a potentially innocent person his day in court. Numerous cases involving convictions of the innocent for heinous criminal offenses have swayed public opinion such that it is now possible to “do the right thing.” Under current rules, a criminal defense attorney must petition the court within 60 days of a defendant learning that he has new evidence. The problem is that the new evidence is typically unveilled piecemeal, not all at once. A requirement to file within 60 days would require that a petition be filed with each new piece of evidence that is found. The new rules would allow a defense lawyer to assemble all of the pieces. Upon seeing that a solid case has been built the lawyer can then file the petition. This will make for a much cleaner and fairer criminal justice system.

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