Nov 122018
 

A photo of Jennifer Thompson in college in the 1980s and Ronald Cotton in the booking photos she was shown after her rape. (via http://www.pickingcottonbook.com)

In 1984, a man broke into to college student Jennifer Thompson’s apartment while she was sleeping and raped her in her bed, but she did her utmost through the assault to scrutinize every aspect of his appearance so she could give police as complete a description as possible. She helped create a composite sketch that swiftly led to an arrest, and her testimony sent Ronald Cotton to prison for both her rape and another woman’s for two life sentences.

Ten years later, DNA evidence proved that Cotton was not, in fact, Thompson’s attacker, and that the actual rapist was a similar-looking man Cotton had been blaming throughout the appeals process. While Cotton sat in prison, that man committed dozens of other violent crimes, including six rapes — leading Thompson to the horrifying realization that her mistaken identification not only sent an innocent man to jail, but also allowed a rapist to walk the streets free.

“If we’re going to talk about wrongful conviction, we also have to talk about wrongful liberty,” Thompson said. “…Everybody gets hurt. Everybody is failed — everybody except the perpetrator, who lives to be free.” Continue reading »

Nov 092018
 

Robert Jones, who, in 2017, was exonerated of four different crimes from the 1990s, speaks to the audience at “Protecting the Innocent: Louisiana’s Reform of Eyewitness Identifications” at Loyola University New Orleans’ Law School on Friday, November 11. Jones was exonerated with the help of the Innocence Project of New Orleans. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Accurate descriptions of suspects have proven to be extremely difficult to come by, even under the best of circumstances, a noted criminologist said Friday morning during the 2018 Loyola Law Review Symposium, “Protecting the Innocent: Louisiana’s Reform of Eyewitness Identifications.”

Continue reading »

Nov 082018
 

(image via NOPD)

Homicide detectives have released new surveillance images in connection with the unsolved 2016 killing of a Tulane graduate on Amelia Street near South Claiborne Avenue, and hoping that the public can help identify the men as they continue to pursue the investigation, New Orleans police said. Continue reading »

Nov 012018
 

From Tulane University:
Can cleaning vacant lots cause a chain of events that curbs child abuse or stops a teen from falling victim to violence?

Katherine Theall of Tulane University's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine is the principal investigator in the study of blight and violence. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano via Tulane University)

Katherine Theall of Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine is the principal investigator in the study of blight and violence. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano via Tulane University)

That’s the provocative question behind a new Tulane University research project to study whether maintaining vacant lots and fixing up blighted properties in high-crime areas reduces incidents of youth and family violence. The National Institutes of Health awarded Tulane a $2.3 million grant to test the theory in New Orleans.

Continue reading »

Oct 312018
 

from New Orleans Police Department

New Orleans Police on Halloween

via NOPD

The NOPD coordinated with Walgreens again this year to do a candy giveaway and to make sure kids have a safe and boo-tiful Halloween.

Dozens of local Walgreen stores donated over 400 bags of candy to the New Orleans Police Department to allow neighborhood kids to interact with their local police officers on Halloween.

Superintendent Michael Chief Harrison is encouraging community members, parents or guardians to stop by their local district station to allow kids to trick-or-treat in a safe environment with officers. Continue reading »

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Oct 262018
 

Emilio Dominguez (via NOPD)

A man accused of masturbating outside a Toledano Street resident’s window on three separate occasions over the last two months has now surrendered to police on obscenity charges, New Orleans police said. Continue reading »

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Oct 172018
 

Kenneth Barnes (via NOPD)

The man who robbed nine businesses in the Carrollton area at gunpoint in 2016 was sentenced to 25 years in prison this week after pleading guilty to 22 charges related to the crimes, the Orleans Parish district attorney’s office said. Continue reading »

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