In 1989, 15-year-old Yusef Salaam was one of five Black and Latino teenagers who were wrongly accused of assault and rape in the so-called Central Park jogger case. Long after he’d served a seven-year prison sentence, DNA evidence confirmed that a serial rapist and murderer had committed the crime, and acted alone. Salaam's new memoir is 'Better Not Bitter.'
A new six-episode drama for the Sundance Channel follows a man who, after 19 years in prison, is exonerated by DNA evidence and returns to his family. Critic David Bianculli says it's a unique show, and a memorable one.
Attorneys Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld. They co-founded the Innocence Project, dedicated to freeing innocent people from jail using DNA tests to do so. Barry Scheck is best known for his DNA analysis on the OJ Simpson defense team. They've collaborated on a new book (along with columnist Jim Dwyer) about their efforts, "Actual Innocence: Five Days to Execution, and Other Dispatches From the Wrongly Convicted." (Doubleday).
Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. In the early 60s, Carter was a top contender for the middleweight boxing crown. Then in 1967, he was convicted of three murders he did not commit. He was in prison for nearly 20 years, but continued to fight for his freedom in state and federal courts. Finally in 1985, he was found innocent and set free. We talk with Carter, and his biographer, James Hirsch, author of "Hurricane: The Miraculous Journey of Rubin Carter" (Houghton Mifflin Company). A new movie about Carter, called Hurricane, just opened.
Ed Ryder and Reverend James McCloskey The story of one man's fight for freedom. Three days after Ryder arrived at Holmesburg prison to do time for theft, he was accused of murdering a prisoner in his cell block. For twenty years, Ryder fought to prove his innocence... the city of Philadelphia rallying behind him. Reverend James McCloskey, who helps prisoners he believes are unjustly convicted get pardons, spearheaded the efforts for Ryder's release. Now Ryder is a free man.
James McCloskey, founder of Centurion Ministries, Inc., which was organized to free innocent men and women from prison. Since McCloskey began his work in 1980 at least ten innocent prisoners have been freed. Just this week Clarence Chance, 42, and Benjamin Powell, 44 were freed after serving 17 and 1/2 years of life sentences. They were wrongly accused of murdering a sheriff's deputy. Witnesses who initially implicated them later told officials that they were pressured to lie.