Saturday, November 27, 2004

Frances Newton

I have been avoiding posting about Frances Newton thus far. It tears my heart apart. This woman might actually be innocent. She got nothing close to a fair trial, and her conviction was based on purely circumstantial evidence. Yet, the United States Supreme Court refused to hear her case on November 1st and she is scheduled to be executed by the State of Texas (yup, Texas) this coming Wednesday. Newton has a clemency petition pending before the Texas Board of Paroles and Pardons. Her petition does not ask the board for clemency. Rather, it asks the Board for a 120 day stay of execution to allow Newton's case to be further investigated. If the Board agrees with Newton, the Governor will then have the opportunity to agree with the Board or disagree and deny the petition. You can read Newton's petitionon the NCADP website.

Newton has served over 15 years on death row for the murders of her family (husband and two children). She has maintained throughout that she did not kill anyone. Many convicted murderers do claim innocence, this is true. However, not only does Newton claim innocence, there is a compelling case that she might just be innocent. Not only is there a credible argument that the State's evidence does not point to Newton (or at least only Newton), there is also new evidence that could counteract the State's evidence, provide reasonable doubt, and show Newton's innocence. None of this evidence was discovered in the past because Newton's appointed counsel did not investigate and she has been prevented access to counsel of her choice on more than one occasion. I will do my best to keep you updated as Newton's case progresses.

Death Date Nears For Woman Convicted Of Murdering Family

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