Wrongful Conviction Project – Episode 1, Maurice Caldwell

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Maurice Caldwell speaking at the Capitol in 2018 asking for California to change the laws on compensating exonerees

Maurice Caldwell was convicted in 1991 in San Francisco Superior Court in the June 1990 death of Judy Acosta, who was shot dead during an apparent drug deal that went sour in the Alemany public housing project in San Francisco.

A woman would identify Mr. Caldwell as one of the gunmen and, based solely on her testimony that she saw him standing under a light pole, Mr. Caldwell was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Years later, Caldwell wrote to the Northern California Innocence Project at Santa Clara University School of Law, which began investigating his case.

On December 16, 2010, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Charles Haines granted a motion for a new trial brought by the Innocence Project. Haines ruled that Caldwell’s attorney was constitutionally ineffective for failing to investigate Caldwell’s innocence and that, had he done his job properly, there was a reasonable probability that the jury would have acquitted Caldwell.

Since his release in 2011, Maurice Caldwell has attempted and failed to get compensation for his time in prison.

Listen as Lisa Rea from Restorative Justice International and David Greenwald from the Davis Vanguard speak to Maurice Caldwell and Paige Kaneb from the Northern California Innocence Project, who helped get him free.

Restorative Justice International (RJI) and the Davis Vanguard will be partnering to launch the Wrongful Conviction Project (WCP). The project will shine a light on wrongful convictions while urging the application of restorative justice to seek systemic reform of our justice system(s). The project will produce joint podcasts on wrongful convictions, work on prosecutorial reform and support public policy changes needed to right the wrong of wrongful convictions.

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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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