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USA - Pennsylvania. Former Death-Row Prisoner Roderick Johnson is Freed.

December 1, 2020:

 

Former Death-Row Prisoner Roderick Johnson is Freed.
On December 1, 2020, Berks County Court of Common Pleas Judge Eleni Dimitriou Geishauser formally dismissed all charges against Roderick Johnson and issued an order discharging him from custody. Johnnson was freed after the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office declined to appeal the trial court’s October 29 order dismissing the case against Johnson under the double jeopardy protections of the Pennsylvania constitution. Johnson had been on death row for 23 years.Johnson was convicted and sentenced to death in 1997 based largely on the testimony of drug dealer and police informant, George Robles, who had repeatedly avoided having criminal charges filed against him by cooperating with law enforcement in other cases. Johnson had admitted being present at the crimes scene but denied any involvement in the murders. Robles testified that Johnson owned a handgun like one found near the crime scene and had confessed to having the gun with him, wiping it down, and disposing of it on the night of the murders. District Attorney Mark Baldwin suppressed police records documenting Robles’ uncharged criminal activity and his cooperation with police, then lied to the court when the trial judge said “I think he’s a dealer of drugs or a paid informant by the Reading Bureau of Police,” calling the judge’s statement “absurd.”
Johnson did not become aware of the police records involving Robles until a federal judge ordered prosecutors to produce the documents in Johnson’s federal habeas corpus proceedings in another case. The police reports, which documented five separate instances in which Robles escaped prosecution for criminal conduct, ultimately led to the reversals of Johnson’s convictions in both cases.
On August 12, 2019, Johnson filed a motion to dismiss the charges on double jeopardy grounds. One month later, prosecutors moved to withdraw the death penalty from the case. In a scathing opinion, Judge Geishauer wrote that she had “no doubt that district attorney Mark Baldwin made a conscious, intentional, and purposeful decision to not disclose” the exculpatory police reports. “The deliberate nature of his contemptuous behavior,” she wrote, “is evident in the fact that he blatantly lied about his knowledge of the reports directly to the court.”
“Had these acts been committed by a witness,” Judge Geishauer wrote, “the individual could have been, and in all likelihood would have been, charged with obstruction of justice. Had these acts been committed by defense counsel, in addition to charges, a disciplinary action would have been initiated that would potentially result in the suspension or loss of legal license. Mr. Baldwin’s position as District Attorney seems to have protected him from such censure. But in this matter, all men are equal before the law and this court renders judgment of Mr. Baldwin’s egregious behavior.”
Baldwin withheld the same five police documents in the trial that set Johnson’s co-defendant, Shawnfatee Bridges, to death row. The federal courts also overturned Bridges’ conviction, and we was later released after pleading guilty to lesser charges. In December 2019, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court barred prosecutors from retrying former death-row prisoner Chris Williams on double jeopardy grounds resulting from prosecutorial misconduct. Walter Ogrod also was exonerated from Pennsylvania’s death row in June 2020 as a result of police and prosecutorial misconduct.

https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/news/former-pennsylvania-death-row-prisoner-roderick-johnson-is-freed-after-egregious-prosecutorial-misconduct-bars-retrial

https://www.newsbreak.com/news/2128464985123/former-pennsylvania-death-row-prisoner-roderick-johnson-is-freed-after-egregious-prosecutorial-misconduct-bars-retrial

(Source: DPIC, News Break, 17/12/2020)

TANZANIA: DEATH SENTENCES OF 256 CONVICTS COMMUTED
USA - 8 Federal Execution Team Members Test Positive for COVID-19 After Orlando Hall Execution.
IRAN - Kamal Asghari executed at Mahabad Prison on December 9, 2020.
IRAN - Daniel Divani-Azar executed at Miandoab Prison on December 9.
USA - "Death Penalty Action": Voices of Opposition to Federal Executions Grow Louder
QATAR: TWO SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR KILLING ELDERLY PERSON
INDONESIA: EAST ACEH COURT HANDS DOWN DEATH SENTENCE TO DRUG SMUGGLER
BANGLADESH: WIFE, FOUR OTHERS SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR KILLING MAN
NIGERIA: APPEAL COURT UPHOLDS MARYAM SANDA’S DEATH SENTENCE
PAKISTAN: THREE AWARDED DEATH PENALTY FOR RAPING WOMAN
IRAN - The death sentence of the AmadNews Telegram channel director, Ruhollah Zam, has been upheld
SAUDI ARABIA: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR KILLING SECURITY OFFICERS
EGYPT: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORTS 57 EXECUTIONS IN OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER
CHINA: MAN WHO KILLED SCHOOLBOYS EXECUTED
IRAN - Abdollah Mohammadi, minor at the time of crime, executed at Yazd prison on December 6, 2020.
NORTH KOREA: CITIZEN PUBLICLY EXECUTED FOR BREAKING COVID RESTRICTION RULES
IRAN - Iran Supreme Court To Retry Three Men Sentenced To Death Over 2019 Protests.
BANGLADESH: SEVEN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR KILLING UP CHAIRMAN ATIK ULLAH
DRC: 14 SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDER OF RAPPER TWINS
USA - Intellectually Disabled Defendants of Color, Foreign Nationals Disproportionately Subject to the Death Penalty.
PAKISTAN: DEATH SENTENCE OF 2003 RIMSHA RAPE, MURDER CASE CONVICT UPHELD BY SUPREME COURT
INDIA: MAN GETS DEATH SENTENCE FOR RAPE AND MURDER OF MINOR GIRL
NIGERIA: ONDO COURT SENTENCES THREE TO DEATH FOR ARMED ROBBERY
PAKISTAN: COURT AWARDS DEATH PENALTY TO MURDERER ON FIVE COUNTS
BANGLADESH: THREE GET DEATH PENALTY FOR KILLING CHILD IN NARAYANGANJ
IRAN - Nasrin Sotoudeh has been returned to prison even if she is still contagious
NORTH KOREA: FOUR SOLDIERS EXECUTED FOR TAKING PART IN HYESAN INCIDENT
IRAN - URGENT: Ahmadreza Djalali’s execution could really be imminent.
TAIWAN: NEW TAIPEI WOMAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDERING HER TWO CHILDREN

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IRAN - Hands off Cain Year End Report: At least 284 executions in 2020
  IRAN: HANDS OFF CAIN, THE HANGING OF THE PROTESTER MOSTAFA SALEHI IS A SHAME FOR THE SO-CALLED DEMOCRATIC WORLD   
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  HUMAN RIGHTS: DEMONSTRATION OF THE RADICAL PARTY BEFORE IRANIAN EMBASSY 14 FEBRUARY  
  BELARUS EXECUTES TWO CONVICTED MURDERERS  
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