Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Crime News: Bernie Madoff Scandal Kills DNA Testing for Wrongfully Convicted

The biggest Ponzi scheme in history has reached Texas - and it's very bad news.

This week, while Bernie Madoff sits on house arrest in his plush NYC condo, the Innocence Project of Texas was forced to announce that while they can finish up their scheduled DNA testing for folk who have been wrongfully convicted, they don't have the cash to continue.

JEHT Foundation Closed Its Doors on December 15, 2008

Seems the Madoff scandal forced the JEHT Foundation to shut down, and this was the organization that paid for all these DNA tests.

An acronym for Justice Equality Human dignity and Tolerance, JEHT has been the work of New York philanthropist Jeanne Levy Church and her husband, Kenneth. JEHT focused upon criminal justice reform nationally, and just last year the Levy Churches gave $29.9 million via the Foundation for this Dallas DNA testing endeavor. Madoff's evildoings put an end to JEHT's cashflow, effective December 15th.

There is some good news here. According to the Dallas Morning News, JEHT gave $400,000 to the Innocence Project of Texas and the Project is legally free to keep that cash, and pay for DNA tests already on its calendar.

Just forget the $15,000,000 that JEHT was negotiating to invest in Dallas justice over the upcoming year ....

What Happens With the Innocence Project of Texas?

First, after what is reported as an initial "panic," their leadership has regrouped and after determining that they can keep the $400,000, they're going to try and spread that money over the DNA testing on schedule and hope that this will cover the years of questionable verdicts currently under scrutiny.

They're also talking about where else they can go for funds, and how they can organize fundraisers, etc.

Finally, their executive director reportedly told the Dallas Morning News, " I think it's going to turn out okay."

A Suggestion for Bernie - Instead of House Arrest, Put Him in James Woodard's Old Cell

Here's one suggestion that I'm sure lots would agree would be true Texas Justice -- let's move Bernie Madoff from his Manhattan condo, and put him into one of the Texas prison cells in which one of the wrongfully convicted had to reside while Madoff awaits trial.

Maybe Bernie could kick back in the prison cell of James Woodard, who was released at age 55 after serving 27 years for the wrongful conviction of raping and murdering his girlfriend. (Woodard's got the record right now for the longest amount of wrongful time served.)



Associated Press

New York Times

Dallas Morning News


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