David Protess wrote the article in the HuffPo that discusses the work of The Skeptical Juror, aka J. Bennett Allen. Truth be told I am a fan of David Protess and his blog too. David is the President of the Chicago Innocence Project and his HuffPo blog has always been right on target for those of us who focus on criminal justice. Mr. Allen’s amazing work deserves to be highlighted-he is 64-year-old former aerospace engineer from Southern California with no formal legal training. And his blog is definitely ‘MUST READ’ material. In this particular article the case of Preston Hughes is highlighted. The evidence of innocence that Mr. Allen has uncovered is astounding. We must take notice and stand united -because Texas is set to execute Preston Hughes in 87 days, evidence & innocence be damned.
The Skeptical Juror and the Texas Condemned Man
He is an unlikely watchdog over the criminal justice system, a 64-year-old former aerospace engineer from Southern California with no formal legal training. Yet his blog, The Skeptical Juror, has rapidly become must-reading for journalists, lawyers and lay persons interested in wrongful conviction cases that otherwise might escape attention.
Meet the man behind the blog, J. Bennett Allen, who stopped an injustice in its tracks as a juror in a 2007 child molestation trial. Allen, the foreperson, came to believe the defendant was innocent. The 11 other jurors thought otherwise. Using his training as an engineer, Allen skeptically questioned each piece of evidence until — in a scene that reprised Henry Fonda’s 12 Angry Men — he converted all but two of the jurors. The judge declared a mistrial, the defendant was eventually freed and Allen morphed from a skeptical juror to The Skeptical Juror.
“It was eye-opening to see how easily an innocent man could have been convicted,” Allen recently told me. The experience compelled him to begin scrutinizing court records in other cases, and his blog was born. Altogether, Allen has deconstructed the evidence in 97 criminal cases and written four books about wrongful convictions, including The Skeptical Juror and the Trial of Cameron Todd Willingham — about a Texas man who was executed for a crime he likely did not commit.
Now he is faced with his “most daunting” case, one that involves another Texas death row prisoner. And he worries that his scientific assessment of the condemned man’s innocence will fall on deaf ears.
Continue Reading @ HuffPo
and read up on more of this case and others at The Skepitcal Juror’s Blog