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Series explores unjust imprisonment and Alaska's inadequate system for reviewing old cases

  • Author: Charles Wohlforth
    | Opinion
  • Updated: May 18, 2017
  • Published May 17, 2017

Hiland Mountain Correctional Center (Rugile Kaladyte / Alaska Dispatch News)

One prisoner has insisted she is innocent of murder for 30 years while serving a sentence for a crime where she wasn't present and that she didn't help plan, while the shooter lives free. Another prisoner continues a 99-year sentence although the science that put her behind bars has been disproven. Alaska's system for reviewing criminal justice keeps release out of reach for these women and pardons are unknown.

Three opinion columns:

Unjustly imprisoned for 30 years, Donna Armey can't get Alaska's courts to listen

In this, the first in a three-part series on injustices that Alaska's legal system refuses to correct, the story of a woman in jail for a murder where she wasn't present, while the actual killer is free.

Debunked science has kept Suzette Welton in prison for 17 years

Second in a series: Evidence has evaporated that an arson fire killed her son, but unless she can prove she didn't, Welton must serve her 99-year sentence.

Alaska could release innocent prisoners. Other states do.

Third in a series: With prisoner exonerations increasing every year, many states are responding by reviewing old convictions. But not Alaska.

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