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Wrongfully Convicted & Open Lines

Date: 12-17-10
Host: Ian Punnett
Guests: Laura Caldwell, Open Lines

In the first half of the program, Ian Punnett welcomed author and former civil trial lawyer Laura Caldwell, who discussed problems in the criminal justice system and the case of a wrongfully convicted man. According to Caldwell, about 11,000 innocent people are put into prisons each year. Nineteen-year-old Jovan Mosley was one of those people.

Caldwell described Mosley as a good kid who was coerced by Chicago police into admitting he'd been part of a fatal bar brawl that he had only witnessed. Despite repeatedly denying his participation in the fight, Mosley was chained to a wall for two days and told he'd be released if he admitted to throwing two punches (and taking a sip of soda), which he did, Caldwell explained. Instead of gaining his freedom, Mosley's testimony was used to charge him with capital murder, she continued, noting that by admitting to those two punches he was made responsible for the whole crime.

Lost in the system for over five years without a trial, Caldwell said Mosley caught a break when he met criminal defense attorney Catherine O'Daniel, who happened to be visiting a client at his jail. O'Daniel listened to Mosley's story, agreed to represent him in her first pro bono case, and eventually won his freedom, she added. Caldwell also commented on the death penalty and the possible execution of the innocent.

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During Open Lines, Don from Topeka, Kansas told Ian about his numerous trips to heaven, a place where you are "five times happier than you've ever been on Earth." According to Don, heaven is up in the clouds in another dimension, and home to a school that teaches angels how to be angelic. Don believes anyone can experience heaven by connecting with his or her own guardian angel through meditation.

Bill in Lexington, Kentucky requested prayers for his difficult situation. Despite working three jobs, Bill said he is unable to keep up with payments on the properties he took over from his parents. He admitted that a dishonest way out of the problem has been presented to him, and he needs the strength to avoid giving into that temptation.

Several callers phoned in to talk about their dealings with law enforcement. Cameron, an anarchist from Los Angeles, said he was at a demonstration for an immigrant who was shot and killed by the police. Things became violent, and though he claims to not have been part of it, Cameron said he was arrested anyway because of his affiliation as an anarchist.

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