at Temple University
Beasley School of Law
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From the Legal Director: 

42-Year Old Injustice Clears

First Hurdle

In January,1973, 20 year-old college student Letitia "Teri" Smallwood was sentenced to life in prison, convicted of setting fire to an apartment building and killing two people. The lack of any direct evidence did not prevent court upon court from upholding her conviction. Teri worked for all that time to get someone to hear her cry that she was innocent. 
"Fire science has undergone a revolution since 1973."
Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas Judge Edward Guido

Represented by the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, Ms. Smallwood became one of the first arson defendants in Pennsylvania to be able to present evidence showing her conviction is based upon faulty and outdated testimony. 

Letitia Smallwood is one of the first Pennsylvania defendants to be able to present evidence on the changes in arson science in state court to assert her innocence.
Pa IP staff attorney Nilam Sanghvi and pro bono counsel Josh Snyder of Boni & Zack LLC will present the expert testimony of Dr. Jason Sutula in March to attempt to earn Teri a new trial. 

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Legal Director  


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Eyewitness Identification Experts in Pennsylvania

This past year, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court announced that Pennsylvania courts would no longer lag behind 47 of our sister states in allowing experts in eyewitness identification matters to testify to juries. That decision, Commonwealth v. Benjamin Walker, says that trial courts now have the discretion to allow expert in appropriate cases. 

This reform has been touted by organizations from the International Association of Chiefs of Police to the National Academy of Science as necessary to give juries the tools they need to assess eyewitness testimony. Finally, Pennsylvania is joining the 21st Century!
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Mission of Pennsylvania Innocence Project

The Pennsylvania Innocence Project works to exonerate those convicted of crimes they did not commit and to prevent innocent people from being convicted. 

December 2014
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In This Issue
Eyewitness Experts in Pennsylvania
Help the Pa Innocence Project on Amazon.com
Bring Them Home
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If you shop regularly at Amazon.com, please consider helping the Pa. Innocence Project through the Amazon Smiles program.

Sign up for Amazon Smiles, select the Pennsylvania Innocence Project as your charity, and we get a percentage of every purchase you make - with nothing charged to you!


Help Bring Them Home

As always, we appreciate your help and generous support so we can continue fighting for the convicted innocent.

The official registration and financial information of the Pa. Innocence Project may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

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Richard C. Glazer
Executive Director
Pennsylvania Innocence Project
Marissa Bluestine
Legal Director
Pennsylvania Innocence Project

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