In 2011, two murder cases involving defendants who professed their innocence came to dramatic conclusions in appellate courts. In Finland in August 2011, the murder prosecution of Anneli Auer ended with her acquittal by an appellate court. In the United States in September 2011, the murder prosecution of Troy Davis ended in his execution in Georgia’s death chamber, despite exculpatory information developed after his trial about the reliability of some eyewitnesses identification evidence. The Finish case arose out if the December 2006 death if Jukka Lahti in Ulvila. His wife, Auer, called the police and claimed that an intruder entered their house and attacked her husband. After an investigation, the police charger Auer, accusing her of having staged the break-in. The Georgia case arose out of the shooting death of Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail on August 19, 1989. The shooting happened shortly after midnight, near a bus station and Burger King at which MacPhail worked as a security guard. A disturbance had begun outside a pool hall, during which man was beaten. MacPhail went to the scene in response to a call for help, and there encountered several people, on of whom shot him three times. The prosecution contended that Davis shot MacPhail. Davis maintained his innocence, arguing that another person committed the crime.
Christopher M. Johnson,
Post-Trial Judicial Review of Criminal Convictions: A Comparative Study of the United States and Finland,
Me. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.mainelaw.maine.edu/mlr/vol64/iss2/5