Exonerated death row inmates to share stories Oct. 22

October 17, 2013 | Events, UToday, Law
By Rachel Phipps

exoneratedIn a panel discussion at The University of Toledo College of Law Tuesday, Oct. 22, three exonerated death row inmates, who were the subject of the documentary film “One For Ten,” will share their stories.

The free, public event will be held at noon in the Law Center McQuade Law Auditorium.

“Wrongful conviction is the criminal justice system’s worst nightmare,” said Daniel J. Steinbock, dean of the College of Law. “This panel will address the human cost and, hopefully, how to reduce the likelihood of conviction of the innocent.”

On Sept. 24, 1988, a jogger discovered the body of a young man floating in Doan Creek near Cleveland. The victim’s throat had been slit and there were three large stab wounds in his chest. Three local landscapers who knew the victim were arrested for the crime. During the interrogation, one of the suspects accepted a plea bargain and then testified that the other two men, including Joe D’Ambrosio, had kidnapped the victim and driven to the creek before cutting his throat and stabbing him in the water.

D’Ambrosio was sentenced to death for the crime even though the testimony against him was riddled with inconsistencies — the date and location of the murder were disputed, and no physical evidence could be found at the supposed crime scene. D’Ambrosio spent the next 20 years on death row before his conviction was overturned by a federal court.

D’Ambrosio joins fellow exonerees Delbert Tibbs, who spent two years on death row in Florida, and Damon Thibodeaux, who spent 15 years on Louisiana’s death row, on a panel to address wrongful convictions in the United States.

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