Shortly after sunrise (yesterday), the inmates in the stark prison yard cheered wildly and pumped their fists for Robert McClendon as he took his final steps toward freedom. The Columbus (Ohio) man grinned as he walked past the concrete-block walls and curls of barbed wire, no longer condemned for a child rape that DNA shows he didn't commit.That is the lead to a story in yesterday's Columbus Dispatch. The case is featured as part of a yearlong investigation by reporters at the Dispatch, who found "deep flaws" in Ohio's system for uncovering wrongful convictions:
"Police and courts regularly destroy evidence. Prosecutors, benefiting from a flawed law, routinely oppose DNA testing. Judges dismiss inmate requests without a reason, as required by law."
The full "Test of Convictions" series - including interactive videos and graphics - is here; the McClendon case is presented here.