Monday, July 31, 2006

Important Update on Samuel Flippen

Friends and Family Rally In Support of Clemency for Sammy Flippen
St. Anne's Episcopal Church
2690 Fairlawn Dr.
Winston Salem, NC
Monday July 31, 2006
7:00 p.m.
For more information, go to

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Success to Freedom

Success to Freedom is an organization set up by Carl King to aid in exonerating wrongfully convicted inmates in New York. King started by freeing his friend Colin Warner. Colin Warner spent 21 years behind bars for the murder of Mario Hamilton. Carl King eventually managed to convice the real shooter and the victim's brother to testify on Colin's behalf. The actual shooter was offered a plea, and based on how he decided, Colin would or would not be set free. Colin's freedom depended on the outcome of this plea of an 18 year old. For more on the story, go to The story is done by a freelance Brooklyn based journalist, Curtis Harris. For the audible version, go to, it was aired on 2/11/05, episode 282.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Save Sammy

There will be a rally in Samuel Flippen's honor on Monday, July 31, 2006 at 6:00 p.m. It will be held at the Millennium Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. For directions, please go to The address is 101 W. 5th St., Winston-Salem, N.C. 27101. There will be a caravan on Monday out of the Durham/Chapel Hill area if anyone is intersted. For more information on the case and ways that you can help, please click on the "Save Sammy" link in the margin.


John Ballard

John Ballard is the 22nd Person Exonerated from FloridaThe Florida Supreme Court unanimously overturned the conviction of death row inmate John Robert Ballard (pictured) and ordered his acquittal in the 1999 murders of two of his acquaintances. The Court concluded that the evidence against Ballard was so weak that the trial judge should have dismissed the case immediately. The primary evidence presented against Ballard was a hair and a fingerprint, both of which he could have left during his many visits to the victims' apartment. Bloody fingerprints and 100 other hair samples were found associated with the crime scene, none of them belonging to Ballard, who has always maintained his innocence. One of the victims was a known drug dealer.The state Attorney General's office said that it would not seek a rehearing in the case. At Ballard's trial, only 9 of the 12 jurors recommended a death sentence. The judge decided to sentence Ballard to death, commenting: "You have not only forfeited your right to live among us, but under the laws of the state of Florida, you have forfeited your right to live at all." Ballard was released on February 25, 2006. (

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Samuel Flippen

Samuel Flippen was convicted of the murder of his two-year-old stepdaughter, Britnie Hutton. She was killed on the morning of Feb. 12, 1994. Britnie’s mother Tina Flippen left for work that morning at 9:15 a.m., leaving Samuel and the little girl alone. A call was placed to 911 by Flippen at approximately 10:14 a.m. Flippen stated that the child had fallen out of her high chair and was having trouble breathing. When EMS arrived they found Britnie gasping for breath and nearly blue from lack of oxygen. She was pronounced dead nearly 30 minutes later. Upon autopsy, doctors found that the injuries she sustained did not indicate a fall, but rather a homicidal assault.Samuel Flippen maintains his innocence and insists that Britnie fell; details of the alleged crime are vague. We must question whether Flippen committed pre-meditated murder, assuming he committed the murder in the first place. Without knowing the exact circumstances of the crime it is impossible to assume that this was a thought out killing.Flippen also had no prior criminal history or tendencies of violence. The best piece of aggravation that the prosecution presented was a picture of a hole in a wall that Flippen had punched through during an argument with his wife. The state was not able to show any past incidences of violence and there are no indications that Flippen constitutes a further threat to society. His death sentence is fully unjustified.Without knowing the exact facts of the crime it is impossible to tell whether Samuel Flippen committed a pre-meditated murder. It also has not been proven that this man is a continuing threat. We must not execute people who have shown no cause to have their life taken away. This alleged crime was heinous but does not fit the parameters of a state execution.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Innocence Project-Fall 2006

The Innocence Project allows wrongfully convicted inmates the opportunity to reach out to someone who has the resources and knowledge to help them in their claim. The N.C. Center on Actual Innocence provides client files to law schools that have a project set up for the purpose of bringing students that are eager to learn into the process. Students are assigned cases, and investigate and research to determine whether or not the inmate has a viable claim of innocence. The project meets twice a semester to do "case reviews" in which the students present the client's case and the evidence. The project works together with professors to present options and possibilities for the client. NCCU has a goal of helping inmates, giving experience to students, and also educating the community regarding the wide range of inmates in prison who have been wrongfully convicted. There will be events this fall semester at NCCU open to the public, as well as events at our neighboring law schools. The purpose of this blog is to keep people informed and interested in how indigent people are treated in this state.