Readers of the Failed Evidence blog will recall the story of Richard Lapointe, the Connecticut man who was convicted for the murder of his wife’s grandmother. Lapointe, who suffers from mental and physical disabilities, has been serving a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. He was arrested after a nine and one-half hour interrogation. According to an op-ed column in The Middletown Press:
The interrogation wasn’t recorded. Detectives’ notes quote him as saying: “If the evidence shows that I was there, and that I killed her, then I killed her, but I don’t remember being there.” Many of the statements he made, about how Martin was assaulted and murdered, were contradicted by the facts in the case.
If ever a case called out for recording, it was this one. And it was not done.
Now, an appellate court in Connecticut has granted a new trial, based on prosecutorial failure to disclose evidence to the defense. This will give Lapointe a chance to present evidence uncovered since the trial, including DNA that does not support Lapointe’s conviction.