Wrongful convictions, Lake Erie erosion, and unpaid state loans

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    Catching Our Eye:

    Unjust justice. Columbus Dispatch’s Randy Ludlow is reporting, “Can Ohio end wrongful convictions that sent 83 to prison over past 30 years?

    “Wrongful convictions continue to afflict Ohio’s justice system, the byproduct of mistaken eyewitness identifications, coerced false confessions, misconduct by police and prosecutors, and misleading forensic evidence.

    “The National Registry of Exonerations identifies 83 people who have been wrongfully convicted in Ohio since 1989, representing the cumulative loss of 888 years of their lives behind bars — an average of 10.6 years each.

    “The total includes 32 people convicted of murder, including eight men who once sat on death row…

    “Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor is establishing a Task Force on Conviction Integrity and Postconviction Review, with members to be named this week and recommendations due by the end of the year.”

    Lake Er… osion. Cleveland.com’s Laura Johnston is reporting, “Here’s how Ohio can help homeowners deal with Lake Erie high water erosion.”

    “Ohio officials are brainstorming ways to help Lake Erie property owners as high water erodes their property.

    “Meanwhile, the state has a list of programs residents can use now to try to battle wind and waves…

    “Lake Erie on Sunday was 573.83 feet above sea level — beating the February record set in 1987 by nearly 5 inches.

    “Many property owners installed sea walls, rivetments, groins, concrete modules and other kinds of shoreline protection the last time the lake was high, 30-40 years ago. Those projects are coming to the end of their useful life.”

    Money, well, spent. The Associated Press’ Andrew Welsh-Huggins is reporting, “Attorney General says half of state loans not in compliance.

    “Only half of the entities receiving state economic development loans substantially complied with the terms of the loan, according to a review by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost of awards that closed out in 2018.

    “In addition, none of the state’s 34 roadwork development grants evaluated in 2018 included solid job creation or job retention requirements, Yost said Monday in announcing the results of his review.

    “Yost, a Republican, also said the state Development Services Agency modified the grant terms to reduce or eliminate requirements, allowing the recipients to be complaint after the fact.”

    David C. DeWitt
    David C. DeWitt is an award-winning journalist with over 15 years experience covering Ohio politics and policy. He has worked for the National Journal, The New York Observer, The Athens NEWS and Plunderbund.com covering topics such as education, health care, crime and courts, poverty, government, business, labor, energy, environment and social issues. His work has also appeared in Government Executive, the Columbus Dispatch, Girlfriends magazine, Bleacher Report and the Ashtabula Star Beacon, among others.