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Innocence Project

American non-profit legal organization

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By ADRIAN SAINZ and TRAVIS LOLLER, Associated Press
November 18, 2019
Houston Chronicle
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The daughter of a man executed 13 years ago for murder does not have legal standing to seek DNA testing of evidence in the case, a Memphis judge ruled Monday, but the judge also said the ruling wasn't based on the merits of the claims. April Alley is the daughter of Sedley Alley, executed in 2006 for the murder two decades earlier of Marine Lance Cpl. Suzanne Collins. Earlier this year, April Alley petitioned the court on behalf of her father's estate to order DNA testing. The move came after investigators in a Missouri murder case contacted the Innocence Project about a possible connection between a suspect in that case and Collins. "I'm heartbroken," Alley said in a Monday statement about the ruling. "Frankly, I'm numb." Since the early 1990s, 22 death row inmates around the U.S. have been absolved of crimes through DNA evidence. Innocence Project attorneys had hoped to use such evidence for the first time to exonerate a person who has already been executed. A statement from the Innocence Project on Monday said they were very disappointed in the decision and have already filed a notice of appeal. Collins was 19 and stationed at the former Memphis Naval Air Station in Millington, Tennessee, when she went jogging in a nearby park on the night of July 11, 1985. Her body was discovered early the next day. She had been beaten, raped and mutilated. Sedley Alley confessed to the crime after 12 hours of questioning but later said the confession was coerced. Shortly before Alley was executed, Innocence Project co-founder Barry Scheck helped argue for DNA evidence testing. The request was denied. Alley, 50, who had spent two decades on Tennessee's death row, was put to death by injection on June 28, 2006. That might have been the end...
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