Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Trail of Two Test Tubes

HIDDEN ODYSSEY | Because of a lab's care, the vials endured 17 years of jostling and logged hundreds of miles without breaking. Then a relentless attorney found them, setting a man free.
By Miles Moffeit
Denver Post Staff Writer

Scott Fappiano didn't know it for most of his 21 years behind bars, but his fate rested inside two test tubes.

The fragile vials, orphaned from an unsuccessful 1989 DNA test, were jostled by dozens of people, trucked hundreds of miles across the Northeast and banished to a succession of storage vaults.

Somehow they survived, without shattering, without spilling. And, incredibly, they were found.

While their trail illuminates how government can lose track of the smallest biological crime relics, it also shows how private labs often safeguard the lowliest of specimens.

"We got Scott out of prison, but it was a cruel cosmic joke in the meantime," said his lawyer Nina Morrison of the Innocence

Project, who spent two years hunting down Fappiano's lost evidence.

The odyssey dates to the December 1983 rape of a police officer's wife.

Shortly after midnight, a gun-wielding intruder crept through the window of the couple's Brooklyn apartment. Once in, he tied the officer to the couple's bedpost, raped the officer's wife repeatedly, smoked a cigarette and downed a couple of beers.

Among the many pieces of evidence he left behind were the future contents of the test tubes - his semen on her white sweat pants.

Soon after, the victim picked Fappiano from a batch of police photos. The 22-year- old Brooklyn native had a juvenile offense, had features similar to the attacker's and lived just blocks from her apartment.

Authorities had all they needed for a conviction after her husband also pointed to him during a physical lineup.

Fappiano was sent away for 50 years.

"Don't forget about me," he told his girlfriend, Joanne.

Read the Rest of the Story at The Denver Post

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