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Ripped from the headlines

Posted by Jan Gardner  July 16, 2007 10:48 PM

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David Hosp, an attorney at Goodwin Proctor, has drawn on the case of a wrongfully jailed Roxbury man he is representing for his new mystery, “Innocence’’ (Warner), as legal affairs reporter Jonathan Saltzman wrote in a recent story in the Globe.

Stephan Cowans served 61/2 years in prison for his 1997 conviction in the shooting of a police officer. After Cowans was exonerated, the city of Boston paid him $3.2 million. The case led to the temporary shutdown of the fingerprint unit and sweeping changes in how evidence is collected and analyzed.

Hosp, who is representing Cowans in a civil lawsuit against the two officers who misidentified Cowans’s fingerprints, says the wrongfully convicted man in “Innocence’’ bears little resemblance to Cowans. However, Hosp says, he lifted the description of the shabby fingerprint lab from complaints filed by the Boston police union.

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