Inmate Paul House Cleared of Murder After 22 Years on Death Row

Terrehaute_gurneyAfter 22 years on death row, Paul House has now been cleared of murder charges with Tennessee state prosecutors asking for all charges to be dropped against him. He had been sentenced to die in 1986 and his case is already being used by opponents of the death penalty as an example why states should move to life without parole as the ultimate punishment in this country.


House would have been executed next month but will now be freed.

He was convicted in the 1985 murder of Carolyn Muncey, but there were a great number of problems in the trial and the evidence.

Muncey disappeared of Luttrell, Tennessee was dead after being badly beaten and raped. House was a friend of Muncey’s husband. Police found discrepancies in his alibi and noted that he had unexplained cuts and bruises. Most importantly, they submitted evidence that Muncey’s blood had been found on his jeans. It was later discovered that those samples were contaminated and unreliable. Moreover, later DNA found it was her husband’s semen found on the body. Blood under her fingernails and cigarette butts also did not match House.
In 2006, in House v. Bell, 547 U.S. 518 (2006), the Supreme Court ruled that he was entitled to a new trial with Justice Kennedy saying that the evidence could point to a different individual.

There is great speculation that Muncey was actually killed by her husband, here.

For the full story, click here and here.

68 thoughts on “Inmate Paul House Cleared of Murder After 22 Years on Death Row”

  1. When it time to try somebody in some cases anybody will do. The public outrage that someone must be guilty, they have no alibi, so they must be guilty, is BULL SHIT.

    Can anybody honestly tell the cops what you were doing the Tuesday after the first Monday that the murder occurred? I guess you are as good as a suspect as we have, so you’ll have to do.

  2. House wasn’r cleared of the murder. The prosecutor decided he could not move forward with the case, which happens in many cases, but, most certainly does not mean House was “leared”

    This is much like the “exonerated” and “innocent” released from death row. Anti death penalty folks just created new definitions for those words and shoehorned a bunch of cases – now 133 – into those definitions. Maybe around 25 of those 133 have solid evidence for actual innocence.

    Being clear and accurate matters.

  3. Mike

    was I originally thought of as a troll? funny I don’t remember that.

  4. Mike

    You wrote:

    **GWLSM,
    Here’s the problem words do matter and the point of my first long post was that you mis-characterized what she clearly said and from that you made certain assumptions about her that weren’t commensurate with her remarks. That is where I took issue with you. I suspect that politically, perhaps sociologically we share similar viewpoints. Why then you might ask didn’t I let your remarks pass, even though Sally and I come from a different place politically?**

    I guess, then that you get to take issue with me. Sally compared herself to a mama bear. She wrote that she felt like putting a bullet through someone’s head was the expedient way to go, if that person might have committed a crime that she thought would merit that. I simply took those statements and sort of, well, ran with them. The things people say/write does kind of give one a sort of permission to extrapolate other things about them, but if you go back to her original post and my response you will see that I did not fabricate anything. Does she keep a loaded .45 next to her pillow? I don’t know. Did she beat her children and then have them all pray together as a family afterwards? I have no way of knowing that either. Please note I accused her of none of these things and if I take pause with people who rely on scripture rather than the law, which is their right as long as they behave lawfully, I am also given permission to comment on that. Sometimes I might cross some imaginary line that was placed in my way. Take exception or not.
    Whether you let my remarks pass or not,is up to you. I would think less of you if you only thought well of folks whose political views dovetail most perfectly with your own.

    Is this the pat where I am supposed to apologize for calling someone who thinks of herself as a mama bear as exactly just that?

  5. “She believes in administering a swift bullet to the head and letting god sort it out.”

    “I am a good writer. I think words matter.”

    GWLSM,
    Here’s the problem words do matter and the point of my first long post was that you mis-characterized what she clearly said and from that you made certain assumptions about her that weren’t commensurate with her remarks. That is where I took issue with you. I suspect that politically, perhaps sociologically we share similar viewpoints. Why then you might ask didn’t I let your remarks pass, even though Sally and I come from a different place politically?

    My experience in the 60’s Movement was that sometimes no matter how pure our motives we acted at times like those we decried. That was the lesson I drew from all that “sturm und drang.” If ever those of us who believe in the need to change the way humanity creates its own hell on Earth, then we must carefully examine our own behavior, before casting aspersions on others.

    In that vein yes I am very open about myself and my wife of three decades hates it, but perhaps I have other charms for her. It is who I am and I have no expectations that others should join me. Nor do I think it diminishes authenticity to not act similarly. I am honest enough to admit that a part of this easy disclosure is vanity and certainly I think I see myself clearly enough to see the many contradictions and ironies of my personality. Much of my own amusement is at the expense of my own foibles.

    You remember of course how you were originally misconstrued as a troll, by those who didn’t take the time to understand your thoughts. I suggest that in this instance you did Sally a disservice in a similar manner.

  6. Mike

    You wrote:

    **Now as far as the second quote of yours that I list I find it strange. Not because of its War on Drugs reference, which many of my comments here will show I am strongly against and I do believe is racist. I find it strange because it seems to be a characterization of people who disagree with you, rather than an argument. This is not an issue of the rape of white vs. black babies. By the way don’t even begin to question my racial feelings, not only because I’ve got 5 years of age on you so I’ve been in the battle longer, but because I’ve got a long, documentable history of being on the right side and acting on it, sometimes to my own detriment. This is an issue of the Death Penalty and why it is wrong, that it has overwhelmingly negatively affected black lives is incontrovertible, but even if it didn’t it is wrong. Yet assumptions of particular peoples racism, beyond your surmises is also intolerable.

    You write well and you are no doubt a very intelligent and commendable person, however, let me say that you also expose a tendency towards assumption and pre-judgment that weakens the points you are making.**

    I used that example out of convenience and also because it is one I thought might be obvious. I never considered asking you to defend your feelings or thoughts about race. My comments come from stuff that I’ve noticed, from my own experiences.
    There were two cases of child abduction in my community in the past 5 years that got national attention. both children were pretty, blond girls. During the time that those children were abducted, 2 children of color, from impoverished neighborhoods were abducted. One from a very very large park adjacent to a zoo and the other from a neighborhood playground. There was virtually no press, certainly no national press and no abductor was ever found. In one case the child’s body was never recovered. Both abductors of the petty white blond girls were found. One is now on death row. Why? Is the life of a pretty white girl with blond hair more valuable to the press? to this community? I don’t know. I only know that it seems so. Are white families better organized? Are they better at making posters and sticking them up in grocery stores and better at giving tv interviews?
    I don’t think that this was pointed at any one person in particular. Neither do I think that it comes from pre-judgement. and I would never dream of judging your feeling about race mainly because I don’t know you and don’t know what your thoughts on that subject are and while your 5 years on me might have some meaning to you, it has little meaning to me except that there are somethings you recall that I do not. If it were 20 ears I’d me more impressed.
    There are few things I believe in more and want to trust in more than equal protection under law. I want all victims of violent crime to have their day in court and I want all perpetrators of crimes against children to be prosecuted. I want to believe that if someone is sentenced to life without possibility of parole it is an appropriate sentence to a horrible crime and not because they were caught with a joint in their pocket for the 3rd time.

    I am a good writer. I think words matter. I like to use the ones that convey my point of view most accurately. I do not always succeed. I’m not sure how intelligent I am. I can only compare myself to those around me and sometimes it isn’t in my best interests to be the smartest girl in the class. I don’t know what you mean by commendable — or if I totally agree, but thank you.

    You will notice that I don’t disclose much personal stuff about myself. I don’t mind hearing from people who do. It might make me seem more authentic if I did, as you do, but it’s not really my style.

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