Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"Dateline" revisits the Barry Beach case

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 9:25 AM

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The Independent first wrote about the Barry Beach case in 2006, when Beach was still jailed for the 1979 murder of Kim Nees despite his repeated claims of innocence. "The Wrong Man?", by Jessie McQuillan, was among the first reports that brought increased attention to the decades-old case, reporting on new evidence and Beach's allegations of a forced confession.

The case received national attention two years later when "Dateline NBC" did a special on Beach, and it's been winding its way through the courts ever since. Today, Beach is no longer in jail. A District Court judge ruled in November 2011 that he should be granted a new trial, and he was released a month later. Beach still awaits that new trial, though; the state appealed the District Court decision, and it's currently resting with the Montana Supreme Court.

"Dateline" decided to revisit the story with a new two-hour special that aired Sunday night, titled "Whispers in a Small Town," and it's available in its entirety online. In addition to the back story, "Dateline" focuses on the issue of coerced confessions and new witnesses who've spoken in defense of Beach.

Here's the first segment, but the whole thing is worth watching:

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