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Begich seeks Department of Justice review of 'Fairbanks 4' convictions

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska — U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is calling on the Department of Justice to review the convictions of four men in jail since 1997 for a murder in Fairbanks.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports (http://is.gd/gNVvu6) Begich made the request in a letter to outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder last week. Begich asks for the review, citing allegations of prosecutorial misconduct, coercion and recently uncovered evidence.

The so-called Fairbanks Four were convicted in beating death of 15-year-old John Hartman.

Marvin Roberts, Eugene Vent, Kevin Pease and George Frese were convicted in trials held in Anchorage and are serving lengthy prison sentences. Many Alaska Natives say the men were wrongfully accused because of racial prejudice.

The Alaska Innocence Project also claims a California inmate has confessed he played a role in Hartman's death.


Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com

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