exoneration

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They Served 36 Years for a Murder They Didn't See

Prosecutors say key facts weren't presented at 1984 trial

(Newser) - Three Maryland men sentenced to life in prison for murder as teenagers were exonerated Monday after serving 36 years in prison. "On behalf of the criminal justice system, and I'm sure this means very little to you gentlemen, I'm going to apologize," a Baltimore Circuit Court... More »

He's Out of Jail After Podcast Listeners Worked as One

Edward Ates spent 20 years in prison for a murder, despite no physical evidence

(Newser) - Edward Ates isn't exonerated, but he is free on parole, and he's got a small army of people trying to help him clear his name. Texas Monthly tells the tale: Ates spent 20 years in prison for the 1993 murder of a female neighbor, Elnora Griffin, even though... More »

Quest for Daughter's Justice Takes an Unexpected Turn

Mother of murder victim helps clear convicted man and catch new suspect

(Newser) - Another remarkable crime case involving the field of genetic genealogy has surfaced, but this one out of Idaho comes with a twist. Usually, the technology is used to catch a suspect. This time, in what is believed to be a first, the technology also cleared a man who wrongly served... More »

Convicted of Murder as a Teen, at 62 He Finally Gets Justice

Judge vacates Keith Bush's murder conviction

(Newser) - Keith Bush was convicted of murdering a 14-year-old girl when he was 17. The New York man spent 33 years in prison before being released on lifetime parole in 2007. On Wednesday, a judge vacated the now 62-year-old Bush's conviction, acknowledging that it was tainted because prosecutors didn't... More »

A Serial Killer Murdered Her Son. She Was the One Found Guilty

The 'New York Times Magazine' looks at the case of Julie Rea

(Newser) - "I wouldn't wish it on a snake." So says Julie Rea of the life she has had since Oct. 13, 1997. That was the day she awoke to a scream and tussled with an intruder in her Illinois home. Her 10-year-old son, Joel Kirkpatrick, had been stabbed... More »

They Said He Killed His Lover in 1998. They Got It Wrong

Horace Roberts is exonerated in the death of Terry Yvette Cheek

(Newser) - "It's a classic murder case, where you've got a husband, you've got a lover, and you've got a dead wife." One of those two men spent almost 20 years behind bars for the crime—and prosecutors now believe it was the wrong one. The... More »

Dog Saves Man From 50-Year Prison Sentence

Alleged victim claimed Oregon man killed her pup Lucy

(Newser) - The discovery of a black Lab named Lucy led to the unravelling of a criminal case Monday against an Oregon man who had begun serving a 50-year prison sentence. Joshua Horner, a plumber from the central Oregon town of Redmond, was convicted on April 12, 2017, of sexual abuse of... More »

Wrongly Jailed Man Got $75. Now, He's Finally a Millionaire

Lawrence McKinney spent 31 years in prison

(Newser) - A Tennessee man who was wrongfully imprisoned for more than half his life has finally received compensation—almost a decade after he was set free and handed a check for just $75 . Lawrence McKinney, 61, was convicted of rape and burglary in 1978 but the conviction was overturned and he... More »

Their Crimes Were Unspeakable. They Were Also Bogus

Dan and Fran Keller exonerated of daycare sex abuse

(Newser) - They were labeled "satanic" daycare owners who murdered babies, held orgies involving children, took kids to Mexico to be raped by military officials, and forced others to drink blood. They each spent 21 years in prison based on those lies, reports the Intercept . But after 25 years, their names... More »

He Spent 17 Years in Prison. Then They Found His Lookalike

Judge orders release of Richard Jones

(Newser) - "Everybody has a doppelganger. Luckily we found his," says a lawyer for a man who has been freed after serving 17 years for a crime he always insisted he didn't commit. Richard Jones was released by a Kansas judge after lawyers presented evidence that there is another... More »

Okla. to Pay Back Man Wrongly Imprisoned for 13 Years

After 2 decades, state agrees to compensate Thomas Webb III $175,000

(Newser) - How much are 13 years of your life worth? Per the state of Oklahoma, $175,000 should cover it for Thomas Webb III, who spent that amount of time behind bars for a crime he didn't commit. Per NBC News , Webb's lawyers say that after 20 years of... More »

'Significant Settlement' for Innocent Men Jailed 32 Years

Cleared of arson in 2015, they'll each get $15.5M

(Newser) - After serving 32 years behind bars for arson and murders they didn't commit , Amaury Villalobos and William Vasquez are finally getting what one official calls "closure." The two men wrongly convicted following a 1980 fire that killed a mother and her five children in a Brooklyn townhouse... More »

Man Recants Testimony That Jailed 16-Year-Old for Life

David Bollinger says a detective threatened him with the death penalty

(Newser) - In 1989, 16-year-old Johnny Small was sentenced to life in prison; now age 42, he's still there. That might change, after a state witness whose testimony helped seal Small's conviction recanted his testimony on Monday. "I was forced to do something I didn’t want to and... More »

Man Who Did 10 Years for Murder Gets Cleared of Crime

Paul Gatling was 'pressured to plead guilty'

(Newser) - A Virginia man who spent a decade in prison after pleading guilty to a New York City slaying over 50 years ago was cleared of the crime Monday, the AP reports. At the request of a prosecutor, a judge vacated the conviction of 81-year-old Paul Gatling for the 1963 shooting... More »

More US Exonerations in 2015 Than Ever Before

Almost 150 people, mostly falsely convicted for homicides and drug possession

(Newser) - Netflix's Making a Murderer has not only become a binge-watching addiction—it's apparently turned the spotlight onto unjust convictions in the US. And exonerations are at an all-time high, reports Reuters : There were 149 in 2015, compared with 139 in 2014, according to a report from the National... More »

DNA Clears Man in Prison for 16 Years for Rape

'Shaky witness' testimony erroneously landed Luis Vargas in jail in 1999

(Newser) - A California man imprisoned for 16 years for sexual assault was exonerated Monday after DNA tests showed another man committed the crimes, USA Today reports. Luis Vargas, 46, broke down when an LA Superior Court judge granted a petition to release him from his sentence of 55 years to life... More »

Man Spends 29 Years in Jail ... for Looking Like Rapist

Michael Kenneth McAlister's conviction had been in doubt for decades

(Newser) - Michael Kenneth McAlister was freed Wednesday after spending about half his life in prison for having the wrong face at the wrong time. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe granted a full pardon to the 58-year-old after a serial rapist who bears a very strong resemblance to McAlister—side-by-side mugshots can be... More »

Bogus Texas Drug Cases Lead to Record Exonerations

125 exonerated last year in US, most ever

(Newser) - The US saw a record number of exonerations in 2014, and it was due in part to 33 cases in Texas in which individuals had their drug convictions dismissed after lab tests determined they never had illegal substances, a report released today shows. The National Registry of Exonerations said 125... More »

Man Wrongly Imprisoned for 23 Years Dies

William Lopez died just 20 months after release, was suing for $124M

(Newser) - William Lopez spent 23 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit, and he was finally released in January of last year. But after just 20 months of freedom—and mere days before his lawsuit for false imprisonment was to begin—the Bronx man died Saturday of a... More »

Exonerated NC Pair Finally Walk Free

'They took 30 years away from me ... but I don't hate them,' says McCollum

(Newser) - A day after a judge declared Leon Brown and Henry McCollum innocent and ordered their release after 30 years behind bars for a rape and murder they didn't commit, the half-brothers finally walked out of prisons in North Carolina yesterday. McCollum, 50 embraced his parents as soon as he... More »

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