wrongful conviction

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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 »

Man Convicted in 59-Year-Old Kidnapping and Murder Set Free

His conviction was vacated, and a new trial will be held

(Newser) - A man convicted four years ago in the oldest cold case ever tried was freed Friday after an Illinois judge vacated his conviction and subsequent life sentence, CNN reports. According to CBS News , 76-year-old Jack McCullough was convicted of kidnapping a 7-year-old girl, choking her, and stabbing her to death... More »

Exonerated Man Released From Prison After 33 Years

DNA evidence shows he's innocent of a 1982 murder and rape

(Newser) - After 33 years in prison, Keith Harward was released from the Nottoway Correctional Center on Friday after the Virginia Supreme Court agreed that DNA evidence proves he's innocent of the 1982 killing of Jesse Perron and the rape of his wife in Newport News, the AP reports. Harward was... More »

Prosecutor Sent Innocent Man to Death Row. Now, Payback

Texas lawyer Charles Sebesta disbarred for misconduct in Anthony Graves case

(Newser) - A Texas man spent nearly two decades in prison—more than half of that time on death row—before being exonerated in 2010. But Anthony Graves didn't simply celebrate his freedom: He went after the prosecutor who put him behind bars , resulting in Charles Sebesta's disbarment by the... 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 »

Teacher: I Was Fired Over 'Central Park Five' Lesson

NYC educator says school officials feared 'riots'

(Newser) - The Central Park Five were wrongfully convicted of a jogger's brutal rape and beating in a case that shook New York City 25 years ago. Now, a city teacher says she's been fired for creating a lesson plan about the case, reports the New York Daily News . Jeena... More »

More Than 150K Sign Making a Murderer Petition

They want Obama to free convicted killer Steven Avery

(Newser) - If Netflix was a court, Wisconsin inmate Steven Avery would probably already be free. Avery, who is serving a life sentence for the 2005 murder of photographer Teresa Halbach, is the focus of true-crime series Making a Murderer, and more than 150,000 people have been convinced that he is... More »

He Was Jailed After a Woman's Dream. Now He's Free

Cops mistakenly destroyed DNA evidence 20 years ago

(Newser) - A 28-year nightmare is over for a Denver man who says he was wrongly convicted after a neighbor who had been raped and beaten told police his face appeared to her in a dream. A judge overturned the 1988 conviction of 60-year-old Clarence Moses-EL on Tuesday and he was freed... More »

3 NYC 'Arsonists' Exonerated After 35 Years

Fire that killed 6 was probably an accident, DA says

(Newser) - A crime that shocked New York City 35 years ago was probably just a tragic accident, meaning three men were wrongfully convicted of arson, the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office announced during an emotional court hearing on Wednesday. William Vasquez and Amaury Villalobos, who spent more than 32 years behind... More »

Brother's Suicide Note Frees Man Jailed for 16 Years

Kansas man killed himself when new evidence surfaced

(Newser) - Kansas man Tom Bledsoe has confessed to raping and murdering the 14-year-old sister of his brother's wife, but he won't spend a day behind bars for the crime. The confession came in suicide notes that led to his younger brother's release from prison after 16 years, reports... 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 »

Brothers Cleared of 1983 Murder Each Get $750K

Henry McCollum, Leon Brown exonerated in 2014 after 30 years behind bars

(Newser) - Two North Carolina brothers were awarded $750,000 each in compensation today for the three decades they were wrongfully imprisoned in the killing of an 11-year-old girl. Henry McCollum, 51, appeared calm as a North Carolina commission formally awarded the money to him and half-brother Leon Brown, 47, during a... More »

For Wrongfully Convicted Women, Justice Is More Elusive: Lawyers

Lawyers start Northwestern Women's Project to overturn cases

(Newser) - Exonerating women who are wrongfully convicted of violent crimes is no easy task—just ask Kristine Bunch. She got 60 years for supposedly setting the fire that killed her 3-year-old son in 1995, and struggled to find anyone who could help, Mother Jones reports. Finally, lawyers at the Center on... More »

Wrongfully Convicted Man Won Freedom, Is Shot Dead

Alprentiss Nash the apparent victim of an armed robbery

(Newser) - He ended up with only three years of freedom. Alprentiss Nash, who spent 17 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit, was shot to death in Chicago Tuesday, reports DNAinfo . His attorney tells ABC 7 that the 40-year-old was shot while being robbed after stopping at a... More »

Texas May Have Executed an Innocent Man

Witnesses say Lester Bower did not commit the crime

(Newser) - Earlier this month, Texas executed Lester Bower for the 1983 murders of four men in an airplane hangar. Questions of his guilt lingered—and Bower maintained his innocence—until the end, and a Politico exposé suggests that he may have been telling the truth. Journalist Tim Madigan followed Bower’s... 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 »

After 36 Years in Jail, Man's Charges Dropped

Michael Hanline longest-serving wrongfully convicted inmate in Cali: nonprofit

(Newser) - A California man freed after serving 34 years of a life sentence for murder had the charges formally dismissed yesterday. Michael Hanline, 69, was the longest-serving wrongfully incarcerated inmate in California history, according to the California Innocence Project, whose lawyers worked for 15 years to free him. A Ventura County... More »

NY Judge Slams 'Legend' Cop, Frees Man After 23 Years

Detective engaged in 'false and misleading practices,' she says

(Newser) - "There's a saying, when it's too good to be true, it usually is," a Brooklyn judge said yesterday, blasting the methods of retired NYPD detective Louis Scarcella and freeing a man Scarcella sent to prison for a 1991 murder. She overturned the conviction of Rosean Hargrave,... More »

Man on Death Row 30 Years Cleared of Double Murder

Ray Hinton: 'They had every intention of executing me'

(Newser) - A man who spent nearly 30 years on Alabama's death row is free after a decades-long fight to prove his innocence. Ray Hinton, 58, was released this morning from the Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham. He hugged tearful family members as he walked out. "I shouldn't have... More »

Mom Freed From Death Row: 'This Is Not Happiness'

Debra Milke says she lives with a broken heart

(Newser) - An Arizona woman's "living nightmare" is over, her lawyers say. But for Debra Milke, her freedom "is bittersweet," she says. "This is not happiness." After 22 years on death row, Milke was cleared of murder charges earlier this week related to the death of... More »

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