In the criminal courts of this country, we say that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. Many times this means that a jury of the defendant's peers finds the evidence against him or her to overwhelmingly suggest guilt. However, there are still times when the jury is wrong, and an innocent man is found guilty of a crime he did not commit.
One Florida man is hoping for an appeal of his murder conviction from almost 30 years ago. The defendant has spent 28 years in prison for a crime he may not have committed.
A former prosecutor and judge in Texas will go to jail for his role in the wrongful conviction of a man. The prosecutor has pled guilty to intentionally failing to disclose evidence in a case that sent an innocent man to prison for the murder of his wife. The prosecutor turned judge, possessed evidence at the time of the trial that may have cleared the accused man of the crime.
A new Supreme court case gives hope for prisoners and individuals convicted of crimes where they have received incorrect information in some instances - In Lee v. United States 582 US ___ (2017) the court held that:
A wrongful conviction in a criminal case not only causes a lot of financial and emotional strain on the victim of the wrongful conviction and his/her family, but it can also cost the taxpayers a lot in the wrongful imprisonment of an innocent person. For all these reasons, it's important that the criminal justice system work hard at preventing this type of critical mistake. In the state of Florida, two new proposed laws could make it easier to prevent a wrongful conviction and also provide compensation for a larger group of innocent people who are wrongfully convicted and imprisoned.
There has been a massive increase in the number of exonerations in America as of late, to the point where we have reached a record high. More importantly, there's been a significant increase in non-DNA related exonerations while those involving DNA have flat lined. The year 2014 was the first exorbitant showcase of non-DNA exonerations, having the most of any previous year at 103 cases.
On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Georgia death row inmate Timothy Tyrone Foster. In a 7-1 decision, the High Court ruled that the prosecution in Foster's case had illegally discriminated against potential jurors based on race.
Recent evidence has shed light on a 43-year cold case. In 2012, Jack McCullough was convicted of the 1957 kidnapping and murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph in Sycamore, Illinois. McCullough was questioned as a suspect soon after the girl's disappearance. He provided an alibi, that he had been on a train from Rockford, Illinois to Chicago, and went on to live his life.