Ross, So. In November , while incarcerated in a state prison facility, Ernest Graham and co-defendant Eugene Allen were charged with killing a state correctional officer. Graham was sentenced to death in after his second trial. The Supreme Court of California reversed the conviction because prosecutors improperly used their peremptory challenges to exclude prospective jurors who were black.
Allen, P. On appeal, his conviction was reversed when the Florida Supreme Court ruled the evidence used against him was not legally sufficient to support the conviction. Jarramillo v. Johnson, a black man, was sentenced to death by an all-white jury for the murder of a white victim. Johnson was retried and, despite the testimony of this second witness, was convicted of second-degree murder. After the conviction, a previously silent eyewitness who had been 10 years old at the time of the murder, came forward and identified Myers as the actual killer.
Based on this new evidence, the trial court, affirmed by the Massachusetts supreme court, overturned the second conviction. Commonwealth v.
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Johnson, N. The prosecution then dropped all charges against Johnson. Larry Fisher was charged with the rape and murder of an year-old high school student in Meridian Mississippi in A series of similar crimes had occurred in the same area and the pre-trial media coverage of the case was extensive. Fisher asked for a change of venue but was denied. He was convicted and sentenced to death in By this he was denied his right to a fair trial before the trial began. Mississippi, So. Fisher was re-tried two months later in a different county and was acquitted of all charges.
See Fisher v. Fisher remained incarcerated because of a separate rape conviction. Brown was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death despite a jury recommendation of life imprisonment. At trial, the only evidence against Brown was a co-defendant who was sentenced to life for his part in the crime. At retrial, the co-defendant admitted that his testimony at the first trial had been perjured, and Brown was acquitted.
Brown v. Ferber was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death. Upon urging by the district attorney, the trial judge ordered a new trial. The charges against Ferber were dropped prior to the retrial when evidence surfaced that the conviction was based on the perjured testimony of a jail-house informant, exculpatory evidence was not disclosed to the defense, and an eyewitness to the crime was positive that Ferber was not the man she saw.
Bowen was incarcerated in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary under three death sentences for over five years when the U. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit finally overturned his conviction in The Court held that prosecutors in the case failed to disclose information about another suspect, Lee Crowe, and that had the defense known of the Crowe materials, the result of the trial would probably have been different.
Crowe resembled Bowen, had greater motive, no alibi, and habitually carried the same gun and unusual ammunition as the murder weapon. Bowen, on the other hand, maintained his innocence, provided twelve alibi witnesses to confirm that he was miles from the crime scene just one hour prior to the crime, and could not be linked by any physical evidence to the crime. Bowen v.
Maynard, F. Charges were dropped after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the prosecution had knowingly allowed false testimony to be introduced at trial. Brown was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death on the testimony of Ronald Floyd, a co-conspirator who claimed he heard Brown confess to the murder.
Floyd later retracted and admitted his testimony was lie. Brown came within 13 hours of execution when a new trial was ordered. Brown was released a year later when the state decided not to retry the case. Wainwright, F. After two mistrials because of hung juries, Cobb and Williams were convicted and sentenced to death for the first degree robbery and murder of two white men in People v. Cobb, N. After a new trial was ordered, the prosecution dropped the charges when a key prosecution witness refused to testify.
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Peek was convicted of murder and sentenced to death, despite witnesses who supported his alibi. His conviction was overturned when expert testimony concerning hair identification evidence was shown to be false. He was acquitted at his third retrial. Peek v. Despite a jury recommendation of life in prison, Juan Ramos was sentenced to death for rape and murder.
No physical evidence linked Ramos to the victim or the scene of the crime. At retrial, Ramos was acquitted. Ramos v. Wallace was convicted and sentenced to death for the slaying of a police officer, despite his claim that the shooting was accidental and that he was acting in self-defense because he was beaten by the officers.
The 11th Circuit ordered a retrial because Wallace had not been competent to stand trial. He was acquitted at the retrial because it was found that the shooting was accidental. Wallace v. Kemp, F. Jones was sentenced to death in Oklahoma in Jones maintains that he was passed out while his three co-defendants murdered Charles Keene.
On appeal, the Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma remanded the case for retrial. The Court held the jury was prejudiced by the improper admission of hearsay testimony and inflammatory photographs. Jones v. State, P. Brown and Troy were sentenced to death after being accused of fatally stabbing a fellow prisoner. The main witness against them was Frank Wise, whose original statements exonerated the men. Pending retrial, the charges against the men were dropped when Wise admitted that he had perjured himself.
Adams was convicted of killing a Dallas Police officer and sentenced to death.
Description of Innocence Cases | Death Penalty Information Center
After the murder David Harris was arrested for the murder when it was learned that he was bragging about it. Harris, however, claimed that Adams was the killer. Adams trial lawyer was a real estate attorney and the key government witnesses against Adams were Harris and other witnesses who were never subject to cross examination because they disappeared the next day. On appeal, Adams was ordered to be released pending a new trial by the Texas Court of Appeals.
Adams case is the subject of the movie, The Thin Blue Line. Ex Parte Adams, S. Crim App. Cox was convicted and sentenced to death, despite evidence that Cox did not know the victim and no one testified that they had been seen together.
In , Cox was released by a unanimous decision of the Florida Supreme Court that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction. Cox v. Richardson was convicted and sentenced to death for the poisoning of one of his children.
The prosecution argued that Richardson committed the crime to obtain insurance money, despite the fact that no such policy existed. The primary witnesses against Richardson were two jail-house snitches whom Richardson was said to have confessed to. At a subsequent court hearing, the court overturned his conviction, and no further charges were raised in the case.
See Richardson v. Brandley was awarded a new trial when evidence showed prosecutorial suppression of exculpatory evidence and perjury by prosecution witnesses.
An investigation by the Department of Justice and the FBI uncovered more misconduct, and in a new trial was granted. Prior to the new trial, all of the charges against Brandley were dropped. Brandley is the subject of the book White Lies by Nick Davies. Ex Parte Brandley, S. Despite several witnesses who testified that he was miles from the scene of the murder, Skelton was convicted and sentenced to death for killing a man by exploding dynamite in his pickup truck.
The evidence against him was purely circumstantial and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals found that it was insufficient to support a guilty verdict. The Court reversed the conviction and entered a directed verdict of acquittal. Skelton v. Johnston was sentenced to death in by a 3-judge panel for the murder of his stepdaughter and her fiancee.