David Bates spent 10 years in jail before being acquitted for a crime he did not commit. David was convicted of first-degree murder and armed robbery. He had falsely confessed after detectives, under the leadership of Jon Burge, took part in torturing him. The only evidence against him was his confession.
Kirk Bloodsworth became the first death row inmate exonerated by DNA. The Kirk Bloodsworth Postconviction DNA Testing Program was established under the 2004 Innocence Protection Act, providing funding for testing, encouraging states to preserve evidence and make DNA testing available for inmates seeking to prove their innocence.
Antione Day was a budding musician when he was convicted for murder and attempted murder. He was granted a new trial after his trial court lawyer had failed to present numerous eyewitnesses and alibi witnesses who could have exonerated him. Antione is a member of the Exoneree Band.
Jeffrey Deskovic was convicted at age 17 for the rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl. DNA led to his exoneration after 16 years and identified the real perpetrator. He is now an advocate for reform of the criminal justice system, earning a master’s degree and founding The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, which has exonerated two people thus far. Jeff is enrolled in the Elisabeth Haub School of Law. https://www.patreon.com/Deskovic
William Dillon was freed from a Florida prison after serving nearly 27 years for a murder he did not commit. He was convicted based on a questionable eyewitness identification, unreliable testimony from the handler of a scent-tracking dog and testimony from a jailhouse informant.
Audrey Edmunds provided casual childcare when an infant died in her home. The unknown science of Shaken Baby Syndrome hit the media, and Audrey would have to fight for freedom for 13 years before she was finally exonerated after updated science showed her innocence.
Michael Evans was misidentified by a witness in the kidnapping, rape and murder of a 9-year-old girl. He was convicted of the crime by a jury and spent 27 years in prison before DNA exonerated him in what the U.S. Court of Appeals labeled “a tragedy of epic proportions.”
Gloria Killian was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 32 years to life for a murder she first heard about on the evening news. Since her release after serving nearly 17 years, Gloria has raised money to help women prisoners and founded an advocacy group, the Action Committee for Women in Prison.
Ginny Lefever was convicted of killing her husband despite telling police that he had committed suicide by overdosing on antidepressants. The toxicologist at her trial was later found to have lied about his credentials. With no other convincing evidence, the court released her after more than 20 years in prison.
Alton Logan was convicted of murdering a security guard during a robbery. He was unaware that a felon had confessed to committing the murder to his attorneys. The attorneys, bound by attorney-client privilege, were unable to share this invaluable information until his death. Alton was released after 26 years.
Jerry Miller was sentenced for rape, kidnapping and robbery. After he spent almost 25 years in prison, DNA evidence established that it was another man who was responsible for the crime. Jerry received a pardon from the governor and became the 200th person in the United States exonerated through DNA evidence.
Peter Reilly was 18 when he was accused of killing his mother. At police headquarters, alone and without legal counsel, he was interrogated for over 25 hours. He eventually succumbed to exhaustion, hunger, confusion and grief, and confessed to the murder. Playwright Arthur Miller alerted the national press and assembled a new defense team. Evidence later led the state to drop its case against him.
Juan Rivera had been convicted of a burglary and was on electronic home monitoring system when an 11-year-old girl was raped and murdered. The system clearly showed he never left his home. After four days of violent interrogation, Juan was forced to sign a confession. He spent 19 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
Ray Towler spent nearly three decades in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. For years, Ray and the Ohio Innocence Project sought DNA testing in the case, and the fourth round of testing finally proved his innocence. An Ohio judge choked back tears as she ordered his release.
Ken Wyniemko was convicted of criminal sexual conduct, breaking and entering, and armed robbery. The victim said that she had little opportunity to view the assailant, but Ken was still convicted based on a composite sketch. He was freed after DNA testing proved that he was innocent.