Newly Added or Updated
Case Summaries

Maricopa County, AZ

Eric King

Dec 27, 1989 (Phoenix)

Eric John King was convicted of the murders of Ron Barman, a store clerk, and Richard Butts, a security guard. The murders occurred during a midnight robbery of the Short Stop convenience market at 48th Street and Broadway in Phoenix. The robbery was captured on videotape and grainy images from it showed the robber was a black male wearing a dark sweater with a band of light colored, diamond-shaped markings across his chest and arms.
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Potter County, TX 

Johnny Frank Garrett

Oct 31, 1981 (Amarillo)

Johnny Frank Garrett was sentenced to death for the rape and murder of 76-year-old Sister Tadea Benz, a Roman Catholic nun. Benz had been found dead in her room at St. Francis Convent, 4301 N.E. 18th Ave. in Amarillo, TX. The DA's office and the police linked the crime to the rape and murder of another woman, Narnie Box Bryson, in the same neighborhood four months earlier. They claimed there were too many similarities between the two crimes for them to be coincidental.
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Allegheny County, PA

Michael Day

Aug 10, 1994

Michael Day was convicted of the rape and murder of his three-year-old daughter, Tequyla Pierce Day. On the night of her death, Michael’s wife, DeAnndra Day, called 911 and reported that she found Tequyla face down in the bathtub. She was not breathing. When paramedics arrived they found Michael, wrapped in a bedsheet at the waist, incorrectly attempting to perform CPR on Tequyla. Michael’s naked body was exposed when the sheet was taken to wipe vomit from Tequyla’s face. Michael said he had genital herpes and had not been wearing underwear to speed up the healing process. The initial autopsy report, completed by forensic pathologist Dr. Shakir, said that Tequyla died as a result of severe brain edema due to meningitis with drowning as a contributory cause.
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Philadelphia County, PA

John Miller

Oct 8, 1996

On October 8, 1996, Anthony G. Mullen was murdered in a parking lot near Amtrak 30th Street Station where he worked as an attendant. Police had no witnesses, no leads, no idea who committed the crime. Not until February 1997, that is, when David Williams was arrested on suspicion of having committed a string of armed robberies. Williams asked to speak with a homicide detective he knew, saying that he had information about the Mullen murder and who committed it. Williams told police that John Miller, who had no prior criminal history, had confessed to him to having killed Mullen.  Williams then provided detectives with convincing details about the crime. Based on the information provided by Williams, detectives interviewed 17-year-old Mike Arnold, who corroborated certain parts of Williams’ story by saying that he saw Mr. Miller pick up a gun on the street days before the murder.

On June 24, 1997, John Miller was arrested for the parking lot murder of Anthony Mullen. Called by the Commonwealth to testify at the preliminary hearing and trial, Williams recanted his statement to police, saying that Miller had never, in fact, confessed to him. Nonetheless, police were allowed to read into evidence Williams’ statement. That out of court statement and Arnold’s testimony—with no corroborating physical evidence of guilt—was all of the evidence that convicted John Miller of second degree murder. He was sentenced to life imprisonment on December 15, 1998.

Both witnesses have since come forward to say that their testimony at trial was false. Not surprisingly, David Williams now admits that he knew about the murder because he is the one who committed it. Moreover, after speaking with Pennsylvania Innocence Project investigators, Mike Arnold signed an affidavit stating that he lied when he testified against Miller and that his story about the gun was false. On July 18, 2011, Williams gave staff members from The Pennsylvania Innocence Project a detailed statement in which he confessed that he tried to rob Mullen and then shot him, although not intentionally. In his statement, Williams acknowledged that, by confessing to killing Mullen, he could be subjecting himself to the death penalty or life imprisonment, but he was making the statement nevertheless because he was consumed with guilt for falsely implicating Miller in this crime. – Quoted from PA Innocence Project  (Innocence Institute)

Dauphin County, PA

Patrick Brown

Apr 8, 2001

Patrick Brown, who had no prior record, has spent ... nine years in a Pennsylvania prison serving a sentence of 22 to 70 years for a burglary/robbery he did not commit. He was convicted in 2001 by a jury on the basis of a victim eyewitness identification even though a second eyewitness did not identify him and even though the blue bandana worn by the robber and left at the scene bore the DNA of another. In 2006, five years into Patrick's sentence, the assistant district attorney who tried Patrick came into possession of DNA evidence that matched the DNA on the blue bandana. The DNA belonged to a male in custody in Pennsylvania who closely resembled Patrick. Perhaps because the statute of limitations now barred the prosecution of the actual perpetrator, the assistant district attorney took no steps to remedy Patrick's wrongful conviction. Without doubting the accuracy of the DNA evidence that established Patrick's innocence, the prosecutor did not contact Patrick's trial counsel, he did not inform the Court of the new, exculpatory evidence, he did not forbear from opposing Patrick's 2006 PCRA petition, he did not seek to remedy the conviction by any means. If he communicated the finding to Patrick in a 2006 letter as he claims to have done, the letter never reached Patrick and no copy has ever been produced.

[In Dec. 2009,] through a fortuitous chain of events, and without any awareness that the Commonwealth possessed the exculpatory DNA evidence, Patrick's new lawyer learned the identity of the actual assailant. She asked the trial prosecutor to have that person's DNA compared to the DNA on the blue bandana. At that point, the assistant district attorney said that testing would not be necessary since he already knew from the 2006 sample that the lawyer had correctly identified the real perpetrator.

On June 17, 2010, Patrick Brown was granted a new trial based on stipulated facts known to the assistant district attorney since 2006. The charges against Patrick have since been nolle prossed. The assistant district attorney maintains that he has acted as a "minister of justice." – Case Summary from PA Innocence Project  (Brown v. Beard)


Richard Simmons

June 1985 (Lübbecke)

“Richard Simmons was wrongly convicted as a British soldier stationed in Germany of the 1985 rape and murder of [Sabine Rosenbohm, an 18-year-old German.] After 8 years of imprisonment a German judge ordered his release when it was proven that his DNA didn't match that of the murderer/rapist. Simmons had been convicted because his blood, like half the men in Germany, was the same type as the murderer, and the case against him was otherwise circumstantial.” – FJDB

 Cook County, IL

Michael Glasper

Mar 16, 2006

“Michael Glasper was wrongly convicted in Chicago of the robbery of a [South Loop] parking lot attendant in September 2006. One of the items stolen was the attendant's cell phone. Glasper and his girlfriend found a cell phone near Chicago's Columbia College where his girlfriend worked. She scrolled through the numbers stored in the telephone. She identified the owner, called her, and returned the telephone to her. The robbery victim called the police to report the returned phone. In her statement to the police the victim described the robber as a person 7 inches shorter than Glasper. However, because of Glasper's record they considered him as a suspect. The victim subsequently picked him out of a lineup as the robber. Michael Glasper was convicted based on the victim's in-court identification, and he was sentenced to life in prison as a habitual offender, because of two robbery convictions in the 1990s. Glasper's conviction was overturned on appeal, and he was acquitted after a retrial in July 2008.” – FJDB

Jasper County, SC 

Roger Bostick

Mar 7, 1999 (Pineland)

Roger Bostick was convicted in 2001 of murdering his neighbor, 69-year-old Sarah Polite. Polite served as the treasurer and secretary of her church. Typically, she would bring home a briefcase containing money from the church on Sunday for deposit at the bank on Monday. On a Sunday afternoon she had been struck in the head with a blunt force object and her house was set on fire. She died from smoke inhalation.

Two days after the murder, car keys and other items belonging to Polite were found on a burn pile at a nearby property belonging to Bostick's mother. Specks of blood were found on Bostick's jeans which according to his attorney were “microscopic, not visible to the naked eyes except under very close inspection.” DNA analysis was performed on a sample of this blood. Analyst Nancy Skraba testified that while ninety-nine percent of the population could be excluded as contributing to the sample, she was unable to determine whether the blood sample actually came from Polite. Evidence of gasoline was found on Bostick's shoes which was also used to start the fire in Polite's house.

Defense witnesses presented testimony which cast suspicion on Polite's son, Rudy. According to one witness, Polite was upset that Rudy fixed everyone's car except hers, threw her keys at him, and then went inside her house. The witness saw Rudy drive off in a truck a few moments later. Rudy stated he left to go to an auto parts store to buy a part for his mother's car. When he returned about an hour later, the house was engulfed in flames. Another witness testified that after Polite's body was brought out and placed on the ground, Rudy started to smoke a cigarete and “didn't express any emotion or feeling.”

At trial Bostick requested a directed verdict of aquittal due to insufficient evidence, but it was denied. In 2011, the state supreme court ruled that trial court erred when it denied this request. It found that the state's evidence had only raised a suspicion of guilt. The ruling acquitted Bostick and he was subsequently released from prison.  (State v. Bostick) (Justice: Denied)  [12/11]


Gregory Bashirov

2002 (Rishon LeZion)

“Gregory Bashirov was wrongly convicted in October 2003 of [the 2002 murder of Igor Dvozhinov, 25, in Rishon LeZion,] Israel. Three witnesses who knew Bashirov gave conflicting statements to police that they saw him stab the man, but they also said they saw another man, Fuad Mordov commit the murder. After Bashirov was arrested, Mordov left Israel. Bashirov was prosecuted without Mordov ever being questioned. With Bashirov the only available suspect, he was prosecuted, convicted of the murder, and sentenced to life in prison. He appealed, and in a decision announced June 3, 2006, Israel's Supreme Court overturned Bashirov's conviction, citing their was reasonable doubt of his guilt. The Court stated that the physical evidence pointed to Mordov, and that the witnesses identification of Bashirov was unreliable – ‘A lot of pressure was exerted on the witnesses ... pressure on this type of testimony was liable to have led to an undesireable result, even to the point of incriminating someone who did no wrong.’ Bashirov was released after three years of wrongful imprisonment.” – FJDB

Lake County, IL

Jerry Hobbs

May 8, 2005 (Zion)

Few cases have damaged Lake County’s credibility as much as the one against Jerry Hobbs. In the spring of 2005, Hobbs arrived in Lake County after a two-year stint in a Texas prison for chasing a rival for his girlfriend’s affections with a chain saw. His plan was to reconcile with the girlfriend, who was now living in Zion, Ill., and to become reacquainted with their three children.
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Cache County, UT 

Debra Brown

Nov 6, 1993 (Logan)

Debra Brown was convicted of the murder of Lael Brown, her unrelated employer. Lael, an elderly man, was wealthy and owned numerous rental properties throughout Logan, Utah. He was known to keep large amounts of cash in his home from collected rent payments. During its investigation, police found that Debra had forged nearly $3,000 in checks to herself on from Lael's accounts. They alleged that Debra murdered Lael to conceal her financial deceit. At trial the medical examiner testified that the murder probably occurred Saturday morning between 6:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. – the only time that weekend that Debra didn't have an alibi.

However, evidence has since been uncovered evidence that the medical examiner initially declared the time of death to be midnight Saturday or early Sunday morning. They also have found evidence that suggests that the prosecutors and the medical examiner conspired to change the time of death to put Debra at the scene of the crime. Witnesses have since come forward to say that they saw Lael Saturday afternoon, eliminating the possibility that he was killed Saturday morning.

Debra's attorneys also believe that evidence about another potential suspect was never fully investigated. Bobbie Sheen was a tenant with a troubled past who had recently been evicted from one of Lael's apartments. Sheen had complained to a friend about Lael and his wealth, then mysteriously began flashing around large amounts of cash near the time of Lael's death. Sheen also had a gun almost identical to Lael's, which he refused to sell to his interested friend, but instead disposed of it in the marina. Brown told police about Bobbie Sheen's eviction and one of Sheen's friends tried to tell police about the angry comments and piles of money, but was told to stay out of it. Sheen committed suicide in August 2007.  (Deseret News)  [9/11]


Raj Brothers


Sathis Raj, or his identical twin brother, Sabarish Raj, age 27, parked his car outside a house in suburban Kuala Lumpur and was arrested. Police found bags of drugs in the trunk of the car and also in the house. The bags contained 166 kilos of cannabis and 1.7 kilos of raw opium. His twin arrived later at the scene and was also arrested. Since the second twin, unlike the first, did not have house keys on him, he could not be charged with possession of the drugs. Drug trafficking in Malaysia carries an automatic death sentence. Police however lost track of which twin they had arrested first. Each twin maintained he was arrested after the other.

According to High Court judge Zaharah Ibrahim, “This is a very unique case as they are identical twins. Even the DNA evidence could not prove anything as the DNA could be either Sathis' or Sabarish's. I can't be calling the wrong twin to enter his defence. I can't be sending the wrong person to the gallows.” The judge acquitted the pair citing reasonable doubt as to which twin had been arrested first.  (AFP)  [9/11]

Penobscot County, ME 

Stain & Cromwell

Feb 22, 1878 (Dexter)

David L. Stain and Oliver Cromwell were convicted of the alleged 1878 murder of John Wilson Baxter. Baxter was the cashier at the Dexter Savings Bank and was found in the vault of the bank, wounded, gagged, handcuffed, and unconscious. He died a few hours after he was found. Following an initial investigation, the local townspeople were divided on whether Baxter committed suicide or was murdered. There was little evidence of an intruder, but some thought it unlikely that Baxter could have gagged and handcuffed himself.
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Richmond, VA

Cox & Hood

Aug 31, 1990

Jeffrey David Cox and Stephen James Hood were convicted of the abduction and stabbing murder of 63-year-old Eloise Cooper, a black woman. Two neighbors, both blacks, who witnessed the 3 a.m. abduction, stated the perpetrators were two white males. Police believed the perpetrators to be Billy Madison and Stephen Hood, but neither witness identified them in a lineup. Instead, they tentatively identified Jeffrey Cox, who was included in the lineup because he was a friend of Madison and because Hood suggested he might have been involved. Both witnesses said they wanted to see Cox in person to be sure. In a later lineup, one witness failed to identify Cox, and the other witness was not asked to view the lineup. Nevertheless at trial, both witnesses identified Cox as one of the perpetrators. Police believed the other perpetrator was Madison.
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Beaver County, UT 

Tony Hamilton

Sept 9, 1999

Tony Alexander Hamilton was convicted of the attempted murder of Sheriff's Deputy John Chambers. Hamilton was a member of a religious commune that had purchased 640 acres of land at Vance Springs, located west of Milford, UT. The commune believed that as a religious organization it possessed tax-exempt status and consequently did not pay taxes. After 5 years of non-payment the property was seized by the taxing authorities.
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Dauphin County, PA

Willie Comer

1961 (Harrisburg)

After being identified by witnesses, Willie Comer, 19, was convicted with two other men of taking part in a $250 holdup of the C & D Café in Harrisburg. Some months after Comer's conviction, a co-defendant, Dewitte Brown, 25, wrote to the DA and told him that Comer had nothing to do with the robbery and that Harold L. Edwards, 19, was the third man in the robbery. When brought to trial, Edwards admitted that he, not Comer, was present at the holdup. Edwards was acquitted after claiming he was unaware of the robbery plans of the other two men. Comer was released from Eastern State Penitentiary after four months of incarceration. His conviction was vacated and the charges against him were dismissed.  (Gettysburg Times) (The Innocents)  [3/11]

Philadelphia County, PA

Vincent Moto

Dec 2, 1985

“Walking home from a local mini-mart, just after midnight on December 2, 1985, the victim in this case was approached by two men driving a Chevrolet Caprice. The passenger, later identified by the victim as Vincent Moto, got out of the Caprice, pulled a gun on the victim, and forced her into the car. The two men sped off to another location, where they proceeded to simultaneously sexually assault the victim. Before pushing her out of the car half-naked, the two assailants robbed the victim of her money, glasses, and gold chain.”

“In May of 1986, the victim saw Vincent Moto walking on a Philadelphia street with a woman and a young child. Though five months had passed since the incident, the victim was convinced that Moto was one of her two attackers. In response to her request for help, George Upshur detained Moto until the police arrived. Moto was arrested and charged with multiple felonies. Despite the alibi testimony of Moto’s parents, who testified that their son was at their home on the evening of the criminal incidents, Moto was convicted. The prosecution’s case hinged almost entirely on the strength of the victim’s eyewitness testimony. Moto was sentenced to a term of twelve to twenty-four years. He served nearly nine years of his sentence before being released in July 1996, when PCR based DNA testing on material taken from the victim’s underwear eliminated Moto as the source of the spermatozoa.” – John T. Rago  (IP)

Harris County, TX 

Frances Newton

Apr 7, 1987

Frances Elaine Newton was sentenced to death for the of murders of her husband and two children. The husband, Adrian Newton, was found shot to death in the family's apartment along with the couple's two children, Alton, 7, and Farrah, 1. The apartment was located at 6126 West Mount Houston Road, Houston, Texas. Less than a month before the murders, Frances purchased a $50,000 life insurance policy on Adrian and forged his name to complete the deal. She also purchased a separate $50,000 policy on Farrah. At the time of the murders both Frances and Adrian were seeing other people.
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Tarrant County, TX 

Richard Jones

Feb 19, 1986 (Fort Worth)

Richard Wayne Jones was convicted of the abduction and murder of Tammy Livingston. Around 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 19, 1986 witnesses Ruthie Amato and her two daughters watched as Livingston was abducted from a Michael's store parking lot in Hurst, Texas. Between 9:20 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. the same night, a witness named Robert Speights heard screams coming from a field at 4600 Randol Mill Road in Fort Worth. At 11:20 p.m. a fire was reported in the field. When police responded they found Livingston's body. She had been stabbed 19 times.
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February 2011

Bexar County, TX 

Kia Johnson

Oct 29, 1993 (Balcones Hts)

Kia Levoy Johnson was sentenced to death for the shooting murder of William Matthew Rains. Rains, a store clerk, was shot during a 2:45 a.m. robbery of a Stop 'N Go convenience store at 3309 Hillcrest Dr. in Balcones Heights, Texas. The assailant was unable to open the cash register and took it with him. The details of the crime were captured on video by a store security camera.
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Jackson County, MO 

Byron Case

Oct 22, 1997

Byron Christopher Case was convicted of the murder of 18-year-old Anastasia WitbolsFeugen. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. On the night of her alleged murder, Anastasia had been with her boyfriend, Justin Bruton, 18, and another couple, Byron Case, 18, and Kelly Moffett, 15. The four had met at around 8:30 p.m. According to Byron and Kelly, Anastasia was angry at being picked up three hours late, got into an argument with Justin, and soon left the vehicle at a stoplight. Anastasia was found shot dead at 3:45 a.m. that night in a nearby cemetery. Justin never talked to the police and less than 48 hours later, he was found shot dead 30 miles away from a self-inflicted gunshot blast to the head.
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Cameron County, TX 

San Benito Three

Dec 23, 1984

Davis Losada, Jose “Joe” Cardenas, and Jesus “Jesse” Romero were convicted of the rape and murder of 15-year-old Olga Lydia Perales. Losada and Romero were sentenced to death while Cardenas was given life imprisonment. Perales had been found Dec. 24, 1984 in the brush on the outskirts of San Benito, Texas. She had been bludgeoned 10 to 20 times about the head and shoulders and stabbed twice in the chest after her death. Two weeks later on Jan. 8, Rafael Levya, Jr., age 16, told his probation officer he knew who killed Perales. Leyra initially stated he had only seen the murder, but he would eventually admit involvement.
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Harris County, TX 

Robert Drew

Feb 21, 1983

Robert Nelson Drew was convicted of the murder of 17-year-old Jeffrey Mays. In Feb. 1983, Mays went traveling with his high school friend, Bee Landrum, in Landrum's 1973 Maverick. Both were runaways with alcohol and drug problems. While traveling, the two picked up numerous hitchhikers along the way to obtain gas money. In Lafayette, LA they picked up Drew, then 23, and a man surnamed Frank. Mays and Landrum agreed to drive the men thirty miles east to Franklin, LA. Drew assumed driving duty within 4 blocks of his pick-up point, but got stuck in the mud while crossing a highway median to make a U-turn. In Franklin, Frank bought pizza and beer for everyone, filled Landrum's car with gas, and gave Drew $65. Mays and Landrum agreed to take Drew to Houston in exchange for more gas money.
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Elkhart County, IN 

Edgar Garrett

1995 (Goshen)

“Police in Goshen, Indiana persuaded Edgar Garrett that he killed his daughter, Michelle, who had mysteriously disappeared. During fourteen hours of interrogation, Edgar Garrett gave an increasingly detailed confession describing how he murdered his daughter, whose body had not yet been found. No independent evidence linked him to the crime or corroborated his confession. At the same time, his post-admission narrative contradicted all the major facts in the case. Edgar Garrett confessed to walking into a park with his daughter through new-fallen snow, bludgeoning her with an axe handle at a river's edge, and dumping her body in the river. However, the police officer who arrived first at the crime scene did not see footprints in the snow-covered field at the entry to the park but, instead, saw tire tracks entering the park, bloody drag marks leading from the tire tracks to the river's edge, and a single set of footprints going to and returning from the river. Obviously, someone had unloaded Michelle Garrett's body from a vehicle and dragged it to the river, but Edgar Garrett did not own a car and no evidence was ever developed that he had access to one that day. Michelle Garrett's coat was recovered from the river separately from her body and had no punctures, suggesting that she had been killed indoors and transported to the river bank.”

“Edgar Garrett's confession regurgitated the theory the police held at the time of the interrogation: that his daughter had been clubbed to death. Weeks later, when Michelle Garrett's body was recovered, police learned that she had been stabbed thirty-four times; that her body showed no evidence of significant head trauma; and that the axe handle Edgar Garrett confessed to club her with showed no traces of her hair or blood. At trial, the jury acquitted Edgar Garrett.”  – Leo & Ofshe

Deschutes County, OR 

Robert  Hernandez


Robert Hernandez was convicted in 2009 of child abuse charges against a 6-year-old girl and sentenced to 31 years in prison. Hernandez lived with his girlfriend Tamara Denetclaw. The alleged victim was Denetclaw's cousin whom the couple had been raising since the child was 2. The couple raised the child because her mother lived on the streets and couldn't take care of her. The mother was also legally married to a registered sex offender and there are two registered sex offenders on her side of the family. When the child was 6 the mother decided she wanted her back. Since Hernandez and Denetclaw did not have custody, they had to comply. Many weeks later the mother brought back the child back saying she couldn't take care of her.

At an interview at the Kids Center, a child abuse organization, the child reportedly gave a taped statement that she was abused. The Center sent the child home with Hernandez. They later claimed they did not know what else to do. The Center also told the child's mother what was said, but never mentioned Hernandez. They later claimed that they did not tell her Hernandez was the abuser because they were afraid the mother would beat Hernandez up.

The Kids Center told the mother they taped a medical evaluation of her child. They had her sign a paper saying they would not use their child's statement for teaching purposes and that the reason they taped her child was so that her child would not have to testify in court. However, at Hernandez's trial, the Kids Center claimed that they did not tape the child; that it is not their policy to tape medical evaluations; and that they took notes. But when asked to see the notes, they said they did not keep them; they shredded them. The child testified for two days, but never mentioned Hernandez.

The medical examiner said he could not diagnose or confirm any abuse. Hernandez gave a confession to the alleged charges which he contends was coerced. A psychologist testified that Hernandez tested in the 95 percentile of being a person who says what people want to hear. The psychologist was the only trial witness the defense was allowed to call. The District Attorney, Mike Dugan, was one of the founders of the Kids Center. Dugan was voted out of office in 2010 and the new DA fired the original prosecutor in the case.  (Source: Relative of Hernandez)  [2/11]

 England (Hove CC)

Sheila Bowler

May 13, 1992 (East Sussex)

Sheila Bowler was convicted of murdering her late husband's 89-year-old aunt, Florence Jackson. While Bowler was driving Jackson one night, a tire on her car became deflated and Bowler stopped on Route A259 near Station Road in Winchelsea. She left Jackson in the car and went to seek help. She knocked on the door of a residence and met a Mr. Soan. She used his telephone to call for roadside assistance. When she came back to her car with Mr. and Mrs. Soan, Jackson was missing. In the search for Jackson that followed, Bowler told others not to look far away, as she did not think Jackson was mobile enough to have wandered very far. Jackson's body was found the next day 600 yards away in the River Brede. She had drowned.
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Berrien County, MI 

Maurice Carter

Dec 20, 1973

Maurice Carter was convicted of the attempted murder of Thomas Schadler, an off-duty Benton Harbor police officer. Schadler was shopping with his wife at the Harbor Wig and Record Shop on East Main Street in Benton Harbor when a man suddenly and without provocation pulled a .22-caliber pistol and shot him six times. There were twelve eyewitnesses to the crime.
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 Wales (Cardiff CC)

Cardiff Three

Feb 14, 1988

“Yusef Abdullahi, Tony Paris, and Stephen Miller [were dubbed by the media as] the Cardiff Three. Twenty-year-old prostitute Lynette White was murdered on Valentine's Day in 1988 by being stabbed more than 50 times. Stephen Miller was the boyfriend and pimp of Ms. White. Miller was coerced into falsely confessing to the murder of Ms. White after 13 continuous hours of being shouted at and threatened by police interrogators. His false confession implicated his two codefendants who were likewise innocent. Once he confessed, the police stopped investigating promising leads that may have led to the killer. The three men were convicted in 1990 and sentenced to life in prison. The convictions of all three codefendants were quashed by England's Court of Appeal in 1992 and they were released after 4 years in custody.”

“Six years after their release journalist Satish Sekar, who had aided in the release of the men, published a book about the case – Fitted In: The Cardiff Three and the Lynette White Inquiry. As a result of the information in the book Ms. White's murder case was re-opened in June 1999. In 2003 DNA testing of crime scene evidence identified Jeffrey Gafoor [as] Ms. White's murderer. Gafoor was one of Ms. White's clients. He pled guilty to her murder in 2003 and was sentenced to life in prison. In December 2008 three witnesses who gave false evidence at the trial of the Cardiff Three were jailed for 18 months after pleading guilty to perjury. In March 2009 two more witnesses at the trial were charged with perjury, and 13 police officers involved in the original investigation of the murder were charged with perverting the course of justice for their actions that amounted to framing the three innocent men for the crime.” – FJDB  (Innocent)

San Mateo County, CA

George Franklin

Sept 22, 1969

“In January 1989, Eileen Franklin-Lipsker was playing with her young daughter, Jessica, and as the child turned toward her, a memory of another girl in just such a pose sprang into Franklin-Lipsker's mind. The memory was of her childhood best friend, eight-year-old Susan Nason, being raped and killed by Franklin-Lipsker's father nearly 20 years earlier.”
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Oneida County, NY

Steven Barnes

Sept. 18, 1985

Steven Barnes was convicted in 1989 of the rape, sodomy, and murder of 16-year-old Kimberly Simon. Witness testimony indicated the following: (1) Barnes was near his pickup truck about 6 p.m. on Sept. 18, 1985. The truck was parked adjacent to Mohawk St. in Whitesboro, NY. (2) Simon was seen walking along Mohawk St. and was also seen in a pickup truck which was about to enter Mohawk St. No witness could say with certainty that Barnes and Simon were together, nor could any witness say Barnes had ever met Simon. The following day Simon's dead body was found near a gravel pit off of Mohawk St.

Forensic testing revealed that hairs found in Barnes's truck were similar to those of Simon, soil samples from his truck were similar to those taken from the place where her body was found, and an imprint in dirt, lifted from the fender of Barnes's truck, was consistent with the fabric of the jeans worn by Simon at the time of her death. Additionally, Robert Stolo, an inmate at the Oneida County Jail, contended Barnes made an admission of guilt him. According to Stolo, when he, Barnes, and another inmate were discussing “some girls,” Barnes said, “You mean the one I killed” and then said “I mean the one I am accused of killing.” Barnes was exonerated of the crime in 2009 after DNA tests proved his innocence.  (People v. Barnes) (IP)  [2/11]

 Harris County, TX

Robert Justin Kaupp

Jan 13, 1999

Robert Justin Kaupp was convicted of murder and sentenced to 55 years of imprisonment. On Jan. 13, 1999, 14-year-old Destiny Thetford disappeared from her home in suburban Houston. Kaupp, 17, was a close friend of Nicholas Thetford, Destiny's 19-year-old half-brother. Kaupp went with the family to report Destiny missing. He later helped pass out flyers in the neighborhood and joined in searches for her.

Police later learned that Nicholas had a sexual relationship with his half-sister and he and Kaupp were together on the day Destiny disappeared. On Jan. 26, police questioned Kaupp and gave him a lie detector test which he passed. Kaupp was cooperative and police let him go. Nicholas was also questioned and given lie detector tests, which he failed three times. Eventually Nicholas told police that he was angry that Destiny ended their relationship and that he stabbed her to death and placed her body in a drainage ditch. He also implicated Kaupp in the stabbing and the hiding of the body.

Police did not seek to obtain a formal arrest warrant for Kaupp, as they did not believe that they had probable cause for one. Instead, using Nicholas's statements as evidence, they sought a pocket arrest warrant from the district attorney's office, but it was denied. Nevertheless, police behaved as though they had a warrant and six police cars arrived at Kaupp's home at 3 a.m. on Jan. 27. After Kaupp's father allowed officers entry, they awoke Kaupp with a flashlight. A detective identified himself and told Kaupp, “We need to go and talk.” To which Kaupp replied, “Okay.” Police then placed handcuffs on Kaupp and led him, shoeless and dressed only in boxer shorts and a T-shirt, out of his house and into a patrol car. No evidence indicated that Kaupp was told that he was free to decline to go with the officers.

At the police station Kaupp denied any involvement in the victim's disappearance, but 10 or 15 minutes into his interrogation, after being told of the brother's confession, he admitted having some part in the crime. He did not, however, acknowledge causing the fatal wound or confess to murder, for which he was later indicted.

In 2003 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Kaupp's confession had been coerced as it was the product of an illegal arrest. A Texas Court of Appeals then overturned his conviction. Since his alleged confession could not be used against him at a retrial, the charges against Kaupp were dropped.  (U.S. Supreme Court) (Court of Appeals)  [2/11]

January 2011

San Francisco County, CA

Chol Soo Lee

June 3, 1973 (Chinatown)

In 1974, Chol Soo Lee was convicted of the first degree murder of Yip Yee Tak with the use of a firearm and was sentenced to life in prison. The case was tried in Sacramento after a change of venue from San Francisco. Prosecutors relied on two eyewitnesses who saw the murder, which took place on a Chinatown street corner in San Francisco on June 3, 1973, and on the testimony of a third witness who saw someone fleeing the scene just after the shooting. After suggestive procedures were used by police and prosecutors, including hypnotizing one witness, all three witnesses identified Lee in a police line-up. Based on this eyewitness testimony, Lee was convicted.

In 1977, writer K.W. Lee wrote a series of articles that cast doubt on the validity of Lee’s conviction. The articles garnered significant media coverage of the case and generated a community movement in support of Chol Soo Lee.

In October 1977, Lee was charged in San Joaquin County Superior Court with the first degree murder of fellow prisoner, Morrison Needham, which occurred during a prison brawl. The 1974 murder conviction was alleged as a special circumstance making Lee eligible for the death penalty. He was convicted and sentenced to death. Lee maintained that he committed the prison killing in self-defense.

In 1978, the Sacramento Superior Court agreed to review the 1974 murder conviction. At this hearing, lawyers for Lee revealed that an additional witness, Steven Morris, had come forward the day after the shooting and told police that he had seen the murder and that Lee was not the assailant. The court ruled that this crucial evidence had been withheld from the defense, and overturned Lee’s conviction. In 1980, the Court of Appeals of California for the 3rd Appellate District affirmed the lower court’s decision.

In 1982, Lee was retried for the murder of Tak and was acquitted. In 1983, the Court of Appeals for the 3rd Appellate District reversed Lee’s conviction and death sentence for the prison murder, citing false testimony of a prison informant and improper jury instructions that were given during the penalty phase of the trial. Two months later, San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Peter Seires ordered Lee released. Prosecutors then moved to retry Lee on the prison killing charge. Chol Soo Lee, who had served nearly ten years in prison, agreed to plea to a significantly lesser charge that gave him credit for the time served and he was freed from prison. – Quoted from DP Focus (80)

Alameda County, CA

Huey P. Newton

Oct 28, 1967

Before any evidence was heard, many Americans believed that Huey P. Newton, co-founder and “minister of defense” of the Black Panther Party, had murdered a police officer in cold blood. Others were equally certain that the charge was a trumped-up attempt to crush the militant Black Panther Party.
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Kings County, NY

Vincent Rivers

Sept 16, 1978

“Vincent Rivers was convicted of murder in the second degree in a Kings County retrial in [Nov. 1979], following [a hung jury mistrial]. He was sentenced to twenty-five years to life in prison. [The victim, Dutch Reid, was shot and killed at 2080 Nostrand Ave. in Brooklyn.] A third trial ended in a mistrial. A fourth trial [in 1983], at which Rivers was again convicted of murder, was reversed because of numerous prejudicial errors by the trial court. On July 17, 1986, following a fifth trial, Rivers was acquitted on all counts.” – Inevitable Error  (Appeals)

Westchester County, NY 

Luis Marin

Dec 4, 1980

“Luis Marin was convicted in Westchester County of twenty-six counts of murder arising from a [fire at a Stouffer’s Inn in Harrison, NY.] Marin successfully moved the trial court for a post-verdict order dismissing the indictments based on insufficiency of the trial evidence. The prosecution appealed. The Appellate Division and Court of Appeals upheld the trial court order of dismissal. It was held that having an empty gasoline container and siphon in his car were insufficient facts to support the inference that Marin had set the fire. In sum, the evidence presented at trial was simply insufficient to sustain the charges. ‘[T]he loss of life at the Stouffer’s Inn fire was a tragedy of staggering proportion ... However, the tragedy would be compounded by the conviction and imprisonment of a person whose criminal responsibility for that tragedy has not been proven.’” – Inevitable Error  (Appeals)

New York County, NY 

José Carrasquillo

Mar 29, 1983

“José Carrasquillo was convicted of second-degree manslaughter in New York County on December 17, 1986. [The victim, Dominick Barberi, was assaulted outside the La Fontaine Boutique on Sixth Avenue near 21st Street.] The prosecution charged that Carrasquillo had inflicted a fatal blow upon the victim, who was apparently shoplifting from the boutique where the defendant worked. The victim died two days after the attack. The Appellate Division reversed the conviction on April 21, 1988, and ordered the indictment dismissed. The court held that the evidence was insufficient to establish that Carrasquillo, rather than his accomplice, had struck the fatal blow.” – Inevitable Error  (Appeal)

Saratoga County, NY 

Daniel P. Boutin

Nov 26, 1985

“Daniel P. Boutin was convicted of two counts of criminally negligent homicide in Saratoga County on February 5, 1987. While driving his truck on the Adirondack Northway in Saratoga County, Boutin collided with a police car that had stopped in the right hand roadway behind a disabled tractor trailer. The police car’s lights were flashing, but visibility was low due to fog and rain. Both the state trooper and the driver of the disabled truck, who were seated inside the police vehicle, were killed. The Appellate Division affirmed the conviction, but the Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the evidence does not show that defendant was engaged in any criminally culpable risk-creating conduct.... Rather, it establishes only that defendant inexplicably failed to see the vehicle until he was so close that he could not prevent the collision.... [T]hat unexplained failure, without more, does not constitute criminally negligent homicide.” – Inevitable Error  (Appeals)

Bronx County, NY 

Georgino Borrero

May 8, 1982

“Georgino Borrero, a [drug] store security guard, was convicted of criminally negligent homicide in Bronx County on July 6, 1983, in the shooting death of John Johnson. [The shooting occurred near the store located at 1500 Metropolitan Ave.] On appeal in 1986, the Appellate Division found that, after Johnson pulled a gun on him, Borrero had left the store to find a police officer and fired only when Johnson advanced toward him with a gun and assumed a ‘combat stance.’ The court found that Borrero had ‘acted entirely reasonably.... [His] conduct was that of a responsible citizen.’ His conviction was reversed and the indictment dismissed.” – Inevitable Error  (Appeal)

Bronx County, NY

Boone & Cleveland

Convicted 1973

“[Larry Boone and Arthur Cleveland were] convicted of murder in Bronx County on December 6, 1973. [Boone's] conviction was reversed on July 15, 1975, because the prosecutor had failed to disclose crucial exculpatory evidence. On remand, the trial court dismissed all charges because the detective’s notes had been lost and because witnesses favorable to the defense (whose identities were not revealed by the government at the time of trial) were no longer available, and because there was no proof of Boone’s criminal intent other than his mere presence at the scene. The Court of Claims granted Boone summary judgment on his wrongful imprisonment compensation claim. He had been sentenced to twenty-five years to life in prison, and had served nearly two years before being released.”

“[Cleveland] was sentenced to twenty years to life in prison. His conviction was reversed in 1975 on the authority of People v. Boone, on the grounds that the prosecutor had unconstitutionally failed to disclose crucial exculpatory evidence. The trial court on remand dismissed all charges. Cleveland had been imprisoned for four and one-half years.” – Inevitable Error  (People v. Boone) (People v. Cleveland)

New York County, NY

Bryan Blake

Aug 2, 1985

“Bryan Blake was convicted of second-degree murder in New York County on December 5, 1985. The conviction was reversed on July 14, 1988, on the grounds that both defendant’s videotaped statement, containing improper remarks by the prosecutor, and photographs of the victim’s body, which were shown to the jury during trial, were unduly prejudicial. Blake had been sentenced to twenty-five years to life in prison. The jury which heard the case on retrial acquitted him after ninety minutes of deliberation. ‘It wasn’t even close,’ said one juror. Said another: ‘We felt they had no case ... [W]e were surprised it got to the grand jury. It’s incredible what can happen to people, to be dragged into court with such a little bit of evidence.’ Blake had served over three years on the wrongful conviction.” – Inevitable Error  (People v. Blake)

Monterey County, CA

Lorenzo Nuñez

Nov 16, 1994 (Salinas)

“A jury convicted Lorenzo Nuñez of murder for supplying rifles used in a gruesome slaying, even though scant evidence showed Nuñez knew of the assailants’ intent. The 6th District Court of Appeal upheld the conviction, but a federal judge overturned it because the jury was shown a videotape in which police lied to Nuñez about the strength of the evidence.”
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Santa Clara County, CA

Darcius Butler

2001 (San Jose)

“Just one month out of prison, Darcius Butler was arrested and then convicted on robbery charges, although the evidence was thin. Two years later, an appellate panel overturned the conviction because the prosecution twice indicated that Butler was on parole – despite a judge’s order not to do so.”
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Santa Clara County, CA

Daniel Aleman

Apr 12, 1994 (San Jose)

“Daniel Aleman was convicted of carjacking after a judge promised to review evidence of the crime that surfaced during a closed-door juvenile hearing and then said the evidence didn’t help Aleman’s case. The 6th District Court of Appeal reversed the conviction after discovering the judge could not have reviewed the hearing transcript because it did not exist.”
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Salt Lake County, UT 

Joe Hill

Jan 10, 1914

“Just before 10 pm on the night of 10 January, 1914, John Morrison, a Salt Lake City, Utah, grocer and a former policeman, was closing his store with his two sons, Arling and Merlin. Two men wearing red bandannas forced their way into the store. One of the intruders shouted 'we've got you now', levelled a handgun and shot Morrison. Arling Morrison grabbed his father's old service revolver and fired two shots at the masked men, who returned fire and fled the scene. Merlin, the younger child, stayed hidden in the back of the store.”
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Norfolk, VA 

Kenneth Holland, Jr.

June 17, 1948

Kenneth Raymond Holland, Jr., a former police officer, was convicted of the murder of Charles Everett Utt. Utt was found three miles from his residence bludgeoned with a hatchet in the back seat of his automobile. Police determined that Utt was killed in a lane in the rear of his residence. Holland had been going out with Utt's wife. The relationship was known by her husband and had continued for years. Blood was found on clothes owned by Holland, but none of the blood was found to be of Utt's blood type. Holland maintained the blood came from a fight with a third party. A witness placed Holland at a beer tavern more than a mile from the the scene of the murder on the night of its occurrence. No other evidence of any significance was presented. On appeal in 1949, an appeals court overturned Holland's conviction after finding the evidence against him was insufficient to support it. In 1950 Holland was acquitted at retrial.  (Holland v. Com.) (MOJ)  [1/11]

Macomb County, MI 

Louis Abraham Nasir

May 1965 (Warren)

“Louis Nasir was once arrested for commission of a crime as the result of mistaken identification. Although no charges were brought his picture was taken and found its way into the ‘mug book.’ Several years later in May of 1965, a bandit wearing wraparound sunglasses and a straw hat held up a credit union in Warren and escaped with almost $5,000.00. There were three witnesses, the manager, an employee named Dimples Anderson and a credit union customer. On the afternoon of the robbery the manager and Dimples were unable to select anyone from a mug book and were unable to select anyone from a lineup in which Louis Nasir was not present. The day after the robbery the manager and the employee picked Nasir from a mug book and also picked him in a one-man ‘show-up’ from behind a one-way glass. On the following Monday all three witnesses picked Nasir from a lineup that did not appear unfair in itself from the record, absent any prior suggestion in the one-man photo show-up or any suggestion that may have occurred in the use of photographs.”

“Nasir was tried for robbery and the sole issue was identification. Despite the testimony of six witnesses who said they saw Nasir at work the day of the robbery, the jury believed the identification testimony of the credit union manager, Dimples Anderson and the customer and returned a verdict of guilty. Nasir was sentenced to serve 7 to 20 years in prison.”

“The court-appointed attorney who was to prosecute the appeal was convinced of Nasir’s innocence and enlisted the aid of the two detectives who helped convict Nasir. Working together, the three men found the man who confessed to being an accomplice to the crime. The real robber, who resembled Nasir, had been shot to death in February, 1966. A friend of the dead man, who was serving time in Jackson, corroborated the story by revealing that the crime had been admitted to him before the death of the real culprit.*”

“An hour after Nasir took lie detector tests he was freed on bond pending a new trial and the charges were dismissed on motion of the prosecutor. Nasir had spent 375 days in prison.” – P v A
*The credit union customer turned out to be involved in the robbery and admitted his perjured testimony. However, this witness had no impact or contact with the other two witnesses who made their ‘positive’ and unshakable identifications 3 times before the customer was even available to view a lineup.

Wayne County, MI 

Charles Lee Clark

Nov 23, 1937 (Hamtramck)

“On November 23, 1937, three men held up a clothing store in Hamtramck. The owner was shot and killed. The owner’s daughter, who was 21 years old at the time, went to the assistance of her father and was slugged with a revolver by one of the robbers. Charles Clark was later identified by the girl in a lineup as the man who shot her father. One of the other defendants implicated Clark in an initial statement, but he and two others said at the trial later that Clark had no part in it. Clark’s landlady testified that he was home all that day. Nevertheless, Clark was convicted primarily on the identification testimony of the young woman and was sentenced to life imprisonment.”

“Clark tried for a new trial several times over the 30 years imprisonment, but it was denied each time. Partly because Clark was an exemplary prisoner he was offered parole by the prison authorities and later was offered a pardon and commutation of sentence, but he turned these down because acceptance of such terms would have been a tacit admission of guilt. At one point in a quest for a new trial he was offered the opportunity to plead to a lesser charge, the sentence of which would have freed him immediately. Again he refused.”

“Finally in 1968 the case was assigned to the Legal Aid & Defenders Association of Detroit. The attorneys researched early transcripts and discovered that the victim’s daughter, the sole identifying witness, had originally said that she could not identify Clark as one of the bandits. In an affidavit in support of the motion for a new trial the witness revealed that after she said she could not identify the defendant, the Hamtramck detectives had pointed Clark out as the guilty man before the lineup. Clark was granted a new trial in 1968 and the case was dismissed on motion of the prosecutor.” – P v A

In 1972 the Michigan legislature awarded Clark $10,000 for his 30 years of wrongful imprisonment.  (MOJ)  [1/11]