Victims of the State


Name Index





Date of Alleged Crime


Michael Sabol - See Toth & Sabol


Norfolk County, MA Sacco & Vanzetti Apr 15, 1920 (South Braintree)
Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were convicted of shooting two men to death while robbing a company of its $15,000 payroll.  Both defendants were political anarchists and the case against them garnered international attention.  The case against the two was weak, particularly against Vanzetti who had 44 alibi witnesses.  However, both were convicted and the two were executed in the electric chair on Aug 23, 1927.  On Aug 23, 1977, Gov. Dukakis declared Aug 23, “Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti Memorial Day,” and issued a proclamation exonerating the two.  (CIPM) (Famous Trials)  [11/05]


Buffalo County, WI Frederic Saecker June 1989
Frederic Saecker was convicted of raping a 39-year-old woman.  Following the crime he was seen walking on a highway near the location of the crime with blood on his hands.  He also gave inconsistent versions of his whereabouts and made several incriminating statements.  Saecker, however, did not at all resemble the victim's initial description of the perpetrator, and both she and her husband could not identify him.  Saecker's mother later paid for DNA tests that exonerated him in 1996.  (IP) (WIP)  [10/05]


Yusef Salaam - See Central Park Five


Travis County, TX Ben Salazar June 1, 1991 (Austin)
Ben Salazar was convicted of the rape of a pregnant Austin woman.  He was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment.  DNA tests exonerated him in 1997.  (IP)  [12/05]


Los Angeles County, CA Jose Salazar Nov 18, 1996
Jose A. Salazar was convicted of murdering Adriana Krygoski, an infant girl, by shaking her to death.  Salazar's conviction was due largely to the testimony of deputy coroner James Ribe.  In 1999, veteran prosecutor Dinko Bozanich broke the “code of silence” in the DA's office and exposed the fact that Ribe had given false and misleading testimony in a number of baby death cases, making innocent deaths appear to be the result of sexual abuse or violence.  Salazar's conviction was vacated in Aug. 2003 based on the prosecution's withholding the deputy coroner's mistakes, altered findings, and changed testimony in other homicide cases.  (LA Weekly) (People v. Salazar)  [12/05]


Joseph Salvati - See Deegan Four

Nick Sampson - See Livers & Sampson


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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León Sánchez - See Valero & Sánchez

Isauro Sanchez - See Milwaukee Ave. Innocents


Clark County, WA Daniel L. Sanders June 1997

Daniel L. Sanders was convicted of child molestation. In late May and early June of 1997, Sanders stayed with his former girlfriend, Patti Kelley, to spend time with his 14-year-old son, Gabe. Kelley also lived with her three-year-old son, Tyler, who was not Sanders' child. After Kelley accused Sanders of molesting Tyler, Sanders said she was retaliating against him for threatening to call Child Protective Services after Tyler had gotten got into Kelley's stash of methamphetamine. Kelley had told police that Sanders had masturbated and ejaculated in Tyler's face. During a preliminary hearing, Tyler stated, “My mom told me to say these things about [Sanders],” and he would not, or could not, identify Sanders in the courtroom. The judge found Tyler incompetent to testify.

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Milwaukee County, WI David Sanders Convicted 2008 (Milwaukee)

David Sanders, a Franciscan Brother and schoolteacher, was convicted in 2008 of molesting an altar boy more than 20 years earlier.  The victim who knew his molester as “Brother David,” picked Sanders out of a photo array and remembered him as the man who taught him First Communion rites at St. Vincent's parish.  The victim also said he visited his molester in Delaware.  Sanders 1980s address was in the address book of the victim's family.  At trial Sanders' defense argued that Sanders had never administered the victim's First Communion nor, as far as anyone could prove, had ever been to Delaware. Sanders had worked at a number of Milwaukee area parishes as a music teacher, but never at St. Vincent's.

Following Sanders' conviction, the victim's grandmother found a letter written by a different “Brother David,” named David Nickerson, which implicated that man in the assault.  When confronted, Nickerson admitted he molested the victim.  Sanders was subsequently exonerated after 5 months of imprisonment.  Authorities were debating whether to charge Nickerson, in part, because the victim is far from an ideal witness.  In 2008 the victim was 30 years old and was himself in prison for molesting a child.  (WIP) (MJS)  [11/08]


Mark Sangster - See Dixon & Sangster

Shaka Sankofa - See alias Gary Graham

Raymond Santana - See Central Park Five


Essex County, NJ Rene Santana Dec 16, 1974 (Newark)
Rene Santana was convicted in 1976 of the murder of Remigio Sanchez, an apartment building superintendent.  The crime occurred during the robbery of a basement apartment on Roseville Ave. in Newark.  Centurion Ministries' investigation showed the state's star witness, Roberto Gutierrez, had a secret deal with prosecutors in which charges were dropped against him in exchange for falsely testifying that he had seen Santana fleeing the scene of the murder.  Santana was freed in Feb. 1986 and deported to the Dominican Republic.  Before his release, Gutierrez visited him in prison and apologized.  (Star-Ledger) (Santana 1) (Santana 2)  [5/05]


Duarte Santos - See Miranda Five


Suffolk County, MA Louis Santos Sept 28, 1983 (Dorchester)
Louis Santos was convicted of the armed robbery and felony murder of 32-year-old Colleen Maxwell.  Maxwell, a social worker, had been escorting Charles Bartick, a retarded man with Down's syndrome, from a group home to the Ashmont MBTA station.  Near the Ashmont station, three men robbed Maxwell of her purse.  Maxwell then pursued the purse snatchers, but one of them shot her a few blocks away.  Santos was convicted because of Bartick's extra-judicial identification of him as one of the purse snatchers.  His conviction was overturned in 1988 because of this identification and because the trial judge refused to order a competency evaluation of Bartick.  On retrial, Santos was acquitted.  (CIPM) (Google)  [4/08]


Middlesex County, MA Eric Sarsfield Aug 24, 1986 (Marlborough)
Eric Sarsfield was convicted of rape after being identified by the victim.  Sarsfield was denied parole several times after refusing to admit his guilt.  DNA tests exonerated him in 1999.  In 2005 and 2006, Sarsfield was awarded $2.5 million.  (CIPM) (IP) (JD31)  [11/05]


Omar Saunders - See Roscetti Four

James Sauvé - See Cumberland Four


Pinellas County, FL Tom Sawyer Nov 3, 1986 (Clearwater)
Tom Franklin Sawyer, 33, confessed to the rape and murder of his 25-year-old neighbor, Janet L. Staschak, after 16 hours of interrogation by Clearwater police.  The interrogation included numerous threats.  No evidence linked Sawyer to the crime, and his confession did not match known crime facts.  For example, presuming that Staschak had been sexually assaulted, the interrogators led Sawyer to admit to both vaginal and anal rape during the creation of his confession but the medical examiner reported no evidence of sexual assault.  After the trial judge suppressed Sawyer's confession, the state dismissed the charges, since no other evidence of his guilt existed.  (3/89) (1/90) (11/90)  [9/05]


Cole County, MO Lloyd Schlup Feb 2, 1984
Lloyd Schlup was convicted of murder in the stabbing death of Arthur Dade, a fellow inmate at the Missouri State Penitentiary.  Dade, a black inmate, was stabbed to death in a crowded cellblock by Robert O'Neal, a hit man for the Aryan Brotherhood, a white prison gang.  Two prison guards testified that Schlup held Dade while O'Neal did the stabbing.  Schlup was sentenced to death.  Numerous eyewitnesses knew Schlup had not participated the crime, but investigators had not questioned them.  After Schlup's execution was scheduled in 1993, the victim's mother called the Missouri Governor saying she did not believe Schlup killed her son.  Her emotional appeal was helped by an Inside Edition report that brought national attention to the case.  Schlup's conviction was overturned.  Rather than face trial in 1994, he took a plea deal that would not interfere with his ability to seek parole in 2003 on the assault charge for which he was originally imprisoned.  (Schlup v. Delo) (Time)  [10/05]


Jeff Schmieder - See Clark & Schmieder


Cumberland County, PA Dr. Paul Schoeppe Jan 28, 1869 (Carlisle)

Dr. Paul Schoeppe was convicted of the murder of Maria Steinnecke.  Steinnecke, who was about 65 years of age, was a patient of Schoeppe, who was then about 25.  The two became engaged to marry, but Steinnecke unexpectedly died.  Upon Steinnecke's death, her relatives expected her property to be left to them, but they were much disappointed that her will stated she was leaving all her property to Schoeppe.  At first Steinnecke's relatives proclaimed the will a forgery; later, they claimed Schoeppe must have murdered her.

At trial, an unqualified pathologist asserted Steinnecke was poisoned as he found faint traces of prussic acid in the contents of her stomach.  However, the testimony of other experts was such that the judge instructed the jury to reject this theory and inquire into other poisons.  But the presented evidence indicated that no other poisons were found in her.  The jury convicted Schoeppe and he was sentenced to death.  On retrial in 1872, Schoeppe was acquitted.  (Buffalo Medical Journal) (The Schoeppe Tragedy)  [12/09]


Hunterdon County, NJ John Edward Schuyler Jan 19, 1907 (Califon)
John Edward Schuyler was convicted of the murder of Manning Riley and sentenced to death.  The conviction was based entirely on circumstantial evidence.  Schuyler was pardoned in 1914 after another man, Frank Bird, confessed to the crime.  (MJ) (Phila Inquirer) (Democrat-Advisor)  [7/07]


Ian Schweitzer, Shawn Schweitzer - See Pauline & Schweitzers


Clark County, NV Lawrence Schwiger 2000-2001
Lawrence E. Schwiger was sentenced to life imprisonment for lewdness and solicitation.  Schwiger maintains the crimes never occurred and that the charges resulted from his wife seeking revenge and custody of their daughter while working in concert with corrupt detectives.  (IIPPI)


Charlotte County, FL Bradley Scott Oct 12, 1978

Ten years after the crime, Bradley P. Scott was convicted of the murder of Linda Pikuritz, 12, and sentenced to death.  In the immediate aftermath of the murder, the police ruled out Scott as a suspect because he had a sound alibi.  He was with his girlfriend shopping at the Sarasota Mall some 50 miles away at the time.  Seven years later, a new sheriff reopened the investigation and found some witnesses to testify that they saw Scott in the area of the convenience store from which the victim had been abducted.  Some of these witnesses knew Scott but had never before claimed to have seen him there that day.

Scott's girlfriend at the time of the murder was now his ex-wife and she testified that she had no memory of whether Scott was with her that day.  Evidence police developed to confirm Scott's alibi was now mysteriously missing from their files.  The prosecution argued that a dove shell found in Scott's car was similar to a shell on the victim's necklace and that a hair found in his car was compatible to the victim's hair.  Because of such evidence, Scott was convicted in 1988.

On appeal, the Florida Supreme Court overturned his conviction for insufficient evidence and ordered his acquittal.  It ruled, “Suspicions cannot be the basis for a criminal conviction.”  Scott was released in 1991.  (PC) (CWC) (FLCC)  [7/05]


Pontotoc County, OK Calvin Lee Scott Aug 29, 1982 (Ada)
Calvin Lee Scott, a black man, was convicted of raping a white woman identified as M. F.  DNA testing later exonerated Scott and identified Steven Wayne Sauls as the real rapist.  Sauls could not be prosecuted because of the statute of limitations.  Scott was released in 2003.  (IP)


Chris Scott - See Simmons & Scott


Vigo County, IN David Scott Apr 18, 1984 (W Terre Haute)

David L. Scott was convicted of murdering 89-year-old Loretta Keith.  Keith had been bludgeoned to death in her bed with a hydraulic jack.  Scott was convicted largely because of a covertly taped statement in which he said he participated in the crime.  Scott's sister said the taping was a setup and that Scott was tricked into making the statement.  Scott was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Four months after Scott's trial, another man, Thomas Abram, came forward and implicated Kevin Mark Weeks as the murderer of Keith.  Abram's detailed story made no mention of Scott.  Based on the evidence, Scott was granted a hearing for a new trial, but a new trial was denied.  In Jan. 2008, after Scott served more than 23 years of imprisonment, he was exonerated of the crime and released.  DNA test results showed that Weeks was the person who killed Keith.  (AP News) (Tribune-Star)  [03/08]


Scott County, MS Jamie & Gladys Scott Dec 24, 1993 (Hillsboro)

Jamie and Gladys Scott, sisters, were convicted of participating with three teenage boys in the armed robbery of Johnny Ray Hayes and Mitchell Duckworth.  The convictions were based on the testimony of the victims and two of the male robbers even though both groups initially gave police statements that made no mention of the sisters' involvement.  The sisters were sentenced to life imprisonment.

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Prince William County, VA Lindsey Scott Apr 20, 1983
Corporal Lindsey Scott was the only black MP in the Quantico Marine Base CID.  A military court convicted him of rape after the victim identified him as her assailant.  The victim was the wife of a fellow Marine.  It was later discovered that the prosecution had concealed a medical report issued prior to trial that excluded Scott as the woman's assailant.  After 60 Minutes did a segment on Scott's case, Scott was granted a new trial in a civilian court.  The lead prosecutor in the first trial, Major Donald Thomson, USMC, said: “I think that if I was the defense counselor, and had [this] case, I would rip the prosecution to shreds.”  On retrial, the prosecution case was ripped to shreds and Scott was acquitted.  A book was written about the case entitled Dangerous Evidence by Ellis A. Cohen with Milton J. Shapiro (1995)  [12/05]


Palm Beach County, FL Paul William Scott Dec 6, 1978 (Boca Raton)

Paul William Scott was sentenced to death for the murder of James Alessi, a Boca Raton florist.  Scott had accompanied a friend, Rick Kondian, to Alessi's home where they smoked some pot.  Unknown to the two, Alessi had laced it with PCP, a dangerous hallucinogen.  Scott laid down in another room.  Meanwhile, Alessi, a 6'2" homosexual, tried to force himself sexually on Kondian.  Kondian screamed for Scott's help, and with his aid managed to subdue Alessi.  Scott then left.  Kondian left, but returned three and a half-hours later to rob Alessi, and killed him with a champagne bottle during the robbery.

Kondian cut his hand badly with the cork wire from the bottle, and while he afterwards threw the bottle in the woods, a circle of blood from the bottle was left at the murder scene.  At Scott's trial, the prosecution withheld this blood evidence.  Two witnesses to the murder have also come forward to exonerate Scott.  A book was written about the case entitled A Circle of Blood by Bob Pauley.  (FYI) (AngelFire) (JD03) (11/7/94) (11/15/94) (99) (09) [10/08]


Chatham County, GA Scott & Echols Feb 1, 1986 (Savannah)
Samuel Scott and Douglas Echols were convicted of kidnapping, rape, and robbery.  Echols allegedly held the victim down while Scott raped her.  The victim escaped from the house where she was raped and ran a few blocks before summoning the police.  She apparently identified the wrong house to police, as well its occupants, Scott and Echols, as her assailants.  At trial the two men claimed to have been out with another woman at the time of the assault, and that woman testified on their behalf, as did another witness who said he saw the them at a restaurant at about the time of the assault.  DNA tests exonerated the two men in 2004.  (IP1) (IP2) (FJDB)  [12/05]


Jackson County, AL Scottsboro Boys Mar 25, 1931 (Scottsboro)

Nine black juveniles were falsely charged in 1931 with raping a white girl.  Eight were convicted and sentenced to death.  The ninth defendant got a mistrial because the prosecutor only wanted a life sentence and some jurors held out for death.  Although one of the boys was later shot to death by a sheriff, none were officially executed, and four were released in 1937.  One violated parole by going to Michigan, but in 1950 the Michigan Governor refused to extradite him.  Another violated parole in 1946, became a fugitive until 1976, when he was given a full pardon by Gov. George Wallace.  The longest survivor died in 1989.  Several books were written about this case.  (Famous Trials)  [3/05]


Marion County, IN Dwayne Scruggs Feb 1, 1986 (Indianapolis)
Dwayne Scruggs was convicted of rape and robbery after being identified by the victim.  DNA tests exonerated him in 1993.  (IP) (DNA)  [9/06]