Wrongful convictions are a very serious matter that happens a lot more often than people realize. They are oftentimes the cause of police coercion, falsified evidence, racism, and false accusations. Wrongful convictions ruin people’s lives and take away years of freedom that they rightfully deserve. While these stories are extremely fascinating, they are a very serious issue in the United States, where this kind of thing happens way too often. While many victims of wrongful convictions are compensated with lots of money, they will never get those years, and in many instances decades, of their lives back. The Aranda Law Firm is here is you or anyone you know who is faced with false accusations that can ruin their lives.
The West Memphis Three
The subject of the very popular documentary “Paradise Lost”, the true story of the West Memphis Three has become quite popular and is one of the most iconic cases of wrongful conviction in the United States. In the case of the Memphis Three, three teenagers were convicted of the murders of three eight-year-old boys in 1993. The case has gotten crazy amounts of criticism of the case, particularly of the police investigation. There has also been extensive criticism from celebrities, such as Johnny Depp and Henry Rollins, which has helped the case gain media attention. The case is also suspected of police coercion and of jury misconduct. Two of the young men received life in prison while the other one received the death penalty. During the trial, the prosecution heavily asserted that the young men murder the three boys as part of a Satanic Ritual. All three of the young men pleaded not guilty for the murders. They were released from prison on August 19, 2011, as part of a plea deal. They are not legally allowed to sue the city or anyone else involved with their wrongful convictions.
This case is a lot more recent than the last one, but that shows that the issue of wrongful convictions is still a massive problem. Mark Schand spent 27 years in prison for a crime that he did not commit. He was convicted of the murder of a young woman during a nightclub shooting in Springfield. Mass. Schand was able to get a judge to consider new pieces of DNA evidence that were discovered in 2013. The judge then exonerated him and he was released from jail. Sometime later, he sued the police officers who arrested him and gave him life in prison. In a stunning decision made by the jury, Schand was rewarded 27 million dollars of compensation. One million dollars for every year that was in prison. Unfortunately, Schand does not count on ever seeing that money, as he believes that the system has already failed him too many times. Now a free man, he runs his own smoothie business in New Britain. Conn.
Ricky Jackson was arrested and convicted for the murder of Harold Franks in 1975 and was put on death row for a crime that he did not commit. He has served the longest prison time for anyone that has been exonerated in American history with about 39 years spent in incarceration. Jackson maintained his innocence the entire time, insisting that he was somewhere else at the time the crime was committed. The only evidence against him was the testimony of a 12-year-old boy, whose friends and classmates have since stated that he was nowhere near the crime when it occurred. The boy did not even recognize Jackson in a police lineup. He has since stated that the police officers coerced him into pointing at Jackson.
Juan Rivera was wrongfully convicted of the murder of an 11-year-old girl on 3 separate occasions. It has been said the Rivera was not mentally sound when he gave his confession and that the confession was coerced by police after hours and hours of interrogation. In the confession statement, there were actually several details that were not consistent with the evidence taken at the scene of the crime. Also, no physical evidence has ever been found to link Rivera to the crime besides a pair of his sneakers that had the victim’s blood on them, but it was later revealed that the blood was placed there by a police officer and the shoes were not made available for purchase in the United States until sometime after the crime. Electronic monitoring has also been able to confirm that Rivera was at home while the murder was taking place.
Wrongful convictions are a serious problem here in the United States, and there are so many more cases besides the ones listed above. The Aranda Law Firm is here to protect you from any false allegations to keep you out of the prison and from being wrongfully convicted.