Manual Wrongfully Accused: 15 People Sentenced to Prison for a Crime They Didnt Commit

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The divorce had become contentious, Mr. Harris filed a restraining order against Ms. Cheek and requested full custody of her two daughters.

One afternoon, Mr. Roberts was waiting for Ms. Cheek to pick him up with his truck to go to work. She never showed up. A few days later, her body was found. When he was questioned by the police soon afterward, Mr.

Two brothers exonerated after spending 25 years in prison for crime they didn't commit

Roberts denied the affair. The authorities showed him a photo of a watch found at the scene that they believed belonged to him. He agreed that it appeared to be his. Later, his wife came forward to say that she had found his watch at home. After Mr. Roberts had spent four years in prison, and after several denied appeals, a fellow inmate told him about the California Innocence Project.

Roberts filled out and mailed a page questionnaire to have his case reviewed. The nonprofit group accepted the case.

Atonement by Ian McEwan One of the most common causes of wrongful convictions is faulty eyewitness testimony. In Atonement, however, we get to go inside the mind of a year-old girl whose misidentification destroys lives. Like most of us, Briony is hard to love but also hard to hate. In a lineup and later in court, she identified Ronald Cotton as her assailant, and he was convicted. But she picked the wrong man; after 11 years behind bars, Cotton took a DNA test that proved his innocence.

Through the story of how Thompson and Cotton formed a friendship, Picking Cotton unpacks and personalises the life-altering shame, guilt and occasional redemption that can accompany a miscarriage of justice. He is imprisoned for more than a decade and when he escapes exacts all kinds of spectacular revenge.

He spent 15 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Now he's on a mission to help others.

I love this book for its scope — it is a grand and thrilling adventure — but also for its implicit warning: defining your life by the worst thing in it comes at a cost. When it was published in , this book threw down a gauntlet, and made it impossible for law enforcement to continue to ignore the injustices that DNA technology had begun to unveil.

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Dark Places by Gillian Flynn This has a special place in my heart because I read it as I was conceiving my first novel, Invisible City, and it became my primer for creating a psychological thriller. Stevenson focuses on the harrowing stories of the people he represents — the poor, the condemned, the wrongfully accused — but his perspective is ultimately hopeful: we can change things, and we are obligated to try. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Almost every American schoolchild reads this book, and for many it is a shocking, essential introduction to the systemic injustice and racism that has plagued our nation from its founding.


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Told through the eyes of a six-year-old girl, it is the story of a black man falsely accused — and eventually convicted — of raping a white woman in s Alabama. For two years, Miles struggled to get back on his feet. Ultimately, he found a job, a home, and today is married with a child. His own struggles and seeing other formerly incarcerated individuals in the same situation were the impetus to start what is now Miles of Freedom , a nonprofit in Dallas that aims to help people transition and stay out of prison.

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Yes, they committed a crime, but a lot of them wanted to do better, and they were just not in a space to do better," said Miles, now The United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. More than 2 million adults were imprisoned or jailed in the United States by the end of , according to recent federal statistics. And oftentimes, one arrest is enough to get caught up in the criminal justice system.

One study showed that nearly half of 25, federal offenders were rearrested for a new crime or parole violation after their release. Miles was fully exonerated in February and used a portion of the money he received from the state to provide comprehensive reentry services for people and families affected by incarceration. Operating in South Dallas, the nonprofit assists individuals returning home from prison by helping them obtain identification, enroll in college and secure housing.

The group also provides computer and career training, financial literacy programs and job placement. The Miles of Freedom Lawn Care Service provides temporary employment for men and women in the program. Miles also offers a shuttle service that takes family members to see their loved ones who are incarcerated.

Innocent people sent to prison for murders they were later cleared of - Insider

At the age of 19, all I had was 60 years and a bunk. And God has given me so much at the age of Below is an edited version of their conversation. CNN: What got you through the years that you were wrongfully convicted and locked up? Richard Miles: The first thing is my faith. Because when the judge said I was guilty, everything let me down at that point in time.

I felt the system let me down, the system is supposed to protect, it's supposed to do justice. I went to church every day of my life. When I went to prison, I sure needed something, and so it was double-time trying to take it from more of a mental idea to something that I could stand on.