Monday, November 29, 2021

Inmates found innocent after decades – including a 14-year-old boy who was executed on death row

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Dontae Sharpe has just been pardoned after serving 24 years in prison for a murder he was not involved in – here we look at some other shocking legal errors

For most of us, spending decades locked up in a cell for a stomach upset crime that you know you didn’t commit is an unthinkable nightmare.

But for some it was an unbearable reality.

Dontae Sharpe was recently granted a full pardon after serving 24 years in prison for an unrelated murder.

He was only 19 years old when he was convicted of shooting 33-year-old George Radcliffe in 1995.

Sharpe was sent away after a then 15-year-old girl claimed she saw it, though she later admitted she wasn’t there.

But he was released in 2019 and the pardon now means he is eligible for up to $ 750,000 (£ 560,000) in compensation.

He then said, “My family’s name has been deleted. It’s a burden on my shoulders and the shoulders of my family. “

Here the Latest Page News takes a look at some other injustices involving innocent people who have been ruthlessly deprived of their liberty.

George Stinney Jr. was 14 years old when he was executed for a double homicide in one of America’s worst miscarriages of justice.

The shivering boy was strapped to an electric chair in June 1944 for murdering two girls – although there was no evidence linking him to their death.

The victims were Betty June Binnicker, 11, and Mary Emma Thames, 8, who were beaten to death with a railroad spike in South Carolina in March 1944.

Police blamed George as a black teenager who saw the white girls the day before.

But in 2014 – 70 years after his execution – a judge overturned his murder conviction.

The harrowing and tragic story of George was told in the 1991 film Carolina Skeletons.

The harrowing story of the boys who came to be known as the Central Park Five was told in a brutal Netflix drama called When They See Us.

It featured a breathtaking case triggered by the violent rape and attack of a 28-year-old jogger in Central Park, New York, in 1989.

Five boys were charged for the heinous crime – Korey Wise, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, and Raymond Santana.

The friends were unjustly imprisoned and spent their formative adult years there, where they each served between five and twelve years of age.

In 2002, their convictions were overturned and the traumatized “Relieved Five” were awarded $ 41 million in severance pay.

Ricky Jackson served what is believed to be the longest sentence of any US inmate found innocent after nearly four decades in prison.

He was convicted of murder along with brothers Wiley Bridgeman and Kwame Ajamu.

The man they were accused of killing was money order collector Harold Franks, who was shot dead in Cleveland in 1975.

The trio was finally released in November 2014 before reaching a $ 18 million settlement. They were released after a key witness confessed to lying.

Afterward, an emotional Jackson said, “I can’t believe this is over.”

Bridgeman died earlier this year at the age of 66 after spending half his life in prison.

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