Being wrongly found guilty and imprisoned is a devastating experience. Recently, a Texas man was freed after an judge found him not guilty of violent crimes for which he had previously been convicted. The man had spent 15 years in prison as a result of the wrongful conviction.
The 38-year-old prisoner was freed after prosecutors petitioned the judge to declare him innocent. In 2001, the then teenager was sentenced for violent crimes related to the death of a friend following a fight at a party. He had just graduated high school and the party was meant as a celebration of the event.
He was freed largely based on a confession that a condemned man gave police the day before he was executed. The condemned man, facing death row for the killing of a police officer, was an original suspect in the case. After he confessed to the crime, prosecutors concluded the wrong man was convicted. This was supported by numerous rumors suggesting that the man on death row was indeed the actual killer. Although the defense in the wrongly convicted man's case mentioned this possible alternative suspect in court, the jurors still incorrectly found him guilty.
Although no longer imprisoned, the man will have to make his case to the Texas Court of Appeal for a formal exoneration. This process could take months. It is important that those accused of violent crimes take whatever steps they can to present the best possible case for their defence. A Texas defense attorney is an important person to work with in these cases.