12 Innocent Prisoners Freed after Lengthy Jail Stints

Crime, Politics

How would you like to spend 35 years in prison for a crime you didn’t commit? Don’t think it could happen to you? After you hear these 12 horror stories of people locked up for crimes they were later found innocent of, you might think again.

  1. Michael Anthony Green, Time served: 27 years—On July 31, 2010, Michael Anthony Green was released from prison after serving 27 years for a crime he’s now found innocent of. Green was sentenced to 75 years in prison after a victim of a sexual assault fingered him as the perpetrator. 27 years later, DNA evidence showed it was someone else. While in prison, Green says his saddest moment was missing the funeral of his mother.
  2. Allen Wayne Porter, Time served: 19 years—For the past 19 years, Allen Wayne Porter claimed he was innocent of the rape and robbery charges brought against him. He tried challenging his conviction several times, but lawyers kept turning down his case. Finally, his case was reopened, and DNA evidence, fingerprints at the crime scene, and testimony from two other men convicted for the same crime exonerated Porter.
  3. Jonathan “Scott” Pierpoint, Time served: 17 years—In 1992, Jonathan Scott Pierpoint was convicted of sexually abusing his stepson. After serving 17 years in prison, he was released when new medical evidence and closer analysis of the stepson’s false statements made it clear he was innocent.
  4. Shawn Massey, Time served: 12 years—Shawn Massey was wrongly sent to prison for 12 years for armed robbery and kidnapping after it was discovered prosecutors withheld crucial information that could have helped his defense. As it turns out, the victim had said she wasn’t sure Massey was the one who robbed her.
  5. Gregory Taylor, Time served: 16 years—Taylor was convicted of murdering a prostitute in 1991, and he served 16 years for the conviction.  Prosecutors had misrepresented evidence against Taylor, leading a life sentence being delivered in 1993. As it turns out, the blood stains in his truck weren’t from a human and the testimony given by witnesses was completely false.
  6. James Bain, Time served: 35 years—Bain was sent to prison in 1974 for kidnapping and raping a 9 year old boy. He was 19 at the time, but recent DNA tests found that he was not the one who committed the crime. Bain is now 54 years old, meaning he spent the best years of his life in prison.
  7. Douglas Warney, Time served: 10 years—Recent DNA testing found that AIDS-stricken Douglas Warney was not guilty of murder. Warney went to prison in 1997 after giving a confession, but he has just a 68 IQ and dementia, which is the probable reason for his false confession.
  8. Alton Logan, Time served: 26 years—After two attorneys revealed that their former client, Andrew Wilson, had admitted to committing the crime that sent Logan to prison, Logan was finally released. The attorneys were unable to come forward with this information because of attorney-client privilege, but when Wilson passed away, all that changed.
  9. Raymond Towler, Time served: 28 years—Towler was released earlier this year after lab analysis found he was not the person who raped an 11 year old girl. Towler had been incarcerated since 1981. The wheels of justice move slowly.
  10. Erick Daniels, Time served: 7 years—Daniels was released after serving 7 years in prison on a robbery charge. He was released for a few reasons, including new evidence that proves his innocence and discovery that the prosecutor withheld exculpatory evidence.
  11. Reggie Cole, Time served: 16 years—Cole spent 16 years in prison, including 10 of them in solitary confinement, for a crime he never committed. He was convicted of killing Felipe Angeles in 1994, but his conviction was based on a fabricated testimony. What’s more, fingerprint and DNA evidence proved Cole was innocent. While in prison, Cole stabbed and killed an inmate in self-defense (the inmate had already killed 8 people).
  12. Bernard Baran, Time served 22 years—After spending half his life in prison, Bernard Baran was released on dubious child molestation charges. He was released when an appeals court determined his attorney was incompetent and that the prosecution withheld key evidence.

Do you think our justice system does enough to protect the innocent?