Wrongfully Accused: 5 Inmates Found Innocent While Behind Bars

by andrewdeen1 on November 19, 2012

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The American prison system is full of inmates who have been wrongfully imprisoned. This includes people who have been accused of all kinds of crimes from nonviolent drug offenses to murder. Many of these people are finally freed after new confessions are made or after new DNA evidence clears their names. The following sections look at five innocent people who spent many years behind bars for crimes that they did not commit.

Michael Anthony Green

Michael Anthony Green was tried, found guilty, and spent 27 years in jail for a sexual assault, and he was innocent. In 1983, Green was identified by the victim as her sexual assailant. However, more than two decades later, DNA evidence proved that the assailant was actually another man. On July 31, 2010, Green was set free but only after he had spent half of his life in prison. While he was in prison, he missed many of his life’s most important events. He even missed the funeral of his mother.

James Bain

In 1974, a 19 year old James Bain was sent to prison for the kidnap and rape of a 9 year old boy. Bain spent 35 years in prison which was his entire adulthood. When Bain was 54 years old, DNA evidence was brought forward that exonerated him. The DNA evidence proved that another man was guilty of that heinous crime. At that time, Bain was released, but he had spent more than half of his life behind bars for a crime he did not commit.

Alton Logan

In 1982, Alton Logan was charged with killing a security guard at a McDonald’s. Although Logan was actually innocent, he was convicted of being guilty, and he was sent to prison. Meanwhile another man, Andrew Wilson, admitted to his attorneys that he had actually committed that crime. Unfortunately, the lawyers were unable to tell anyone about Wilson’s confession due to lawyer-client privilege. When Wilson finally died 26 years later, the lawyers came forward with the confession, and Logan was freed from prison. By the time Logan was released, he had spent nearly half of his life locked behind bars.

Bernard Baran

Bernard Baran was sent to prison on a child molestation charge in 1984. He was the first of many daycare workers to be sent to prison for child molestation charges. Many people refer to this time period as one that was marked by daycare child abuse hysteria, and Baran is considered to be the first person who was imprisoned as a result of that hysteria. His case was appealed numerous times, and 22 years after his original conviction, Baran was finally released from jail. The appeals court decided to declare him innocent after they finished reviewing his earlier convictions. They said that his attorney was incompetent, and they further declared that the prosecution had withheld critical evidence in Baran’s trial. In 2009 after spending 22 years in prison, Baran was cleared and released.

Raymond Towler

In 1981, the musician Raymond Towler was convicted of raping an 11-year-old girl and assaulting a young boy. He was found guilty and sentenced to prison for life. Unfortunately, his guilty conviction was based primarily on the fact that he was identified by the victims. However, another witness also positively identified Towler. Towler had no other convictions on his record. In 2008, a DNA diagnostics center looked at evidence from his case, and they discovered DNA from two other men. Two years later, Towler was cleared, and he was released from prison after spending 28 years behind bars.

Author Bio

Andrew Deen writes articles focusing in the area of criminal law. This article was written to shed light on issue of innocent individuals behind bars and to encourage awareness and fight for solutions to this problem, such as the hard work of the Innocence Project of California.



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