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10. Kenneth Ireland was implicated in the 1986 sexual assault and murder of a 30-year-old mother of four. A year later, some witnesses came forward to say Ireland did it. Ireland, 20 at the time, was charged with murder, first-degree sexual assault and burglary, and handed a 50-year sentence. In 2007, with the helpof the Connecticut Innocence Project, it was discovered that Ireland’s DNA ruled him out as the man who committed the crimes. Charges were dismissed in 2009 and he was awarded $6 million in compensation.
9. Steven Phillips was identified as the man who committed sexual crimes against at least 60 women in the Dallas area in 1982. Many of the victims described the criminal as having striking blue eyes, although Phillips’ eyes were green. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison and pled guilty to other charges although he maintained his innocence. In 2006, the Innocence Project stepped in and, though DNA testing, found that Phillips was not the man who committed the crimes. He was released from prison after 25 years and was awarded $6 million.
8. Ivan Henry, of British Columbia, was arrested and charged with sexual assaults in the Vancouver area during a period between 1980 and 1982. He was given an indeterminate prison sentence…which is really kinda strange. Similar crimes continued after his incarceration and another man was caught and admitted guilt in those crimes as well as the ones Henry was accused of. Henry had all charges dropped in 2010 and was released. He filed a lawsuit against the government and just last year, was awarded $8 million.
7. Police said when Bruce Lisker was 17 in 1983, he murdered his mother, Dorka. Actually, I think the REAL crime here is naming someone Dorka. Anyway, Lisker maintained his innocence and said he even tried to help his mom when he discovered her body. A bloody shoeprint outside a house window linked him to the crime. But a Los Angeles Times investigation showed that the shoeprint was not Liskers. After more than 26 years in prison, he was released. He was awarded $7.6 million.
6. David Ayers was convicted of the 1999 murder of Dorothy Brown, a 76-year-old Cleveland woman. Years later, it was discovered that detectives Denise Kovach and Michael Cipo fabricated stories linking Ayers to the crime solely because he was gay and they apparently did not like gay people. Odd considering the murder victim was sexually assualted as well. DNA testing also determined he had nothing to do with the woman’s death. Ayers was freed in 2011 and was awarded $13.2 million. On a side note, I think any cop who deliberately accuses the wrong person of a crime… any crime… should be put in jail themselves for a long time.
5. One-time gang leader Rodell Sanders spent 20 years in jail for a 1994 gang murder that he continually denied having anything to do with. When he was jailed, he asked his family to supply him with numerous law books, which he studied day and night. He said he was framed in the killing. After winning himself a retrial through his own studying, the jury acquitted him of all charges. He was awarded $15 million.
4. Kash Register…. yep, that’s his name… was accused of shooting Jack Sasson to death in his LA home in 1979. But three decades later, the sister of the only witness to the crime said her sister’s testimony was a lie. Because of this, Kash won his freedom in 2013. He also won $16.7 million for wrongful imprisonment.
3. Donald E. Gates spent 27 years in jail and also claimed he was framed by police. A jury agreed with him. Gates was convicted of shooting Catherine Schilling in the head 5 times as she walked through a Washington, D.C. park on June 22, 1981. Gates was released from prison after DNA testing proved he was not connected to the crime. A janitor at the law firm where Schilling worked was found to be behind the murder. Two retired detectives, Ronald S. Taylor and Norman Brooks, were found guilty of misconduct in connection with the case. Gates was compensated with $18 million.
2. An 11-year-old girl, Holly Staker of Waukeegan, Illinois, was raped and murdered in 1992. Juan Rivera was convicted of the horrible crime and spent nearly 20 years in prison. But he was cleared of the crime in 2012 when DNA testing proved he was not involved. Prosecutors claimed he wore a pair of shoes with the girl’s blood on them. However, those shoes had not yet been created at the time of the murder. And many other factors figured into what appears to be terrible investigative work by those who targeted Rivera. The actual murderer remains unknown. River won what is believed to be the largest amount awarded for being wrongly imprisoned — $20 million.
1. Ricky Jackson, of Ohio, was convicted of a 1975 murder in Cleveland. A witness, who was 12 at the time, recanted his testimony, saying detectives coerced him into IDing Jackson as the killer after threatening to put his parents in jail if he didn’t. Jackson spent 39 years of his life in prison, the longest anyone in the U.S. has ever spent in jail after being found wrongly imprisoned. He received $2 million for this. Personally, after that much time in jail, he deserves a hundred million.
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