Innocent, exonerated, but dead

The list of innocent people convicted of crimes, sometimes actually perpetrated by the informants that law informant is protecting, unfolds, on a seemingly monthly basis, in the news media. This month and last there were several stories.

With little more than the standard $100 in his pocket, Ernest Willis walked out of prison a free man Wednesday after 17 years on death row for a crime that may have never even occurred.

Willis, now 59, was convicted of setting a 1986 fire that killed two sleeping women in Iraan, about 230 miles west of San Antonio. But Ori White, Pecos County district attorney, dropped the murder case Tuesday, saying there were strong indications the fire was an accident.

Not so “lucky”, Louis Greco, who was in another state at the time of a 1965 murder, died in 1995, after spending 30 years in prison. The FBI continued to protect the real killer.

Charges were dropped posthumously against a man who died in prison after serving 30 years for a mob-related murder that authorities now acknowledge he didn’t commit.

Read more case background in Federal Criminal Law.

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