February 26, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Exonerations of the Wrongfully Accused

Navigating the criminal legal process after being accused of a crime is complex. Every accused individual should be entitled to competent legal counsel who is well-versed in criminal law and carefully reviews the facts of the case and the evidence being used against the accused to help create the best defense possible. Unfortunately, some individuals accused of crimes are innocent but still faced jail time. If you or a loved one were falsely accused of a crime, call our Johnson County criminal defense attorney for help.  

Our Johnson County Criminal Defense Attorney Takes a Brief Look at Some Past Exonerations of the Wrongfully Accused

Exonerations of individuals wrongfully accused of crimes occur each year. Wrongful convictions happen for a variety of different reasons, including but not limited to incompetent counsel, tampering of evidence, and biased juries, among other reasons. Below are a few examples of cases that occurred throughout the U.S. involving wrongful convictions that later led to exonerations. 

Falsely-Accused Plumbing Company Worker in Texas Gets New Trial and Eventual Pardon

In a late ‘90s Texas exoneration case, a female worker named a co-worker as the person who violently attacked her while she was working at a plumbing company in Texas, causing her severe injuries, which included laying in a coma for 10 days. The prosecution and defense both requested that the scrapings from the victim’s fingernails be analyzed. However, the judge refused the request. After being convicted, the accused retained a new criminal defense attorney and discovered important evidence that was ignored, including the victim’s stolen cell phone, which was used after the violent attack. The new cell phone helped link another former co-worker to the case. The accused was subsequently granted a new trial and ultimately received a pardon in 2007 based on actual innocence. The accused also received a lump-sum payment for the wrongful conviction as well as a monthly annuity from the state. 

Illinois Man Convicted of Cocaine Possession Moves to Vacate Conviction, Gets Case Dismissed and Receives a Settlement

In a 2010 Illinois exoneration case, a man was arrested for possession of cocaine by two police officers. The man pled guilty to reduced charges out of fear that he would be placed in prison for a prolonged sentence even though he claimed that his arrest was false and that the police officers likely planted the cocaine that led to his arrest. Several years later, the same two officers were indicted on corruption charges for putting drugs back on the street that they had previously confiscated from drug dealers. The Illinois man subsequently filed a motion seeking to vacate his conviction because of the charges against these police officers, which corroborate his story that the drugs were planted when he was arrested. The State’s Attorney’s Office dismissed the case and the Illinois man was released from prison. He later filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the officers and the city and received a settlement in his favor. 

Wrongfully Accused of a Crime? Contact Our Johnson County Criminal Defense Attorney For a Free Case Evaluation

Were you or a loved one wrongfully accused of a crime? If so, the good news is that help is available. Contact a Johnson County criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Jerry Merrill today for a free consultation.  You can reach us 24/7 by calling 913-381-2085 or by completing our online form.

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Merrill Law Firm

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7211 West 98th Terrace, Building 4, Suite 140
Overland Park, Kansas 66212

T. 913-381-2085 | F. 913-341-1130

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