Stealing lives, wrongful convictions

Palesa ‘Deejay’ Manaleng
Stories of wrongful conviction may seem like something that you are only hearing about in your adulthood from newspapers, radio stations or television and even then, they may seem unreal. Let me take you back to your childhood to the day of movies like-The running man, Con Air – with your favourite hero ending up in prison for a crime he did not commit, and how upset you would get when they suffered in prison. Only to cheer, clap your hands and laugh out loud when your hero is finally freed and walks or drives off into the sunset.

Here are some stories about everyday, ordinary people who spent years of their lives in prison for crimes they did not commit. Unfortunately the are many people around the world, who are incarcerated for crimes they did not commit. Ordinary people like the ones mentioned below:

Ken Anderson
Ex-prosecutor Ken Anderson gets jail for wrongful conviction
Former Texas prosecutor and district court judge Ken Anderson agrees to serve 10 days in jail, complete 500 hours of community service and give up his law license for hiding evidence in a 1987 murder trial that sent Michael Morton to jail for nearly 25 years.
Anderson hid two crucial pieces of evidence from Morton’s defence team, which would have supported their theory that Morton’s wife Christine was killed by a stranger who came into the house via an unlocked back door, not her husband.
Ryan Ferguson freed after spending almost a decade in prison on murder conviction
Sports Editor Slain
Ryan Ferguson, spent nearly a decade for the murder of Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt. Ferguson was a 17-year-old high school junior at the time of the slaying. Convicted in 2005 he had been serving a 40-year sentence.

Gerry Conlon backs petition to reopen Birmingham Pub Bombings investigationGerry Conlon was part of the Guilford four and Maguire Seven who were falsely imprisoned for an Irish Republican Army bombing in England in 1974. He was arrested in connection with the bombing of a pub in the town of Guilford, which had killed five people. He and three other people, who would collectively become known as the Guilford Four, endured days of torture at the hands of the police before finally confessing to crimes they knew they had not committed.


About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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