What is the longest prison sentence served by an innocent man? Judical systems aren’t perfect. United States is one of the most advanced countries in terms of its judical system, yet we hear everyday another case of miscarried justice. There are worse places on this planet where people are locked up for political or other reasons. Can you imagine being in prison for 40 years of your life for a crime you never committed? Following are 10 stories about people who suffered the hard penalty of a broken justice system. Unfortunately, it is not a fiction, but a fact that law and order folks do not always get the bad guy and they manufacture one. Justice is a basic human right that should be ensured. But it is not always rightfully served when people go to jail for crimes that they never committed. While you are reading our story, we recommend you to visit our article about the longest prison sentences ever given.
10. James Richardson
Length of Sentence Served: 21 years
James Richardson was wrongfully imprisoned for brutally poisoning deaths of his 7 children in 1967. At the age of 77, this Florida man, James returned to Arcadia, his hometown after 21 years locked up for the crime that he actually did not commit. According to an AP article published in Gainesville Sun, the decision came after appeals from James Richardson’s attorney Ellis Rubin, and special prosecutor Janet Reno. The judge concluded that james Richardson, a black man, didn’t receive a fair trial and convicted by a jury of 12 white men.
9. Daryl Burton
Length of Sentence Served: 24 years
Daryl Burton was also wrongfully imprisoned due to claimed Police fabrications for the killing of a man at a gas station in 1984. He was sentenced to life in prison for the crime, but was vindicated luckily in 2008 when evidence suggested that he was a clear man. Here is what a patch.com article says about this case:
“In June 1984, not far from West Side Missionary Baptist, Donald “Moe” Ball was gunned down as he gassed up his green Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight at an Amoco station at the corner of Delmar and Goodfellow. Ball had been shot in the arm in this same neighborhood in 1983 by Jesse Watson, a rival in an ongoing turf war.
A month later, on the word of a street informant and a prison snitch, police arrested Burton, 22, a parolee who had spent two years in Jefferson City’s Algoa Correctional Center for burglary. The two witnesses claimed to have seen Burton kill Ball, despite reports from other witnesses that the shooter was a light-skinned black man no taller than 5 feet 5 inches. Burton is 5 feet 10 and so dark-complected that his playground nickname was “Lights Out.””
8. Steven Phillips
Length of Sentence Served: 25 years
Steven Phillips spent 25 years in jail for a rape case that he actually did not commit, that was one of the longest prison sentence served by an innocent man. In 2008, he was released from a life sentence after DNA test proved he was innocent. He received $4.1 million as reimbursement for his time in prison.