Innocent but really guilty??

I just got through watching a show where the guy goes to jail and turns out to be innocent.

I was just wondering if there was ever a case where some do gooders got together and got a guy off and it later turned out he really was guilty.

Would OJ qualify?

No, O. J. wouldn’t qualify. His lawyers worked strictly for money.

Ever see Primal Fear?

Lizzie Borden was acquitted of the murders of her parents, despite the evidence to the contrary.

Are you thinking of cases like Miranda v. Arizona?

Miranda confessed to the crime, but the Supreme Court ruled that the tactics used to obtain the confession were such that he MIGHT have confessed even if he hadn’t actually done anything wrong… and thus his confession couldn’t be admitted as evidence.

That’s not what he asked. He asked if there was a case where the guy got off and later turned out to be unequivocably guilty.

This is not quite the same, but a number of years ago Norman Mailer petitioned a prison to release an inmate based on the writings of this inmate. Mailer argued that someone who could write so touchingly must have been reformed. Based on his testimony, the guy was released from prison, and promptly murdered a family.

There was another case where a guy raped a girl, was convicted, and sent to prison. Later, the girl (who’d converted to Christianity) said that she couldn’t carry her guilt anymore and announced that she made up the whole rape story to avoid being embarrassed about having sex with the guy. The judge threw her testimony out and refused to re-try the case.

The guy finally appealed to the governor of the state. That appeal, along with a big write-in campaign, convinced the governmor to hold a hearing (with lots of publicity, of course). It wasn’t a court of law, but a special hearing for the governor to decide to pardon him. At the end of it, he weaseled and refused to pardon him, but arranged to have his prison sentence lowered to time served, thus releasing him but leaving him with a conviction for rape.

I think the guy is still trying to clear his name, trying to get a re-trial to get DNA evidence admitted. And since the conviction held, the girl who lied couldn’t be tried for perjury, and the wrongly accused can’t go after her for civil damages.

Oh, to more directly answer the question: Given the standard of guilt (beyond reasonable doubt), it’s likely that the majority of people aquitted of crimes are actually guilty. The only famous ones I can think of are Klaus Von Bulow and OJ.

How would new DNA evidence help?


I think you might be thinking of Jack Abbott, who wrote In the Belly of the Beast. IIRC, he stabbed a NY waiter to death shortly after his release.

Somebody mentioned OJ; I don’t really think of Johnny Cochrane as a do-gooder.

I guess what I was getting at is, you always see programs like Dateline, 20/20 etc that show obviously innocent people railroaded into jail. Later a bunch of do gooders get him out.

I was just wondering if there was ever a case where this happened and later on the guy like confessed on his deathbed or DNA later proved he did do it.

Beatle: Yeah, you’re absolutely right. I had him conflated with someone else when thinking about the family that was killed. It was indeed Jack Abbott.

dhanson: Was the guy accused of rape named Gary Dotson? If so, I remember the case, except that the girl (at the time) who accused him thought her boyfriend had knocked her up, so she gave the cops a description, which Dotson fit, unfortunately for him.

Remember, I’m pulling for you; we’re all in this together.
—Red Green

I can’t remember the name, but the situation sounds right.

This is probably off the subject, but not far.

Now, a caveat is that this involves a profession where “truth” is often an inconvenient liablility, but here goes:

In 1988, 'rassler “Adrian Adonis” was stabbed to death by another 'rassler in Puerto Rico (who happened to be a Puerto Rican). The all-Puerto-Rican (of course) jury acquitted the killer.