Judicial Misconduct Cases
The following cases are some of the most extreme ones of judicial misconduct in the United States. All of the innocents had to spend a large part of their lives behind bars, until they finally got acquitted by a court.
Michael HanlineJudgment: lifelong Number of years spent in jail: 36
Case: Hanline has been sentenced to life imprisonment in California, because he alleged murdered a motorcyclist in 1978. In 2014, he was released, because the prosecutor's office had a doubt that the then 69 year old was guilty. Tests have shown, that Hanlines DNA wasn't found at the crime scene.
Ricky Jackson & Wiley BridgemanJudgment: death penalty Number of years spent in jail: 39
Case: Ricky Jackson and Wiley Bridgemen spent almost 40 years of their life innocent in prison and were sentenced to death in 1975. The two and a third man alleged murdered business man Harold Franks in 1975. A 12 year old witness called Eddie Vernon told the police, that he saw Ricky Jackson, Wiley Bridgeman and his brother Ronnie commiting the crime. It finally turned out to be a lie and the young boy was in fact not even close to the scene. In 2014, Ricky Jackson and Wiley Bridgeman were finally released from prison, while Ronnie Bridgeman already came out in 2003 because of a prodecural error.
James BainJudgment: lifelong Number of years spent in jail: 35
Case: James Bain was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1974. The then 19 years old alleged kidnapped a nine year old boy from his home in Florida and dragged him to the baseball field, where he raped him. The victim remembered a black man with a mustache, bushy sideburns plus the name "Jim" or "Jimmy". His uncle was thinking, that the description sounded a lot like James Bain, a guy from the neighbourhood. Bain himself told police, that he had been at home watching tv during the time of the attack, but still then, they arrested him and finally identified Bain as a criminal. A total of six applications for a resumption of the procedure were rejected by the judiciary until Bain came out of prison in 2009 when a DNA test proved his innocence. James Bain received 50.000 year for every year, he spent in prison.
Andre DavisJudgment: lifelong Number of years spent in jail: 31
Case: Andre Davis was imprisoned in 1980 because he alleged raped and murdered the then three year old Brianna Davis. He was only 19 years old, when he was sent to prison. After DNA tests proved that he wasn't responsible for the crime, the appeal court finally ordered a new procedure in March 2012. The prosecutar agreed to not maintain the case anymore and Davis was finally allowed to leave the high-security prison in the south of Illinois forever. The actual perpetrator was Maurice Tucker, a neighbour of Andre Davis. The blood and semen found at the crime scene didn't belong to Davis, but to Tucker, who also appeared as the principal victim against Davis.
Leon Brown & Henry McCollumJudgment: death penalty Number of years spent in jail: 30
Case: In September 1983, the 11 year old Sabrina Buie was brutally raped and murdered in Red Springs, North California. The evidence was fragile, but the main suspects quickly found: the half-brothers McCollum and Brown. Both are mentally handicapped and can hardly read and write. Although they rebuffed their previously filed confessions in front of court, the brothers were sentenced to death. The then 19 year old Henry McCollum stated several times, that he has nothing to do with the crime. Then he was taken to Red Springs Department, where police officers and BI agents questioned him for around five hours until they finally offered him to leave, if he would give them the information they wanted. The next morning, he signed a confession on which it was written that he and his brother Leon Brown, who was 15 at that time, were part of a group, who killed Sabrina Buie. 30 years later, genetic traces lead to the true killer, Roscoe Artis, a convicted rapist and murder, who was living next to Sabrina Buie's house. He was sentenced with death pentalty only a few weeks after Sabrina Buie's dead for the rape and murder of another woman.
Dewey BozellaJudgment: lifelong Number of years spent in jail: 26
Case: Dewey Bozella spent 26 years of his life in prison for a crime, he never commited. In 1983, the court sent him to life imprisonment in 1983 for murdering a 92 year old woman named Emma Crasper in 1977. He became a suspect six years after the crime, when two very cooperative former inmates told police, that Bozella was responsible for murdering Emma Crasper. Despite the fact that not his own, but the fingerprints from someone else, who actually commited an almost identical crime during that time, were found at the crime scene, Dewey Bozella was being made responsible for the murder of Emma Crasper. During his time in jail, he began boxing and made it to the light heavyweight champion in prison. For five years, he wrote a weekly letter to the "Innocence Project" organization, which is helping to clarify lapse of justice. In 2009, Bozellas case was renegotiated and he finally came free from prison. At the age of 52, he started his career as a professional boxer.
Jonathan FlemingJudgment: - Number of years spent in jail: 24
Case: In 1989, Fleming was convicted of shooting his friend Darryl Rush in New York. During that time, he wasn't even close to him, because Fleming spent a holiday in the 2000 kilometers away Disney World in Florida. But documents such as hotel bills, plane tickets as well as a letter, in which some hotel employees confirmed that they remembered Fleming and proved his innocence, weren't transferred from police to the defendence. According to prosecution, Fleming commited the crime because of a money dispute with Rush. After the central eye witness revoked her testimony and new witnesses and clues emerged, which indicated, that someone else commited the crime, Fleming was released from prison in 2014. The state New York paid him 6,25 million Dollar for compensation.
David RantaJudgment: - Number of years spent in jail: 23
Case: David Ranta was released from prison in 2013 after 23 years as an innocent inmate. In 1991, the murder of the Rabbi Chaskel Werzberger was attached to a failed robbery. While Holocaust survivor Werzberger wanted to step into his car, a robbery in a jewelry shop was taking place on the other side of the street. Someone shot Werzberger and they took his vehicle as a getaway car. Later on, it turned out that the investigations had been manipulated by the responsible policeman Louis Scarcella, who told a 13 year old eye witness to pick the one with "the big nose". The alleged true killer was Joseph Astin, who died in a car accident and whose widow came up with the information that her husband was the real killer when Ranta was still imprisoned. But efforts to free the innocent failed. Only one day after Ranta was finally out of prison, he had a heart attack. Later on, he sued the state New York for 150 million Dollar compensation and finally received 6,4 million Dollar from the City of New York.