Despite the breakthrough in science and technology, there is still a room made available for errors when it comes to who to charge for committing crimes. Many innocent people have been wrongly executed for crimes they did not commit. We will be taking a look at 10 of such cases.
1. Derek Bentley
The roof top of a warehouse in Croydon, England was where a police constable was shot during an attempted robbery. The robbers were were 19 year old Derek Bentley and 16 year old Christopher Craig. Bentley was unarmed while Bentley was not. Craig was ordered to hand over his weapon, Bentley then told him to “let him have it” but Craig instead of handing over his weapon, he opened fire on Miles and killed him instantly. However in court, Craig testified that Bentley ordered him to shoot the officer. They were both convicted but due to the fact that Craig was a minor, he was sentenced to 10 years in imprisonment whille Bentley was sent to the gallows.
Read more: 10 Famous People whose Parents Were Murdered
2. Joe Arridy
A certain 15 year old Dorothy Drain was raped and murdered with a hatchet. Her true murderer Frank Aguilar implicated Joe Arridy who is a mentally handicapped young man. He was arrested and convicted of the murder.
3. Timothy Evans
Mother and Daughter Beryl and Geraldine Evans were found strangled to death in a locked washhouse behind their abode in Notting Hill. Husband and father of the victims was the first person to be questioned in person of Timothy Evans. He reverted to a childlike stake when he heard about the death and his claim of being innocent were refuted. He however succumbed to pressure from interrogations and he falsely admitted to the murder of his wife. He was sentenced to death by hanging.
4. The Perry Family
“A wonder of Campden” as it was popularly referred to. What happened between 1660 and 1662 in Campden was nothing short of a wonder. A certain man by the name William Harrison went out to settle some business, when he refused to return home by evening, his wife sent his servant named John Perry to search for him, neither of the man returned home, so Harrison’s son was sent to search for them, on his way searching for them he saw John Perry who told him that he did not see Mr Harrison. They later found Mr. Harrison’s tattered clothing and he was assumed dead, leading to a search for a dead body.
The whole town joined in the search all to no avail. John Perry however confessed to be an accomplice in the murder with his brother doing the killing and himself keeping track of his master’s whereabouts. William Harrison however later returned to the town 2 years later and claimed to have been captured by horsemen and sent to Turkey.
5. Joe Hill
Joe Hill who happened to be a labor icon of the early 20’s was convicted in the killing of a grocerer in 1914. The grocerer’s son claimed to have shot Hill in the chest when he saw Hill with his fathers dead body. He was executed by firing squad. He was later vindicated when author William M. Adler was researching his novel ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’. He found a letter handwritten by Hill’s sweetheart, she explained that hill got the gunshot wound on Hill’s chest was inflicted by her former fiancée Otto Appelquist.
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6. Claude Jones
An armed man walked into a liquor store in a Texas liquor store and shot dead the 44 year old owner of the store. A hair that was believed to belong to the criminal was found on the crime scene and since DNA testing was not in vogue then, the hair was compared to the hairs of about 15 people that entered the liquor store on the fateful day. A local resident by the name Claude Jone’s hair was similar to the hair found. He was sentenced to death in 1990. DNA testing later exonerated him but it was too late.
7. Troy Davis
It all happened on the 19th August 1989 when shots were fired at a burger king parking lot in Savannah leading to the death of a Georgia police officer by name Mark Mcphail. 20 years Troy Davis was the accused gunman. He was indicted and charged for the murder. Even after the nine witnesses that witnessed against him retracted their claims, he was executed by lethal injection on 21st September 2011.
8. We-Chank-Wash-Ta-Don-Pee “Chaska”
America in the 19th century slide close to civil war when a harsh winter and crop shortages created a wedge between white Americans and the Dakota people of present day Minnesota. The government of the United States refused to help the Dakota tribe leading to the 1862 war of Dakota. A certain young man by the name Chaska were among those captured.
Chaska case was a tragic case of mistaken identity as the man they were looking for was ChaskeyEtay who brutally murdered a pregnant woman. Despite getting a written pardon from President Lincoln, he was executed on the 26th of December.
9. Josefa “Chipita” Rodriguez
This is more of the story of a woman protecting her illegitimate son. JosefaChipita Rodriguez was an immigrant with her father when she was a young girl. She is a warm woman known to have a generous attitude of accommodating travelers and providing them meal and a place to sleep. She kept up this attitude even after the death of her father until one of her guests was found dead with an axe lodged inside his skull. She was convicted of the crime after a six hundred dollar worth of gold was found around the crime scene. She was found guilty and hanged. Her illegitimate son was to be later put under scrutiny and was assumed guilty of the heinous crime.
Read more: 10 Mothers Who Killed Their Kids Brutally
10. Roy Michael Roberts
A typical example of a man with bad luck accompanied by bad timing was Roy Michael “Hog” Roberts who was by no means a perfect man. He was the prime suspect of a restaurant robbery and was imprisoned for it. The actual criminal the perpetrated the crime later confessed to the crime. In the last months of his sentence, a riot broke out in imprison and he incriminated in the killing of a guard and he was sentenced to death despite passing a polygraph test. His last words were “You’re killing an innocent man and you can all kiss my ass.”