The world can be a cruel and terrifying place at times. Practically everyday, we see murderers, molesters and thieves in the nwespaper headlines or on TV broadcasts. Thanks to the ever-improving technology, the police are getting better and better at catching criminals. Unfortunately, there are still cases which the police cannot solve due to either a lack of solid evidence or incorrect leads. This can lead to a case growing cold or worse, it can lead to the conviction of the wrong person.
Thanks to the latest DNA scanning equipment, such mistakes have become quite rare, but can still occur and it can put innocent people behind bars because of a simple misunderstanding. Such cases have caused many movies, books and songs to be written about wrongfully convicted people. It has also caused the appearance of many activist groups fighting the system and its rules.
Thankfully there are organizations such as The Innocence Project, which strives to take on cases of people who have been wrongfully convicted. Here is a list of people who served time for crimes they didn’t commit.
1. Juan Catalan
Juan Catalan’s story is quite a famous one as there was even a Netflix documentary about it titled “The Long Shot”, directed by Jacob LaMendola.
More than a decade ago, Juan was charged with murder of a sixteen-year-old girl, Martha Puebla who was shot just outside her home in Sun Valley, California. The assumed motive was her testimony in a gang murder case in which Juan’s brother, Mario, was a co-defendant, making the shooting a supposed revenge killing. Juan denied all of these accusations, claiming he had been at a baseball match at the time of the murder. Catalan and his attorney, Todd Melnick, worked a miracle using footage from the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” TV show, where the baseball game Juan had been to, was shown. This exceptional work is also the main subject of the documentary.
Catalan was released after proving his innocence, having served about five and a half months in prison.
H/T – Source
2. George Allen
George Allen spent 30 years in jail for forcefully violating and murdering a reporter named Mary Bell. In reality, he never did anything like that. He was sentenced to 95 years of confinement, until 30 years later, his innocence was revealed and he finally left prison in his mid-fifties.
He spoke with the Innocence Project, revealing how despite the difficulty of all those years in prison, George Allen never gave up hope and had faith that the world would see that he truly was no criminal.
Four years later, in October of 2016, Allen died of natural causes, but he died a free man and will be remembered not as a murderer, but as an innocent victim of an unfair system.
H/T – Source
3. Steven Avery
Another famous case which also has a Netflix documentary, called “Making a Murderer”. In Avery’s case, he is still behind bars, convicted for the murder of freelance photographer Teresa Halbach. A crime for which most people are divided as to whether or not he committed.
Back in 1985, however, Steven was identified by Penny Ann Beernsten as being a sexual assailant who had attacked her. He was therefore sentenced to 32 years in prison for sexual assault. 18 years later, he was released thanks to DNA tests which proved he was, in fact, not Beernsten’s assailant.
Two years later, Teresa Halbach was murdered and Avery was convicted yet again.
H/T – Source