It now appears that a man spent almost 20 years in prison for a murder that he never committed. This individual was sentenced to life in prison in 1995 concerning the shooting deaths of two teenagers.
The killings were said to have occurred in a neighboring state of Louisiana. The individual convicted was 16-years-old at the time and reportedly confessed to the crime. However, it appears that the confession was coerced by a police detective.
This man’s conviction was vacated in December. He is currently out on $50,000 bond while the district attorney is making a determination whether to request a new trial.
He states the reason that he confessed was because he was told by police that he would otherwise be raped in prison. The confession was also said to not match the facts of what really occurred. Four other minors reportedly confessed to this crime. Also, the murder weapon was never located and no vehicle had been identified in connection with the crime.
According to one study involving wrongful convictions, 44 percent of juveniles made false confessions to crimes. As pertains to adults, 13 percent of those wrongfully convicted made false convictions.
What the above circumstances demonstrate is that not everyone convicted was actually guilty of the crime. Also, the cost of a wrongful conviction is too high.
Criminal defense attorneys are needed to make certain wrongful convictions do not occur. There are sometimes improprieties in the way confessions are made, and every individual accused of a crime is entitled to have their story told.
Source: Huffington Post, “Daniel Villegas Exonerated: Man Convicted of Murder 20 Years Ago,” Jan. 14, 2014