8 people who were acquitted too late

8 people who were acquitted too late

Categories: History | Society | World

On June 23, 1912, the brilliant mathematician Alan Turing was born, who, despite all his scientific works and achievements, was accused of "indecent behavior", arrested and sentenced. Two years later, the man whose work became the basis of computer science was found dead at home. It was only in 2013 that Turing was posthumously pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.

When you are accused of a crime that you did not commit, you can only hope for justice. And today we will talk about people who were acquitted too late. So late that some did not wait for it. 

8 people who were acquitted too late

8 people who were acquitted too late

Leo Frank

In 1915, in Atlanta, the manager of a Jewish pencil factory, Leo Frank, was accused of raping and murdering 13-year-old Mary Fagan, who worked there. Despite the dubious evidence and the testimony of the only witness — an African-American worker Jim Conley, Frank was found guilty, sentenced to death, but was commuted to life imprisonment. Annoyed by the commutation of the sentence, the crowd kidnapped Leo and hanged him in the forest.

70 years later, Alonzo Mann, who worked in Frank's office, admitted that he saw a Conley worker carrying the girl's body. Under oath, Alonso said that he was silent because Conley intimidated him, saying that he would kill him too.

Leo Frank was acquitted in 1986.

8 people who were acquitted too late

Timothy Cole

A young guy named Timothy Cole was arrested, charged with raping a fellow student. Although Cole had a good reputation (he was a war veteran with distinctive badges) and an alibi, prosecutors trumped the fact that he was black.

While in prison, Cole categorically denied his guilt. Even the victim herself admitted that she was wrong, actually joined Cole's family and tried to prove his innocence. He was acquitted only in 2009. Cole would have been glad of this if he hadn't died in prison ten years earlier.

But the saddest thing in this story is that the real rapist was familiar with Cole and tried to clear his name from a dirty accusation since 1995! Cole's family discovered this only in 2007, after reading a letter from the rapist, which he left near their house. Cole could have been released and lived with his family for at least another 4 years, but it was too late.

8 people who were acquitted too late

Patrick "Giuseppe" Conlon

In December 1974, Patrick Conlon immediately dropped everything and came to Belfast to help his son, whom the Irish Republican Army accused of committing terrorist attacks. Conlon, despite the fact that he was seriously ill and was not in his own country, was imprisoned with six teenagers, who were only 14 years old.

But the most terrible thing is that after the police admitted that they had forcibly extracted confessions, all the participants were eventually released and pardoned and received a lot of money — all except Patrick, who died in prison. His only crime is taking care of his son.

8 people who were acquitted too late

One of the most famous trials is the Salem Witch Hunt in 1692-93, as a result of which 19 women were hanged, one was crushed with stones, and about 200 were imprisoned.

It was only in 1957 that the victims were acquitted. During all this time, many theories have been put forward that tried to explain the causes of the process: general hysteria, collusion of testifying children, features of the psychology of Puritans, poisoning with a poisonous substance.

8 people who were acquitted too late

Derek Bentley

The Bentley case is one of the most famous mistakes of British justice. 19-year-old Derek Bentley and his accomplice Christopher Craig committed a robbery in one of the houses. They were noticed, the police arrived, and a scuffle allegedly broke out, during which Bentley shouted to Craig, who had a gun, a phrase that became decisive in court: "Let's arrange it for him!" A shot rang out, and one of the policemen was killed. Bentley was arrested, and his partner was taken to the hospital with an injury after trying to escape from the scene of the crime.

In court, both denied guilt. Derek didn't know about the gun, and Chris didn't want to kill anyone. But Bentley's phrase "Let's arrange it for him" was regarded as a call for murder, and he was sentenced to death, and 16-year — old Craig was sentenced to life imprisonment. A year later, Derek Bentley was hanged in prison.

After 45 years, during which Derek's family fought for the rehabilitation of his name, one of the policemen said that he had not heard that fatal phrase at all. The court overturned the murder conviction of Derek Bentley. By the way, the acquitted guy suffered from epilepsy, which developed during the bombing during the Second World War, he had a slow development (at the age of 11), he could not read and write.

8 people who were acquitted too late

Timothy Evans

He was charged with the murder of his pregnant wife and young daughter. During the trial, Evans claimed that his neighbor, John Christie, was to blame for everything, to whom the couple turned to help them get an abortion (this was illegal in the UK).

One day Evans returned from work, and a neighbor said that Timothy's wife had died because the abortion remedy had not worked properly. Evans decided to run away, and trusted a neighbor to get rid of the body and attach his daughter to a familiar married couple.

Evans was executed, and later it turned out that his neighbor Christie was a serial killer, whose victims were six women, including Timothy's wife. This case, becoming one of the most famous judicial errors in history, led to a great public outcry and is considered one of the main factors in the abolition of the death penalty in Great Britain in 1965.

8 people who were acquitted too late

Jamie MacPherson

A Scottish robber with a fascinating biography worthy of a historical novel, became famous for writing a song about his upcoming execution, which he performed on the violin before hanging. And almost 100 years later, Robert Burns immortalized the robber and composed a poem about it, which became a popular Scottish song.

The illegitimate son of a laird and a gypsy, Jamie was recognized by his father and lived in the castle as a child. After the unexpected death of his father, MacPherson was taken into the camp by gypsies. Jamie grew up in the camp, and later headed it. Jamie's contemporaries wrote that MacPherson was a "noble robber" and was never known for cruelty. He was caught and arrested many times, but the gypsy always escaped with the help of numerous friends.

In 1700, Jamie was pardoned for his crimes within minutes of being hanged.

8 people who were acquitted too late

Alan Turing

Alan Turing was a brilliant mathematician and cryptographer, whose work formed the basis of computer science. During the Second World War, Turing developed a number of hacking methods, including the theoretical basis for the Bombe machine used to crack the German Enigma cipher.

Turing was accused of "indecent behavior", namely homosexuality, which was illegal in the UK in 1952. Two years later, after forced hormone therapy, Alan Turing was found dead in his apartment. The autopsy showed that the scientist died of cyanide poisoning.

Keywords: Crime | History | World | Society | Punishment | Guilt | Death penalty | Justice

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