We don’t live in a perfect world and that obviously means that, no matter what we do or how hard we try, some things aren’t going to be a 100%. The justice system is an example of this. Though it has been created to protect the victim and punish the criminal, things don’t always go that way.
Here are 10 cases where the justice system and society at large punished the wrong people.
Richard Jewell’s life took a turn for the worse after he vigilantly forwarded a suspicious looking package to the police. Unfortunately, the suspicious looking package did contain an explosive that later blew up, resulting in Mr. Jewell becoming the number one suspect. The event is what we now remember as the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games Explosion.
Though Jewell wasn’t convicted, he suffered in terms of a ruined reputation. Despite his innocence, many, out of ignorance, continued to villainize him.
In 2001, Thomas Kennedy was arrested, tried and sent to prison on allegations that he had raped his 9-year-old daughter. The allegations were made by the daughter herself and at the time, there seemed to be enough evidence to support her claims.
However, 9 years later, the daughter (now 22) confessed that she had falsely accused her father in an attempt to get rid of him.
But, what about evidence showing that she had suffered vaginal trauma?
Well, it seems the daughter had started engaging in sexual relations with a boy in 2nd grade, which is what actually caused the trauma.
Sally Clark was wrongly accused of killing her own two sons. However, later investigations found that the boys had died of natural causes. But, the accusations, which eventually led to her imprisonment, were enough to drive her mad.
She went on to develop alcohol dependency syndrome due to the resulting emotional and psychological trauma. In 2007, she died of alcohol poisoning.
Darry Hunt, an African-American, was convicted and sent to prison at the age of 19 for the rape and murder of a Caucasian woman, despite the lack of evidence. Even after DNA tests proved the man’s innocence 10 years later, he still wasn’t acquitted. It was only actual after the actual perpetrator confessed that Darryl was allowed to be set free.
Donald Marshall Jr.
17-year-old Donald Marshall Jr. became the victim of racial prejudice when he was wrongly accused and sent to prison for the murder of his own friend, Sandy Seale. It was only after another witness came forward (11 years later) with a reliable account that Marshall Jr. was released.
Angela Cannings was sent to prison after being convicted of murdering her two sons in separate incidents. However, later investigations found that her family had a history of sudden death syndrome. Though she was acquitted, the false accusations had already done enough damage.
Nora Wall, an Irish nun who worked for the Sisters of Mercy, was falsely accused of rape in June 1999. Fortunately, she only served 4 days of her sentence because the conviction was overturned due to a lack of proper evidence. However, her case is one of the most interesting as she was Ireland's first rape-convicted woman, the first to be convicted based on repressed memory evidence, and the first to get a life sentence for rape.
Tammy Marquardt was sent to prison for allegedly killing her 2-year-old son. However, it was later found that the son had died of an epileptic seizure. Marquardt is still on the hunt for her two other sons who were put up for adoption during her imprisonment.
An amateur boxer, Dewey Bozella, went to prison for allegedly murdering a 92-year-old woman. He spent 26 years in prison until lawyers found fresh evidence proving his innocence and the fact that he was framed.
Arthur Allan Thomas
Arthur Allan Thomas was convicted of a double murder based on the supposed evidence that rifle cartridges belonging to his rifle were found at the crime scene. However, it was found out later that the evidence had been planted by the police and that Arthur had been framed.