List of exonerated death row inmates
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This list includes individuals who were sentenced to death and had their sentences overturned by acquittal or pardon. The state listed is the state where the individual was convicted, the year listed is the year of release, and the case listed is the case that overturned their conviction.
This list does not include
- posthumous pardons for individuals executed before 1950;
- inmates who were given life sentences when their country, province or state abolished the death penalty;
- people who were threatened with death and never jailed;
- people who were jailed by extralegal groups or courts, for example as often occurs in cases of sentences of stoning.
- 1 List by country
- 2 See also
- 3 References
- 4 External links
List by country
- Sakae Menda (convicted 1949)
- Shigeyoshi Taniguchi
- Yukio Saito
- Masao Akahori
Republic of China (Taiwan)
- Chiang Kuo-ching (posthumous, executed 1997)
- Safiyatu Husseini Tunga-Tuda (convicted 2001)
- Zahid Mahmood Akhtar
In 1965, the UK outlawed the death penalty for murder when evidence of wrongful executions surfaced.
- Timothy Evans (posthumous, executed)
- Death penalty for murder abolished
- Despite abolition in the UK, the separate legal systems meant death sentences still passed in Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands but with no likelihood of them being carried out. One Provisional Irish Republican Army member sentenced to death for murder before this anomaly was abolished. European Union protocols signed in 1999 on human rights mean no death penalty statute can exist in an EU country.
- 1. Willie Roberson, Olen Montgomery, Eugene Williams, and Roy Wright Alabama. Convicted 1931.
- 1. David Keaton, Florida (Keaton v. State, 273 So.2d 385 (1973)). Convicted 1971.
- 2. Samuel A. Poole, North Carolina (State v. Poole, 203 S.E.2d 786 (N.C. 1974)). Convicted 1973.
- 3. Wilbert Lee, Florida (Pitts v. State 247 So.2d 53 (Fla. 1971), overturned and released by pardon in 1975). Convicted 1963.
- 4. Freddie Pitts, Florida (Pitts v. State 247 So.2d 53 (Fla. 1971), overturned and released by pardon in 1975). Convicted 1965.
- 5. James Creamer, Georgia (Emmett v. Ricketts, 397 F. Supp 1025 (N.D. Ga. 1975)). Convicted 1973.
- 6. Christopher Spicer, North Carolina (State v. Spicer, 204 SE 2d 641 (1974)). Convicted 1973.
- 7. Clarence Norris, Alabama. Convicted 1931.
- 8. Thomas Gladish, New Mexico. Convicted 1974.
- 9. Richard Greer, New Mexico. Convicted 1974.
- 10. Ronald Keine, New Mexico. Convicted 1974.
- 11. Clarence Smith, New Mexico. Convicted 1974.
- 11. Delbert Tibbs, Florida. Convicted 1974.
- 12. Earl Charles, Georgia. Convicted 1975.
- 13. Jonathan Treadway, Arizona. Convicted 1975.
- 14. Gary Beeman, Ohio. Convicted 1976.
- 15. Jerry Banks
- 16. Larry Hicks
- 17. Charles Ray Giddens
- 18. Michael Linder
- 19. Johnny Ross
- 20. Ernest (Shuhaa) Graham
- 21. Annibal Jaramillo
- 22. Lawyer Johnson, Massachusetts (Commonwealth v. Johnson, 429 N.E.2d 726 (1982)). Convicted 1971.
- 23. Larry Fisher
- 24. Anthony Brown
- 25. Neil Ferber
- 26. Clifford Henry Bowen
- 27. Joseph Green Brown. He was re-arrested in 2012 and charged with another murder in North Carolina.
- 28. Perry Cobb
- 29. Darby (Williams) Tillis
- 30. Vernon McManus
- 31. Anthony Ray Peek
- 32. Juan Ramos
- 33. Robert Wallace
- 34. Richard Neal Jones
- 35. Willie Brown
- 36. Larry Troy
- 37. Randall Dale Adams, Texas (Ex Parte Adams, 768 S.W.2d 281) (Tex. Crim App. 1989). Convicted 1977.
- 38. Robert Cox
- 39. James Richardson (James Richardson's was granted a new trial because the court clerk lost some of the trial transcript. He was later given a new trial, reconvicted, and executed in 2000.
- On April 8, 2010, former death row inmate Timothy B. Hennis, once exonerated in 1989, was reconvicted of a triple murder, thereby dropping him from the list of those exonerated. Sentenced to death by military court-martial 15 April 2010.
- 40. Clarence Brandley, Texas (Ex Parte Brandley, 781 S.W.2d 886 (Tex. Crim App. 1989). Convicted 1981.
- 41. John C. Skelton
- 42. Dale Johnston
- 43. Jimmy Lee Mathers
- 44. Gary Nelson
- 45. Bradley P. Scott
- 46. Charles Smith
- 47. Jay C. Smith, Pennsylvania. Convicted 1986.
- 48. Kirk Bloodsworth, Maryland. Convicted 1984. Exonerated 1993; first prisoner to be exonerated by DNA evidence. Serving life in prison when exonerated, as earlier death sentence was overturned.
- 49. Federico M. Macias
- 50. Walter McMillan
- 51. Gregory R. Wilhoit Oklahoma. Convicted 1987. Along with Ron Williamson, Wilhoit later became the subject of John Grisham's 2006 non-fiction book The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town.
- 52. James Robison
- 53. Muneer Deeb
- 54. Andrew Golden
- 55. Adolph Munson
- 56. Robert Charles Cruz. (Cruz disappeared in 1997. His remains were found in 2007.)
- 57. Rolando Cruz
- 58. Alejandro Hernández
- 59. Sabrina Butler
- 60. Joseph Burrows. Joseph Burrows was released from death row after his attorney Kathleen Zellner persuaded the real killer to confess at the post-conviction hearing, and Peter Rooney, a reporter for the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette, obtained a recantation from a key witness. The Burrows case was the subject of a book by Rooney titled Die Free: A True Story of Murder, Betrayal and Miscarried Justice.
- 61. Verneal Jimerson
- 62. Dennis Williams
- 63. Roberto Miranda
- 64. Gary Gauger
- 65. Troy Lee Jones
- 66. Carl Lawson
- 67. David Wayne Grannis
- 68. Ricardo Aldape Guerra
- 69. Benjamin Harris
- 70. Robert Hayes
- 71. Christopher McCrimmon
- 72. Randall Padgett
- It is later revealed, through additional research by Prof. Samuel Gross of the University of Michigan, that though James Bo Cochran was acquitted of murder, he did plead guilty to a robbery charge in an agreement made with prosecutors prior to his release. Therefore, Cochran is no longer on the list of those exonerated from death row.
- 73. Robert Lee Miller, Jr.
- 74. Curtis Kyles.
- 75. Shareef Cousin, Louisiana (Louisiana v. Cousin, 710 So. 2d 1065 (1998)). Convicted 1996.
- 76. Anthony Porter, Illinois. Convicted 1983.
- 77. Steven Smith
- 78. Ronald Williamson, Oklahoma. Convicted 1988. Along with Gregory R. Wilhoit, Williamson later became the inspiration for and subject of John Grisham's 2006 non-fiction book The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town.
- 79. Ronald Jones
- 80. Clarence Dexter, Jr.
- 81. Warren Douglas Manning
- 82. Alfred Rivera
- 83. Steve Manning
- 84. Eric Clemmons
- 85. Joseph Nahume Green
- 86. Earl Washington, Virginia (pardoned). Convicted 1994 (1984, without life sentence).
- 87. William Nieves
- 88. Frank Lee Smith (died prior to exoneration)
- 89. Michael Graham
- 90. Albert Burrell
- 91. Oscar Lee Morris
- 92. Peter Limone
- 93. Gary Drinkard
- 94. Joachin José Martínez
- 95. Jeremy Sheets
- 96. Charles Fain
- 97. Juan Roberto Melendez-Colon, Florida. Convicted 1984.
- 98. Ray Krone, Arizona (State v. Krone, 897 P.2d 621 (Ariz. 1995) (en banc)). Convicted 1992.
- 99. Thomas Kimbell, Jr.
- 100. Larry Osborne
- 101. Aaron Patterson
- 102. Madison Hobley
- 103. Leroy Orange
- 104. Stanley Howard
- 105. Rudolph Holton
- 106. Lemuel Prion
- 107. Wesley Quick
- 108. John Thompson
- 109. Timothy Howard, Ohio. Convicted 1976.
- 110. Gary Lamar James, Ohio. Convicted 1976.
- 111. Joseph Amrine.
- 112. Nicholas Yarris, Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania v. Yarris, No 690-OF1982, Court of Common Pleas, Delaware County, September 3, 2003. Order vacating conviction). Convicted 1982.
- 113. Alan Gell
- 114. Gordon Steidl
- 115. Laurence Adams
- 116. Dan L. Bright
- 117. Ryan Matthews
- 118. Ernest Ray Willis
- 119. Derrick Jamison
- 120. Harold Wilson
- 121. John Ballard
- 122. Curtis McCarty
- 123. Michael McCormick
- 124. Jonathon Hoffman
- 125. Kennedy Brewer Mississippi. Convicted 1995.
- 126. Glen Edward Chapman, North Carolina. Convicted 1995.
- 127. Levon "Bo" Jones, North Carolina. Convicted 1993.
- 128. Michael Blair, Texas.
- 129. Nathson Fields, Illinois. Convicted 1986.
- 130. Paul House, Tennessee. Convicted 1986.
- 131. Daniel Wade Moore, Alabama. Convicted 2002.
- 132. Ronald Kitchen, Illinois. Convicted 1988.
- 133. Herman Lindsey, Florida. Convicted 2006.
- 134. Michael Toney, Texas. Convicted 1999. (Toney later died in a car accident on October 3, 2009, just one month and a day after his exoneration.)
- 135. Yancy Douglas, Oklahoma. Convicted 1997.
- 136. Paris Powell, Oklahoma. Convicted 1997.
- 137. Robert Springsteen, Texas. Convicted 2001.
- 138. Joe D'Ambrosio, Ohio. Convicted 1989. (While he was freed in 2010, but not yet exonerated, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by the state of Ohio challenging the unconditional writ of habeas corpus and bar to D'Ambrosio's re-prosecution on January 23, 2012, nearly 2 years later, making D'Ambrosio the 140th death row exoneree since 1973.)
- 139. Anthony Graves, Texas. Convicted 1994.
- 140. Gussie Vann, Tennessee. Convicted 1994.
- 143. Reginald Griffin, Missouri. Convicted 1983.
- Between 1879 and 1960, Canada commuted 438 death sentences. One notorious case at the time was that of Angelina Napolitano, a pregnant, abused wife who became the first person in Canada to use the battered woman defense for murder after she axed her husband to death. Although she was initially sentenced to hang, the federal cabinet eventually commuted her sentence to life imprisonment.
- Previous Canadian government policy was that in all but exceptional cases, Canada will not extradite accused murderers unless the death sentence will not be imposed, or if imposed, not carried out. This diplomatic commutation arrangement stems from the 2001 case of United States v. Burns. In 2008, the incumbent government announced that it would no longer participate in clemency dealings. The decision was met with criticism from human rights activists and Canadian citizens.
- Wrongful execution
- Death row
- Miscarriages of justice
- List of United States death row inmates
- Thomas Haynesworth
- Innocence: List of Those Freed From Death Row
- Suro, Roberto (March 2, 1989). "Conviction Voided in Texas Murder". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
- Suro, Roberto (Nov 27, 1988). "Death Row Luck: 'I'm Still Alive'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
- Amnesty International: Canada
- Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online: Angelina Napolitano. By Franca Iacovetta. University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2004. page accessed June 2008
- Death Penalty Information Center List of Exonerated Death Row Inmates 
- National Review article critical of the DPIC 'roll of death row innocents' Bad List: A suspect roll of Death Row 'innocents'
- Innocence Project – 190+ individuals exonerated by DNA evidence 
- Center on Wrongful Convictions 
- Death Penalty Information Center, Facts about exonerations 
- Landmark Study of death penalty reversals. Justice Denied magazine.
- The Innocents Database of wrongly convicted people, including more than 900 wrongly convicted of murder.
- Returning to Life After DNA Exoneration