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10 innocent people who were sent to prison for crimes they didn't commit

Published by Business Insider on Tue, 13 Mar 2018

Although there are many laws and procedures in place to prevent it from happening, the truth is that sometimes innocent people get convicted of crimes they didn't commit. It's a terrifying thought, but some unfortunate people even lose their lives for crimes they were not guilty of. The reasons they get charged as well as exonerated are all pretty surprisingeven infuriating. Read on to learn about some of the most fascinating exonerations ever. Joe ArridyJoe Arridy's murder conviction wasn't a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Chances are, he wasn't at the scene of the crime at all. In 1939, Joe Arridy was put to death for the grisly rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl in Pueblo, Colorado, according to Westword. Known as the "happiest man on death row," the 23-year-old with an IQ of 46 spent his prison time playing with toys trains. He requested ice cream as a final meal and did not even appear to understand the finality of his execution. 72 years after he was put to death, Joe Arridy was formally pardoned by Colorado Governor Bill Ritter. In addition to the potential for a forced confession, it's likely Arridy was not even in Pueblo at the time of the murder, according to the press release about the pardon from the Death Penalty Information Center. "But the tragic conviction of Mr. Arridy and his subsequent execution on Janunary 6, 1939, merit such relief based on the great likelihood that Mr. Arridy was, in fact, innocent of the crime for which he was executed, and his severe mental disability at the time of his trial and execution," Governor Ritter's executive order read.Rubin "Hurricane" Carter and John ArtisRubin "Hurricane" Carter was a professional boxer training for his next match in 1966 when he was arrested for the triple homicide of three diners at the Lafayette Bar & Grill in Paterson, New Jersey.He and a man named John Artis were charged because they fit the description from an eye witness: "two Negroes in a white car," according to Biography.com. But they ultimately were let go because they were not positively identified by a survivor of the attack.The state later produced two eyewitnesseswho received reduced sentences for their own crimes and later recanted their testimonywho identified Carter and Artis, and the men were arrested again and charged with the triple homicide. They were convicted and sentenced to three life prison terms.Carter was a fierce advocate of his own innocence while in prison, refusing to wear a uniform, writing his autobiography while behind bars, and even meeting with celebrities like MuhammadAli and Bob Dylan, who would eventually write the song "Hurricane" about him.The men were eventually released and given a retrial, only to be resentenced again in 1976, according to The Guardian. They returned to prison until 1985, when the conviction was finally overturned and both men were released because a judge felt they were not given fair trials.The 1999 film "The Hurricane" starring Denzel Washington was based on these events.Rubin died in 2014 and Artis was with him when he passed away.Darryl BeamishWhen 22-year-old chocolate heiress Jillian Brewer was killed by a tomahawk and scissors in 1959, the blame fell on Darryl Beamish, an 18-year-old man who is deaf and mute. Originally given a death sentence, Beamish spent 15 years in prison before his release, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. But when he was finally exonerated in 2005, Beamish did not even seek reparations for his time in prison. "All I ever wanted was truth and justice. I have just wanted everyone to know for sure that I did not kill anyone. Now they know," said Beamish, as further noted by The Sydney Morning Herald.At this time, it is believed that Brewer was murdered by serial killer Eric Edgar Cooke, based on evidence from Cookes gallows confession, according to The Age. See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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