People Falsely Imprisoned by the Justice System Released

By on March 19, 2014

Those imprisoned for crimes they did not commit serve as reminders of how flawed the legal system can be.

Gloria Killian, Glenn Ford, Antonio Yarbough, and Sharrif Wilson are among those recently released from prison for crimes they were falsely accused of. These are people the justice system failed.

In 1981, Stephen DeSantis and his cousin Gary Masse robbed a couple of six suitcases of silver after Desantis shot “elderly coin collector Ed Davies and his wife, Grace, in suburban Sacramento, California” (CNN). Grace survived and that led to the investigation by Masse’s wife, Joanne, that falsely incriminated Gloria Killian.

Masse stated that Killian was the mastermind even though DeSantis testified she was never involved nor knew who she was. Killian was convicted and it wasn’t until 1990 when Joyce Ride met her when visiting the prison. Ride spent $100,000 on an investigation to prove Killian’s innocence. After nearly two decades, Killian was a free woman.

The evidence found was that Masse struck a deal for leniency if he said Killian was the mastermind. This letter stated that the deal was never shared by the prosecutor. The prosecutor had also received a letter from Masse about how Masse had “’lied (his) ass off on the stand’ for the government’” (CNN). It took decades for these letters to come to light.

Glenn Ford was convicted for first degree murder of Isadore Rozeman on November 5, 1983. He was convicted by an all white jury and that the “trial included questionable peremptory strikes by the prosecution that kept black jurors out of the box” (Washington Post).

Evidence later came to light that Ford wasn’t even at the place of the crime when it happened. His initial trial had “’inexperienced counsel and by the unconstitutional suppression of evidence, including information from an informant, a suppressed police report related to the time of the crime, and evidence of the murder weapon, which implicated the true perpetrator’” (Washington Post). After nearly thirty years, Ford walked out a free man, his babies having grown up with babies of their own.

Antonio Yarbough and Sharrif Wilson were convicted for the murders of Yarbough’s mother, sister, and a cousin in 1992. The two – whom were teens at the time – called the police when they found the bodies. When they were brought in the police “had this photograph shoved in [Yarbough’s] face, and [he] was being threatened and slapped around, and they wanted [him] to sign a false confession. And [he] wouldn’t’” (Huffington Post).

Wilson gave into the pressure by the police and signed, convicting both of them. Wilson “was scared, afraid; [he] was lied to, manipulated into believing that [he] was going to go home, if [he did] tell … what they said happened’” (Huffington Post). Wilson admitted in 2005 that he lied when he signed and an investigation found DNA under Yarbough’s fingernails. The DNA was found on another murder from 1999, when the two were in jail.

All of these victims have been released since February and are trying to get back to normal lives. These were all people who had been imprisoned because not of evidence but because of corrupted justice officials. The justice system is to blame for innocent people being arrested and placed on death row.

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