Imagine losing 31 years of your life to occupying a small jail cell under a false criminal conviction. This happened in 1978, after an innocent man was powerless to offer verifiable evidence against charges of burglary and rape. As a result, the Tennessee resident began his 31 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit.
Only recently were his charges overturned and his innocence formally acknowledged. He walked out of prison a 61-year-old man with an exoneration award of $1 million dollars. It was a tough journey for family, friends and lawyers fighting for him, but they did it. He is just one out of the many wrongfully convicted who are at the mercy of the legal system for correcting their life-course and reputations.
Tennessee exoneration facts
Not all states have the same laws related to wrongful convictions and proving innocence. In Tennessee, if you are wrongfully convicted of a crime, knowing the state laws can help you appeal your conviction. A criminal defense lawyer will be able to act on your behalf as seen in the story above to rectify your situation.
Here are some quick facts on Tennessee exonerations:
- Recorded interrogations are not required
- One million dollars is the highest exoneration payout amount
- Certain convictions are eligible for DNA analysis after conviction
- DNA testing samples are required to be preserved
- Exoneration claims are required to be filed after one-year of exoneration
Put the law on your side
Law enforcement and the entire process that leads to a guilty verdict can be flawed. Many people fall victim to a faulty legal system that puts them unfairly behind bars. It is important to get the legal defense you need for any crime that you are convicted of. Your time in jail is time without earning income, living your dreams and having the freedom you deserve. Make the law work for you, instead of against you.