4 Famous Cases of Wrongful Conviction

Serving time in prison for a crime you didn’t commit is unjust and tragic. The United States legal system is comprehensive, but there’s no guarantee that you won’t be wrongfully convicted of a crime. Circumstantial evidence and performing poorly on the stand can send an innocent person to prison.

Seeking the assistance of a Tampa federal defense lawyer can help you navigate the pitfalls of being charged with a crime you didn’t commit. Countless wrongful convictions have later been overturned with the materialization of new evidence. In this article, we will examine five famous cases of wrongful conviction.

Steven Avery

Steven Avery became a household name in the U.S. and a patron for the wrongfully convicted after the popular Netflix docuseries “Making a Murderer” shined a light on one of the most overt cases of wrongful conviction in the country. Avery was exonerated after spending eighteen years in prison, but was later convicted of the murder of Teresa Halbach in another highly disputed case. He remains in prison today, although new evidence from a bloodstain expert suggests that Avery was wrongfully accused again.

West Memphis Three

Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley were convicted of murdering three eight-year-old boys in 1994. The prosecution pointed out that Echols’ Metallica t-shirt proved he was involved in what the jury coined a “satanic killing.” There was no DNA evidence from the accused at the crime scene. They were released from prison in 2011 after a celebrity-backed campaign helped resuscitate interest in the boys’ story.

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter was convicted of a triple murder at the pinnacle of his boxing career. He served time in prison for nearly two decades starting in 1967. In 1985, a judge released Carter from prison in response to criminally motivated decisions in the extensive case record. Bob Dylan wrote a song about Carter in 1976, and Denzel Washington played Carter in the 1999 film “Hurricane.”

The Central Park Five

The famous story of five juveniles wrongfully convicted of one of the most heinous crimes imaginable highlights many of the flaws in our justice system. Police officers coerced incriminating statements out of the boys who served between five and fifteen years for the crime. In 2002, a man named Matais Reyes confessed to the crime the accused were serving time for. DNA evidence confirmed his story.

These high profile cases prove that wrongful convictions occur more commonly than we care to believe. If you are wrongfully convicted of a crime, a criminal defense attorney can help protect your from serving time for a crime you didn’t commit.

For a free consultation with an experienced federal criminal defense attorney in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

Case Results

Felony Criminal Mischief Charges Dropped

Our Client was accused of kicking the alleged victim’s Ferrari and causing $3,000.00 in damage during an argument. The Defense had the felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor and our Client received time served with
Show More


The Client was picked up in Okaloosa County for an outstanding warrant in Hillsborough County for a charge of Petit Theft. The alleged incident occurred in 2017 after the Client was caught on camera stealing
Show More


The Client was involved in an incident where the Client allegedly struck a worker for a tree-trimming company with his vehicle when the worker was blocking the Client’s car when he was attempting to exit
Show More