Wednesday, October 12

Innocent Man Convicted to Death

From Talk Left.

A wrongful conviction may have cost William Nieves his life. Certainly, it robbed him of many productive years.

"I was 27 years old when I was convicted. At the time I went to jail, I had just enrolled in community college," Nieves told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in a 2002 interview. "I would have had my degree. I would have had my feet in something I enjoy doing. I would have spent much more time with my daughter."

Nieves was convicted in 1994. Prosecutors withheld exculpatory evidence, and he was eventually awarded a new trial. He was acquitted and released from custody in 2000, but he complained that the prison failed to treat his ailing liver. By the time he was released, it was too late. Nieves died Saturday at the age of 39.

"This is a guy that got put on death row for something he didn't do. Eventually this injustice was found," [Jeff] Garis said. "Yet he left prison with another kind of a death sentence."

This is just an example of what programs like the Innocence Project have been seeking to limit and avoid for over a decade. During their work over 169 persons wrongfully convicted have been freed, it was only a matter of time before they didn't reach on soon enough. If fact, in all likelyhood Mr Neives was probably no where near the first innocent person to wrongfully die at the hands of our justice system.



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