25 Innocent People Who Were Convicted of Serious Crimes

The criminal justice system prevails the majority of the time, but it is not without its flaws. Sadly, anytime one individual is jailed unjustly, it’s one too many. Here are the most famous, or infamous, examples of people spending decades behind bars for no legitimate reason. In some cases, they were put to death before the mistake in justice was revealed.

1. Rubin Carter – Convicted of Triple Homicide

Date Imprisoned: 1966, 1976

Date Released: 1985

Total Time Served: 22 years

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter was a phenomenal boxer from a tough neighborhood. Growing up in Paterson, NJ he struggled with the law as a child, but soon corrected his ways as he rose to fame in the sport. But in 1966, his life would forever change. Three people were murdered at a bar in Paterson, and witnesses pinned it on Carter and friend John Artis. Despite little evidence linking them to the crime, they were sentenced to multiple life sentences. Ten years later, they were released, but convicted again in a second trial when witnesses changed their testimony. Finally, in 1988, after multiple appeals to the Supreme Court, Carter was released. The verdict included that Carter’s convictions were strictly due to racism without any clear cut evidence of guilt.