Another Tale of Wrongful Conviction?

Richard LaFuente has had plenty of opportunities to leave federal prison and go back to Plainview. All he had to do was confess to a murder on the Devils Lake Sioux reservation in North Dakota, for which he was convicted in 1986, and show a little remorse. The first time he refused was at a 1994 court hearing. “I can’t show remorse,” he told his attorney. “I won’t ask forgiveness for something I didn’t do.” He went back to his cell.

The Scales of Injustice

About a year ago, it was reported that Randall Dale Adams had died, bringing to a close one of the more tragic stories in recent Texas history. A construction worker from Ohio, Adams (pictured here, in 1989) was convicted and sentenced to die in 1977 for the murder of Dallas police officer Robert W. Wood. He spent twelve years behind bars—and, in 1979, came within three days of being executed—before being released in 1989 after the key eyewitness recanted his previous testimony.

Trials and Errors

It's hard to imagine a more terrifying experience than being wrongfully convicted of first-degree murder. You’re innocent, you don’t know anything about the crime. Yet the police somehow become convinced that you’re guilty, and a prosecutor makes a persuasive case to the jury. Next thing you know you’re a convicted killer, and the burden is on you to prove that you’re innocent. And if you’re really unlucky, the clock is ticking down to your execution date.

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