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flutherother's avatar

Do you know a murder case where you believe the jury got it wrong?

Asked by flutherother (30158points) February 6th, 2017

Maybe someone was found not guilty and you feel they should have been convicted or they were sentenced when you thought they were innocent. Do you know of any such cases?

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33 Answers

SavoirFaire's avatar

I suppose the OJ Simpson case is the most obvious example.

Dutchess_III's avatar

OJ. That’s all I can think of.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

In 2012 a Chicago cop killed a woman, shooting over his shoulder at four people standing with their backs turned.

He was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter. The judge ruled that the crime could not be “involuntary” because pointing the gun was “intentional”.

The cop walked free specifically because he was deliberately shooting into a group on the street.. And because the prosecutors went for a lesser charge instead of murder.

I am not exaggerating or twisting the facts. It sounds impossible but it’s true.

The cop starts collecting a $48K/year pension starting next year at age 50, because he resigned before they could fire him.

Thanks for all the serving and protecting, police union!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh! George Zimmerman.

zenvelo's avatar

In February of 2012, George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17 yr old, telling authorities he felt threatened. The jury acquitted him based on his self defense.

ucme's avatar

That Welsh lad hanged for killing his wife & baby when the real killer was Reg Christie.
Yeah, I watched 10 Rillington Place.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

No jury judge only, but I believe that Travis Vader didn’t kill Lyle and Marie McCann. In Canada. It doesn’t seem right. He was homeless and high at the time of the couples disappearance.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Zimmerman and Servin are definitely good examples. If we want to get into cops who got away with murder, the list could get pretty long pretty fast. Timothy Loehmann comes to mind, as does Daniel Pantaleo.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

With cops there is rarely a jury problem because there is rarely a trial. They don’t get charged often.

The story I told above was the first such trial in years.

And to clarifiy, there wasn’t any kind of jury error, because the defense asked for a bench (judge-only) trial. And the decision was technically correct, following the language of the law.

It was a failure on the part of the prosecutors.

flutherother's avatar

One of the worst cases in the UK was that of the Birmingham Six. They were all found guilty of killing 21 people in two pub bombings in the city in 1974. In 1991 their convictions were quashed.

stanleybmanly's avatar

In the Summer of 1980, I was one of the jurors in a murder trial with so many twists and ironies that I was frankly astonished that no coverage or reporting on the case and its investigation appeared anywhere. Two men were charged with the murder, and they were tried together. Both were on trial for their lives because the death occurred supposedly in the commission of a crime. The very short and totally inadequate description of the homicide: 2 men wrestled for possession of a sawed off shotgun, the gun discharging in the struggle, killing one of them instantly. But there were so many lessons crowded into those 2 weeks in July, that there is a truly compelling story to be spun on any of a plethora of topics. Everything from the consequences of the company you keep to the snares involved with happening to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. There was the eye opening example of what might befall you if you find yourself in a courtroom with inadequate council, the blown police investigation, with all evidence destroyed through comically unforeseen circumstances. The final disposition was that we found one defendant guilty (the one with the clearly inexperienced young public defender). The second defendant was represented by a man so obnoxiously insufferable that we gladly would have convicted that lawyer on the spot. The second man was nevertheless acquitted and literally ran from the courtroom. But this was just the first phase of things. The second and more frightening aspect of this experience was in the 4 days of deliberations on whether or not to grace the convicted man with execution. THAT was a chilling lesson on the vagaries of human disposition that will be with me always.

I guess for me the lesson of that experience is that justice is in reality a truly malleable concept. I truly don’t know if the man I assume is still in prison deserves to be there or not. The road map given us by the judge pointed that way, but there is not one doubt in my mind that he would not have served a day beyond that trial had he the benefit of an experienced and skilled lawyer. As a result of this episode, I have scrupulously evaded my empanelment on any jury, though summoned scrupulously every other year to explain to a judge my distrust of the actual odds on the viability of a “fair” trial.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Joe Horn: wrong acquittal

George Zimmerman: wrong acquittal

Seek's avatar

Casey Anthony.

I watched every second of her trial and threw things at my television and wept bitter tears when they announced her acquittal.

filmfann's avatar

George Zimmerman
Randall Dale Adams(1988_film) from the movie “The Thin Blue Line”

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Rubin Carter.

Timothy Evans (mentioned by @ucme).

Lindy Chamberlain.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar


I think the prosecutors in the Casey Anthony case made the juror’s job too hard.

Google contemporary stories, the jurors were sickened to choose not guilty.

The prosecutors went straight for first degree murder & death penalty with no physical evidence of who, what, where, when, how the child was killed.

The prosecutors should have gone for a lessor charge.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I don’t have any opinion about this, it has already been proven. In my country there is a wrongly convicted case that only become known recently. In 1992 a woman was raped and killed in her house and a man became the prime suspect. It was concluded that the man killed the woman for… some reason, and the man was sentenced to death. The man’s family had to write to the authority many times to ask them to drop the charge because they knew he was innocent. But only until recently did they finally know he was innocent and set him free. The case then made the headline in every newspaper and the detectives in charge of the case were convicted two weeks ago. It turned out that they had no clue what they were doing and they tortured the man for a convenient confession. The case has raised a red flag about wrong convictions in my country and forced the police to look into supposedly closed cases, and so far at least 2 more cases have to be reopened.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions in the case. The biggest question is why the hell the detectives did that. They said there were a letter accusing the man written by the real culprit sent to the police, but why did the detective take the bait so quickly? I think there is still a lot about the case that is hidden from the public.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I just watched “a Cry in the Dark,” with the amazing Meryl Streep. It was filmed in 1988, 8 years after it happened, and released just a couple of months after they released her based on new evidence.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@si3tech Other than OJ?

I knew someone who made it her job to reverse wrongful convictions. I have met people she saved from execution or life in prison.

It isn’t rare.

beancrisp's avatar

For those who believe that the jury got it wrong in the George Zimmerman case.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

My university has a whole legal team that work with students to provide legal assistance to help free the wrongly convicted. It is not rare. I’ve met the late Rubin Carter. The Innocence Project has chapters around the world and this link is a list of people who have been incarcerated and found to be innocent.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@beancrisp That site doesn’t address any of the reasons I think the jury got it wrong, so I’m going to keep believing what I believe.

si3tech's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay Right, I was not trying to imply it was a rare occurrence. And it’s great we have those who “make it their job” to overturn the wrongfully convicted. Much needed.

VenusFanelli's avatar

O.J. Simpson got away with murder because his attorney played the race card with the mostly black jury.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ O.J. Simpson got away with murder because his attorney played the race card with the mostly black jury.
Oh my word, O.J. did not get convicted because the forensics did not add up. If anyone seen any crime investigation docudramas the blood evidence with other notwithstanding other trace elements. People have gotten convicted of what seemed like the perfect crime because of glitter, rug fibers, photos and security cameras they never say, pollen, etc. even those who thought they were going to hid their crime by washing or shampooing the blood away still got caught because of the blood evidence, and they had _way, way more time to clean up stuff than O.J. had. If people want to believe that I have land in Florida dirt cheap I will sell them, they can get on it twice a day when the tide is low, they just better have a good gator gun and not be afraid of snakes.

SimpatichnayaZhopa's avatar

OJ SIMPSON GOT AWAY WITH MURDER BECAUSE HIS ATTORNEY PLAYED THE RACE CARD WITH THE MOSTLY BLACK JURY. Anyone who believes otherwise will buy the Brooklyn Bridge or perhaps Harlem. Black racists and extreme liberals deny his obvious guilt.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

OJ got away with murder because the prosecutors put Mark Fuhrman on the stand to present forensic evidence. The defense proved he was a liar, played audio tape of him using racial slurs, and had witnesses to his bragging about violently abusing black people.

When asked on the stand if he planted fake evidence to incriminate OJ, or falsified police reports, he refused to answer.

He was later convicted of perjury for his testimony in the trial.

Fuhrman was a disaster for the prosecution and made it easy to say that there was a reasonable doubt about OJ’s guilt.

SimpatichnayaZhopa's avatar

That was a distraction that should not change a sensible verdict of guilty. Black jurors were far more concerned with this racist distraction than with two white people brutally murdered. The jusry should not be black in such a case, because most blacks are too racisxt to be fair.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

That was a distraction that should not change a sensible verdict of guilty.

The evidence may look obvious to us, but the cop who presented it was proven to be a lying bigot before their eyes, beyond ANY doubt. He would not deny planting evidence and falsifying reports. Witness said he bragged about beating black people for fun.

No jury would accept his word.They could only convict if they believed Fuhrman.

SimpatichnayaZhopa's avatar

Why do so many people want to excuse brutal killers. I just saw some people approving of Leslie van Houten being paroled, and others ae glad O.J. Simpson evaded justice.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Nobody’s glad. I didn’t want OJ acquitted. I don’t have any doubt he killed them.

Go play somewhere else with your straw man.

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