October 6, 2010

Innocent After Proven Guilty

Posted: 08:37 PM ET

Stephen Brodie was recently freed from prison for a crime he didn't commit.  He's one of 12 men on LKL tonight who've been exonorated after serving time behind bars.

Here's his story.

Filed under: Larry King Live • Uncategorized

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Michael Armstrong Sr.   October 6th, 2010 9:09 pm ET

I havnt watched this movie yet but im going too mostly because of the great actors .

witchhunt   October 6th, 2010 9:14 pm ET

David Leonard Wood of El Paso has been cleared by DNA evidence for the serial killings in El Paso, Texas.. No DNA, fingerprints, or physical evidence linked him to the crime and women continue to disappear and be murdered on the borderland. Wood can still be executed. Don't let an innocent man die

Save David Leonard Wood

J Quinn   October 6th, 2010 9:16 pm ET

I love your show Larry, in particular this one. Very moving.

However, I think the next time you have Donald Trump on, he needs to be held accountable for helping put five innocent young teenage men through 14 years of prison for a rape they never committed. He has never publicly apologized for what he did. Horrible. Here's what happened if you don't recall it. The case of the "New York Jogger" . . how could we forget, and the crime Donald did was unfathomable.

"In 1989, just days after the five 14- to 16-year-olds were arrested, Trump took out full page ads in every major newspaper in New York City calling for the restoration of the death penalty so that they could be executed. Had Trump's unwarranted call for their murder been granted, there would have been no vindication for these five children, who, as it is, spent their teenage years incarcerated. Thirteen years later, the actual rapist confessed to the crime and the convictions against the five were vacated."

You can guess what their life was like in an adult prison, and when people – like Donald Trump wreck a life, almost kill it – (could be a judge or prosecutor also . . .), they need to spend the same amount of time in prison to experience its horrors. I find this man dishonest.

Larry   October 6th, 2010 9:23 pm ET

Larry, its so very sad that so many people get convicted of crimes they never commited, So I ask you this Question: What happens to the proscuters and police officers who alter or withhold evidence from the courts ?

Michael Armstrong Sr.   October 6th, 2010 9:25 pm ET

I just watched the trailor looks like a winner movie .

Michael Armstrong Sr.   October 6th, 2010 9:35 pm ET

I bet Barry would make a good president maybe he should get on the 2012 ticket .

Michael Armstrong Sr.   October 6th, 2010 9:42 pm ET

Tony was best in ghost .

Jean Smiley   October 6th, 2010 9:49 pm ET

My son, Mitch, has been in prison since he was 17; he is now 49; California simply does not parole men who have a "life" tag; never mind the fact that he was not convicted of the underlying crime (2d degree murder) but instead aiding and abetting by vicarious liability. In other words, he was in the vicinity but had nothing to do with the murder. Because there is no DNA, no one will help free this man. HE is a devout Christian; a caring and deeply committed man who has a great family who have stuck by him for over 32 years. We are a solid, hard working family going back over 6 generations in this country. Mitch deserves to be released from prison, but he won't be because in California politicians use prisoners as political pawns in order to get elected.

I have no other children. For over 32 years I have spent every Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, in prison sitting in a visiting room with my son. With a broken heart, I have worked for over 50 years and paid every penny I have been able to and all of my savings paying attorneys to try to get my son out of prison. There is no hope for poor people with no connections and no one who cares, outside of his family.

Even the Judge knew he was innocent but because a lazy jury who did not listen to the testimony convicted him, he had no choice but to sentence him to 15 to life; a determinate sentence.

Pam Richardson   October 6th, 2010 10:31 pm ET

If seems with all the wrongfully accused people that we are finding in our jail system, that this case needs reviewed. Not only that, the punishment seems a little extreme for a 17 year old. It has been proven that a 17 year olds brain is not fully developed in some areas in order to make these decisions. The frontal lobe of the brain is the "stop" factor of the brain and with those "brakes" not fully ON.... a 17 year old can make a stupid action without even thinking about consequences. Please, someone .... help this lady free her son!

Michael Armstrong Sr.   October 6th, 2010 9:50 pm ET

Having your guts ripped out is the only way I could imagine a wrongful conviction but was O.J. really innocent .

david   October 6th, 2010 9:54 pm ET

interesting that the panel is almost all black males. and people think theres no bias in the legal system. what a travesty. whats even more of a travesty is that prosecutors cant be charged for manipulating evidence. this means that there are prosecutors who KNOW THAT they have sent innocent men and women to prison. how do these "people" live with themself? this is beyond shameful. i cant even imagine how these freed men would feel...

David Kean   October 6th, 2010 9:57 pm ET

So, many of these men seem to have been convicted in the same era. WHO was the presiding DA that was responsible?

Michael Armstrong Sr.   October 6th, 2010 9:58 pm ET

God himself kept these men going .

Bill Lane , CA   October 6th, 2010 9:59 pm ET

Larry, I have but one question where does the evidence come from that convicts innocent people of crimes they did not commit. Shouldn't we have a law that says that if the police or district attorney hide or plant false evidence should have to do the time the person they tried to get convicted would have gotten maybe this would keep them honest.

Michael Armstrong Sr.   October 6th, 2010 10:00 pm ET

Maybe Barry can get the kid with the gun at school off the hook .

C.Crain   October 6th, 2010 10:02 pm ET

I think these men deserve more than 5 minutes of tv time Larry, really.
Are you kidding another show with just the men and their stories!!

Hannah Smith   October 6th, 2010 10:09 pm ET

There is a common thread of false sexual assault charges in the cases featured on the show. It's very easy in our system of "justice" to get a false conviction of rape. There is a man in Oregon, Daniel Bluestein, who is serving a lengthy prison sentence on the false charge of rape. He had consensual sex with a Mormon (married) woman and she later claimed rape. There was no physical evidence of rape. The woman's neighbor was a "victim advocate" in Portland, Oregon area with friends in the police department. Police officers lied on the stand as did the woman involved. Police are never held accountable when they lie on the stand to get a conviction. Who is going to press charges? The happy DA? No. The falsely accused person? No...they are serving a prison sentence for a crime they didn't commit. Unless infidelity is now a crime that carries a prison sentence!

Phillip hair   October 6th, 2010 10:30 pm ET

How accurte is D.N.A? I find it proven that it serves a purpose.But what i don't get is that my brother was given 10 Years due to the fact he suffers from chronic (psychophzophrenia).It just seems that d.n.a should've played a part in the competancy of his character. The psychiatrist seem to be under trained in the explanation of things to courts when it comes to these issues. Therefore d.n.a.

Sheila   October 6th, 2010 10:39 pm ET

I too was shocked at the almost non-existent time given to these wrongly convicted gentlemen during tonight's segment.

Also incredible was the way Larry cut off a couple of them in mid-sentence. These men articulated their profoundly strong faith in their God as the bedrock for how they coped each day and a confidence that the truth would eventually be revealed – the very act of dismissing their public statements in such a cavalier and rude manner is exactly what caused these men to be wrongly imprisoned.

We have not walked in the shoes of these amazingly strong men. They should have been afforded the utmost in graciousness and sucking up afforded dignitaries who appear on this show. Each one of these men is a far superior human being than most of us could ever hope to be. God bless them and their families.

Eva   October 6th, 2010 10:48 pm ET

Your show tonight allowed people to see that the judicial system is not perfect and like all things we need to have people in high places to have higher standards. I have volunteered in the women's prison for 5 years and I am always troubled with the unfair sentences women receive.
I know they have broken the law and should pay for their crime but they are human beings and should not be unfairly sentenced and striped of their dignity especially the young adults who are 18 through 24 years old. If we don't help them while incarcerated and so young who will??

Barbara   October 6th, 2010 11:18 pm ET

Hi Larry The show Tonight stop me in my tracks, I am reaching out to any Legal Assistance that is available to help my brother that happen to be caught up in the system right now. He did not rape the women that the stated of Florida said he did at the age of thirteen Years old.
Back Years Florida law was if You are with someOne that commit a crime You are guity as well, My brother did over twenty years in prison no probation when they finually let him come home,
the state of Florida sent law enforcement agency to the state of Gerorgia arrested him last year for nothing. MY brother have not commited any crime whatsoever. the Judge for some reason kept harrassing him locking him up and answering to NOOne to why? what he did wrong.He is now to this day lock up.

Vicky   October 6th, 2010 11:22 pm ET

I was in jail for been a mother. We need change in America.

Steven R. Ervin   October 6th, 2010 11:34 pm ET

Mr. King: Your show was exceptional as always, however there's more that your viewers should be aware of; that is the men and women in this country who were threatened, coerced, and coached into plea agreements. Chief Prosecutor Cal Rerucha, (Prosecuted the Matthew Sheppard case here in Wyoming). Wanted me to do 25 to life. DNA found someone else's DNA in the alleged victim. However I wrote some many letters to DOJ that Matthew Green forwarded my allegations to the Wyoming FBI and put the Judge, Sheriff, and PD under investigation. MY PD set me up, and while in prison at WSP an officer tried to have me murdered, and I almost was, you can read that on the internet. Anyways two years ago I was on 'Wyoming's Death Row, and I never once lost faith, I used my time constructively by writing three gospel musc books, formed a choir, wrote a Behavior Modification Alternative Program, a 'Pilot' for Americon Telvision Network, and currently orchestrating a Five (5) Million man/woman march across the united states to D.C, to show the media and the public that all men/women locked up or take plea agreements aren't necessarily guilty, and the current judicial system is not about wrong or right, but more about dollars and cents. I would love to be on your show to show how former felons as David Roderick and myself who have been released, have successfully incorporated businesses and are making a positive difference in this world of corruption we live in.

statistic   October 6th, 2010 11:42 pm ET

I have absolutely no doubt there are plenty of wrongly convicted in various prisons throughout the states. Thank God for the Innocence Project, but that's a small piece of the pie. If some can be proven innocent with DNA, imagine the percentage of those incarcerated that have no DNA to prove otherwise. I thought I was a rare case until I was sent to WV a couple years ago.

I have all my documentation, years of files, and I have no intention of forgetting my ordeal.
I worked for the government for 12 years. I was harassed, which started with sexual harassment, but when I would not comply, evolved into a vengeful agency's relentless pursuit to get rid of me.

My very first EEO agreement included such language: I will be assured that in the future, I will not be subjected to any sexual harassment, verbal or otherwise. Any change in schedule that I submit will be given due consideration without regard to my sex or any other non-meritorious factors. The AWOL I referred to will be changed to approved leave. I WILL NOT BE HELD AGAINST MY WILL IN A CLOSED OFFICE OR BE REQUIRED TO WORK IN AN OFFENSIVE OR HOSTILE WORKING ENVIRONMENT.
Others returned money/pay withheld from me, and the unlawful changing of leave slips to be corrected.

As I was not "useful" to management, and they could not terminate me because I was a model employee...they lay in wait.

I eventually (I'm very small) began to have wear and tear injuries of the repetitive nature, and subsequently had medical restrictions, but the agency would not comply for approx 5 years. My body deteriorated and I needed surgical intervention. After the first surgery, (had three surgeries, and might need more) when the agency was supposed to accommodate me, they sent one offer that DOL rejected. The second offer was very similar, was less pay, a different, undesirable shift that I had been on for years, and again, not only included repetitive actions, but had me in an out-side dock area where I was subjected to extreme temps, and I was hired with Raynauds (sensitive to cold temps, causes complications). DOL rep was on the fence, admitted to me she believed there was something more going on...didn't know why they were doing this to me...then she asks my ethnicity. Without thinking, I answer. 2 weeks later, she does a 180, and deems this job now suitable. I continued to refuse it.
I had many documented physical problems and was prescribed a multitude of meds, some heavy duty, narcotics and nerve blockers.

The agency keeps me on the rolls for 1 year (didn't seem to know what to do with me-I had contacted DOL superiors and they promised to have the job changed, specifically location and time-nothing was ever changed) After the year, they forced me to attend disability retirement meeting, then informed me I was to be terminated and had a year to apply for disability. (My son was in his early college years. He had just graduated Choate Rosemary Hall. I had to pull him out of Providence, and he switched to UCONN because of cost. )
I continued to apply for any office positions that became available, but was always refused, whereas I promptly filed EEO complaints that included sworn affidavits, thinking I had a good legal paper trail.
7 months later, I was getting nervous, and applied for disability retirement, but continued to apply for any available positions. I wanted to return to work. I was the only financial support for my son.
This same year I retained an atty to sue the agency for discrimination, and for injunctive relief...I needed to return to work. This was in '99.
I didn't start receiving disability payments until spring 2001.

At the same time, we were having problems with an unstable (new) adjacent neighbor that became overly friendly in '98, knew all my business, then started getting very pushy (at our pool daily without invite, hinted for dinners, wanted to use our pool for her parties, use our sunroom for her plants over winter, constantly borrowing things, tractor, etc) We had no privacy. We began cooling off the relationship and planted bushes across our backyard.
She was furious. The following year, they installed an inground pool illegally in a designated wetland area of their backyard, elevated their yard by at least 6 ft, adding hundreds of yards of fill, installed pipes to direct the flow of their gutters, house tile drains and backwash, into our backyard, that is now lower than theirs. Of course, our yard floods and is useless in heavy rains with this unnatural flow. We contacted the town. The wetlands person was fired as he must've been on the take, but nothing was changed, and every year since, these people continue to add fill (for the last 11 years, and every year we document it to the town) These neighbors have a business in town where they repair autos and tow. (tow for police too)
After we contacted the town, this woman called fed agents and said she thought I was on comp (I was collecting nothing at this time, but had applied for disb).
Meanwhile, I had been deposed for my civil lawsuit, and stated that I do not work, that I maintain house and garden.

From August of 2000 to May 2001, without warrant, this neighbor and fed agents taped my every move from her home. If I was out of my home for 2 minutes, I was on tape. They were even taping through my windows...and tried to get into our bedroom window..ALL NO WARRANT. They were very interested in material things we had...appeared to be an envious attitude. There was sound and the 2 guys taping were leud, wished I was a skinny dipper. (still sex harassment from this same agency after 15 years!!) When I bent over, focused in large on my cleavage, butt, etc. Filmed other women at our pool, especially young firls...teenage girls and one that was only 9 years old. Following them around. They had nothing to do with the surveillance of me. These men were common voyeurs...pigs. They were stopping and starting film, even when I was in plain view, as if they were cutting, or didn't want certain motions on film. They erased film. The neighbor took the fed camera and film down the street to film at another neighbor's home...this was left smack in the middle of the surveillance filming.
There was 28 hours in all, hours of empty yard, company by the pool, husband mowing lawn, me pretty inactive, and approx 5 and a half hours of me gardening, and in one film, I shoveled show on our deck.
I was still on many meds that allowed me to have the little activity I had, and I also had frequent migraines from my neck injuries.
I had 2 shoulder surgeries (might need a 3rd) and neck fusion where I lost 2 disks. I was seeing a psychologist from stress at this point.

Years later, a judge and prosecutor contacted my atty. They had meetings and the judge was trying to make a deal between the civil lawsuit and the prosecutor's charges of fraud. I wouldn't agree to any plea after everything I had gone through, I couldn't believe this was happening. I just wanted my job back. They had a 25-30 minute highlight tape, so I asked for every minute they had. I received the 28 minutes and transcribed them. The prosecutor and judge didn't seem interested enough to destroy me as the agency intended, so they shopped around for another judge and prosecutor. Found them in another town.

Forgot to mention, immediately after our neighbor contacted authorities, they received lucrative government work/contracts for their business.

These new prosecutors threatened, but I would not plead guilty..wanted my day in court. Naive...still believed in the system. They charged me with mail and wire fraud. Nothing happened for an entire year. Then, they superseded charges, adding husband, aiding and abetting, and both, conspiracy. We still would not plead guilty to anything we were so sure we weren't guilty of. Still had no idea how corrupt the system was. We waited for our day in court, but that day in court was a real eye opener, and an education we hadn't signed up for. Only with prosecutorial misconduct, withholding of evidence, obstruction of justice, collusion, conspiracy, perjury and gov contracts for favor, did they effectively destroy me. My husband was aquitted as his involvement was "if I died, he'd get 50% of my life insurance".

They didn't want him. He didn't sue the gov. I did. I had the sexual harassment settlement, not him.
My own atty (we didn't know at the time, but everyone at the courthouse told us something was terribly wrong and he wasn't doing anything) had been sanctioned, we now believe he was assisting the prosecution. He never handed over job applications, fought for EEO affidavits, proving I wanted to return to work. None of my many doctors were asked to testify (even tho they cleared their schedules), except for 2 gov OWCP doctors who testified against me and their former diagnosis.
Neighbor did state that the gov work is a substantial/significant amount of their income now, but that was a coincidence?
She and 2 of her friends (neighbors-one can't even see our home) testified and were handsomely paid. They all made large, showy purchases immediately after the conviction. (neighborhood was canvassed, but only her friends would comply) Neighbor had large addition, corvette, lexus, new windows, doors, and siding in the following months. The weekend after conviction, they had a huge party, tent, DJ, and kept dedicating the song "Jailhouse Rock" to us.
This was not malice? She was not a hostile witness? There was no joy in this? We were told, they were promised we would lose everything, move from here and be "away" for a very long time. People wouldn't have to worry if they testified against us.

This was a nightmare. I still then and today, continue to suffer from the injuries from my employ. I continue to be treated. Just had an MRI on one shoulder where I still have an impingement, a significant tendon tear, bursitis, tendonitis, cyst, and spur.

I was not only sentenced for mail and wire fraud, the good judge, instead of a downward departure as probation suggested (I repaid all monies immediately after decision-never spent it), he said, if I had collected until my retirement, 2/3 thirds longer, the amount would've been tripled, so he tripled my sentence!!! I had 30 months. The courtroom was filled in support for me. I had over 80 letters. In the end, even the court reporter had tears in her eyes. I believe she too was in disbelief knowing how disgusting this case was as she was there for the entire trial.

I was in WV for 24 months. While I was gone, my elderly father suffered a heart attack. (I am an only child-my brother died in a car accident at age 39) My son was in a horrific crash, was hospitalized with a broken back in 2 places, then was laid up for months. I was not there for the people I loved. This was terrible for our entire family. My husband kept up home and our many rescues (we're animal rescue people). I never felt sorry for myself because I met people with worse stories. The system is so corrupt. They're bullies. They ARE the mafia. This is how they maintain a high % conviction rate.

The officers in WV were wonderful to me. They allowed me to do things never before done, and they changed rules for me.
I painted murals throughout the facility. No one ever did that. I started a painting class that became their most popular class, with a huge waiting list. I trained someone to carry on when I left.
They let me have a cat. You weren't allowed to touch any strays. They even allowed me to take 2 strays home when I left. They never made such an approval to anyone else. I made changes there that I'm proud of. You can make lemonade out of lemons.
Even the halfway house I had to stay before actually coming home treated me wonderfully. I had many freedoms and privilages not afforded to most. The man in charge pulled me in his office within the first few days because he said I stuck out like a sore thumb. Before I left there, I thanked them by painting their foyer and TV room. I left a little bit of me everywhere.
There is much more of this story and I am very well documented. After my probation has ended in August 2011, I have every intention of doing everything in my power to get my story public. This can and does happen to many, and people have to know.
Public has to know that DNA is proof of a system gone wrong, but DNA isn't always available.

Steven R. Ervin   October 6th, 2010 11:50 pm ET

Mr. King let me explain my case further: I was arrested and charged with First Degree Sexual Assault, and Robbery, and Sodomy. I am an 52 y.o. black male born and raised here in Rawlins, WY. Here in my hometown, I have been threatened by local law enforcement with death for dating a white female. I was Carbon County's mostwanted at one time, and the Sheriff Dept, and Police Department covered up a murder attempt on my person, so when I was charged with this case, they thought for sure they could bury me forever. However that's neither here nor there, but what I would like to see your show focus on is how former inmates like David Roderick and myself are making positive differences in the communities that once shuned us. We wrote a magazine called 'Renascence' that is the most informative news link to the positive side of current and ex felons, anyone wishing a copy should feel free to email me at:, and see how forgiveness and losing all the animosity against those who have unjustly accused and sentenced us to prison goes far far into making the media, and the public aware that there are alternatives that should be recognized, realized, and put into affect. I will lead the wake of the 'Ameri-Con March 2011' to every state capiol in this nation and on to D.C., with Five Million ex felons,their families, their support groups and followers to do something positive with the remainder of my life and the men and women like me who don't want to be remembered as just another convict who did or did not break the law. Would Love to be a guest on your show and cuss and discuss the politics of the current judicial process. Public Defenders today are not defending their clients, only sending them to prison because we are worth more in prison and jails than we are free men.

Dodie   October 7th, 2010 12:11 am ET

Betty waters is an incredible person and really shows the love a sister can have for her brother. I have so much admiration for Betty. This is one movie I plan to see.

Christy Allen   October 7th, 2010 12:17 am ET

I haven't watched this movie but it sounds very interesting and personal to me. My brother is incarcerated now and serving time for a wrongful incident. He had a poor defense attorney and we live in a prejudice town. The court system would not allow numerous evidence in the trial and this resulting in a conviction verdict of my brother. We have spent over 50,000 dollars in lawyer fees and appeals and still NO Justice has been served!!!

Chris DeBoer   October 7th, 2010 12:24 am ET

Larry, I'm a big fan. The fact that a woman spends 18 years dedicated to a loved one turns into a director's dedication for 9 is moving to say the least. However I was struck by the men in the background who were wrongfully convicted.

They are all African-American.

What does this say about racial undertones in our society today? I'm sure any judge would deny outright prejudice but it would seem that they were unconsciously pre-judging these men and not maintaining an objective perspective, breaking the essential law that one is innocent until proven guilty.

Christy Allen   October 7th, 2010 12:25 am ET

This show is all too close to home for me. My brother is incarnated and was found guilty of a self defense crime. He was being attacked by an individual and defended himself. The town in which we live in is extremely prejudice and when hey can bring any successful African American down they will. The court system refused to allow pertinent evidence that would deliver a verdict of innocent. My family has spent over 50,000 dollars in lawyer fees and appeals.. We are running out of options and do not know what else to do. We know that our justice system is not working properly at all. Can anyone offer any help at all ???

IKHAN   October 7th, 2010 12:40 am ET

HI Larry,

Justice system everywhere is flawed. There are people languishing in prisons around the world for crimes they did not commit, countless must have gone to their deaths.
Criminals go scott free on technicalities. Its not simply justice, its a combination of factors – legalities, limitations, motives both of the prosecution & the defence, political for example, witnesses, corruption, any number of things.
Although with advancement in forensics , hopefully things have improved, the other factors remain.

Unfortunately this would go on.

Those with faith in a Just God get consolation from the thought of recompense in the hereafter.Other than that there are no guarantees that Justice would always be served.

Cindy Hyden   October 7th, 2010 12:44 am ET

My husband was a Police Officer, an exceptional one who loved his job, and was dedicated to helping others. His dream career came to an abrupt and nightmarish end one night in Dec. when he was falsely accused of killing an inmate. He was tried the first time for Violation of Civil rights and found not guilty. The inmate had been transported to a hospital in another city, so that county filed murder charges againt my husband and two other law enforcement officers. They were told that the three of them had to be tried together, and that if they found one of them guilty, then they had to find all three guilty. There was absolutely no evidence againt my husband, that he ever even layed a hand on the inmate, but he was found guilty anyway. I contacted the Innocense Project, and because there was no DNA in the case, they could not help me. He served 7 1/2 years of a 14 year sentence, for something he did not do. Life has been very hard for us since he came home. Finding employment, the way people treat him, etc. We still want to clear his name, but lawyers have taken all our money, and did very little if anything to help us. I feel for everyone who has posted here, that has been wrongly convicted. May God bless you, keep you safe, and give you the strength you need each day. Take care, Cindy

Audrey Smtih   October 7th, 2010 12:50 am ET

I am in a small-town in Ga. where there is a lot of power moving i had a brother that had a burglary/resident sentenced and sent away while i was serving a 10 yr i served 2yrsgot out and my bro was still inside i worked day and night writing letters,etc at the same time working for the judge that sent me away in the drug court and in about a yr later my brother was released and he and i both worked hard and stayed clean and he passed away 2yrs i today have stayed out for life 12 yrs thank you for this show i will be in the theater on the 15th

Horrified   October 7th, 2010 12:57 am ET

How typical. Those in positions of authority who have their hands all over incarcerating innocent people in this country are NEVER brought to justice. They keep their positions, continue to climb the ladder within the system, collect a salary, retired or will retire in the future without a thought, care or concern about the horror they committed against the innocent during their careers of chaos. All because there is no checks or balances within the system and if there is one in place, it's definitely broken or corrupt. All because the criminal/anti-social mentalities are incarcerating the innocent.

Where's the psychological evaluations on any of these folks that had the authority to incarcerate? Oh, that's right ... the foxes are guarding the hen house!

Lysa   October 7th, 2010 1:07 am ET

I don't know this woman personally, but I do know that a woman in Oklahoma named Raye Dawn Smith was wrongfully convicted of enabling the abuse that killed her daughter in 2005. She was convicted on the basis that she "should have known". She was aware that her daughter, Kelsey, was being abused, but suspected Kelsey's paternal grandmother, Kathie Briggs. Kathie has a history of neglect and even the child welfare in Oklahoma, Department of Human Services, suspected strongly that Kathie had abused Kelsey, even breaking her legs at one point. Kelsey was killed on October 11, 2005 by her stepfather, Michael Lee Porter, who was later released after being arrested and charged with murder. He then e-mailed with Kathie and they talked about how to put Raye in prison as well. In February, 2006, Raye was charged with enabling child abuse, after the DA, Richard Smothermon, was threatened by Kathie. Michael was later given a plea deal, demanded by the Briggs family, and his charges were lessened to enabling child abuse and he's currently serving a 25.5-30 year prison sentence in an undisclosed out-of-state prison. Raye was convicted and sentenced to 23-27 years, but filed an appeal and possibly released any time. Because Kathie had Raye running around in circles in a custody battle over 2 year old Kelsey, Raye was unable to see Michael was abusing her. Therefore, Raye was wrongfully convicted of enabling child abuse, when she had no idea that it was taking place.

Vicky   October 7th, 2010 1:14 am ET

In reply to Statistic and Steven R. Ervin. It appears that I am not alone in feeling that judges and attorneys are corrupt.

I also worked for the Government and was bullied into disability retirement by our personnel liaison. She kissed up to the Director of the Agency and was promoted from a GS-07 to a GS-13 for doing nothing. Her duties were to visit with her friends and bully her enemies.

Horrified   October 7th, 2010 1:24 am ET

Steve Crawford, I have to disagree with you to an extent ... formal education or lack of formal education doesn't make a person competent. What makes a person competent is honesty, integrity, moral conviction, wisdom, good work ethics. Something this country is sorely lacking in the last 40 years all because those in the hiring field lack the above.

I know many professionals with degrees from A to Z and haven't a drop of common sense (wisdom) among them. They will sell the gold out of their grandmothers teeth for a promotion or a bonus or some other perk.

That's how our country is run today.

Disgraceful. You spend years raising your children, send them to college to find out all that hard work doesn't count when they get into the work force because of all the evil games that are played on them to SELL out.

gio d'alberi   October 7th, 2010 1:42 am ET

Larry's treatment of the wrongly convicted men was disgraceful.

He fawned over the movie stars, but spent 30 seconds per man, most of whom had spent decades in prisons where they never belonged. It was disgraceful.

Larry was trying to sell the movie & mentioned the "Tested" book a few times since possibly the wronged men get a tiny piece of the profit from th book.

What a sad world we live in where it's all about buying & selling. Justice is a lovely concept, & Barry Scheck's "Innocence Project" is a great thing.

God bless all those great men who suffered so much.

Horrified   October 7th, 2010 2:32 am ET

It's overdue that we should divide the political system in this country since it's a proven fact ... Absolute power, corrupts absolutely.

The judges should never be politically appointed. Period. There records should be thoroughly scrutinized on a yearly basis.

The law enforcement agencies should never be politically appointed. Period.

Same with the fire department, children services, etc.

The privately owned and government prisons needs to be investigated. Seems that greed is roaring it's ugly head ... too many big dollars to make for every person incarcerated ... guilty or innocent, it's obvious that the reason behind incarceration doesn't matter today as long as the big bucks be made in the system as it is conveniently set up.

Need I say more?

Adam Hoopsy   October 7th, 2010 4:03 am ET

Did any of the dozen falsely tried men experience any abuse in the gaol for the nature of their offenses?

Mary L. Parkkhurst   October 7th, 2010 4:12 am ET

How do I get help for an innocent man sentenced to 25 years? Will the Innocence Project help?

Cleophas   October 7th, 2010 6:11 am ET

I was watching 'Innocent After Proven Guilty' on cnn in South Africa, it was profoundly touching program.
I understand Larry King is going to be replaced cnn. I think its not a good thing to do. LK is very special to so many people all over the world. What are you going to call his show? You have no idea what he means to people like me. Whose I idea was it? I will stop watching CNN the day he leaves.

Ted   October 7th, 2010 9:54 am ET

We must have one of the worst judiciary systems in the western world.
State attornies and police destroy or hide evidence that would prove the innocense of an accused just to make a career. These people when caught should be jailed for a long time and debarred for life.

I would rather let three guilty ones free than to inprison an innocent one. Our system works exactly opposite, throw them all in jail, one of them may be guilty.

ckelly   October 7th, 2010 12:03 pm ET

Thanks for doing this show Larry!!

There are many people who are in jail wrongly for murders they did not commit-because the court system and trial used to convict them was corrupt and flawed. A jury can only be as good as the legal system, Judge overseeing and the court system and the trial itself. Police, prosecutors and judges must be held to a high standard by their peers as well as the community.

Another case of young men (teenagers at the time) who were convicted in a kangaroo court with no evidence is the West Memphis Three: Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie MissKelley. Damien Echols is sitting on death row for 17 years awaiting a new trial that seems to be an obvious outcome in spite of the shananigans that have been going on with the States DNA statute.

These young men were found guilty based on satanic panic and no actual bona fide evidence-no DNA found at the seen, or at the boys homes, on their clothes, etc; NO eye witnesses; no fingerprints or foot prints; juror misconduct; lost evidence at trial; no proven murder weapon; other suspects and parents of the three boys murdered were not interviewed; jail house snitches used as witnesses; False confession used at trial that may have been coersed by police. This confession by a mentally handicapped youth was used against Echols and Baldwin, even though considered not admissible in Echols and Baldwin's trial-was still introduced into jury deliberations.

There are many cases of people still incarcerated in prisons wrongly while the killers go free. Thanks to the Innocent project for all their good work!!

Free the West Memphis Three!

LE   October 8th, 2010 5:43 pm ET

It should be guilty until proven innocent.

SV   October 11th, 2010 12:01 am ET

My cousin was arrested on 12/28/2008, for sexual abuse and robbery. This young man was home for the holidays from college. He pleaded innocent and the plea bargain was set for 12 years. According to the judge if convicted he will received 25 to 50 years he is now 23 years old. The paid attorneys did nothing on the behalf of my cousin’s case for almost two years. It’s imperative you do a background check when looking for an attorney they sometimes rip you off as well. This young man is still sitting in jail now with a court appointed attorney that has told us he’s going to use his client to defend himself and no one else. I’ve called many different offices and agencies for help all they ever say is you need a good defense attorney but, because now it’s so close to trial we can’t afford another paid attorney. Never in my life did I ever witness such abuse of power on so many levels when it comes to our legal system. I now believe we need an agency in place to audit our legal system because there is a lot of injustice taken place in our courts and a lot of innocent people going to jail and the guilty ones are still out there.

Joyce Gill   October 13th, 2010 12:36 am ET

You had a crawler during this show and asked if we knew anyone who had been or is incarcerated. My son has been in prison for 30 yrs. It's a sad story, however it could be worse. I love him dearly with unconditional love as does his older sister and a wonderful young lady who has stood beside him for 25 of those years. He will be home in 125 wks. A warm welcome home is being planned. Not all people who have or are still serving time, are bad folks. Just made serious bad decisions long ago. He was 23 when he went in. If you would like to know the rest of his story, let me know.

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