Top 10 Criminals That Were Declared Innocent After They Got Killed

There are certain criminals that were given the death penalty because they were connected with unforgivable crimes.


1. Carlos De Luna

Carlos De Luna was found under a truck when Wanda Lopez was killed in a gas station. De Luna told the judge that Carlos Hernandez was the person they were looking for but despite the other man’s colorful criminal record, they ignored his pleas. De Luna was executed in 1989.

2. Larry Griffin

Larry Griffin was arrested after Quintin Moss was shot to death in 1980. Even though his fingerprints could not be found at the crime scene, other evidence was allegedly found against him. He was executed in 1995 and 10 years later a professor declared that Larry was indeed, innocent.


3. Ruben Cantu

Ruben Cantu and David Garza robbed two men at gunpoint in 1984. One of the victims panicked and started looking for his pistol because of which the two boys started shooting and killed him. Even though no evidence was found, Cantu was convicted and executed.


4. David Spence

David Spence was convicted on the grounds that he raped and killed three girls in Texas. The man received the death penalty even though no concrete evidence was found against him.


5. Jesse Tafero

Jesse Tafero, Walter Rhodes and Sonia Jacobs were found by three police officers in 1976. Rhodes says that Tafero then shot at the two officers. He also said that the other two were responsible and he was released after about 20 years from jail. Tafero was executed in 1990 but it was recently found that Rhodes had shot at the officers, not him.


6. Ellis Wayne Felker

Ellis Wayne Felker was arrested in 1981 when a woman was found raped and murder in a creek. Even though a lot of evidence was found that proved that he was innocent along with a confession letter by another suspect, the man was executed in 1996.


7. Leo Jones

Thomas Szafranski was killed in 1981 when two men shot at him. Leo Jones was arrested but he never admitted to the crime. Several people said that somebody else had killed the man but the court chose to ignore these pleas. He was executed in 1998 but the case was reopened recently and it was found that he may not have been guilty after all.


8. Cameron Todd Willingham

Todd Willingham’s house burned down and his daughter died. He was arrested soon after because it was believed that he started the fire. It was then found that Willingham was suffering from psychological problems and the witness testimonies were quite vague and unreliable. He was executed in 2004 but 5 years later the case was re-examined and it is believed that he was innocent.


9. Joseph O’Dell

A woman named Helen was raped and murdered and even though Joseph O’Dell was on parole for other convictions, he was not greatly linked to this particular crime. Even though he claimed repeatedly that he was innocent, he was executed in 1997. The DNA evidence was demolished recently which can only mean that somebody else had carried out the crime.


10. Lionel Herrera

David Rucker, a public safety officer was killed in 1981 and Lionel Herrera was arrested when a police officer was found dead as well. He pleaded not guilty dozens of times but was executed in 1982.

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2 Responses

  1. StingStungMe

    Your title is extremely misleading. These people were NOT declared innocent. At best there may be doubt to their guilt.
    “The DNA evidence was demolished recently which can only mean that somebody else had carried out the crime.”
    I can’t believe you had the gall to put that in an article.

  2. Kristin

    Not to mention that the author repeatedly mentions that the suspect continued to say they were innocent, and that no one believed them. Do I really need to mention the fact that claiming innocence does NOT equal innocence? Shoddy article.


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