Matt Sopron was implicated in a double murder nine months after the crime by the true perpetrators who were looking to avoid a death sentence.
There was no physical evidence linking him to the crime, and the witnesses implicating him all told different stories. Defense witnesses contradicted their testimony.
After trial, two prosecution witnesses recanted and related how they were coerced into giving false evidence, transcripts are available here.
Matt was asleep at home when the crime took place, and he had no knowledge of it.
Featured case #71 Website | Proposal Post | Petition | Facebook Page | Featured Case Post
News December 18, 2018
After serving 20 years of a life sentence, Matthew Sopron walked out of Stateville Prison Tuesday afternoon a free man — just hours after Cook County prosecutors dropped murder charges against him after witnesses admitted to lying on the stand during his trial.
Earlier, Sopron, 45, had smiled as he walked past a courtroom gallery overflowing with supporters Tuesday morning. Gasps and sniffling filled the room as Assistant State’s Attorney Carol Rogala asked Judge Timothy Joyce to vacate Sopron’s conviction for a 1995 gang shooting that killed two eighth-grade girls.
“Finally, justice,” Sopron’s mother, Patricia, said in the courthouse lobby after the hearing. “How many years that the lies never matched up, but the truth always matched up? In court last week, we heard the same exact words [from each witness], so the truth was there.”
Jeffrey Braun is serving life without parole for the October 2005 murder of John Chappell.
He was implicated in this murder, of which he had no knowledge, by two friends John Shears and Roy Fitzer after a dispute with a drug dealer ended with a non-fatal shooting.
Jeffrey was addicted to drugs, and this led to him committing numerous robberies of drug dealers, however he did not commit murder or shoot anyone.
There was no DNA evidence, or eye witness testimony connecting Jeffrey to the murder, only the word of already convicted felons.
Jeffrey had an alibi for the night of the murder, but the state claimed that that anyone who testified on his behalf lied, even though there was no reason for them to lie.
A year and a half after being convicted, Jeffrey received a letter from Fitzer in which he admitted that not only had he lied and tried to make a deal, but he also had recanted his lies at the time of Jeffrey’s trial and at no time did the prosecution provide the defence with the information that Fitzer refused to testify. Instead the prosecution postponed trial on the day Fitzer was supposed to testify, and had the court sign an order for his immediate return to prison rendering him unavailable to contact anyone.
Article at wrongly convicted news | Proposal post
Anthony Davis was wrongly convicted of the murder of a man who was beaten and abducted from his home in August 2007, during a botched robbery.
There was no evidence other than the word of the true perp who was given a light sentence, apparently in exchange for testimony.
Evidence was ignored by police, hidden from the defence, and not available to the jury nor to the court that subsequently rejected his appeal : cell phone analysis and a bloody footprint made by a distinctive pair of Nike trainers, the same as those retrieved, by the police, from the home of Sonny Stewart.
Report October, 2012
But Davies’s barrister, Benjamin Nolan QC, told Panorama it had been a bogus charge created for Sonny Stewart, who had “slipped up” during the police interview.
Davies, now 31, along with three other gang members, lost an appeal against conviction two years ago.
But Patrick Davies, who featured on the Panorama programme, told the Telegraph & Argus yesterday: “It will help my son’s case because it shows that he wasn’t involved and there was no evidence against him other than by the supergrass. You have to question the reliability of his evidence.”
Report Salford Star, May 2015, pages 9 and10.
Discussion | Proposal Post | Petition | Facebook Discussion Group
Asked to put a historical perspective on the issue of wrongful convictions -– are they more prevalent now than in the past, or is there simply more awareness of them? -– Brian Cutler strode across his office and pulled a book from a shelf. He returned with Edwin M. Borchard’s Convicting The Innocent, which cited 65 instances of defendants found guilty of crimes they hadn’t committed, and argued these victims of injustice ought to be compensated by the state. It was published in 1932.
“This is not a new problem,” said Dr. Cutler, a University of Ontario Institute of Technology professor and associate dean of the school’s Faculty of Social Science and Humanities.
Dr. Cutler has conducted extensive research on factors that lead to wrongful convictions, including faulty eyewitness memories and false confessions. His work has led to him testifying in or consulting on some 170 cases, educating judges and juries on how eyewitness identification can go wrong.
Alfred Dwayne Brown, whose conviction and death sentence in a case involving the fatal shooting of a Houston police officer was thrown out, will not be retried, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said Monday.
The Court of Criminal Appeals last year threw out Brown’s 2005 conviction and death sentence after ruling that his defense team was not given evidence that could have supported his alibi at trial. The evidence was a copy of a telephone record, found last year by an investigator who was part of the case.
DA drops charges against Alfred Brown
EJI exoneration report
No physical evidence tied Mr. Brown to the crime. Mr. Brown’s girlfriend was aggressively interrogated and threatened with perjury by the grand jury foreman, who was a police officer, and she was jailed for seven weeks until she changed her testimony to implicate Mr. Brown. She has since recanted that testimony.
Mr. Brown’s attorneys have uncovered compelling evidence that the murder was committed by another man with a history of robbery and connections to the co-defendants in the crime. They filed a motion in 2008 to test the alternate suspect’s DNA, but no test has been carried out.
Anant Tripanti was falsely accused by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office of attempting to defraud others in a real estate appraisal scheme (for a bail bond) that he had no part in. The real perpetrators of the crime were coerced and threatened with prosecution if they did not testify against him.
He found evidence that the Maricopa County Attorneys office was engaged in an ongoing practice of arresting and falsely targeting prosecuting people of color, and of low income, fabricating evidence and crimes against them.
Who is Anant Tripati?
I am 54 years old, of East Indian descent, and a citizen and native of Fiji. Until June 24, 1992, I owned and operated “Legal Research Associates”, a successful legal research firm located in Beverly Hills. I was falsely accused by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office of attempting to defraud others in a real estate appraisal scheme (for a bail bond) that I had no part in. The real perpetrators of the crime were coerced and threatened with prosecution if they did not lie and testify falsely during my trial (Documents 2-4). I was convicted of one count of fraudulent schemes, one count of false swearing, and two counts of attempted fraudulent schemes. I was given consecutive sentences totaling 52.5 years in prison with no possibility of parole. I was 38 years old when I went to prison, and I am scheduled to be released in 2044 at the age 94, which will essentially serve as a life sentence. From 1983 to 1987, prior to founding Legal Research Associates, I was in a federal prison for insurance-related fraud. Whilst in prison, I met people who were victims of miscarriages of justice, and became interested in trying to help them. As a result, after my release I set up Legal Research Associates. Undoubtedly, my previous conviction encouraged Maricopa County to frame me with fraud and believe that they could get away with it.
What could have motivated the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office?
In late 1991 I provided assistance during a complex case in Maricopa County Superior Court, in Phoenix, Arizona. During the course of my research I found evidence that the Maricopa County Attorneys office was engaged in an ongoing practice of arresting and falsely targeting prosecuting people of color, and of low income, fabricating evidence and crimes against them. I began to challenge these practices of Maricopa County. A paralegal in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, Teresa Archuleta, informed me at the time that I needed to back off, otherwise Maricopa County would put me out of business (Documents 5-6). I did not back down against Maricopa County, and soon thereafter Gunn McKay, Dean Chatfield, Donald Conrad and others from the Maricopa County District Attorney’s Office “manufactured crimes against and arrested Mr. Tripati” (direct quote from Document 5; also described in Documents 2-6). On June 24, 1992 Dean Chatfield, Donald Conrad, and Gunn McKay, having traveled from Arizona to California, entered and searched my office. They seized and illegally removed to Arizona (Document 5 and other documents not included here) the thousands of pages of documents, including the evidence I had collected against Maricopa County. They also took my office and computer equipment, computer disks and software, and many other items. Fraudulent return of search documents were filed in Los Angles Court at the request of Maricopa County Officials (documentation available on request).
Discussion | Proposal Post | Fairtrials Letter
Chris Tapp was wrongfully convicted of the rape and murder of Angie Dodge of Idaho Falls, Idaho in 1997, after making a false confession. The investigator then and now mayor Fuhriman promised Chris complete immunity after the 40 hrs of questioning. Dna left on and around Miss Dodges body does NOT MATCH Chris Tapp.
Supported by the Idaho Innocence Project.
Video published Published on 19 Sep 2015
Proposal Post | Discussion | Facebook Page
Judges for Justice launch campaign to overturn Tapp conviction September 24, 2015
Chris Tapp to be released from prison March 20, 2015
May 16, 2019
Police Chief Bryce Johnson announced Thursday that a man has confessed to the June 1996 murder of Idaho Falls resident Angie Dodge.
Brian Leigh Dripps Sr., 53, was arrested by Caldwell Police on Wednesday night on a warrant for first-degree murder in perpetration of a rape. He was booked into the Canyon County Jail around 6:45 p.m., according to the Idaho Statesman. He is also facing a rape charge.
He appeared in court in Canyon County on Thursday.
Johnson says police have a DNA match and a confession connecting him to the murder.
Retrial ordered for Russell Faria.
After years of debate and study, a rare coalition of the New York State Bar Association, the District Attorneys Association of New York and the Innocence Project proposed on Tuesday that the state adopt practices to reduce the chances that juries would be swayed by mistaken eyewitnesses or false confessions.
In effect, the proposals would require investigators to treat the words of witnesses and suspects as if they were another kind of trace evidence subject to contamination.
Lester Bower has been executed In Texas. My condolences to his family and the family of the victims.
I agree with Radley Balko of the Washington Post who wrote “Lester Bower’s story is everything that’s wrong with the death penalty“.
On the evening of November 1, 1994 Marty Grisham was shot four times as he opened the door to his condo; minutes later he was dead. There were no witnesses to the murder, no DNA evidence that positively identified the killer, no gun found to identify the weapon used to commit the crime and no confession. No one was charged in the crime and the Bolder, CO police effectively discontinued active investigation in October 1995.
The case remained largely inactive until it was assigned to Detective Chuck Heidel, of Boulder’s cold case unit, in October 2009.
On January 5, 2012, more than seventeen years after Marty Grisham’s death, a warrant was issued for Michael Clark’s arrest.
On January 11, 2012, the Boulder County District Attorney charged Michael Clark with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Marty Grisham. Michael Clark pled not guilty and took his case to trial.
The case against Michael Clark was purely circumstantial and based on informant testimony from a jailhouse snitch, cocaine addict, probation violator, and six-time felon on temporary release from California state prison named Leon Walter Stackhouse.
On October 2012, Michael Clark was convicted of 1st degree murder and sentenced to LWOP. Michael Clark leaves behind a wife and three young children who love him dearly.
Supported by http://www.a4wc.org/
Featured case #70 Website | Facebook Page | Proposal Post | Featured Case Post
Singa Jones, aged 19, was convicted of an armed robbery he did not commit and was sentenced to 29 years in prison. Nobody was hurt in the robbery, although property was stolen by 6 or 7 young men.
Singa was not present, and did not even know the robbers.
The conviction was based on a single doubful eyewitness identification.
Joseph Denham was caught, plead guilty and was sentenced to 3 years. The other robbers were not caught or prosecuted.
Singa admitted being a member of a gang, and this unfairly prejudiced the jury against him. He had no prior criminal record, and has not committed any crime ever, let alone armed robbery.
Proposal Post | Facebook Page | Website