The Top 5 Most Wrongful Executions Of All-Time

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With the scheduled execution of Troy Davis in Atlanta, Georgia today, the controversy surrounding the execution is what has the whole world up in arms.

Many claim that Davis is innocent due to numerous witnesses who initially claimed Davis was the murderer, now recanting their stories.

Below are other examples of executions that many in the public disagree with, and the courts may have made a mistake on.

5. Larry Griffin

Larry Griffin was executed in 1995 for the drive-by murder of Quintin Moss in St. Louis. The government’s key witness, Robert Fitzgerald, would later admit that he wasn’t sure if Griffin was even in the car for the shooting.

Griffin’s defense failed to interview key witnesses and government witnesses wavered in their testimony.

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund would claim that Missouri executed an innocent man.

4. Leo Jones

Leo Jones was executed in Florida in 1998 for murdering a policeman. Jones’ lawyers would say that he confessed to the murder after being brutally beaten by cops who forced him to play Russian roulette while being interrogated.

Several witnesses said that Jones did not kill the police officer, and both officers who interrogated Jones were later fired for police brutality.

3. Ellis Wayne Felker

Ellis Wayne Felker was convicted for the disappearance and murder of a woman in 1981, and executed in 1996.

An autopsy would later rule out Felker as a suspect, but it was altered by a technician. After his execution, Felker’s attorney would receive a box of evidence that was unlawfully withheld by the prosecution, including DNA evidence and a confession given by another suspect.

2. Jesse Tafero

Jesse Tafero was convicted of murdering two police officers in 1976. Walter Rhodes, the government’s key witness would testify against him, claiming that Tafero was responsible for the murders; but would later recant his testimony and take full responsibility for the crimes.

Despite Rhodes testimony, Tafero was executed annd Rhodes was released from prison in 1994.

1. Cameron Todd Willingham

Cameron Todd Willingham was convicted of murdering his three daughters by burning down his house in 1991. He was later executed in 2004 in Texas.

Despite the fact that the Texas Forensic Science Commission found that the arson claims were doubtful and Willingham’s wife disputed the claim that Willinham had killed his daughters to cover up abuse allegations, Governor Rick Perry did not grant a pardon to Willingham.

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