Why do defendants plead guilty to crimes they didn't commit?
A national team of journalists investigates.
Despite DNA evidence of innocence, W. Va. man who pled guilty remains locked up
Brian Dement confessed in 2007 to taking part in murder with three other men. He pleaded guilty, and they were tried and convicted. When DNA emerged of their innocence, the three men’s convictions were overturned. But because his conviction was based on his plea, Dement remains in prison.
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U.S. Supreme Court is asked: Can prosecutors withhold evidence of innocence before guilty plea?
George Alvarez pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer before a video emerged that painted a different picture. But a federal appellate court said the prosecutor had no duty to alert Alvarez of the video before his plea.
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Mental disabilities cast doubt on defendants’ guilty pleas
Defendants with mental disabilities may be unable to understand the nature of court proceedings. But judges are often reluctant to act even when evidence of innocence emerges.
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One innocent man gets six years for murder, while another gets life
A Virginia case shows the high cost of taking a plea deal -- and the higher cost of turning it down.
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Two brothers, two choices: A plea bargain’s toll on the innocent
Henry and Juan Johnson, wrongly convicted of murder, won a new trial after 11 years in prison. The prosecutor offered to let them walk free — but only if they pleaded guilty.
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