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Wrongfully convicted Louisiana man freed after 34 years in prison

In order to ascertain the truth in any situation, the first and perhaps most important rule is to remain objective. In many cases where individuals have been wrongfully convicted of a crime and sent to prison, mistakes and intentional misconduct were likely the result of police investigators and/or prosecutors who were not objective in their approach.

Any time that the crime victim is a police officer or the family member of one, it should be assumed that the investigation could be compromised by law enforcement agencies seeking revenge on behalf of one of their own. This may have been what led to the wrongful conviction of a Louisiana man who was exonerated and released earlier this month. He spent 34 years in prison after being erroneously convicted of murdering the wife of a New Orleans police officer.

Here were just some of the major problems in the case that suggest a botched investigation, prosecutorial misconduct or both:

  • The defendant was interrogated for four hours, during which time he was allegedly given drugs and alcohol
  • The supposed confession the defendant made contained details that were not consistent with the physical evidence in the case
  • Two homicide detectives were aware of a weapon that both matched the ballistics report and was traced to two other people (neither of which was the defendant), and this information was never shared with the criminal defense attorney
  • The two district attorneys who prosecuted the case allegedly knew about the existence of this exculpatory evidence but claimed that a murder weapon was never found and based their case entirely on the defendant’s supposed confession

The current district attorney called the actions of his predecessors “shameful,” and noted that their behavior could accurately be described as “intentional prosecutorial misconduct.”

It is hard for most of us to believe that members of the criminal justice system would care more about securing a conviction than about making sure the actual murderer was found and held accountable. Any wrongful conviction is a miscarriage of justice and should not be tolerated.

Source: NOLA.com, "Man freed from prison after DA acknowledges misconduct in '79 New Orleans murder case," Helen Freund, May 12, 2014

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Meet Attorney Guillory

Attorney Joshua S. Guillory was born in Alexandria, Louisiana. Upon graduating high school from Alexandria Senior High, he enrolled in classes at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. Josh was a member of Mu Kappa Tau, a national honor society for marketing majors, while attending... Read More

Joshua S. Guillory

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