Jimmy Lee Mathers and two co-defendants were convicted and sentenced to death in the murder of Sterleen Hill. The Arizona Supreme Court reviewed Matthers case in 1990, and in reviewing the evidence; the Court found that there was a complete absence of probative facts to support Matthers conviction. The court stated that most of the evidence presented at trial had nothing to do with Mattthers conviction. The Court set aside Matters conviction and sentence and entered a judgment of acquittal.
42. Ohio...Convicted 1984
Johnston was sentenced to death for the murder of his stepdaughter and her fiancée. The Ohio Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 1988 because the prosecution withheld exculpatory evidence from the defense, and because one witness had been hypnotized. The state later dropped charges against Johnston. A lawsuit filed by Johnston for compensation for wrongful conviction was rejected.
41. Texas...Convicted 1983
Despite several witnesses who testified that he was 800 miles from the scene of the murder, Skelton was convicted and sentenced to death for killing a man by exploding dynamite in his pickup truck. The evidence against him was purely circumstantial and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals found that it was insufficient to support a guilty verdict. The Court reversed the conviction and entered a directed verdict of acquittal.
40. Texas...Convicted 1981
Clarence Brandley was a black high school janitor at a Texas high school. In 1981, he was wrongly convicted and sentenced to die for the rape and murder of a 16 year-old Cheryl Lee Ferguson, a young European American student at the high school.Brandley was awarded a new trial when evidence showed prosecutorial suppression of exculpatory evidenceand perjury by prosecution witnesses.An investigation by the Department of Justice and the FBI uncovered more misconduct. As a result, in 1989 a new trial was granted.Prior to the new trial, all of the charges against Brandley were droppedBrandley is the subject of the book White Lies by Nick Davies.