Heartbreaking: 10 Innocent People Executed for the Crimes they never committed

Aug 20, 2020 1:53 PM

. We humans made law for justice. But how possibly our justice system could be perfect if we humans are not perfect. There are number of cases where our law sentenced or executed innocent people. Following are the 10 cases innocent people executed for the crime they never did. The list is in no particular order.
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10. Teng Xingshan

Innocent People Executed

In 1989, Teng Xingshan was taken as guilty of

raped, robbed and murdered a woman, Shi

Xiaorong. She was a local woman who

eventually disappeared and a man found her

dismembered body. Police confirmed her as

Shi Xiaorong, and accused Teng Xingshan of

the crime. He had been executed on 28

January 1989 by Huaihua Intermediate

People’s court. But in 1993, Shi Xiaorong

returned back to the village claimed Shandong

kidnapped her.

9. Perry Family

In 1660, William Harrison disappeared from


village Charingworth, in Gloucestershire.


found his clothes teared and in blood on the

side of the local road. When policed asked,

William’s servant, John Perry, he suspected his

mother and brother may have killed Willaim for

money. Without further investigation, Perry,

with his mother and brother, executed for the

crime. Two years later, William came back

claimed he had been kidnapped and sold into

the slavery in the Ottoman Empire. Reference.

8. Derek Bentley

Innocent People Executed

Derek was an English man who was mentally

challenged. On November 2, 1952, police tried

to bust him with his sixteen-year-old friend,

Christopher Craig, while attempting to burgle

the warehouse of the Barlow & Parker

confectionery. Christopher had a gun which he

used to fire at a policeman and killed him

despite of Bentley surrenders request. Derek

Bentley had been executed for killing a

policeman, but not Christopher, since he was a

minor at that time. 

7. Colin Campbell Ross

10 Innocent People Executed

On 30th December 1921, a twelve-year-old girl,

Alma, went to a butcher’s shop to collect a

package of meat but never returned. After

search, police found her body naked in Gun

Alley. Media hype this incident too much which

pressurized police to make an arrest. Police

suspect a wine-bar owner, Colin Campbell

Ross, who later interrogated in detail by police.

Though, Colin nominated several witness who

can confirm that he had not left his premises

on murder’s afternoon, but police ignored

everything and arrested him on 12 January

1922. After trial, Ross was executed on 24th

April 1922. Later old evidences re-examined

with modern forensic techniques, and Ross

found innocent.

6. Timothy Cole

10 Innocent People Executed

In 1985, Timothy Cole was sentenced for 25

years in prison for the rape of Texas Tech

student Michele Mallin. She mistakenly

identified Timothy as her rapist. Though

Michele told police that her rapist smoked

during rape, police ignored this statement

despite of knowing that Timothy never


because he had severe asthma. In 1995, the

real culprit Jerry Wayne confessed to the rape.

After DNA test, Timothy exonerated on

February 6, 2009, however he had already died

on December 2, 1999 in prison from an



5. Gary Graham(a.k.a. Shaka Sankofa)

10 Innocent People Executed

In 1981, Shaka Sankofa, who was only 18 at

the time of crime, was charged of robbery and

murder of fifty-three-year-old Bobby Grant

Lambert. He was convicted based on one

witness who saw him for few seconds from a

distance, whereas, police ignored others

witnesses who saw the murderer in close and

said Shaka is not that man. He was executed

on June 22, 2000. From his arrest to the day of

his execution, he kept saying that he was


4. Timothy John Evans

Timothy Evans family

Timothy was charged for the murder of his


and daughter at their home in Notting Hill,

London. Timothy was convicted on weak

evidences while he continuously said that the

real culprit is his neighbor, John Christie. After

Evans execution, Christie was found to be a

serial killer who murdered several women

including Timothy’s wife and his own wife.

3. Mahmood Hussein Mattan

10 Innocent People Executed

On 6 March 1952, a 42-year-old woman, Lily

Volpert, brutally murdered outside her shop by

cutting her throat with a razor. After

investigation, police arrested Mattan as a

suspect who was a Somali merchant seaman.

For the prosecution, police forward Harold

Cover as the main witness in the case.

However, police ignored other witnesses who

confirmed that the man at the scene of crime

was not Mattan and never took them to the

court. He was executed by hanging on 3

September 1952.

2. Joe Arridy

10 Innocent People Executed

Joe Arridy was arrested and executed for the

rape and murder of a schoolgirl in his

hometown of Pueblo, Colorado. Sheriff in

charge, George Carroll, caught him by way of a

train claimed that he accepted his crime. Joe

had intellectual disabilities with an IQ score in

the 40s. Police had no hard evidence against

him, however, he had been executed primarily

on his own confession. Three state

psychiatrists agreed that Joe was “incapable


distinguish between right and wrong, and

therefore, would be unable to perform any

action with a criminal intent.” According to

prison Warden, Roy Best, Joe Arridy was the

happiest person on death row as he didn’t

realized the meaning of execution.

1. David Spence

10 Innocent People Executed

In 1982, David was charged of murdering three

teenagers. It was presumed that David had

been hired by a store owner, Muneer Deeb(the

actual culprit), who then raped and murdered

two 17-year-old girls and one 18-year-old boy


Waco, Texas. He had been executed by lethal

injection on April 14, 1997. The police

lieutenant, Marvin Horton, and homicide

detective, Ramon Salinas, later accept that the

witnesses was faked. There was no evidence

against David Spence. He was innocent.

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