New Jersey man exonerated of 1988 rape

- Dion Harrell's conviction for raping a 17-year-old girl back in 1988 was vacated inside State Superior Court in Freehold, New Jersey, on Wednesday. It was the court's way of saying, "We got it wrong."

Surrounded by his lawyers and his family, Harrell spoke about it outside the court. He said he is thankful that he has his life is back.

Harrell doesn't stand alone. Every instance of an innocent person behind bars is alarming. His case does offer an example of how unforgiving the criminal justice system can be. He spent years behind bars and a life of instability. A sex offender status that affected where he could live, work and who would accept him as a friend.

While confined behind the walls of prison, Harrell wrote to the Innocent Project. He wanted to know if they could help with a DNA test. Vanessa Potkin of the Innocence Project said Harrell's conviction rested on faulty forensic evidence. She said the problem is not likely limited to him.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories