Freed After 41 Years of Wrongful Imprisonment
Unbelievable. Robert Carroll Coney is now 76. A judge has vacated his conviction, finding that his confession was forced by cops who broke his hand. He was released today after serving a whopping 41 years in jail. And he's not bitter.
A 76-year-old prisoner walked out of jail, a free man for the first time in 41 years, after a judge dismissed the conviction against him. Robert Carroll Coney, convicted of a 1962 robbery, exhibited a surprising lack of bitterness as he left Angelina County Jail with his wife on Tuesday. "I'm going to try to pick up the pieces," Coney told the Lufkin Daily News in Wednesday's editions. "If I was angry, what could I do about it?"
Coney said his identity had been confused with a man he had carpooled with through Lufkin on the day of the crime: March 7, 1962. Court documents state Coney falsely confessed to the crime after Angelina County deputies broke his hand, the Daily News reported. State District Judge David Wilson, who dismissed Coney's charges, investigated the case and found that then-Angelina County Sheriff Leon Jones and his deputies used physical force to extract confessions, often crushing prisoners' fingers between jail cell bars. (emphasis supplied.)
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