Exonerated Innocent Man Describes 21 Year Prison Nightmare

Kenneth Ireland of Connecticut was 17 when he was arrested for raping and killing a woman. During his police interrogation, he maintained his innocence. He was 18 when he was tried and convicted. 21 years later, in 2009, he was freed after DNA evidence showed he did not commit the crime, and the real perpetrator was identified, tried, convicted and sentenced.

A state commissioner will decide Ireland's compensation, which may be up to $8 million. During testimony this week Ireland described the horror he experienced daily in prison.

I wish it were an actual nightmare ... because then I could have woken up instead of spending 21 years in a tiny cell with the most violent criminals who targeted me because I was a convicted sex offender."


What was the evidence against him at trial?

[Attorney]William Bloss said his client was wrongfully convicted based on the false testimony of a couple who claimed Ireland told them he committed the crime after the state offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer.

The Commissioner expects to decide his claim "by the end of the year." Why does it take so long? He's been out for five years. And what about the couple who lied and got him convicted -- were they charged?

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  • Display: Sort:
    $8,000,000 is not enough (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 07:32:50 AM EST
    And the liars need to go to jail.

    We can spend billions on just about anything. It is beyond me why we cannot have a crash program to investigate all crimes were DNA can help us know the truth.

    8 million (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by lentinel on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 08:40:28 AM EST
    is but a business lunch for the wealthy among us.

    He deserves much more, and he should have been given it upon his release. Connecticut must be really weird.

    It's like they want him to suffer just a little longer.

    And the couple who lied to get him convicted?
    As Jeralyn asks, have they been charged with anything? Like a little perjury?

    Who is responsible for charging or not charging them?
    Can we incarcerate whomever that might be as well if this proves to be as negligent as it now appears?

    My exonerated death row client (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Peter G on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 01:50:33 PM EST
    from Pennsylvania wrote a terrific book (to my surprise, frankly) about his experiences, including a very compelling account of being 21 years on death row.  He got around $2 million, IIRC.  (He had to sue; Pennsylvania is not one of the states that has an administrative compensation system.) It was just one stupid thing after another that got him wrongly convicted, and DNA that got him freed.

    And, it's not like many States (none / 0) (#5)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 02:23:37 PM EST
    advocate for, promote, and/or, cooperate in good faith with convicted prisoners who are appealing their convictions.  Hopefully things are improving, but, I've read too many, many horror stories where compelling new evidence becomes available, but, the states have passed roadblock legislation (much of it, seemingly, arbitrary) making it virtually impossible for innocent convicts to get their convictions overturned, or, granted new trials.

    That's no mere nightmare. (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Dadler on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 03:59:28 PM EST
    It's a morning, noon AND nightmare. 24/7/365. Times a hundred in context.

    No amount can earn back that mortal time. THAT is the real crime. Treating life so blithely. Shame.

    $8,000,000 is not enough (none / 0) (#1)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 06:57:53 AM EST